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Mercenary Swedes: French Subsidies to Sweden 1631-1796

Mercenary Swedes: French Subsidies to Sweden 1631-1796

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Mercenary Swedes: French Subsidies to Sweden 1631-1796

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407 pagine
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 5, 2019
ISBN:
9789188661838
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Four hundred years ago, France persuaded Sweden to fight on its side against Germany in the war between Protestant and Catholic states. Rather than some lofty purpose, what convinced Sweden was money. Under the 1631 agreement, Sweden received French subsidies to the tune of 400,000 riksdaler a year for five years. This was only the first in a long line of subsidy agreements between the countries. Sweden enjoyed French largesse for no fewer than 166 years.

In this wide-ranging international study, Svante Norrhem traces the patterns of cooperation between the two countries. With his unique command of the archival material, he discusses the reasons for the agreements and the mutual dependency that resulted.
Pubblicato:
Nov 5, 2019
ISBN:
9789188661838
Formato:
Libro

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Mercenary Swedes - Svante Norrhem

Svante Norrhem

Mercenary Swedes

French subsidies to Sweden

1631–1796

Translated by

Charlotte Merton

NORDIC ACADEMIC PRESS

Copying or other kinds of reproduction of this work

requires specific permission from the publisher.

Nordic Academic Press

P.O. Box 148

SE-221 00 Lund

Sweden

www.nordicacademicpress.com

© Nordic Academic Press and Svante Norrhem 2019

Translation: Charlotte Merton

Cover design: Lönegård & Co

Tryckt utgåva ISBN 978-91-88661-82-1

E-bok ISBN 978-91-88661-83-8

Contents

Acknowledgements

Early modern currency

1.  Subsidies—an introduction

Reaping what others sow

Reaping the whirlwind

Why subsidies?

Argument

Method

2.  Treaties, context, and content

The Treaty of Bärwalde

The Peace of Westphalia

Interlude—absolutism and the Great Reduction

Liberty

The return of the king

The common thread

3.  Subsidies, dependence, and independence

Follow the money

The 1630s and 1640s

After 1648

The eighteenth century

The mechanics of subsidies

Great power and great freedom?

4.  Subsidies and honour

Whose honour?

5.  French objectives and interests

Vote-rigging

Destabilization politics

Dynastic politics

Patrons, clients, and ‘protection’

Subsidies

France’s interest in Sweden

Shifting alliances

6.  Rivalries, conflicts, and complications

Conflicting objectives

Casus belli

New century, same old tensions

Practical complications, complicated individuals

Asymmetric friendship

7.  Subsidies, history, and enduring friendship

An uncomfortable past

A special friendship

8.  Subsidies, resistance, and criticism

Swedish shame, French betrayal

The pamphleteers

The root of the problem

9.  The impact of subsidies—migration, mobility, and mortality

Princes and states

The impact of subsidies on Sweden

War, death, and suffering

Women’s lives

Infrastructure and infraknowledge

Officers and officials

Bankers and financiers

Diplomats, politicians, and negotiators

Soft power and luxury consumption

Concluding remarks

10.  The impact of subsidies—three case studies

The Peace of Westphalia

War, the Great Reduction, and autocracy

The coup of 1772

Concluding comments

11.  Concluding discussion

Notes

References

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank the Swedish Foundation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) for a three-year award that gave me the opportunity to concentrate on this study. I also wish to thank the Åke Wiberg Foundation, the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, and the Magnus Bergvall Foundation who all made it possible for me to do research in the archives in Stockholm and Paris. The Torsten Söderberg Foundation has also generously paid for the translation of the manuscript from Swedish to English. I am grateful to the Swedish Institute, which arranged for me to stay three weeks at Villa San Michele at Capri for three intensive weeks in the final year of the study.

