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Lending to the Borrower from HellDebt, Taxes, and Default in the Age of Philip II$
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Mauricio Drelichman and Hans-Joachim Voth

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151496

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151496.001.0001

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Lending to the Sound of Cannon

Lending to the Sound of Cannon

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter 1 Lending to the Sound of Cannon
Source:
Lending to the Borrower from Hell
Author(s):

Mauricio Drelichman

Hans-Joachim Voth

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151496.003.0002

This chapter discusses wartime spending and the rise of the fiscal-military state. The need to borrow was intimately related to the cost of war. After 1500, a “military revolution” transformed warfare in Europe. The invention of gunpowder meant that old medieval city walls no longer offered protection. The increasing use of cannon therefore required an entirely new set of protective walls. These new fortifications meant that wars became longer, with many sieges lasting more than a year. Then, the rise of firearms translated into a need to train soldiers. All these changes—the arms used, the rise of permanent, large armies and navies, new fortifications, and high frequency and great length of conflict—made wars vastly more expensive. Success in war therefore depended in the early modern period on financial resources. Eventually, states run by a successful military-fiscal complex dominated the map of Europe.

Keywords:   wartime spending, fiscal-military state, military revolution, financial resources, firearms, armies, fortifications

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