Catalogue


Distant tyranny : markets, power, and backwardness in Spain, 1650-1800 /
Regina Grafe.
imprint
Princeton [N.J.] : Princeton University Press, c2012.
description
xvii, 291 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691144842 (hardcover), 9780691144849 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton [N.J.] : Princeton University Press, c2012.
isbn
0691144842 (hardcover)
9780691144849 (hardcover)
contents note
Markets and states -- Tracing the market : the empirical challenge -- Bacalao : a new consumer good takes on the peninsula -- The tyranny of distance : transport and markets in Spain -- Distant tyranny : the historic territories -- Distant tyranny : the power of urban republics -- Market growth and governance in early modern Spain -- Center and peripheries.
catalogue key
8307930
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [251]-280) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Distant Tyranny provides an illuminating discussion of the territorial division of political authority in Spain and market integration there, with an innovative focus on the market in cod. This book is a wonderful contribution to European political and economic history and to the emerging field of global history."-- Avner Greif, Stanford University "Regina Grafe has written a challenging, courageous, and provocative book, one that reflects an extraordinary capacity to deal with an extremely wide literature not only on Spain but also the history of Europe. The dialogue between historical facts and economic theory is just outstanding."-- Bartolom Yun Casalilla, coeditor of The Castilian Crisis of the Seventeenth Century
Flap Copy
Distant Tyrannyprovides an illuminating discussion of the territorial division of political authority in Spain and market integration there, with an innovative focus on the market in cod. This book is a wonderful contribution to European political and economic history and to the emerging field of global history."--Avner Greif, Stanford University "Regina Grafe has written a challenging, courageous, and provocative book, one that reflects an extraordinary capacity to deal with an extremely wide literature not only on Spain but also the history of Europe. The dialogue between historical facts and economic theory is just outstanding."--Bartolom Yun Casalilla, coeditor of The Castilian Crisis of the Seventeenth Century
Flap Copy
Distant Tyrannyprovides an illuminating discussion of the territorial division of political authority in Spain and market integration there, with an innovative focus on the market in cod. This book is a wonderful contribution to European political and economic history and to the emerging field of global history."--Avner Greif, Stanford University "Regina Grafe has written a challenging, courageous, and provocative book, one that reflects an extraordinary capacity to deal with an extremely wide literature not only on Spain but also the history of Europe. The dialogue between historical facts and economic theory is just outstanding."--Bartolomé Yun Casalilla, coeditor of The Castilian Crisis of the Seventeenth Century
Flap Copy
"Regina Grafe has written a challenging, courageous, and provocative book, one that reflects an extraordinary capacity to deal with an extremely wide literature not only on Spain but also the history of Europe. The dialogue between historical facts and economic theory is just outstanding."--Bartolom Yun Casalilla, coeditor of The Castilian Crisis of the Seventeenth Century Distant Tyrannyprovides an illuminating discussion of the territorial division of political authority in Spain and market integration there, with an innovative focus on the market in cod. This book is a wonderful contribution to European political and economic history and to the emerging field of global history."--Avner Greif, Stanford University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-07-01:
An economic historian of early modern Spain and its empire, Grafe examines Spain from 1650 to 1800 through a multidisciplinary lens to explore the limited extent to which it was emerging as a nation-state with integrated domestic markets. Combining theory with price data drawn from transatlantic trade in dried and salted codfish and its sale in Spain, she challenges the ideas that the state was "predatory" and that Madrid's rise largely destroyed previously thriving urban markets in Castile. Her argument focuses on jurisdictional and territorial fragmentation as the primary hindrance to market integration and, through the resulting high transaction cost, a major cause of the country's economic backwardness. Grafe mined numerous archives to determine the quantity and price of cod imported and sold in Spain and also employed a remarkably broad range of printed primary and secondary sources in several languages. Although noneconomists might find the text challenging at times, its argument and insights reward persistence. Distant Tyranny is a revisionist work that will become mandatory reading for historians of early modern Spain. All academic libraries should enrich their collections with this stimulating, thoughtful book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through research collections. M. A. Burkholder University of Missouri--St. Louis
Reviews
Review Quotes
An economic historian of early modern Spain and its empire, Grafe examines Spain from 1650 to 1800 through a multidisciplinary lens to explore the limited extent to which it was emerging as a nation-state with integrated domestic markets. . . . Distant Tyranny is a revisionist work that will become mandatory reading for historians of early modern Spain. . . . [A] stimulating, thoughtful book.
"An economic historian of early modern Spain and its empire, Grafe examines Spain from 1650 to 1800 through a multidisciplinary lens to explore the limited extent to which it was emerging as a nation-state with integrated domestic markets. . . . Distant Tyranny is a revisionist work that will become mandatory reading for historians of early modern Spain. . . . [A] stimulating, thoughtful book."-- Choice
There is little to quibble with in Grafe's work. The early chapters build a solid foundation, based on detailed archival research and a meticulous tracing of market behavior. . . . [O]ne cannot help but admire the combination of a detailed, erudite analysis with a coherent macro-historical logic. . . . In a rare feat for an economic history book, Distant Tyranny may yet shed as much light on current events as it does on the past.
"There is little to quibble with in Grafe's work. The early chapters build a solid foundation, based on detailed archival research and a meticulous tracing of market behavior. . . . [O]ne cannot help but admire the combination of a detailed, erudite analysis with a coherent macro-historical logic. . . . In a rare feat for an economic history book, Distant Tyranny may yet shed as much light on current events as it does on the past."-- Mauricio Drelichman, EH.net
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Distant Tyranny' offers a needed reassessment of the haphazard and regionally diverse process of state formation and market integration in early modern Spain, showing how local and regional agency paradoxically led to legitimate governance but economic backwardness.
Main Description
Spain's development from a premodern society into a modern unified nation-state with an integrated economy was painfully slow and varied widely by region. Economic historians have long argued that high internal transportation costs limited domestic market integration, while at the same time the Castilian capital city of Madrid drew resources from surrounding Spanish regions as it pursued its quest for centralization. According to this view, powerful Madrid thwarted trade over large geographic distances by destroying an integrated network of manufacturing towns in the Spanish interior. Challenging this long-held view, Regina Grafe argues that decentralization, not a strong and powerful Madrid, is to blame for Spain's slow march to modernity. Through a groundbreaking analysis of the market for bacalao --dried and salted codfish that was a transatlantic commodity and staple food during this period--Grafe shows how peripheral historic territories and powerful interior towns obstructed Spain's economic development through jurisdictional obstacles to trade, which exacerbated already high transport costs. She reveals how the early phases of globalization made these regions much more externally focused, and how coastal elites that were engaged in trade outside Spain sought to sustain their positions of power in relation to Madrid. Distant Tyranny offers a needed reassessment of the haphazard and regionally diverse process of state formation and market integration in early modern Spain, showing how local and regional agency paradoxically led to legitimate governance but economic backwardness.

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