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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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Center and Peripheries

Center and Peripheries

(p.213) Chapter 8 Center and Peripheries
Distant Tyranny

Regina Grafe

Princeton University Press

This chapter illustrates how the empirical analysis of market and state has gone a long way to explain where the stumbling blocks in Spanish economic and political development were and why they stifled growth so significantly. There was path dependence in fragmented authority in Spain as elsewhere in Europe, but this was only part of the problem. Between roughly the late Middle Ages and the nineteenth century, overcoming divided authority was the essence of the process of European state-building. However, in Spain, the complex combination of institutional heritage and ideological underpinnings of rule made the process of eliminating at least some degree of divided authority especially slow and cumbersome, and a strong tradition of local autonomy remained part of what the compact between rulers and ruled was understood to be.

Keywords:   Spanish economy, market, state, fargmented authority, European state-building, institutional heritage, local autonomy

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