Sweden and the lesser powers in the long eighteenth century
Erik Bodensten

This chapter explores the strategic challenges facing the lesser powers during the long eighteenth century. It also examines to what extent the emergence of a new European states system, the novel scale and intensity of warfare, and the growing strength of the fiscal-military state over time rendered the role of the lesser states as subsidy recipients more problematic, not only in the Holy Roman Empire but also in a more general European sense. With Sweden as the point of departure, this study allows us to acquire a deeper understanding of the conditions under which the lesser powers acted, as well as of the reasons why the international system increasingly came to be dominated by the great powers.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789