Presentation Title

Seven Cities of Silver: The Role of Economic Mismanagement in Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 1117

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

This paper is focused on the fact that although the Spanish Empire created a long lasting and often times bloody legacy, it was doomed to failure from the creation of its foundation. Because many different factors contribute to the success or failure of an empire, it can be difficult to select one element and argue for its dominant role in the health of the empire. The Spanish Empire fell almost as suddenly as it rose due to many circumstances including the threat of constant warfare with European powers, a changing world economy, and multiple trade reforms. However, I postulate that the Spanish Empire’s rise to power and fall from grace can be explained largely through its complete mismanagement of its economic wealth and total lack of monetary understanding. It was largely through this factor that Spain failed to successfully manage its large domain and continue being a viable power on the European stage. This presentation draws on multiple sources from prominent Spaniards of the day, including the passionate writing of Antonio Vazquez de Espinosa, who highlights the destruction of the Indies and condemns the management of the Empire, and the methodical works of Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, who tries to justify the cruelty of the Spaniards in regard to the treatment of the natives.

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Nov 12th, 10:00 AM Nov 12th, 10:15 AM

Seven Cities of Silver: The Role of Economic Mismanagement in Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire

Watkins 1117

This paper is focused on the fact that although the Spanish Empire created a long lasting and often times bloody legacy, it was doomed to failure from the creation of its foundation. Because many different factors contribute to the success or failure of an empire, it can be difficult to select one element and argue for its dominant role in the health of the empire. The Spanish Empire fell almost as suddenly as it rose due to many circumstances including the threat of constant warfare with European powers, a changing world economy, and multiple trade reforms. However, I postulate that the Spanish Empire’s rise to power and fall from grace can be explained largely through its complete mismanagement of its economic wealth and total lack of monetary understanding. It was largely through this factor that Spain failed to successfully manage its large domain and continue being a viable power on the European stage. This presentation draws on multiple sources from prominent Spaniards of the day, including the passionate writing of Antonio Vazquez de Espinosa, who highlights the destruction of the Indies and condemns the management of the Empire, and the methodical works of Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, who tries to justify the cruelty of the Spaniards in regard to the treatment of the natives.