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To promote the study of the origins, nature and consequences of war in history and in the contemporary world

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“THE SINEWS OF WAR, THE SUN KING, AND THE FINANCIAL BURDENS AND PERILS OF BEING A SUPERPOWER”

Professor Guy Rowlands (St Andrews)

Monday, 18 February in the Neill Theatre in the Long Room Hub at 17:00

A TCD Centre for Early Modern History seminar

Abstract: What is the relationship between war, finance and the rise and fall of great powers? Focusing upon France under Louis XIV, this paper casts a critical eye over ideas about why great powers decline. Engaging with the debate about the ‘fiscal-military state’ and political science notions of great powers, it argues that Paul Kennedy’s model of strategic and economic overextension does hold up to a certain extent, but that historians have consistently ignored the problems caused by the transfer of resources for war. As the case of Louis XIV’s France shows, geopolitical circumstances could therefore be more damaging for a state than merely the colossal diversion of productive resources into war.”


Last updated 13 February 2019 by tcdcws@gmail.com (Email).