"These two packed volumes set forth in great detail the empire's resources, both demographic and material, alongside descriptions of the institutions and procedures it developed in an attempt to sustain its rapidly expanding military establishment....This study supercedes everything previously written on Habsburg finance....Every academic library must have this book, and scholars in the field will find it indispensable."--History: Reviews of New Books"Dickson offers so many valuable insights and his scholarship is so prodigious that he has written a book no student of eighteenth-century Habsburg economic, social, or political history can afford to ignore."--Journal of European Economic History"These are two impressive volumes. The amount of research that must have been expended to write them boggles the mind....No one working in eighteenth-century Austrian history will be able to ignore this work."--American Historical Review"Extensively researched, his study provides a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of Theresian state finance....A major scholarly contribution."--Choice"Make[s] a fundamental reappraisal of the reign of the Queen-Empress and her tempestuous son."--TImes Literary SupplementVom Verlag:
This large-scale study provides a new and comprehensive picture of finance, government, and society in the Habsburg lands in the reign of the great reforming Empress Maria Theresia of Austria (1740-1780). Despite extensive work on the subject in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many aspects of Maria Theresia's reign have remained obscure, and historians have been uncertain whether to place her in the same tradition of enlightened despotism as her son Joseph II (1780-1790). By drawing together present historical concerns with the structure of society, government, and public finance, this two-volume work makes a thorough reassessment of the reign.The author argues that the leading features of the Empress's domestic policy were financial and institutional reforms aimed at developing greater military power. Hence, although in principle favouring economic and social progress, she was compelled to increase tax burdens and extend the liability to military service, thus arousing popular discontent. Making extensive use of original sources, the book places royal finance firmly in its social and administrative context, and reveals many of the practical constraints on reforming policies. The conclusions throw new light on Austrian society and government in the eighteenth century, and make an important contribution to the little-studied history of central and eastern Europe in the Age of Enlightenment. Students of European political, social, and economic history in the eighteenth century, and of the Enlightenment will find it very interesting.
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