So it was that in 1694, to get the necessary money, the government brought the Bank of England into being. Lenders could pay into the bank with cash, and they would receive bank notes against government bonds. And within less than two weeks, William III had raised the £1.2 million necessary to strengthen the country’s navy.
The foundation of the Bank of England proved to be a major turning point for the country. With the loan secured, England could fund all the industries required to bulk up its navy. This initiative included boosting the country’s agricultural sector and setting up ironworks – which provided materials used for building the ships.
The kingdoms of England and Scotland then unified in 1707 to become the Kingdom of Great Britain. And with a healthy bank and a booming industry, this newly formed state became exceptionally powerful. Indeed, William III’s strengthened navy fought to make Great Britain a principal player on the global stage into the 19th century.