Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Rulers, Guns, and Money

The Global Arms Trade in the Age of Imperialism

Jonathan A. Grant



Not in-store but you can order this
How long will it take?


Harvard University Press
15 March 2007
The explosion of the industrial revolution and the rise of imperialism in the second half of the nineteenth century served to dramatically increase the supply and demand for weapons on a global scale. No longer could arms manufacturers in industrialized nations subsist by supplying their own states' arsenals, causing them to seek markets beyond their own borders.

Challenging the traditional view of arms dealers as agents of their own countries, Jonathan Grant asserts that these firms pursued their own economic interests while convincing their homeland governments that weapons sales delivered national prestige and could influence foreign countries. Industrial and banking interests often worked counter to diplomatic interests as arms sales could potentially provide nonindustrial states with the means to resist imperialism or pursue their own imperial ambitions. It was not mere coincidence that the only African country not conquered by Europeans, Ethiopia, purchased weapons from Italy prior to an attempted Italian invasion.

From the rise of Remington and Winchester during the American Civil War, to the German firm Krupp's negotiations with the Russian government, to an intense military modernization contest between Chile and Argentina, Grant vividly chronicles how an arms trade led to an all-out arms race, and ultimately to war.
By:   Jonathan A. Grant
Imprint:   Harvard University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 17mm
Weight:   584g
ISBN:   9780674024427
ISBN 10:   0674024427
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   15 March 2007
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jonathan A. Grant is Associate Professor of History, Florida State University.

Reviews for Rulers, Guns, and Money: The Global Arms Trade in the Age of Imperialism

Although many histories have been written about the international arms race prior to World War I, few have examined this phenomenon within the larger context of the 19th century...Impressively researched...This groundbreaking book will revitalize historical debate on the arms trade. -- C. J. Weeks Choice 20071101 Jonathan Grant has written an extensive, well-researched, and probing account of the companies that built those warships in the decades before the Great War...His impressive research spanning a number of nations and various national archives reveals in some depth the diplomatic struggles that prompted nations to seek arms and the competition among firms to win contracts. The book will serve readers interested more narrowly in the subject of arms sales and, more broadly, in globalization and business history...Rulers, Guns, and Money should find a place on the shelves of historians of the period, whether their interests lie in colonialism, international relations, or business. -- Jeffrey A. Engel Business History Review 20080401

  • Nominated for George Louis Beer Prize 2007
  • Nominated for Hagley Prize in Business History 2008
  • Nominated for Hagley Prize in Business History 2009
  • Nominated for William H. Riker Book Award 2008

See Also