IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > B. Early Modern Europe, 1479–1815 > 5. National Patterns, 1648–1815 > d. The Iberian Peninsula
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1659, Nov. 7)
 
d. The Iberian Peninsula
1. Spain
 
Demography: Subsistence crises and high infant mortality led to very slow population growth in Spain in the last half of the 17th century. Spain experienced rapid growth in the first half of the 18th century, then slower growth again after 1750.  1
Economy and Society: The Spanish economy was characterized by diversity in agriculture but dominated by textiles in manufacturing. In most of Spain, land was owned by nobles and clergy who continued to use traditional farming methods. In some areas, dominated by sheep and pasturage, enclosure came late. In other areas, such as Andalucia, landowners controlled huge estates—latafundia—creating a large rural proletariat of day laborers. In most cases, Spanish agriculture lagged behind that of much of western Europe. Industry also developed slowly, hampered by lack of investment, strong guilds, and poor transport. Spain characteristically concentrated on foreign trade, which suffered with decline of Spanish colonies. In this setting, society remained split into peasants and nobles throughout much of the countryside, while guilds dominated the cities.  2
Culture: The French Enlightenment had only limited impact in Spain because the Spanish Inquisition tried to suppress it. Nonetheless, some Spanish intellectuals did try to spread Enlightenment ideas. They were led by Benito Jerónimo Feijóo, whose Teatro Crítico Universal (1726–39) began the compilation of information on a wide variety of works, which he continued with other, later works. Luis Can¯uelo's El Censor provided Spain with an organ of social criticism, while Pedro Rodríguez theorized on government.  3
Monarchs: Charles II (1665–1700), Philip V (1700–1746), Ferdinand VI (1746–59), Charles III (1759–88), Charles IV (1788–1808).  4
 
1648
 
The Peace of Westphalia marked the beginning of decline for the Spanish Empire. Spain continued at war with France.  5
 
1652, Oct
 
The Catalan revolt begun in 1640 finally ended when the citizen army in Barcelona surrendered to Don Juan of Austria, the king's illegitimate son.  6
 
1658
 
The French besieged Dunkirk; the Spanish were unable to relieve it.  7
 
1656–59
 
War with England (See 1656–59).  8
 
1659
 
The Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659) ended the war with France.  9
 
1660
 
In an effort to stop inflation, the government introduced a new copper coinage but prices continued to rise.  10
 
1660
 
Crown took control of municipalities, destroying their autonomy.  11
 
1665–1700
 
CHARLES II, the four-year-old son of Philip IV and the last of the Spanish Habsburgs. Until 1676 his mother, Mariana of Austria, headed the council of regency. She appointed her personal confessor, John Everard Nithard, inquisitor general, but he was uniformly disliked.  12
 
1665
 
The Cortes lost its right to approve grants for the crown but retained its right to recognize a new monarch.  13
 
1667–68
 
The War of Devolution (See 1667–68).  14
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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