I owe a debt of thanks to generous colleagues who have provided advice, feedback, and criticism. The senior history seminar at Umeå University helped me get started by offering vital comments at the beginning of the project, and the senior history seminar at Lund University has since commented on the project as a whole. I am especially grateful for the advice, encouragement, and support given by Peter Lindström for reading and commenting on the whole book, and Harald Gustafsson, Martin Almbjär, and Erik Bodensten for reading and commenting on earlier drafts. I am forever indebted to Erik Bodensten for generously letting me use his vast collection of unpublished source materials. Erik Thomson has for many years been a constant inspiration, and I owe him thanks for listening patiently to my often fragmentary thoughts and sharing his impressive knowledge of early modern European history. I also would like to express my gratitude to Johannes Ljungberg for extracting and translating sources, which meant I could work through them in far larger numbers than would otherwise have been possible. The French embassy in Stockholm, and especially Reine Linde, went to great length to help me clarify who were French envoys to Sweden during the 1790s. For this I would like to express my thanks. Finally, I would like to thank my friend Annika Olsson at Nordic Academic Press, whose healthy straightforwardness is a great help for an author at the end of the research process. Thank you!

Early modern currency

One problem that faces historians is that the sources are not always clear about which currencies were used when negotiating or accounting for the foreign subsidies that are the subject of this book. In Sweden the choice was between riksdaler (rdr), daler silvermynt (dsm), and daler kopparmynt (dkm). The riksdaler was the standard accounting currency for subsidies, however, and this was usually clearly stated. In France it was écus or livres; where there has been doubt, and where it has been possible to check against other sources, the answer almost always turns out to be livres.

Currency exchange rates were relatively straightforward in the seventeenth century, but later became increasingly complex, especially in the latter part of the eighteenth century when the Swedish currencies were less stable. Broadly speaking, 1 riksdaler was worth 1 écu or 3 livres. The complications begin when the accounting currencies used were daler silvermynt (dsm) or daler kopparmynt (dkm), as their value fell against riksdaler: a riksdaler was worth roughly 1.75 dsm until about 1675, then 2 dsm in 1681–1719, and finally 3 dsm, while 1 dsm was worth 3 dkm. In the book I always state the currency used in the source, but for Sweden I have used the Marteau Early 18th-Century Currency Converter to give an approximation in riksdaler as well in order to reduce the confusion (www.pierre-marteau.com/currency/converter.html).

CHAPTER 1

Subsidies—an introduction

Reaping what others sow

In the first half of the seventeenth century the vast majority of people living within France’s borders were farmers. They lived in villages, where they grew crops and kept a few hens and perhaps a cow to support their families and in order to pay the taxes and dues they owed. They lived by the land, and like peasants all over the world their success or failure was entirely dependent on the wind and the weather. The French government of the day was equally dependent on the land, and above all the peasants who worked it. The income of the French state derived largely from agriculture, for, unlike the nobility, merchants, and other privileged groups who were exempt from the many forms of taxation, the peasantry could not avoid paying taxes on the land they owned.¹

The taxes, tailles, paid by the peasants accounted for half the French government’s income. Unlike the peasants in villages across France, though, the government could afford to ignore the state of the harvest, however poor, for in contrast to the Church it did not take a proportion, but rather decided what it wanted, and levied that sum regardless. In 1630–39 the tax burden on French peasants doubled compared to the previous decade, 1620–29, and it continued thereafter at the same high level until the eighteenth century, when it first levelled out and then even began to fall shortly before the Revolution.² Historians who have tried to calculate how much of the harvest went in taxes have found it difficult to pinpoint exactly, but examples from the seventeenth century show that most of a peasant family’s harvest—as much as three-quarters of it—was paid in taxes and dues to the government, Church, and local authorities. The family had to provide for all its adults, children, and possible employees from what was left.³ One catch in these figures is that women’s sales of eggs and dairy produce are not included, meaning that household incomes were probably slightly larger than appears at first glance.⁴ Rising taxes, however, drove many peasants into bankruptcy, forcing them to sell their land. The buyers were often merchants, who were exempt from a number of taxes that farmers had to pay. The result was a sharp rise in the sale of agricultural land to merchants.⁵

Elsewhere in Europe, in northern Sweden, and specifically the small village of Andersvattnet in the parish of Bygdeå, life in the first half of the seventeenth century was similar to that in much of rural France: there were 28 villagers between four farms, and they grew crops and kept cows and sheep. The climate being tough in this part of Europe, they almost only grew barley. Of the 30 or so barrels of barley that the people of Andersvattnet harvested per annum, half went in taxes or was kept as seedcorn for the following year. What remained was sufficient for about one-third of the villagers’ needs. To make up the difference, the villagers traded grain and cash for butter, fish, pelts, wool, tar, and wild game. They used cash to buy salt and a range of other necessities.

