Introduction: Mobilising Resources for the Army and Navy in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Empire: Comparative, Transnational and Imperial Dimensions

Pepijn Brandon*, Sergio Solbes Ferri, Iván Valdez-Bubnov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The subject of this special issue 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. Its purpose is to provide a transnational and comparative perspective on the methods employed by the Spanish monarchy to mobilise resources for war, emphasising the international, imperial and inter-regional connections that underpinned Spain’s military and naval efforts. 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 mobilise resources and administer production processes. They were varied, ranging from total state administration of capital, labour and productive processes to an almost complete and relatively independent involvement of the empire’s entrepreneurial elites, in Europe, America and Asia. The introduction by the guest editors positions the four contributions to this special issue within the wider context of the historiography on the mobilisation of resources for war. In recent years, scholars in this field have started to shift their attention from a primary focus on the development of ‘fiscal-military’ and ‘fiscal-naval’ arrangements that provided the financial backbone of states’ warring activities, to the wider economic and social networks involved in supplying, recruiting, building and maintaining armies and navies. As the introduction argues, these networks, underpinning the emergence of European national states, were always inherently transnational.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalWar & Society
Volume40
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • contractor state
  • fiscal-military state
  • Spanish Empire
  • state formation
  • war

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