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Bankruptcy of Empire

Bankruptcy of Empire
Mexican Silver and the Wars Between Spain, Britain and France, 1760–1810

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Part of Cambridge Latin American Studies

  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521142359

$ 40.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book emphasizes that the Spanish empire remained the third most important European state in terms of fiscal income and naval power, and first in size of territorial empire, particularly because of its colonies in Spanish America. The Spanish crown was involved in four wars with Great Britain and two wars with France during the decades 1760-1810. Colonial Mexico financed most of these wars by remitting silver in the form of taxes and loans. The expenditures of the imperial wars were so great that they eventually caused the bankruptcy of both the Spanish American colonies and of the monarchy itself.

    • Incorporates analysis of the Spanish empire into the debates on the end of the ancient regime
    • Demonstrates the importance of Mexican silver in all the major wars of the late eighteenth century and in the Napoleonic era
    • Contrasts tax and financial policies in colonial Mexico and the thirteen colonies in North America
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    • Awarded the A. H. Jones Prize from the Economic History Association of the United States for 'Best book on the Economic History of North America' published in 2006/2007

    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a major breakthrough in its genre." -Aldo Musacchio, EH.NET

    "Eight tightly focused chapters..." -Jordana Dym, Amercian Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521142359
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of tables and figures
    1. Resurgence of the Spanish Empire: Bourbon Mexico as submetropolis, 1763–1800
    2. An imperial state tax: the fiscal costs and benefits of colonialism
    3. Imperial wars and loans from New Spain, 1780–1800
    4. The royal church and the finances of the viceroyalty
    5. Napoleon and Mexican silver, 1805–8
    6. Between Spain and America: the royal treasury and the Gordon and Murphy Consortium, 1806–8
    7. Mexican silver for the Cortes of Cádiz and the war against Napoleon, 1808–11
    8. The rebellion of 1810, colonial debts, and bankruptcy of New Spain
    Conclusions: the financial collapse of viceroyalty and monarchy

  • Author

    Carlos Marichal, Colegio de México
    Carlos Marichal has been Research Professor of Latin American History at the El Colegio de México since 1989. He received his PhD in History from Harvard University, Massachusetts in 1977 and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, California (1998–9, the Universidad Carlos III, Madrid (1996), the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1994), the Universidad Autónoma, Barcelona (1990–3 and 2009) and the Universidad Complutense, Madrid (1987). In September 2008, Bankruptcy of Empire received the Alice Hanson Jones Biennial Prize of the Economic History Association of the United Status as an 'Outstanding Book on North American Economic History'. In August 2009, the same work was awarded the Jaume Vicens Vives Prize of the Spanish Economic History Association, being judged the best book published on the economic history of Spain and Latin America in 2007–8. He is also the author of other works including a history of Latin American debt in English version (1989), with two editions in Spanish, and more recently of Nueva historia de las grandes crisis financieras, 1873–2008 (2010). He is the editor of a dozen collective monographs on the economic history of Latin America, including studies on banking and fiscal history as well as a number of joint studies on the history of enterprise in Mexico in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is founder and past president of the Mexican Economic History Association and served as member of the executive committee of the International Economic History Association (2000–8). He has received a Guggenheim fellowship (1994–5) and a Tinker Fellowship (1997–8), among other awards. A member of the academic boards of ten international journals on economic history and Latin American history, he is member of the Mexican Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, at the highest level. From 2003 to 2008, he was a member of the Board of Governors of El Colegio de México.


    • Awarded the A. H. Jones Prize from the Economic History Association of the United States for 'Best book on the Economic History of North America' published in 2006/2007
    • Winner of the Jaime Vicens Vives Prize for best book on Latin America and Spain published in 2007/2008, awarded by the Spanish Economic History Association

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