Staats-Desintegration in Praxis : Krieg, Kredit und Steuern in Böhmen unter Joseph I.
State disintegration in practice : war, credit and taxes in Bohemia under Joseph I.
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This essay investigates the unknown episode of the fiscal-financial history of Bohemia during the reign of Joseph I (1705–1711) and considers its disintegrative consequences. These events played out against the background of the – well-known – role of the Jewish “court factors” of Leopold I. At the height of War of the Spanish Succession, the emperor found himself threatened by the French and by the Rákóczi-led Hungarian War of Independence in the east. With empty state coffers, Joseph in 1706/07 turned to the Bohemian diet and proposed to negotiate a loan of 1,333,333 gulden with a consortium of Jewish bankers from Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main, which was to be underwritten by future tax revenues. In exchange the Bohemian diet conferred upon the financiers the right to collect the outstanding sums. This de facto ‘outsourcing’ of royal prerogatives to a third (foreign) party led to a series of entanglements and disputes, which are investigated from the perspectice of the Eggenberg domains in Southern Bohemia. Reconstructing the interrelated consequences that tied together Prague, Würzburg, and Český Krumlov, this episode offers insights into into the little-known realities of the fiscal-financial activities of the Bohemian diet around 1700.
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