Peter H. Wilson
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‘Mercenary’ contracts as Fiscal-Military Instruments
in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789

The chapter argues that we need to set subsidies in their wider context as just one of many ways of transferring war-making resources across political jurisdictions. Subsidies belong to the contractual forms which emerged during early modernity and which in this chapter are termed Fiscal-Military Instruments. Direct recruitment, foreign regiments, auxiliary troops and subsidy troops were all Fiscal-Military Instruments which evolved across early modernity as ways of transferring men, money, materials, services, information, and expertise between partners. Such instruments facilitated what were high-risk arrangements between partners who were often justified in mistrusting each other.

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