Gentlemen, Bourgeois, and Revolutionaries: Political Change and Cultural Persistence among the Spanish Dominant Groups, 1750-1850

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Overview

The crisis of the Spanish old regime traditionally has been interpreted as a result of a bourgeois revolution. Historians have argued that the ascendant class was formed by a group of new landowners, merchants, and bureaucrats who dismantled the old feudal state and began to transform Spain into a capitalist society. In this book, Professor Cruz challenges this viewpoint by arguing that in Spain, as in the rest of continental Europe, a national bourgeoisie did not exist before the second half of the nineteenth century. He proves the model of bourgeois revolution inadequate to explain any movement toward mobilization before 1850. Historiography based on the bourgeois revolution theory portrays Spain as an exceptional model whose main feature is the "failure" resulting from the immobility of its ruling class. Basing his conclusions in part on an impressive study of over five hundred merchants, bankers, bureaucrats, and politicians who lived in Madrid, Cruz argues that the nature of the crisis of the old regime in Spain was mainly political and in part economic, but never the consequence of a social revolution. This work revises the standard interpretive model of the crisis and relocates Spain in the mainstream for industrialization, urbanization, and democratization that characterizes the history of modern Europe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Jesus Cruz offers convincing evidence with regard to the political and economic elite of Madrid, who largely dominated early liberal politics....This is an unusually stimulating and original dissertation-book, based on extensive prosopographical research, that makes a distinctive contribution to the social history of Spain. It merits broad attention and should provoke extensive new discussion and research on modern elites in other parts of the country as well." Stanley G. Payne, Journal of Social History

"This solidly researched monograph challenges conventional interpretations about the social and economic background of Spanish liberals....Through detailed analysis of family histories, Cruz has shown that the liberal revolution was accomplished by already well-established individuals who moved easily to dominate the institutions and economy of the liberal state....This study offers an original and well-researched interpretation of a complex question....It makes a positive contribution to the history of Spanish liberalism in its formative period." William J. Callahan, Canadian Journal of History

"...the volume demands and deserves careful attention to appreciate its data and the arguments constructed thereon." Gary W. McDonogh, American Historical Review

The work of Jesus Cruz constitutes a magnificent example of the analytical tensions produced in European historiography by the failure of the classic theory...of the bourgeois revolution." Isabel Burdiel, Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521481984
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
2 Merchants 16
3 Bankers 58
4 Bureaucrats and professionals 87
5 Politicians 128
6 Habitus, solidarity, and authority 169
7 Kinship, friendship, and patronage 208
8 Conclusion: Rethinking the Spanish revolution 259
Appendix A: The sample 277
Appendix B: Analysis of assets 293
Appendix C: Archival sources 317
References 321
Index 343
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