chapter  4
15 Pages

Strength, wealth, and state rivalry

Our counsellors understood the political world in which the state existed as a threatening terrain of ambitious princes and confessional conflict that produced extended wars and uneasy truces. The balance of power concept made the security anxiety associated with this portrayal tractable to some degree, by positing a barometer of international politics that states needed to constantly monitor and respond to. The attempts of states to influence the balance of power in Europe raised the issue of the connections between strength and wealth because, as we have seen, these connections signalled that state power could not be managed in isolation from trade.