Spanish and Italian Economic Declines Research Paper by Quality Writers

Spanish and Italian Economic Declines
An analysis of the factors affecting the economic decline of Spain and Italy in the seventeenth century.
# 103013 | 2,138 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Apr 10, 2008 in Economics (International) , History (European - 17th Century)

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This paper examines the reasons behind Spain and Italy's economic decline in the seventeenth century. It looks at the problems that the countries faced and discusses why their economies declined while other economies in Europe did not, despite the fact that the other European countries encountered many of the same problems. The paper examines this issue from several perspectives.

From the Paper:

"It is fairly clear to most historians that both Spain and Italy, though more so Spain that Italy, suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes. Spain had gone from the European centre of global power and expansion only to be concerned with shoring up its own borders so to speak and figuring out how to feed its population. Yet, authors such as Kamen are still inclined to invalidate the assumption of Spain's decline by devaluing or paring away at what decline might mean or imply: "At the outset we need to keep in mind the two basic confusions in this picture: an unwarranted identification of Castile with Spain and a crucial failure to distinguish between Spain and its empire."
Yet, this parsing of words is, seemingly only meant to obfuscate the obvious. The fact is that the literature supports the observation and even the Spanish self perception supports the assumption that Spain, in reality, could not be realistically separated from its Empire because it had spent so long and so much in the way of resources to establish it in the first place that its identity was irrevocably tied up with Empire. Additionally, Castile certainly was part of Spain and, as the research indicated, a decline in Castile almost certainly led to a decline in the fortunes of Spain. The conclusion then is that Spain and Italy did decline in the early modern period both in comparison with their historical statuses as well as relative to certain other European countries at the time."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cipola, Carlo. "The Economic Decline of Italy." Economic History Review, 2/5(1952).
  • Davies, R. Trevor. Spain in Decline, 1621-1700. London: Macmillan, 1957.
  • Hobsbawm, E.J. "The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century." Crisis in Europe: 1560-1660: Essays from Past and Present; London Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965.
  • Findlen, Paula, Michelle M. Fontaine, and Duane J. Osheim, eds. Beyond Florence: The Contours of Medieval and Early Modern Italy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.
  • Kamen, Henry. A Concise History of Spain. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973.

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