New article: 'Exploiting the Urban System? The Frictions of Military Finance and Diplomacy in the Dutch Republic, 1688–1714'

Journal of Early Modern History, December 2021

This article examines how international military finance operated in the Dutch Republic between 1688–1714. The region’s unique urban geography in which the political and financial infrastructures crucial for military financing were geographically dispersed created stresses and strains. These inconveniences were overcome due to the Republic’s excellent intra-urban infrastructure – creating fast and reliable communication between the different urban centers – and their reliance on (semi-)private agents, the solliciteurs-militair. As a result, the urban system created a level of flexibility: credit for military purposes could be found both in The Hague and Amsterdam, rather than having to rely on a single city as was the case in London. This focus on the urban has broader historiographical importance because recent scholarship on early modern war and state formation is increasingly questioning whether the focus on political and financial centralization is necessarily the best way to understand these processes.

This article has been published open access and can be seen here.

Aaron Graham was a Research Associate on The European Fiscal-Military System project between 2019 and 2021, with responsibility for the London case study, before taking up his current post as Lecturer in Early Modern British Economic History at University College London. Jeannette Kamp was a research associate for The European Fiscal-Military System project from 2019-2020, focusing on the case study for Amsterdam and Northern Europe.