The people of Andersvattnet, like villagers across Sweden, not only faced high taxes, but also military conscription. Sweden had been at war almost continuously since the 1610s, to the point that between 1621 and 1632 at least 50,000 of the country’s fighting men were killed in battle and many were injured. In December 1631, Sweden had 83,200 soldiers in the field in Germany, and three years later 118,200. Admittedly they were not all Swedes or Finns (Finland then being part of Sweden), but with a population of just over 1 million, the rural labour shortage was noticeable, and it put pressure not only on women, but also on the men and boys who were either too old or too young to fight. The increase in the number of soldiers, which was the result of Sweden entering the Thirty Years War in 1630, took its toll in lives and money. One of the many men who paid with his life was Sakarias Andersson from Andersvattnet. When he died in Germany in 1633 at the age of 38, he had served seventeen years in the Swedish army. Since 1617 he had fought around the Baltic and in Prussia, served in the navy off Danzig, and finally was killed somewhere in Germany, fighting for the Lutheran faith.

There was a direct link between the hardworking, heavily taxed peasants in rural France and the families in Andersvattnet in northern Sweden. The French government took most of its peasants’ income and spent it on foreign affairs and war. Between 1628 and 1768, it spent between 71 and 95 per cent of its revenue on its armed forces, foreign policy, and servicing its debt (most of which was incurred in war).⁸ The endless wars that France fought or financed added to its costly bureaucracy, which pushed taxes up even further. One of the campaigns that France financed was Sweden’s involvement in the Thirty Years War.⁹ The French peasants, labouring to pay their taxes, dues, and debts, were inextricably linked to the death in Germany of Sakarias Andersson and the hardship that faced those he left behind in Andersvattnet, and that link went by the name of foreign subsidies. Sweden, a poor country ruled by a king who was the self-appointed defender of the Lutheran faith, had to turn abroad to find the wherewithal to wage war on the Catholics, who supposedly threatened Lutherans across Europe. One of Sweden’s tactics was to force farmers and townspeople in its newly occupied territories to pay for the very army that terrorized them, but it also sought to supplement that with alternative sources of revenue, among them subsidies from foreign powers. In 1631, only a year after France had experienced one of the worst harvest failures in the seventeenth century, Sweden and France agreed what was known as a subsidy treaty, by which France undertook to help finance Sweden’s participation in the great European war then raging between the Catholic and Protestant powers.¹⁰ The outcome was that the tax burden in France increased, with the ultimate result that French peasants, who were overwhelmingly Catholic, ended up paying for Sakarias Andersson to be shipped to Germany to fight for the Lutheran cause against Catholicism, in the bloody war that went down in history as the Thirty Years War.

By the time the war was over and peace finally secured in 1648, millions across Europe had lost their lives. Women in their hundreds of thousands had been widowed, men widowered, children orphaned. Entire populations bore untold physical and mental wounds from the sexual abuse, razed villages and farms, bombed cities, and blooddrenched battles. People far from the theatre of war were affected by conscription, soaring taxes, and ever-harder conditions.

Yet in the seventeenth century, when a country’s leaders considered going to war and how best to finance their campaigns, they gave very little thought to the effect it would have on the population. The fact that war meant hardship was taken as a given, but was thought a necessary evil compared to a slight on the sovereign’s honour, and entirely justified if the defence of the country’s religion, territory, and trade demanded it. The popular hatred of rising taxes exploded occasionally in uprisings, which served to impose some limits on what governments thought was possible; however, it was not until the second half of the eighteenth century that there was concerted resistance to the idea that young men should be sent off to fight on behalf of other—paying—countries, a resistance driven by an express desire to protect human life.

This book is concerned specifically with foreign subsidies, the sums of money paid by one country to another to finance war. As these first examples show, the system had an all-too-real impact on individuals and groups, and indeed on entire countries. Subsidies lubricated the machinery of war, and made it possible for Sweden, a small country population-wise, to become a key player in European politics in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The entire system was founded on the flow of tax revenue from French peasants to the French state, whereupon it was converted into subsidies paid to the Swedish state so that it could send its peasants, Swedish or otherwise, into battle.

