¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The counts of Fürstenberg had generally maintained a cooperative relationship with the Jews of Stühlingen and Donaueschingen. Sandel Weil (S1.2) had acted as special envoy for Prosper Ferdinand to Vaduz [R892], Basel, and Dornach [R145]. In 1709 Samuel Weyl in Donaueschingen had received the iron and tobacco monopoly [R12, R13] from the regent Anton Maria Friedrich. All this was to change under Joseph Wilhelm Ernst.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 After the couple’s return to Stühlingen, the prince was struck by smallpox, which he fortunately survived. Over the next few years, he moved the court from Stühlingen to Donaueschingen.38 The extinction in 1744 of the Messkirch branch left Prince Joseph Wilhelm Ernst as the only and undisputed ruler of the Noble House Fürstenberg. The next few years were devoted to the dual but conflicting tasks of the construction of a resplendent baroque residence in Donaueschingen and the rehabilitation of the princely treasury. From an economical point of view, expelling the Jews did not make much sense, except that it reduced access to easy credit and thus forced more financial discipline. A more likely motivator was the conservative Jesuit upbringing of the prince, which imbued him with an instinctive aversion to Jews.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 For the previous hundred years, the Fürstenberg counts had treated the state treasury as their private cashbox. Furnishing a glittering lifestyle for the counts had outright priority. The nobles argued that such expenditures constituted a necessary investment that would pay itself back multifold. It turned out to be more a reflection of vain hope than a sober anticipation of reality. Money had to be borrowed from subjects and neighbouring cities, primarily Schaffhausen,39 when expenses could not be covered by tax income. Not unlike today’s EU states, the leaders lived off loans as if there were no tomorrow.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 But that was not the only problem. Administration was cumbersome and inefficient. Bookkeeping was slovenly, losing track of accounts receivable and owed.40 Attempts to tighten fiscal and administrative planning, policy, and control were initiated already in the 1680s and 1690s, but these reforms were not completed until 1776 by Joseph Wilhelm Ernst’s son Joseph Wenzel.41
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0
39Mauerer, “Südwestdeutscher Reichsadel,” 358.
41Ibid., 363, 368.
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