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State Cash Resources and State Building in Europe 13th-18th century

Katia Béguin
Anne L. Murphy

Tax or Borrow or Borrow and Tax?

Fiscal Redistribution, War and State-Building in Sixteenth-Century Lombardy

Matteo Di Tullio

Note de l’auteur

This chapter is the result of several research projects on the finances of the state of Milan that I have carried out in recent years. For the purpose of synthesis, I have kept the bibliographical references to a minimum, referring in that respect to M. Di Tullio, ‘L’estimo di Carlo V (1543–1599) e il perticato del 1558. Per un riesame delle riforme fiscali nello stato di Milano del secondo Cinquecento’, Società e Storia, 131, 2011, pp. 1–35, and M. Di Tullio and L. Fois, Stati di guerra. I bilanci della Lombardia francese del primo Cinquecento, Rome, École française de Rome, 2014.

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Extrait du texte


From the end of the fifteenth century until the second half of the sixteenth century, the state of Milan was embroiled in a long series of wars, with constant changes in the dominant power, and the redefinition of its borders. These factors of instability were closely linked to new and increasingly expensive ways of waging war, and to the structuring of the administrative bodies of the state.1 For these reasons, this period was particularly important for Milan’s public finances, which had to adapt to new burdens, support unforeseen and extraordinary expenditures, and reform in order to escape a spiral into debt, with taxes as the primary support.

This chapter aims to analyse the financial and fiscal situation of sixteenth-century Milan with regard to three typical elements of the period: wars, state-building, and the successive domination of Italian and foreign rulers. I propose to study Milan’s finances between the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the modern era, ...


Research Fellow at Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), where he teaches economic history, Matteo Di Tullio is a member of the Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy) and an associate member of the CEHRIO (Rennes 2 University, France). His principal fields of research are the history of the dynamics of the concentration and distribution of wealth, the history of the management of resources (environmental and economic) in local communities, rural history, the history of tax and finance, and demographic history in the pre-industrial era. He has recently published: The wealth of communities, war, resources and cooperation in Renaissance Lombardy, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014; (with L. Fois) Stati di Guerra. I bilanci della Lombardia francese del primo Cinquecento, Rome, École française de Rome, 2014; (avec G. Alfani et L. Mocarelli, dir.) Storia economica e ambiente italiano (ca. 1400–1850), Milan, Franco Angeli, 2012.

© Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique, 2017

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