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Farming out state revenue: the debate about the General Customs Lease Company in Sweden, 1723–65
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6175-2909
2018 (English)In: Parliaments, Estates and Represenation, ISSN 0260-6755, E-ISSN 1947-248X, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 175-191Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A typical trait of the fiscal system of the ancien régime was the farming out of state revenue, most often represented by England and France. This article contributes to the ongoing discussion on the articulation of political economy and discourses on private and public organization in the early modern period, using the Swedish Riksdag as the focal point. Furthermore, it adds to historical research on private organizations for the operation of public services, and to a theoretical discussion on institutional development in the early modern period. In this article the Swedish General Customs Lease Company (Generaltullarren-desocieteten) 1723–65 is used as an example, arguing that Sweden represents an alternative model for the organization of revenue collection in early modern Europe; demonstrating that the General Customs Lease Company includes characteristics found both in England and in France. The analysis focuses on the political level, using parliamentary debates about the organization of the customs service. Thus, the explanation pays close attention to arguments wielded in favour, or against, farming out state revenue to private individuals. The political debates show an increasing critique against the large profits made by the shareholders in the Customs Company, as well as condemnations against the Customs Company for promoting self-interest at the expense of the common good.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 38, no 2, p. 175-191
Keywords [en]
Swedish history, parliamentary history, political debates, customs service, public services, private entrepreneurs, the common good
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153126DOI: 10.1080/02606755.2018.1434999OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153126DiVA, id: diva2:1183798
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-0764Available from: 2018-02-19 Created: 2018-02-19 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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