ABSTRACT

Among the factors that in uenced the formation of di erent urban scal systems we can count di erent political traditions on a regional level that have to do with di erences in the development of urban autonomy as well as processes of state formation. However, there were also di erences between individual cities, according to their socio-economic pro le, their political importance or their size, and particular political or economic constellations throughout their history. In the case of Antwerp, the scal system showed a considerable number of similarities with other cities of north-western Europe, and in particular within the southern Low Countries. Towns such as Brussels, Bruges, Ghent or Louvain, for example, were comparable to Antwerp in their tax system, which was in great part based on proceeds from indirect taxes on beer, wine and grain. All these cities also frequently made use of annuity sales in order to nance larger expenses, above all taxes to the central government.1