Sweden and the lesser powers in the long eighteenth century
Erik Bodensten

This chapter explores the strategic challenges facing the lesser powers during the long eighteenth century. It also examines to what extent the emergence of a new European states system, the novel scale and intensity of warfare, and the growing strength of the fiscal-military state over time rendered the role of the lesser states as subsidy recipients more problematic, not only in the Holy Roman Empire but also in a more general European sense. With Sweden as the point of departure, this study allows us to acquire a deeper understanding of the conditions under which the lesser powers acted, as well as of the reasons why the international system increasingly came to be dominated by the great powers.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Anuschka Tischer

The focus of this chapter is on the notion and practice of subsidies in French politics and diplomacy in the seventeenth century. For France subsidies were an important means in the struggle against the House of Habsburg, a means that was made possible by the fact that the realm was quite advanced in its state-building process and that the king hence had a solid income through taxes. By means of its subsidies, France influenced the state-building process in other territories and also contributed to the fact that a balance between Protestants and Catholics was reached in Germany and Europe.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Dietary advice and agency in North America and Britain
Nicos Kefalas

This chapter traces the history of healthy eating in the second half of the twentieth century in terms of the advice offered by the authors of self-help books in the USA and UK. It examines the transatlantic nature of programmes for balance, comparing advice about obesity and dieting, exploring the cultural authority of celebrity dietitians and assessing the degree of knowledge exchange between the two countries. In doing so, it investigates the ways in which readers learned about ‘healthy eating’ on a day-to-day level, generating a detailed historical analysis of the ‘healthy diet’ ideal and the ways in which the self-help genre contributed to the ‘health manufacturing’ process. Mobilising persuasive motivational language along with scientific jargon, self-help authors were able to simultaneously promote their own status and appeal to readers’ sense of agency. Analysis of self-help also reveals, however, the controversies associated with self-help and the promotion of healthy balanced diets.

in Balancing the self
Mark Jackson

This chapter investigates how the conjunction of socio-economic, cultural and political contexts made the midlife crisis – as both concept and experience – possible. By juxtaposing advice literature on healthy ageing in America, the work of marriage guidance counsellors in Britain, as well as cinematic and literary representations of the ‘emotional typhoon’ experienced during midlife transitions, it argues that the popularity of the term ‘midlife crisis’ lay in its resonance with growing concerns about the collapse of the American dream and post-Second World War anxieties about threats to the stability of the nuclear family. In both cases, notions of emotional balance were reconfigured by obsessions with the autonomous individual and the gospel of consumption. The belief that life could begin again at 40 was used to restabilise a seemingly unbalanced Western capitalist economy that could only be sustained by prolonging productivity and encouraging spending across the whole life course.

in Balancing the self
Diplomacy, cross-border patronage, and the negotiation of subsidy alliances in the north-western part of the Holy Roman Empire (late seventeenth century)
Tilman Haug

The chapter focuses on the practices of diplomacy and various cross-border negotiations concerning the formation of foreign subsidy alliances on different levels in the north-western periphery of the Holy Roman Empire in the first decades after the Peace of Westphalia. This field of inquiry is explored in three case studies: (1) the attempt of the duke of Neuburg to use subsidies to recruit and equip substantial military forces and the career of Georg Christian von Hessen-Homburg as negotiator and struggling military entrepreneur, (2) Münster’s prince-bishop Christoph Bernhard von Galen and his English subsidy alliance in 1665/1666 directed against the Republic of the Netherlands, and (3) the involvement of German princes in the Dutch War of 1672 and Wilhelm von Fürstenberg’s diplomatic role in the formation of a subsidy alliance. It argues that subsidy alliances not only provided major European powers with boots on the ground and the necessary infrastructure for pursuing military campaigns; they also afforded minor princes the chance to promote their interests in territorial security, expansion, as well as a military asset of symbolic value to enhance their status on the larger European stage.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Economies of allegiance

