Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

From at least 1300, European princes fought their wars with borrowed money, using revenues to pay lenders. Since consent to taxation was vested in representative assemblies made up of nobles and burghers, direct taxation of wealth and property was not common. When large loans were needed at once, one turned to consortia of bankers (fiscal intermediation), although the interest rates they demanded were not supportable for long. One alternative, especially in states that lacked a strong central government, was long-term, low-interest loans marketed to the public, and guaranteed by town governments or local parliaments (fiscal intermediation). In some states, notably Venice and the Dutch Republic, a system like this worked well for centuries, but it could not cope with nearly exponential increases in the cost of war. During the Napoleonic era, a centralized state that monopolized the power to raise and spend money, as in England, became the European norm.

Keywords: Direct taxation, indirect taxation, short-term loans, long-term loans, financial intermediation, fiscal intermediation, the fiscal state

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.