The author of this essay describes the reforms implemented by Fieldmarshal Ludwig Andreas von Khevenhüller concerning the quartering of Austrian troops in Habsburg Lombardy in the early decades of the eighteenth century. These contracts were at the heart of a system of multilateral relations involving the Central Government, the local authorities, civil contractors and military officers. While the land survey conducted by a special commission appointed in 1718 aimed at a more equitable distribution of the fiscal burden, the reordering of the military contract system was intended
to reduce expenditure by cutting bribery and waste. This attempt was bound to increase tension with the Milanese power elites determined to defend their traditions of self-government. The ensuing struggle lasted up to the second half of the century merging into the process of change which affected both civilian and military institutions in the age of Enlightened Absolutism.
Keywords: Habsburg Lombardy; eighteenth century; military contracting; Ludwig Andreas von Khevenüller; power elites