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Parliamentary Control, Public Discussions and Royal Autonomy: Sweden, 1750-1780
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2015 (English)In: Histoire & Mesure, ISSN 0982-1783, Vol. 30, no 2, 51-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Thisarticle explores developments of secrecy and transparency in relation to fiscalaffairs in Sweden from around 1750 to 1780. During the 1750s the governmentmostly relied on subsidies and loans from the Bank of Sweden to financedeficits and major projects. This system supported the ruling oligarchy and thesecrecy that surrounded its financial operations. The system was changedfollowing the Seven Years’ War when the subsidies stopped arriving and thefalling value of the Swedish currency forced limitations on the issuance ofbank liquidity. Instead external borrowing in Amsterdam and Genoa and internalborrowing through the use of lotteries and bonds expanded. This change wenthand in hand with increasing openness concerning fiscal affairs and morecritical public discussions about the use of resources and how the economicproblems should be tackled. However, no permanent resolutions to the existingdeficits could be presented. This inability to find compromises led to theroyal coup in 1772, which in turn resulted in a strengthening of royal powerand a stop to the open discussions about key fiscal affairs. The period endedwith a return to greater economic stability, but it also entailed a return tothe secrecy of the 1740s and 1750s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 2, 51-78 p.
Keyword [en]
Subsidies, External Borrowing, Banking, Secrecy, Openness
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274757OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-274757DiVA: diva2:897518
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-01-25 Created: 2016-01-25 Last updated: 2016-03-15

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