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9. The Grip of the State?

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Chapter Summary

In 1706 the allied forces had created a new national army to defend the territory conquered after the Battle of Ramillies. The national regiments, as they were called in contemporary sources, had their own financial administration in the form of the Contador des Gens de Guerre, a subdivision of the Brussels Finance Council. When the Austrians took over power in the southern Netherlands, they inherited the existing military and civil administrations. Besides the national regiments, the emperor stationed six imperial regiments in the Austrian Netherlands. These regiments brought with them their own administrations, for financial and supply matters. The case of Van Overstraeten and his interactions with the central government of the Austrian Netherlands shows that increased centralized supply of armies did not lead to less involvement of private contractors. It took away the responsibilities of captains and colonels in purveying their troops and diminished their financial autonomy.

Keywords: Austrian Netherlands; Battle of Ramillies; Brussels Finance Council; new national army; Van Overstraeten



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