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  • Rulers and Ruled in Flood Protection during the Eighteenth Century: The Prussian Example

    Heinrich Kaak

    Chapter from the book: Tanimoto M. & Wong R. 2019. Public Goods Provision in the Early Modern Economy: Comparative Perspectives from Japan, China, and Europe.


    This chapter, by Heinrich Kaak, examines state-run water-control projects in early modern Prussia, including huge dikes constructed and maintained both to increase the amount of land for available for cultivation and to protect existing land from floods. Under direction of the king, dike associations—made up of lords and villages—took responsibility for the construction and maintenance of the dikes in their areas. Their contributions were occasionally enforced through the military force executed by the state—namely, the king. In evaluating the success of these projects, the author explains that the king’s initiative was not based on benevolent interest in the well-being of his subjects, but rather, it provided an immediate fiscal advantage for the state treasury.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Kaak, H. 2019. Rulers and Ruled in Flood Protection during the Eighteenth Century: The Prussian Example. In: Tanimoto M. & Wong R, Public Goods Provision in the Early Modern Economy. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.63.j

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Jan. 15, 2019


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