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War, Conquest and Local Merchants: The Role of Credit in the Peripheral Military Administration of the Hispanic Monarchy during the First Half of the Sixteenth Century




During the early modern period the European Monarchies were expanding geographically and politically. Despite the importance of the military campaigns the challenge was, however, not in conquering independent polities but in keeping them. For that reason the mobilization of resources to maintain the war effort was especially important and the members of the different military administrations were frequently obliged to obtain loans from the local merchants and financiers of the recently conquered communities. The reputation or 'credit' (the term employed to designate the borrower's trustworthiness) of these monarchical agents in charge of the organization and funding of the military campaigns played a key role in the mobilization of local resources to maintain these conquests. Through a micro-historical analysis of some local loans negotiated during this period, I will analyse the credit assessment around these loans as conditioned by information about past conducts, future rewards and individual credibility. In doing so, we can realise the complexity of this reputation-based credit-assessment and reconstruct the different meanings of reputation that they handled.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Miguel Escribano Paez, 2012. "War, Conquest and Local Merchants: The Role of Credit in the Peripheral Military Administration of the Hispanic Monarchy during the First Half of the Sixteenth Century," Working Papers 14, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge, revised 20 Nov 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmh:wpaper:10

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    Credit; reputation; finances; military administration; conquests; Hispanic Monarchy; Sixteenth-Century.;

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N83 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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