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Parliamentary Control, Public Discussions and Royal Autonomy: Sweden, 1750-1780
Department of History, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9050-164x
2015 (English)In: Histoire & Mesure, ISSN 0982-1783, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 51-78Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thisarticle explores developments of secrecy and transparency in relation to fiscal affairs in Sweden from around 1750 to 1780. During the 1750s the government mostly relied on subsidies and loans from the Bank of Sweden to finance deficits and major projects. This system supported the ruling oligarchy and the secrecy that surrounded its financial operations. The system was changed following the Seven Years’ War when the subsidies stopped arriving and thef alling value of the Swedish currency forced limitations on the issuance of bank liquidity. Instead external borrowing in Amsterdam and Genoa and internal borrowing through the use of lotteries and bonds expanded. This change went hand in hand with increasing openness concerning fiscal affairs and more critical public discussions about the use of resources and how the economic problems should be tackled. However, no permanent resolutions to the existing deficits could be presented. This inability to find compromises led to the royal coup in 1772, which in turn resulted in a strengthening of royal power and a stop to the open discussions about key fiscal affairs. The period ended with a return to greater economic stability, but it also entailed a return to the secrecy of the 1740s and 1750s.

Abstract [fr]

Cet article examine la problématique du secret et de la transparence en lien avec les questions ýnancières en Suède au XVIIIe siècle. Pendant les années 1750, le gouvernement comptait principalement sur les subsides étrangers et les prêts de la Banque de Suède pour se ýnancer. Ce système, reposant sur le pouvoir de l’oligarchie en place et le secret des opérations ýnancières, a été modiýé suite à la guerre de Sept Ans, les subsides n’étant plus payés et la chute du cours de la monnaie suédois enécessitant de limiter l’émission de liquidités bancaires. La Suède se tourne alors vers l’emprunt. Ce changement est allé de pair avec une multiplication des débats publics critiques concernant les déýcits et les ressources économiques. L’incapacité de trouver des compromis a conduit au coup d’État de 1772, qui a abouti à un renforcement de l’autorité royale et a marqué un coup d’arrêt des discussions. Il en est résulté une plus grande stabilité économique, ainsi qu’un retour au secret caractéristique des deux décennies 1740 et 1750.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris: Editions de EHESS: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales , 2015. Vol. 30, no 2, p. 51-78
Keywords [en]
Subsidies, External Borrowing, Banking, Secrecy, Openness
Keywords [fr]
Subsides, emprunts extérieurs, banque, secret, ouverture
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-81859DOI: 10.4000/histoiremesure.5216Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84969972224OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-81859DiVA, id: diva2:1430437
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2016-01-25 Created: 2020-05-15 Last updated: 2020-05-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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