Politics and Colonial Discourse in the Spanish Empire: The African Atlantic possessions, 1575- 1630

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Abstract

The works devoted to the study of Spanish arbitrismo, developed between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, have been traditionally influenced by a negative perspective, inherited from the use given to the adjective arbitrista in the past, when it was used almost as an insult. Instead of emphasising this negative view, it would perhaps be convenient to analyse such as what they really were, at least to a certain extent; that is, collective opinions seeking to influence the king and his most trusted circle. While Castilian arbitrismo of financial nature has been more widely studied, the arbitrismo developed in the colonial world is less known, especially that for the possessions in Atlantic Africa. These texts were written by merchants, soldiers, and clerics with great experience in the service of these territories. As a crucial “remedy” to solve the problems of these difficult times of monarchical “decline”, these texts propound an encouragement of territorial conquest and defensive fortresses, as well as a reorganisation of the main resources and of trade that would enable them to put an end to fraud and abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-149
Number of pages36
JournalJahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas - Anuario de Historia de América Latina
Volume51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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