The uses of French subsidies in Sweden, 1632–1729
in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789

This chapter discusses, through a detailed study of three periods – 1632, 1675–1677, and 1727–1729 – the wider effects of French subsidies on Swedish society as well as the nature of dependency between Sweden and France. For long periods during both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Sweden was dependent on foreign subsidies: in 1631–1680, it needed financial support to uphold its armies in occupied territories in northern Europe; and from the 1720s onwards, it needed subsidies to secure its own territory as well. With subsidies periodically amounting to from 5 to over 20 per cent of state revenue, in a country with very limited resources otherwise, they offered opportunities for careers and social climbing, as well as financial profit.

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