Erik Thomson
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Jean Hoeufft, French subsidies, and the Thirty Years’ War

This chapter focuses on the entrepreneur Jean Hoeufft who remitted subsidies not only to the United Provinces and Sweden but also to many of France’s other allies during most of the Thirty Years’ War, including Hesse-Cassel and Transylvania. It deals with Hoeufft’s role as the organizer of subsidy payments from the king of France to his allies and argues that French foreign policy would not have functioned without him. Hoeufft came to occupy a quasi-diplomatic status, possessing commissions of different sorts from France, Sweden, and the United Provinces. The chapter details the different structure of the payments, detailing how the French paid much more to remit the Swedish subsidies than the Dutch ones. Hoeufft’s credit came to be viewed as necessary to the alliance, enabling him to secure payment from the notoriously unreliable French. For Hoeufft, the Cardinals’ foreign policy, and particularly the payment of subsidies, enabled his entrepreneurial strategy, allowing his family to profit from occupying a unique position in European commerce and politics while advancing the Calvinist cause.

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