Did the colonies cause English democracy?

Saumitra Jha looks at data on individual members of the Long Parliament (1640-60), and argues:

investment in newly available shares in overseas companies appears central in fostering support for reform, chiefly among those lacking prior overseas interests. The paper argues that the innovation of shares allowed new investors to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities overseas, aligning their interests with overseas traders. However, since these shared opportunities were heavily exposed to executive discretion, financial innovation broadened support for parliamentary control of government.

The hyperbolic title is mine. His is “Financial innovations and political development: Evidence from revolutionary England.”

(Admit it: you would not have read this post if I used his title.)

2 thoughts on “Did the colonies cause English democracy?