Economies of allegiance

French subsidies played a central role in European politics from Charles VIII’s invasion of Italy in 1494 until the French Revolution. French kings attempted to frustrate what they viewed as a Habsburg bid to pursue universal monarchy. During the seventeenth century, the French monarchy would embrace the payment of subsidies on a different scale than previously, using alliances in which subsidies played a prominent role to pursue crucial aspects of royal policy. Louis XIII made alliances promising subsidies to support the United Provinces’ resumed war against the king of Spain, and for the Danish, Swedish, and various German princes to fight against the Holy Roman Emperor. Louis XIV continued some of these subsidies and used subsidies as a tool in order to implement his own politics. When Louis XIV appeared to Dutch and some English statesmen as aspiring to Universal monarchy, the Dutch and particularly the English used the tool of subsidies to frustrate the French monarch. During the eighteenth century, principally the French and the British, but also the Austrians, used subsidies to procure allies and attempt to maintain the balance of power. The subsidy system prompted significant debates about the legal, political, and moral implications, and was sometimes a source of political conflict between competing power groupings within states. The book argues that participation in the French system of subsidies neither necessarily accelerated nor necessarily retarded state development; but such participation could undoubtedly change political dynamics, the creation of institutions, and the form of states that would emerge.

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

5 The problems with receiving subsidies: Sweden and the lesser powers in the long eighteenth century Erik Bodensten Introduction: Why the lesser powers sought subsidies During the long eighteenth century, subsidies constituted a necessary, albeit insufficient, method for lesser powers to achieve political and dynastic objectives. In the context of imperial and European politics, these subsidies were crucial for the ability of minor German states to defend themselves and act more proactively and offensively, in spite of their otherwise significantly limited

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
The example of the German principality of Waldeck
Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz

7 Subsidy treaties in early modern times: the example of the German principality of Waldeck Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz Subsidy treaties: definitions and contents During the early modern period, German princes collectively received more subsidies for their troops than any other single state received at the same time.1 But of course there were variations over time, as well as variations between the German princes, who were not the only players in this business: there were also other states in Europe on the receiving end, such as Denmark and Savoy. This chapter

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

4 The uses of French subsidies in Sweden, 1632–1729 Svante Norrhem Introduction1 In his book Tankar om krig i gemen och Sweriges krig i synnerhet (‘Thoughts about war in general and Sweden’s war in particular’), written in 1758 and published in 1767, a civil servant and politician by the name of Anders Nordencrantz (1697–1772) heavily criticized the Swedish acceptance of foreign subsidies. Subsidies become opiates, poisons that delight, corrupt, and drug recipients. Subsidies are like golden hooks pulling the receivers like fish out of their natural environment

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

10 Jean Hoeufft, French subsidies, and the Thirty Years’ War Erik Thomson Historians of early modern Europe have emphasized the importance of entrepreneurs and private contractors to governance, ascribing particular importance to the merchants and bankers who lent money to crowns, organized chartered companies, and equipped and provisioned armies, as well as to the officers who recruited, armed, and led military units.1 Although Guy Rowlands has charted some of the operations of international remittance bankers during the reign of Louis the XIV in a recent book

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

1 The role of subsidies in seventeenth-century French foreign relations and their European context Anuschka Tischer The focus of this chapter is on the notion and practice of subsidies in French politics and diplomacy in the seventeenth century. It begins, however, with some general observations on the subject concerning the notion and practice of subsidies to demonstrate what I see as the desiderata, relevant issues, and methodological problems. I then continue with a short overview of the French practice of subsidies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Open Access (free)
Svante Norrhem and Erik Thomson

Historische Forschung 24 (1997), 509–574. 2 Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation Money was so central to these changes that the English historian Mark Greengrass has claimed that ‘money was the dissolvent of Christendom’, providing Europe’s states with resources and motives to engage in destructive conflict with one another.2 Historians have created an extensive and rich literature on European fiscality. They have examined constitutional battles about the control and amount of taxation, theories of finance, the development of public debt, and the organization and

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
German reception of French subsidies in the Thirty Years’ War
Tryntje Helfferich

2 ‘Unter den Schutz Frankreichs’: German reception of French subsidies in the Thirty Years’ War Tryntje Helfferich Introduction Historians have embraced the term ‘Thirty Years’ War’ for the multifaceted conflict that devastated Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. At its heart, this was a civil war fought within the confines of the Holy Roman Empire, driven in large part by religious conflict and by fundamental disagreements over the very nature of the empire and the balance between princely liberties and imperial power. This internal German war was also of

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Intermediating the French subsidies to Sweden during the Thirty Years’ War
Marianne Klerk

9 The ‘fiscal-military hub’ of Amsterdam: intermediating the French subsidies to Sweden during the Thirty Years’ War Marianne Klerk Much scholarly attention has been paid to early modern subsidy practices on an interstate level, as arrangements and transfers of military resources between states. Subsidies are often portrayed as financial tools of alliances by which a powerful state lured a weaker one into its sphere of influence with the promise of money, a much-needed resource in this period of increasing military conflict in Europe.1 One of the most notorious

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Peter H. Wilson

3 ‘Mercenary’ contracts as Fiscal-Military Instruments Peter H. Wilson Introduction Subsidies are widely acknowledged as an important manifestation of European interstate relations between the fifteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and they are beginning to attract serious attention from scholars. To date, research has largely focused on individual agreements or sets of agreements as part of wider diplomatic relations between two states. It is recognized that such relations were invariably asymmetrical, with the stronger party paying the weaker one in return

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