The Sinews of War, the Sun King, and the Financial Burdens and Perils of Being a Superpower

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


This was a research paper given to the Early Modern research seminar (staff, graduate students and public) of the University of Goettingen's History Department, at the invitation of Professors Marian Fuessel and Sven Externbrink. The paper takes Paul Kennedy's famous 30-year-old thesis about the rise and fall of great powers, and provides a particular angle on understanding exactly how strategic and imperial overstretch can do catastrophic financial and, in turn, strategic damage to a major power - in this case Louis XIV's France. In the paper, the accent is placed upon the huge burdens and wealth transfer problems caused by moving colossal state resources abroad.
Period16 Jan 2018
Held atGeorg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, Lower Saxony
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Financial History
  • strategy
  • Paul Kennedy
  • Louis XIV
  • overstretch
  • decline
  • great powers