Reaping the whirlwind

For the Swedish government, subsidies, their negotiation, and the occasional refusal to accept them were all integral to political life for most of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Subsidies were always needed, and the subsidy treaty agreed between France and Sweden in 1631 was the beginning not only of a long relationship, but also a series of substantial French subsidies that only ended in 1796. In no fewer than 90 of those 166 years, Sweden was in receipt of French subsidies, and it frequently accepted payments from other subsidizers such as Britain, Spain, the Dutch Republic, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire. Subsidies of this kind were sums of money that one country agreed to pay to another for military or strategic purposes. In the period in question this was usually framed in terms of one prince paying either another prince or a royal house such as ‘the house of Austria’. Where there was no prince to pay it was the principality that was the recipient—Genoa, for example, or the Grisons, or the Dutch Republic. For Sweden in the eighteenth century, during the so-called Age of Liberty when the king’s power was weak and the Diet was the strongest political body, payments were said to have been made to ‘the Crown of Sweden’. However, I have chosen to use the term state or government when discussing the subsidy treaties between Sweden and France, since they were agreements between two states, and only in the strictest formal sense between two princes.

Usually, one government subsidized another in the expectation that it would commit its army or navy to an ongoing war, or that it would position its forces to menace the other combatants even if it did not engage them, or that it would refrain from intervening in a conflict. Sweden, for example, never surrendered command of its army or fleet to other countries, but other, smaller countries’ subsidy treaties did tend to specify that their armed forces were being hired out, or that the subsidizer was permitted to recruit soldiers within the recipient’s borders. Subsidy treaties could also bring other benefits to the subsidizer: the right to march freely across a certain territory, for example, or access to certain fortifications or harbours. More often than not subsidies were paid in wartime, but they were not unknown in peacetime, when they were largely designed to ensure the recipient could repair its military strength, or to build or improve fortifications. Depending on how far-reaching the subsidy treaties were, they were thus designed to encroach on the recipient country’s independence, while at the same time marking the subsidizer’s need for allies. The subsidy system should be seen as part of the move in Europe towards stronger nation-states and modern war finance in the early modern period.¹¹

Efficiency in mobilizing resources was taken further in the eighteenth century, this time in the shape of government bonds that permitted states to raise substantial long-term loans at home.¹² Government debt could then be left to grow without having to make large repayments. The first adopters were the Dutch Republic and Britain; Sweden waited until 1789, when it opened a National Debt Office (Riksgäldskontoret). Before that date, it had had to find cash by increasing taxes, borrowing from private financiers and other governments, and, of course, foreign subsidies.

It is worth at this point saying something about ‘pensions’. I would argue that one must distinguish between subsidies, which were transactions between states, and pensions, which were paid to individuals. At the same time, it should be noted that subsidies and pensions were not that different in intent, as both were intended to influence the policies of another country. Individuals who were paid foreign pensions were therefore invariably best placed to act in the interests of those paying them. When it came to Sweden, France used pensions as a substitute for subsidies in the periods when there were no large payments government to government. Also, as contemporary sources make plain, there was not always that clear a distinction. I therefore return to the issue of pensions occasionally, since they were an accurate reflection of France and Sweden’s interest in maintaining good international relations.

War in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Europe was expensive and tested all forms of war finance to the limit. Subsidies were one way in which resources could be secured and transferred, and for this to happen there had to be at least some degree of interaction between states on the one hand (whether subsidizers or recipients) and bankers, businessmen, and entrepreneurs on the other. States paid or received the subsidies, while the intermediaries—private entrepreneurs—ensured the money was moved from one place to another, often over long distances. Subsidies thus formed a system that was founded on close dealings between states and individuals. Subsidies had been used between European states in the Middle Ages, but in the sixteenth century there was a jump in their complexity and size. The reason was France’s determination to gain control over a number of Swiss cantons, in part for geopolitical reasons, but also as a recruiting ground for its army. For a general picture of France’s subsidies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there is a useful list of subsidy treaties compiled by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the period 1630 to 1786. The list numbers no fewer than 102 subsidy treaties with 22 different states, and even then a number are missing, including the treaty with Sweden finalized in Bärwalde in 1631.¹³ In other words, France agreed a new subsidy treaty—generally with principalities in the Holy Roman Empire or with a Scandinavian country—on average once every eighteen months.

