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War, Taxes, and Borders:How Beer Created Belgium

  • Koen Deconinck
  • Johan F.M. Swinnen

The present-day border between Belgium and the Netherlands traces back to the separation of the Low Countries after the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648) against Spanish rule. The capacity to finance war expenditures played a central role in the outcome of this conflict. Excise taxes on beer consumption were the single largest income source in Holland, the leading province of the Dutch Republic. Beer taxes thus played a crucial role in financing the Dutch Revolt which led to the separation of the Low Countries and, eventually, the creation of Belgium.

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Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 30812.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:30812
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  1. Johan F.M.Swinnen & Liesbeth Colen, 2010. "Beer Drinking Nations. The Determinants of Global Beer Consumption," LICOS Discussion Papers 27010, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  2. Mauricio Drelichman & Joachim Voth, 2006. "The sustainable debts of Philip II: A reconstruction of Castile's fiscal position, 1566-1596," Economics Working Papers 1121, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2009.
  3. Damiaan Persyn & Johan F.M.Swinnen & Stijn Vanormelingen, 2010. "Belgian Beers : Where History meets Globalization," LICOS Discussion Papers 27110, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. Swinnen, Johan F.M. (ed.), 2011. "The Economics of Beer," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199693801, March.
  5. Lvarez-Nogal, Carlos & Prados De La Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "The decline of Spain (1500 1850): conjectural estimates," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 319-366, December.
  6. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "The Character of growth before 'modern economics growth'? The GDP of Holland between 1347 and 1807," Working Papers 0004, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
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