Bankruptcy of Empire
Originally published in 2007, this book incorporates the rich literature on the history of the fiscal organization and financial dynamics of the Spanish empire within the broader historical debates on rival European imperial states from 1760 to 1810. The focus is on colonial Mexico because it served as a fiscal and financial submetropolis that ensured the capacity of the imperial state to defend itself in a time of successive international conflicts. Throughout the reign Charles IV, the finances of the Spanish state began to sink. This collapse was caused by the enormous expense of waging successive wars in the Americas and Europe. In each war, colonial Mexico was a most important source of resources for the Crown, but these demands gradually outstripped the tax base of the viceroyalty despite the extraordinary silver boom of the late eighteenth century. The bankruptcy of the Spanish monarchy and its empire was the inevitable consequence.
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