History of Money and Finances in Saxony During the 18th Century

Research: Frank Metasch

During the era of the Saxon Elector Friedrich August I. (August II. of Poland, 1694-1763), especially the “Personalunion” with Poland led to an enormous increase in the financial requirements of Saxony. Therefore, the state constantly tried to tap new financial resources resp. to modernize its money and debt policy, thus to adapt it to the raised demands of a European emerging power. This process was, on one side, accompanied by severe setbacks, like for example the factual national bankruptcy at the end of the Seven Years ’ War, or the repression of the sovereign absolute power as a consequence of greater political participation of the territorial Estates who had to approve taxes. But on the other side, as compared to other German and European territories, Saxony took a successful leading role in the introduction of paper money or in the institutionalization and systematic amortization of state debts. In regional historical research, however, the Saxon history of finances and money of the era of Elector Friedrich August I. with is fundamental and future-oriented change after the Seven Years ’ War, is still a desideratum. Basic research is still wanting. At most, some profound case studies do exist, but only with regard to politics of debts and taxes.