In the 1650s, political administrators across Europe began adopting accounting strategies to manage government. Although the method of double-entry book-keeping emerged during the Middle Ages and spread from Italy during the Renaissance, governments were slow to adopt it. Inspired by the Dutch precedent, however, English, French, German, and Russian rulers and ministers looked to accounting to build new military industrial complexes. This general movement represents a paradigmatic change in the language of politics, away from traditional humanist theory toward a technocratic culture that would later evolve into the political-economic movement of the eighteenth century.

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