The Historic Territories
This chapter discusses how domestic market integration in Spain was much slower than it's integration with the international economy over the long run, and its progress was regionally extremely diverse. Poor transport technology and bad roads did not help matters and provide some of the background for understanding Spanish markets. Still, transport itself exhibited a trend toward slow but steady improvement over the century and a half under consideration here. Moreover, there is little evidence that Spain's political economy suffered from the sort of expropriatory failings of supposedly centralizing, all-powerful “absolutist” states that earlier literature had diagnosed. As historians of the Spanish Empire have long pointed out, in the Spanish monarchy, even in its European core, absolutism was merely a political aspiration.
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