Transportation and the State explores the role of the emerging national state in the 19th century as an organiser of territory and a governor of infrastructure. It offers a comparative historical analysis of eight industrialising nation-states and discusses their role in the democratisation and economic development of the industrialising world since the post-Napoleonic era. Hans Keman and Jaap J. Woldendorp provide a comprehensive analysis of how nation-states have regulated the economy and society from the 19th century to the present day, with particular focus on the development and operation of railway systems. They demonstrate how states define and direct infrastructure and railway systems as part of the public domain. By exploring the impact of the railways on the evolution of the national state, Keman and Woldendorp reveal the complex interactions between the state, society and the economy, and how these are situated within their historical context. Taking a diachronic empirical approach, they challenge common misinterpretations around the role of the state and argue for a revision and reformulation of its current format and capacities. Drawing together the academic fields of political science, economics and economic history in an innovative way, this book will be of particular interest to scholars and students looking to expand their understanding of the ways these disciplines interlink. It will also be a helpful read for policy-makers working on improving transport infrastructure in different nations.