The economic image of the seventeenth century Spain: The foreign look versus the viwof the Arbitristas
[La imagen económica de la España del siglo XVII: La mirada extranjera frente a la visión de los arbitristas]
This paper compares the economic image of the seventeenth century Spain we received from the foreign travelers with that offered by the arbitristas, examining the main similarities and differences. Specifically, it analyses the following issues: the consideration of natural resources base, the vision of national character and its relation to productive activities, and the perception of economic situation and the causes of backwardness. The aim is to contrast the view of those who were thinking "from the inside" about the causes of the striking decline of the country, with the free and uncensored look of foreign visitors, which –despite its constraints and limitations– tended to focus on the most striking and different aspects compared to the reality of their own countries.
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