French subsidies played a central role in European politics from Charles VIII’s invasion of Italy in 1494 until the French Revolution. French kings attempted to frustrate what they viewed as a Habsburg bid to pursue universal monarchy. During the seventeenth century, the French monarchy would embrace the payment of subsidies on a different scale than previously, using alliances in which subsidies played a prominent role to pursue crucial aspects of royal policy. Louis XIII made alliances promising subsidies to support the United Provinces’ resumed war against the king of Spain, and for the Danish, Swedish, and various German princes to fight against the Holy Roman Emperor. Louis XIV continued some of these subsidies and used subsidies as a tool in order to implement his own politics. When Louis XIV appeared to Dutch and some English statesmen as aspiring to Universal monarchy, the Dutch and particularly the English used the tool of subsidies to frustrate the French monarch. During the eighteenth century, principally the French and the British, but also the Austrians, used subsidies to procure allies and attempt to maintain the balance of power. The subsidy system prompted significant debates about the legal, political, and moral implications, and was sometimes a source of political conflict between competing power groupings within states. The book argues that participation in the French system of subsidies neither necessarily accelerated nor necessarily retarded state development; but such participation could undoubtedly change political dynamics, the creation of institutions, and the form of states that would emerge.

The example of the German principality of Waldeck
Andreas Flurschütz da Cruz

This chapter studies the principality of Waldeck, one of the smallest German principalities to receive subsidies during the early modern era. It focuses on troop-leasing contracts as a specific form of subsidy treaty and seeks to identify the key players and their motives for either hiring or leasing large contingents of soldiers, often entire regiments, from or to other states. Focusing on the case of Waldeck, it sets out to clarify whether the frequently criticized ‘soldier trade’ (‘Soldatenhandel’) between German princes and foreign powers was just a way for lower-ranking rulers to make money or whether these projects had other aims as well.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
German reception of French subsidies in the Thirty Years’ War
Tryntje Helfferich

This chapter focus on the German understanding of French moneys and what this can teach us about the Thirty Years’ War. Subsidies were primarily seen and described as functional, as a means by which the German princes could levy troops, manage their supply and maintenance, and employ them in the fight to preserve princely liberties from what they saw as Habsburg tyranny. French subsidies were also freighted with additional, and often contradictory, meanings. On the one hand the German subsidy-recipients described French moneys as beneficial, functional, and indeed necessary tools for the pursuit of their political and religious goals. On the other hand, those opposed to French involvement in the war complained that such subsidy agreements were not helpful but foolish, and damaging to the German liberties, in that they not only allowed a hostile foreign crown to meddle in imperial affairs but probably concealed sinister efforts by the French to weaken, conquer, or even dismember the empire.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Svante Norrhem

This chapter discusses, through a detailed study of three periods – 1632, 1675–1677, and 1727–1729 – the wider effects of French subsidies on Swedish society as well as the nature of dependency between Sweden and France. For long periods during both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Sweden was dependent on foreign subsidies: in 1631–1680, it needed financial support to uphold its armies in occupied territories in northern Europe; and from the 1720s onwards, it needed subsidies to secure its own territory as well. With subsidies periodically amounting to from 5 to over 20 per cent of state revenue, in a country with very limited resources otherwise, they offered opportunities for careers and social climbing, as well as financial profit.

in Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation in Europe, 1494–1789
Open Access (free)
Teaching ‘relaxed living’ in post-war Britain
Ayesha Nathoo

Therapeutic relaxation techniques proliferated in the twentieth century, designed to counteract the myriad maladies popularly associated with the pace and pressures of modern Western living. Practitioners advocated forms of neuromuscular relaxation as safe, effective, drug-free therapies for conditions ranging from high blood pressure to migraine, labour pain and anxiety. However, the therapeutic efficacy of relaxation techniques relied on them being expertly taught, conscientiously learned and persistently practised. This chapter focuses on the pedagogy of twentieth-century therapeutic relaxation methods in Britain, paying particular attention to their material and audio-visual culture. Relaxation instruction and ideology were communicated through numerous channels including self-help books, group classes, correspondence courses, the mass media, teacher training forums, cassettes and biofeedback equipment. As the chapter makes clear, efforts to construct the self-balancing individual were deeply enmeshed with specific modes, processes and networks of communication. By considering the localised, socio-cultural specificities of relaxation therapies, it is possible to move beyond governmentality frameworks and develop more nuanced and culturally informed considerations of health education, health management and expertise of balance in the post-war period.

in Balancing the self