Svante Norrhem
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Erik Thomson
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Introduction

The chapter introduces the concept of subsidies and gives an overall view of the various uses of subsidies in the early modern period. Subsidies were ubiquitous features of diplomatic and military history throughout the early modern period, although such payments could assume a wide variety of names and forms. The early modern era also saw numerous variations of subsidy alliances. The most frequent as well as important subsidizers – in terms of sums – were France, Spain, the United Provinces, and England. On the receiving end, Sweden, Denmark, the Swiss confederation, the United Provinces, and a number of German and northern Italian states stand out. The reason why subsidies deserve more attention is that they highlight the manner in which resources were shared among sovereignties, and the manner in which diplomacy rested upon allies promising to share money and grant access to resources as a prominent part of diplomacy, military provisioning, and the construction of early modern states.

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