Sixteenth Century Spanish Fiscal Mismanagement and Debtor Emperors: An Economic History Review of Spain under Charles V in 1528 and under Philip II in 1575

2014-05-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Brian Sang Wook Jeon
There is a story often told about early modern Spain, one of a meteoric rise and equally resounding fall from the kingdom’s zenith of immense wealth, power, and international influence over the course of the sixteenth century. In this story, Spain’s rise to power in the sixteenth century is attributed to the wealth found in its monopolies in the Americas, which fueled massive expansion of its military might. Yet, the bold obviousness of the New World monetary windfall often prevents recognition of the fact that, by the turn of the sixteenth century, Spain was already well‐poised in the European political landscape to become the region’s most powerful nation. Moreover, Spain was equally poised for downfall long before its glory could be enjoyed.