It was common for subsidies to be offered and accepted across the Continent and beyond throughout the period. In the seventeenth century the countries that paid the largest subsidies were (in no particular order) France, Austria, Spain, the Dutch Republic, and Britain, while those which received the most were Sweden, Denmark, the Swiss Confederacy, the Dutch Republic, and several German and Italian states. In the eighteenth century, in addition to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, and the German and Italian states, the list of largest beneficiaries grew with the addition of Austria and Russia, while the largest subsidizers were Britain and France.¹⁴

Why subsidies?

The key questions are why Sweden accepted subsidies in the first place, and why in such quantities from France of all countries? What need did the subsidies meet? Sweden, throughout the period from the Treaty of Bärwalde in 1631 to the French Revolution, was at times wholly dependent on the financial support of foreign powers in order to play a part in European high politics, and at times simply to guarantee its own independence. The simple answer, of course, was that Sweden needed the money to maintain what it considered a sufficient military capability to participate in European power politics whenever the opportunity presented itself, and at other times to protect it from foreign attack. Behind this lay a determination to join in the European power game, and to protect itself from aggressive neighbours such as Russia, Denmark, and Prussia.

Naturally enough, the political reasons why Sweden thought it should accept subsidies varied over the two centuries studied here. The alliance with France that heralded Sweden’s entry into the Thirty Years War was thought justified in order to support Lutheran Europe, while later alliances were thought justified because they enabled Sweden to keep the peace together with France, or because they protected it from neighbours that were thought to pose a particular threat.

At first glance, it seems strange that the relationship between Sweden and France evolved into one of the most long-lived alliances in early modern Europe. While France was Europe’s most populous country—it had about 20 million inhabitants in the seventeenth century and 28 million at the time of the French Revolution—Sweden was sparsely populated, with only 1 million inhabitants in the early seventeenth century and just over twice that by the late eighteenth century. Strictly speaking, there was any number of reasons why Sweden and France could have failed to sustain a long, fruitful relationship, so if nothing else there are good grounds to study it in detail. The first reason why the Franco-Swedish alliance should have been problematic was the price that had to be paid because of the dependence it entailed. The subsidy treaties ensured mutual dependence, which for the Swedes as recipients forced them to bow to France’s demands and wishes, while France in turn remained dependent because of its desperation to find and keep allies. Both parties thus had much to gain, but almost as much to lose. The degree of acceptance is interesting, because the one thing that should have spoken strongly against an enduring relationship was religion. Being a Lutheran nation, it is possible to see why it might have been in Sweden’s interest to join the Thirty Years War, and there were pragmatic and geopolitical reasons why Sweden and France might have become allies, but it is far harder to explain the relationship in terms of religious history. Sweden had strict anti-Catholic policies in place against the much-feared influence of Rome, matched by a growing anti-Calvinist policy that strengthened considerably in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.¹⁵ In France, meanwhile, tighter religious controls were heralded by the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Thus in both countries there was not only close regulation of religious practice, but it became stricter as time progressed, and was matched by a growing religious conformity.¹⁶ Another factor that one might imagine would reduce France’s interest in a continued alliance was the dramatic change in Sweden’s international standing after 1721, which left it needing a prop more than an ally. With the loss of its Baltic Empire, Sweden’s importance as a trading partner collapsed, and its political significance faded fast. As an ally, Sweden appeared much weaker. A third factor that could potentially have dampened France’s enthusiasm—and Sweden’s for that matter—was that the end of the Great Northern War gave Sweden a new and very different system of government, which was viewed with great scepticism by France. The Swedish Constitution, which between 1719 and 1772 centred on a strong Diet and much-reduced royal power, was thought to have weakened the country, yet despite that there were repeated Franco-Swedish alliances throughout the period.

Against this was the range of benefits that subsidies brought. The decisive factor in the existence of the subsidy system was that governments were otherwise unable to maintain standing armies of the size they wanted, and foreign subsidies were a fairly effective and speedy way to put together an army. Instead of recruiting at home, the subsidizer could simply buy control of an existing army abroad. Even better, costs were limited to the period when the soldiers were actually on campaign.¹⁷ Spain, the Dutch Republic, Venice, and Britain were all examples of countries that at times found it difficult to recruit sufficient numbers of soldiers at home.¹⁸ Another advantage of paying to access other countries’ armies was that it was usually less detrimental to the subsidizer’s domestic economy, because the workforce remained at work rather than being marched off to war. But perhaps the most important political reason to pay subsidies, however, was that it gave strong states control of weaker states, and could prevent strong enemies from forming alliances.

