• Simon AdlerEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)


Scholars have used the concept of fiscal–military state to study the importance of finance in the development of the states in Europe between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The term was first used in the late 1980s by John Brewer in a study on eighteenth-century Britain. It has since been employed widely, notably in a comparative context. The term was apposite to describe the evolution of states and their fiscal systems to meet the demands of larger armies and more expensive equipment. A central question was the effectiveness with which economic resources could be mobilised. For Brewer, to cover the increasing costs of warfare, a fiscal–military state had to be able to raise funds through both credit and taxation. Further, a good administrative structure was necessary to support its fiscal and military activities. This became particularly relevant in the eighteenth century when the costs of warfare in Europe increased significantly. Recently, the relevance of a fiscal–military state has also been examined for the Habsburg monarchy in the eighteenth century.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Visiting Research FellowAustrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria

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