Military Entrepreneurs and the Spanish Contractor State in the Eighteenth Century

Rafael Torres Sanchez

Anno: 2016
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 320 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 241 x 161 mm
Peso: 604 gr.
  • EAN: 9780198784111
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Military Entrepreneurs and the Spanish Contractor State in the Eighteenth Century offers a new approach to the relationship between warfare and state construction. Historians looking at how war funding impinged on state development, and how state growth made wars more significant, have tended to downplay the role of military-provisioning entrepreneurs. Written off as corrupt and selfish, these entrepreneurs jarred with the received view of a rationally growing and modernising state. This volume shows that the state-entrepreneur relationship was much more fluid and constant than previously thought. The state was not able to enforce a top-down military supply policy; at the same time it benefited from the entrepreneurs' collaboration and their shared mercantilist ambitions. The entrepreneurs' mobilisation of military supplies was crucial for extending state authority and helped to knit together national and colonial markets. But this fluid state-entrepreneur relationship gradually became shrouded in privileges and monopolies, not so much ideology driven or imposed by the entrepreneurs but rather as an arrangement exploited by the state to boost its control over them, whittling down middlemen and ensuring the solvency and creditworthiness of the chosen few. This arrangement spiralled into a risky inter-dependence and cramped entrepreneurial competition. Rafael Torres Sanchez furnishes new insights into the role of military entrepreneurs in debates about warfare and state construction.