The benefits of subsidies were largely commercial. Armies could be maintained and hired out, with the upshot that there were countries where soldiers became a key export, as some historians have noted. Any surplus generated by such exports could be used to advance the dynastic ambitions of the rulers and even their subjects.¹⁹ Subsidy treaties also meant that a smaller state—and its prince—could ally with a major power, meaning that the subsidy treaties themselves were thus economically and politically important.

For several decades after 1739, Sweden was one of many European states to receive repeated subsidies from France: it was joined by the kings of Prussia, the princes of Bavaria, the Palatinate, Cologne, and Hesse-Kassel, the Canton of Graubünden (in what is now Switzerland), and a number of unspecified princes in smaller states in the Holy Roman Empire as longstanding recipients of France’s largesse. The Danish Crown was included in their number in 1747, and duly appeared in the French accounts of payments to foreign princes and governments.²⁰ The largest recipient of French subsidies in the period 1756–73 was Austria, which only a few years after it came to an understanding with its arch-rival was being paid colossal sums of money. The second largest single recipient was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII, who came to power with French support in 1742, and in his brief three-year reign accepted 12 million livres per annum. After that came Prussia, and finally, spread over a longer period, Sweden.²¹

Subsidies were a mechanism that governed agreements and the flow of resources within and between European states for decades at a time.²² They were based on an exchange of resources, and in turn served to integrate European states into a connected system not only of international trade, diplomacy, and dynastic marriage, but also of peace treaties and declarations of war. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the need to generate cash for military purposes lessened when the introduction of short-dated government bonds meant that domestic national debt could soar—and also that France was no longer the same financial force to be reckoned with, because it was overtaken economically by the then much stronger Britain.²³

Sweden’s acceptance of subsidies has been covered in detail in the literature, and above all in the early research on Swedish foreign policy, in which subsidies and subsidy negotiations often played a prominent role.²⁴ The influence on early modern Sweden of its relationships with other countries seems to have been of interest to historians only until the later twentieth century; more recent Swedish research has tended to gloss over the subject, a fact reflected in the leading university textbooks, which in some instances do not mention subsidies at all, while others refer to them in passing without problematizing why Sweden accepted them for so long or what significance this may have had.²⁵ Common to the literature of all dates is that it rarely takes the long view, and instead focuses on individual subsidy treaties, and their causes and immediate consequences. Sweden’s acceptance of subsidies has arguably not been treated in much depth, because historians have chosen to focus on individual cases rather than the generalities and long-term effects. The purpose of this book, then, is to do just that, by building on existing research and taking a much wider line that spans from the 1630s to the 1790s. Each subsidy treaty came at the end of a set of negotiations, each had consequences, and the interval between negotiation and outcome could be long. For this reason, and because each subsidy treaty was one in a line of such agreements, it is important to consider them part of an extended process as well as the sum of a long relationship.

One question to be answered is, of all the types of resources that made up the wider system of military finance, why pick subsidies as the one to analyse? A country’s economy was far more than subsidies, of course: taxes, custom and excise duties, loans, and grants (voluntary and involuntary) all contributed to the war chest, and all had their particular effects. It could be argued that by singling out subsidies there is a risk that the full picture of resource mobilization might be missed. However, foreign subsidies differed from other sources of revenue because they were subject to treaties with another state; both parties—subsidizers and recipients—were made dependent on each other in the process, and were drawn into the other’s geopolitical aspirations; they shaped alliances between countries in a way that affected other international relationships; and they raised questions of dependence and honour that had to be addressed by the recipient country in particular. At first glance the immediate comparison might be with foreign loans, but loans did not form the basis of relationships like those that resulted from subsidy treaties. All these sources of income might not have been so different in terms of the actual cash they brought in, but subsidies took a very different form, and that is the basis of this study.

The book is limited to an examination of Franco-Swedish relations because France was not only a key player in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but was also one of the leading subsidizers throughout the period, while Sweden was one of the countries that accepted enormous sums, and through those subsidies France

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