Forestry, Territorial Organization, and Military Struggle in the Early Modern Spanish Monarchy

Félix Labrador Arroyo, Koldo Trápaga Monchet

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Abstract

In the early modern period, timber was in great demand, and as such its conservation became a major concern of European monarchs. This article traces the history of the Royal Site of the Soto de Roma Crown forest in the Spanish floodplain of Granada, as regards the political evolution of the Spanish monarchy during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Royal Site of the Soto de Roma, the only forest of the Royal Sites systematically used in the production of naval components, helped to support the imperial structure of the monarchy by providing the raw materials for the gun carriages mounted on the royal fleets. Apart from dealing with the dynamics of selecting and felling the trees, as well as transportation of the timber from the forest to the city of Malaga, this article also focuses on the importance of the timber from Soto de Roma in the daily lives of the inhabitants of Granada, whose needs clashed with those of the monarchy due to the complex nature of the interaction between royal interests and nature. Finally, it highlights the development and transformation of the landscape of Soto de Roma throughout the early modern period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-341
Number of pages24
JournalENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2018

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