Liberal Protectionism in Nineteenth Century Spain: An Alternative Route to Economic Modernization

The nineteenth century dispute between the protectionist and free trade movements in Spain divided the country, often bitterly, for nearly a century. Catalan, and later Vizcaya, industrialists fiercely opposed the progressive dismantling of trade protection by a succession of free trade supporting governments. Economic and political historians have traditionally interpreted the conflict as a case of a powerful group of self-interested manufacturers defending their sectoral and regional interests against more advanced foreign products and technologies, especially from Britain. The result, they suggest, was to undermine the economic modernization of the country as it attempted to catch up with the rapidly industrializing economies of northern Europe. This paper argues that the debate is more accurately viewed as an argument between two liberal factions with competing visions about the most effective way to modernize the national economy. On the one hand, free trade supporters, encouraged by an unrelenting British campaign, looked for the strongest possible integration of the country into the new industrial economies of northern Europe, based on Spain’s natural advantages in food and mineral supply. For their part, the liberal protectionists also wanted to see Spain participate in the new dynamic world market, but as a modern industrial competitor rather than as a complementary supplier. The paper argues that both factions were committed to a fundamentally reformed and modernized economy driven by a unified and effective state. Both were strongly patriotic movements, though driven by radically different assumptions about the nature of liberalism and society.

Influence and Skulduggery: What the Vetting of Inquisition Officials in 17th-Century Spain Reveals about the Family of Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán (1618-c.1685)

The detailed records compiled by the Spanish Inquisition are an indispensable source of information not just on the controversial institution itself but also for expanding our historical knowledge of Golden Age Spain. They can also be an extremely valuable tool for the investigation of the family antecedents of literary figures of the period. This is particularly important when relatively little biographical information exists on an author, as is the case of the lesser-known Extremaduran poet, Catalina Clara Ramírez de Guzmán (Llerena, 1618-1685), whose two younger brothers sought appointment to the junior post of familiars of the Inquisition in the 1640s. In addition to adding to our understanding of the detailed vetting required for such posts, the abundant and highly intriguing official documentation relating to their application is of immense value as it sheds light on bitter controversies involving the Ramírez family and provides irrefutable evidence of deep-running enmities and rivalries in the author’s home city, particularly within the ranks of its Inquisition Tribunal.

Who remembers what and why in Portugal?

The memory debate in Portugal has evolved in recent years in a way that bypasses the legacy of Salazar’s New State and focuses instead on the country’s longer colonial past, to which many Portuguese still cling as a source of national pride. This article details this shift and examines some of its consequences, not least of which is the twinning of an attack against an uncritical reading of its past with debates on racism in present-day Portuguese society.

Review of Sasha D. Pack, The Deepest Border: The Strait of Gibraltar and the Making of the Modern Hispano-African Borderland

Review of Robert Patrick Newcomb, Iberianism and Crisis: Spain and Portugal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Review of Matthew Kerry, Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, 1931-1936

Review of Roberto Villa García, Alexandro Lerroux and the Failure of Spanish Republican Democracy: A Political Biography (1864-1949)

Review of Mayte Green-Marcado, Visions of Deliverance: Moriscos and the Politics of Prophecy in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Review of Ida Altman and David Wheat, eds., The Spanish Caribbean and the Atlantic World in the Long Sixteenth Century

New Directions in Nineteenth-Century Cuban History