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

Katia Béguin
Anne L. Murphy

Political Construction and the Management of Public Resources

From Communal to State Finance: a New Fiscal Pact in the Early Modern Papal States

Mauro Carboni

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Following in Jean Delumeau’s footsteps,1 recent scholarship has largely revised the traditional view of the sixteenth-century Papal States and has identified Rome and its communities as active and creative participants both in the European state-building process and in the financial revolution of the early modern period.2 In establishing firmer control over territories in central Italy the papacy was able to bank on the traditions of Italian city republics, which the popes managed to update and recast in the context of a territorial state. The impersonal character attributed to the state by republican regimes was better suited to the papacy, as an electoral monarchy, than the personal features of princely rule.3

This chapter will argue that the sixteenth-century papacy succeeded in forging a new fiscal pact between central and local authorities by updating and renewing the traditional pattern of contractual relations rather than dismantling it. The northern legazioni of ...


Mauro Carboni is Assistant Professor of Economic History at the School of Economics, Management and Statistics of the University of Bologna (Forlì Campus). He holds a PhD from Michigan State University. His research has focused on various subjects related to public finance, credit and the economic activities of charitable institutions in early modern Italy. He has recently published: Il credito disciplinato. Il Monte di pietà di Bologna in età barocca, Bologne, Il Mulino, 2014; (with M. Fornasari) ‘Learning from others’ failure: the rise of the Monte di pietà in early modern Bologna’, in The history of bankruptcy. Economic, social and cultural implications in early modern Europe, Abingdon, Routledge, 2013, pp. 108–125; (with Nicholas Terpstra) ‘The material culture of debt’, Renaissance and Reformation, special issue 35 (3), 2012; ‘Papal debt, guarantees and local elites in the Papal States (16th–18th centuries)’, Journal of European Economic History, 38, 2009, pp. 149–174.

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

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