Provincial finances1572_1795

English | Nederlands


W. Fritschy, L. van der Ent, V. Enthoven, R. Liesker, C. Trompetter, S.W. Verstegen and W. Veenstra.

The history of public financing is a crucial element in the history of the Netherlands in the time of the Ancien Régime. This project releases the major key figures regarding public financing in the Netherlands prior to 1795. The finances involved are those of the various provinces that, due to the federative nature of the former Republic of the Netherlands, were much more important for the functioning of the state than were the so-called generaliteitsfinanciën (States General finances). Series of as homogenous as possible figures were gathered on revenues from taxes and loans and on expenditures for the Republic as a whole and for the individual provinces themselves. The goal of making these series of figures available was to encourage new questions and to stimulate further research in this area.

Quantitative data have been made avaible for the provinces Overijssel, Drenthe, Groningen, Holland, Utrecht, Friesland and Zeeland. For the province of Gelderland the available archival material was insufficient for publication. For Staats-Brabant, the main region in the Dutch Republic under the direct authority of the States General, the preserved material turned out to be too voluminous and lacking in survey-material to allow processing. The project as a whole has been being carried out as a joint venture of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the Institute of Netherlands History. The Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden was also involved in the volume on Friesland and additional financing was provided by the Professor Van Winterfonds and the NWO. The volume on Zeeland was a collaborative effort of the Huygens Institute of Netherlands History, the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and the Zeeuws Archief in Middelburg and was made possible by a subsidy granted by the Province of Zeeland.

The released material is presented in two ways: the publication in book form contains a selection of data and an edited version of the figures in the form of combinations of amounts and a realignment of the items in the sources. The book also contains an introduction and explanations of the material. In addition, electronic files have been made. These files offer access to the material that is as close as possible to the source itself.
For the Province of Holland, the Memorie van de financiën van Holland en West-Friesland drawn up in 1755 has been made available in its entirety. The publication in book form also provides further information on the sources. Moreover, the book on Holland attempts to reconstruct the revenues and expenditures of the period from 1572 to 1668 for which little source material remains. This reconstruction and related accounting are also available online.
All the amounts listed are stated in the Dutch guilders of the time itself.

Users should be aware of the fact that the archival sources on which the electronic files are based are not only lacunary, but also of a diverse and complex character.