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Dr Aaron Graham


Aaron Graham joined UCL as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2016-19) in September 2016. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2012, and was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford between 2012 and 2015.

His broad area of interest is the history of politics, finance, society and the state in the British Isles and Empire between 1660 and 1840.  His current project looks at banking, currency and finance in Britain’s imperial territories between 1800 and 1850, bringing together political, economic and legal history to ask how imperial and colonial governments attempted to regulate and control paper money, public debt and new joint-stock banks.  Tracking this process across Canada, the West Indies, South Africa, Australia, the Mauritius, Ceylon and the East Indies during a period of transformative change, he shows how a transnational regulatory framework was built up that laid the foundations for modern global finance.  

Aaron is also working on a study of slavery, society and the state in Jamaica between 1770 and 1840, which will examine how tropical plantation slavery shaped the development of the British ‘fiscal-military states’ of the Atlantic World. His earlier work examined corruption, patriotism and political ideology in the early eighteenth century, and he continues to explore these themes in Britain and North America during the mid-eighteenth century.

Major publications

  • Corruption, Party and Government in Britain, 1702-13 (Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • The British Fiscal-Military States, 1660-c.1783 (Routledge, 2016), with Dr Patrick Walsh
  • 'Auditing Leviathan: corruption and state formation in early eighteenth-century Britain', English Historical Review 128 (2013), pp.806-38
  • 'The colonial sinews of imperial power: the political economy of Jamaican taxation, 1768-1838', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 45 (2017), pp.188-209

For a full list of publications, see Aaron's Iris profile.

Grants/projects

  • Global Finance in Britain, Ireland and Empire, 1783-1844, Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship 2016-19
  • Corruption and the British state: rhetoric, reality and responses, 1714-82, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012-15

Teaching