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Possibilities and Limits: Testing in the Fiscal Military State in the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779-1783


  • Rafael Torres

    () (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Navarra)


The question we ask in this paper is how far Spain could be said to be a fiscalmilitary state. In other words, what were the Spanish states possibilities and limits in terms of emulating and following the English model? We also ask whether such an approach might give us a useful purchase on Spain's warfare fund-raising capacity. We have focused on a specific war, the war between Great Britain and Spain from 1779 to 1783. This war was sufficiently important in both countries to call on the utmost effort from their respective states and economies. Spain had the chance in this conflict to put a stop to Great Britain's constant attacks on the Spanish empire during the eighteenth century. But it was not only a territorial question. The feasibility of Spain's whole economic model was also at stake. Spain's economy and taxation system was becoming more and more heavily dependent on colonial trade. Its government had opted to run the American colonies on an increasingly intensive basis, opening up the colonial markets to a greater participation from the whole of the Spanish economy. Heading off Great Britain from the Americas was a golden chance for this Spanish growth model to prosper

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Torres, 2006. "Possibilities and Limits: Testing in the Fiscal Military State in the Anglo-Spanish War of 1779-1783," Faculty Working Papers 09/06, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:una:unccee:wp0906

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J.V. Beckett & Michael Turner, 1990. "Taxation and economic growth in eighteenth-century England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 43(3), pages 377-403, August.
    2. Rafael Torres Sánchez & Javier Gómez Biscarri & Fernando Pérez de Gracia, 2004. "Exchange Rate Behavior and Exchange Rate Puzzles: Why the XVIII Century Might Help," Faculty Working Papers 12/04, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
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    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General

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