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This is a study of early modern government finance in the kingdom of Naples, one of the most important European dominions of the Spanish Empire. Professor Calabria focuses on the period from the mid-sixteenth century to the time of the Thirty Years' War. He connects fiscal developments to larger issues, such as the seventeenth-century crisis, the decline of Italy and Spain, and the economic and social significance of investments in government securities markets in early modern Europe. The Cost of Empire blends quantitative data on economic, fiscal, and financial affairs with non-quantitative material detailing attitudes, economic behaviour, and administrative practices. The quantitative material includes analyses of government budgets from 1550 to 1638 and a computer study of about 4,500 investors and their investments in state securities in the later sixteenth century. The work is unrivalled in the breadth, comprehensiveness, and sophistication of its analysis of an early modern fiscal system.
List of figures; Acknowledgments; List of abbreviations; Weights and measures; Monetary units and exchange rates; Maps; Introduction; 1. The early modern southern Italian economy; 2. The fiscal system in early modern Naples; 3. Government income, 1550–1638; 4. Government expense, 1550–1638; 5. The creation of a securities market in the later sixteenth century; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
Posted August 7, 2001
Calabria's book explores the dynamics of Neapolitan finance with Braudelian eloquence. This is a major contribution to the history of the economies and the social crises of the early modern European world. In bold strokes the author portrays as well the human suffering exacted upon southern Italy in the era of Spanish hegemony.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.