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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?

Tax Systems, Debts and Loans: the Case of the Habsburg Monarchy (Sixteenth–Eighteenth Centuries)

Peter Rauscher

Note de l’auteur

The notes are mostly limited to recent studies containing further information. I would like to thank Prof. Dr Margarete Grandner (Department of Development Studies at the University of Vienna) for her friendly support.

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Extrait du texte

The ‘disease of the state’, Count Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz argued, is decentralization: every province has its own government and constitution and because of the rivalries between the various lands and between the leaders of the authorities the provinces continue to segregate from each other.1 Kaunitz, head of Austrian foreign policy, was not talking about the European Union but about the early modern Habsburg monarchy after the unsuccessful Seven Years’ War. Even if I am sceptical about the benefits of diachronic comparisons, the similarities of the Habsburg monarchy and the European Union are obvious: strong member states with different constitutions and tax systems on the one hand and difficulties in creating a fiscal union on the other. Certainly, there are big differences between these two political systems: the European Union might be a result of the Second World War but its aim is not to wage war against other powers. In contrast, the common interest of the kingdoms and princ...


Peter Rauscher is Private Lecturer (Privatdozent) at the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung in Vienna. He is head of the research project ‘The toll registers of Aschach (1718–1737): database and analysis’ at the Austrian Institute of Historical Research (Vienna). His fields of work are financial and economic history, the Habsburg monarchy and the Holy Roman Empire, Jewish History. He has recently published: (with Martin Scheutz, eds.) Die Stimme der ewigen Verlierer? Aufstände, Revolten und Revolutionen in den österreichischen Ländern (c. 1450–1815), Vienna-Munich, Oldenbourg-Böhlau, 2013; (with Andrea Serles, Thomas Winkelbauer, eds.) Das ‘Blut des Staatskörpers’. Forschungen zur Finanzgeschichte der Frühen Neuzeit, Munich, Oldenbourg, 2012; (with Barbara Staudinger, eds.) Austria Judaica. Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in Niederösterreich und Wien 1496–1671, Vienna-Munich, Oldenbourg-Böhlau, 2011.

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

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