Proposal preview

The Economic Policies of Military and Naval Resource Mobilization: Imperial Spain and the Wider Atlantic World in the Long Eighteenth Century

The subject of this panel is the relationship between the material demands of warfare and the political and administrative development of the Spanish Imperial system during the long eighteenth century, a period in which the growing networks of globalized trade intensified international competition on both sides of the Atlantic. Its purpose is to gather different perspectives on the methods employed by the Spanish monarchy to mobilize resources for war, emphasizing their international, imperial, and inter-regional connections. These methods implied specific types of involvement between the crown and the regional productive elites, and were directly related to the capacity of the latter to mobilize resources and administer production processes. They were varied, ranging from total state administration of capital, labor and productive processes, to an almost complete and relatively independent involvement of the empire’s entrepreneurial elites, in Europe, America and Asia. Most of these methods were extremely complex, and required not only a high degree of interaction between the administrative infrastructure of the State and regional private initiative, but also an effective capacity for social mobilization based on political consensus and ideological support for the policies followed by the crown, especially at the international level. Moreover, they also frequently required access to international markets, directly linking the military and naval efforts of the Spanish monarchy to increasingly globalized trade networks. These lines of inquiry will allows us to understand the administrative development of the Spanish State from the perspective of specific industries involved in the provisioning of the empire’s defensive system as a whole, including the army, navy, fortifications and their supporting infrastructure. This implies to understand the degree in which different social actors participated in the modernizing policies of the crown, in a series of processes stimulated by an increasing military and naval competition by other imperial powers. Papers will be encouraged to explore the connections between different regions, social actors and administrative policies, in the wider context of imperial reform. In the same manner, the international political, economic and military context in which these policies were implemented -particularly, the changing relationship with Great Britain and France- will be emphasized.
The chronological framework proposed for this panel seeks to encompass a broad spectrum of political, economic and social changes that directly affected the Spanish crown’s capacity to respond to international military and naval challenges. In this sense, papers will be encouraged to explore the continuity of these processes into the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, thus conveying the notion of a “long eighteenth century” defined by the growing capacity of the Spanish State to intervene strategic industries and sources of wealth, as well as to generate social support for their effective projection into the empire’s defensive system. The study of the administrative and financial policies followed in the Spanish empire might benefit from this broader chronological framework, taking into account the transition from the relatively de-centralised Habsburg system, to the progressively more centralised, bureaucratic and militaristic Bourbon paradigm. Long-term comparative perspectives might provide useful tools to understand the relationship between the economic demands of warfare and the institutional mechanisms devised by the Spanish state in order to wage it. Structural comparisons between the administrative policies of the Spanish Habsburg and Bourbon dynasties, from the perspective of specific industries or sources of wealth, will be encouraged. Finally, papers will also be encouraged to explore the connections between the economic policies devised by both Spanish dynasties and the evolution of the British and French imperial systems.

Organizer(s)

  • Sergio Solbes Ferri, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), sergio.solbes@ulpgc.es,
  • Iván Valdez-Bubnov, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), ivanvaldezbubnov@yahoo.com,

Session members

  • Johanna Von Grafenstein, Instituto Mora (Mexico), jvon@institutomora.edu.mx
  • Yovana Celaya Nández, Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico): “Mobilizing Resources for New Spain's Frontier Fortifications: The International Networks of San Agustín de la Florida” , ycelaya10@gmail.com
  • Matilde Souto Mantecon, Instituto Mora (Mexico), msouto@institutomora.edu.mx
  • Vera Moya, Instituto Mora (Mexico), vera.moya@gmail.com
  • Ivan Valdez-Bubnov, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), ivanvaldezbubnov@yahoo.com
  • Carlos Conover Blancas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), carlos_conover@comunidad.unam.mx
  • Eder Gallegos, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)), goseder@gmail.com
  • Rafal Reichert, Universidad de Chiapas (Mexico), rafreich@yahoo.com
  • Rafael Torres Sánchez, Universidad de Navarra (Spain), rtorres@unav.es
  • Agustín González Enciso, Universidad de Navarra (Spain), agenciso@unav.es
  • María Baudot Monroy, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain), mbaumon@gmail.com
  • Antonio Rodríguez Hernández, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (Spain), antorodher@gmail.com
  • Manuel Díaz-Ordónez, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), meollar@hotmail.com
  • Sergio Solbes Ferri, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), sergio.solbes@ulpgc.s
  • Joel Felix, University of Reading (UK), j.m.felix@reading.ac.uk
  • Anne Dubet, Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand (France), anne.dubet@univ.bpclermont.fr
  • Pepjin Brandon, Universiteit Amsterdam , pepijn.brandon@iisg.nl
  • Pierrick Pourchasse, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, pierrick.pourchasse@univ-brest.fr
  • Jorge Ortíz Sotelo, Instituto Riva Agüero, Perú,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Ivan Valdez-Bubnov, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico), ivanvaldezbubnov@yahoo.com
  • Sergio Solbes Ferri, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), sergio.solbes@ulgpc.es
  • Pepjin Brandon, Universiteit Amsterdam , pepijn.brandon@iisg.nl

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