Subsidy treaties in early modern times
The example of the German principality of Waldeck
in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789

This chapter studies the principality of Waldeck, one of the smallest German principalities to receive subsidies during the early modern era. It focuses on troop-leasing contracts as a specific form of subsidy treaty and seeks to identify the key players and their motives for either hiring or leasing large contingents of soldiers, often entire regiments, from or to other states. Focusing on the case of Waldeck, it sets out to clarify whether the frequently criticized ‘soldier trade’ (‘Soldatenhandel’) between German princes and foreign powers was just a way for lower-ranking rulers to make money or whether these projects had other aims as well.

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