By Stanley J. Stein
As soon as Europe's best maritime strength, Spain by way of the mid-eighteenth century was once dealing with fierce festival from England and France. England, specifically, had effectively mustered the monetary assets essential to confront its Atlantic competitors by way of mobilizing either aristocracy and service provider bourgeoisie in aid of its imperial objectives. Spain, in the meantime, remained overly depending on the gains of its New global silver mines to finance either metropolitan and colonial imperatives, and England's naval superiority consistently threatened the very important movement of specie.When Charles III ascended the Spanish throne in 1759, then, after a quarter-century as ruler of the dominion of the 2 Sicilies, Spain and its colonial empire have been heavily imperiled. 2 hundred years of Hapsburg rule, via a half-century of ineffectual Bourbon "reforms," had performed little to modernize Spain's more and more antiquated political, social, financial, and highbrow associations. Charles III, spotting the urgent have to renovate those associations, set his Italian staff—notably the Marqués de Esquilache, who turned Secretary of the Consejo de Hacienda (the Exchequer)—to this bold task.In Apogee of Empire, Stanley J. Stein and Barbara H. Stein hint the try out, first and foremost less than Esquilache's course, to reform the Spanish institution and, later, to change and modernize the connection among the metropole and its colonies. inside of Spain, Charles and his architects of reform needed to be conscious of choosing what changes should be made that will aid Spain confront its enemies with out additionally significantly changing the Hapsburg inheritance. As defined in awesome aspect through the authors, the sour, seven-year clash that ensued among reformers and traditionalists led to a coup in 1766 that compelled Charles to ship Esquilache again to Italy. After this setback at domestic, Charles nonetheless was hoping to impression optimistic switch in Spain's imperial method, essentially during the incremental implementation of a coverage of comercio libre (free-trade). those reforms, made half-heartedly at most sensible, failed in addition, and through 1789 Spain could locate itself in poor health ready for the arriving many years of upheaval in Europe and America.An in-depth research of incremental reaction by way of an outdated imperial order to demanding situations at domestic and in a foreign country, Apogee of Empire is usually a sweeping account of the personalities, locations, and regulations that helped to form the fashionable Atlantic global. (2005)
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Extra resources for Apogee of Empire: Spain and New Spain in the Age of Charles III, 1759--1789
Without a navy capable of oVsetting English naval forces and a comparable merchant marine, it was only with diYculty that the French were able to trade directly with the Spanish colonies. Under the Bourbons, however, French business interests found Spanish collaborators to defend their interests, particularly in the somewhat anglophobic administration that Charles began to assemble, which reXected the Bourbon entente maturing during 24 • Stalemate in the Metropole the second half of the century.
Since formulation of national and imperial policy occurred at the highest bureaucratic levels, appointments at the ministerial and proximate lower levels were the weathervane of new directions in state policy. In the structure of the eighteenth-century Spanish monarchy, interest groups—corporative, regional, and colonial—lacked a frequently convened legislative body to represent them in public debate designed to resolve conXict. And while political mechanisms for blunting, misinterpreting, and ignoring royal legislation were manifold, surreptitious, and usually legitimated by tradition, it was more eYcient to abort adverse policy by controlling or shaping legislation at the source—at the level of ministers and consultative bodies, especially the consejos, chief among them the Consejo de Castilla and Consejo de Indias.
By papal concession, Spanish monarchs could select key church dignitaries and share certain church incomes. Spain, however, proposed neither to separate the national from the international Catholic establishment nor to recognize episcopal authority in matters of conscience in the French manner. In Spain, that responsibility had been delegated at the end of the Wfteenth century to the Inquisition, which ever since—although operating with some autonomy—had exercised its authority in tandem with the state, in the process forming a semi-oYcial bureaucracy, membership in which was prized.
Apogee of Empire: Spain and New Spain in the Age of Charles III, 1759--1789 by Stanley J. Stein