chapter  7
Keeping the wheels of war turning
Revenues of the province of Holland, 1572–1619
WithJames D. Tracy
Pages 18

This chapter summaries the assessment accounts indicate that the proceeds were indeed employed for loans by burghers as well as for old debts to military commanders and for loans taken out by the district receivers responsible for collecting the common revenues. Since the 1540s, district receivers for Hollands various revenue districts had been collecting province-wide excise taxes in order to make annual interest payments on bonds that were backed by the full faith and credit of the province. Spain's seasoned troops had a clear edge in land warfare, but the spectacular economic growth of the rebel provinces after about 1590 proved more than a match for the stream of silver that flowed into Spain from the mines of Spanish America. Discussions leading up to the 1579 Union of Utrecht envisaged that other provinces in the Union would establish excises on the same basis as Holland.