The Variety of Financial Innovations in European War Finance during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648)

  • Larry Neal
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance book series (PSHF)


Financing the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) created new pressures on the traditional forms of war finance for governments throughout Europe, including the monetary reform of 1622 in Naples. Most European governments responded with innovations in public finance, some of which foreshadowed elements of modern financial systems. Nowhere, however, did they coalesce into a fully articulated and effective modern financial system at the time, although both Naples and Milan came close. Failures were especially clear in Austria, Spain and France, but even apparent successes in England and Holland led to three Anglo-Dutch Wars afterwards that stymied further progress by either government. Their failures demonstrate the difficulty of coordinating and maintaining the many components that comprise a modern financial system.


Mints Public banks Financial intermediaries Sovereign debt Thirty Years’ War War finance 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Neal
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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