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Distant TyrannyMarkets, Power, and Backwardness in Spain, 1650-1800$
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Regina Grafe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144849

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144849.001.0001

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Market Growth and Governance in Early Modern Spain

Market Growth and Governance in Early Modern Spain

Chapter:
(p.190) Chapter 7 Market Growth and Governance in Early Modern Spain
Source:
Distant Tyranny
Author(s):

Regina Grafe

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691144849.003.0007

This chapter looks at how descriptions of Spain in the eighteenth century are intriguing for their accounts of perceived indolence, or more generally of a people who failed to take advantage “of their Climate and Situation.” Taken at face value, these observations convinced contemporaries and historians that Spain was simply producing less than it could have. Alleged idleness was a well-rehearsed theme in Europe's Protestant north whenever the mores of southern European papists (or non-Europeans, for that matter) were described. Travel writer Henry Swinburne argued that Spaniards worked fewer hours and days than he thought they ought to, and intuitively provided one possible explanation for such behavior: Spaniards simply did not believe they could benefit from higher levels of “industry,” that is, effort.

Keywords:   eighteenth-century Spain, historians, idleness, Europe, Protestant north, southern European papists, Henry Swinburne

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