From the absolute low power of the late 17th century, marked by military defeats, ruinous inflation, famine, earthquakes, epidemics, and a deformed an...

From the absolute low power of the late 17th century, marked by military defeats, ruinous inflation, famine, earthquakes, epidemics, and a deformed and mentally disabled king, Spain managed under the Bourbon rulers to achieve stability and some economic prosperity again. The hapless Charles II died in 1700 and bequeathed the throne to Louis XIV's grandson Philip, launching Europe into 15 years of all-consuming war. When the dust settled, the Bourbons remained in power under condition that they never unite with the French throne. Spain also lost territory including Minorca and Gibraltar, as well as her Italian possessions.

Spain's navy remained a reasonably strong force under the Bourbons but the golden age of the 16th-17th centuries was over and it had been eclipsed on the seas by the Royal Navy. The vast colonial empire remained Madrid's lifeline and she took in far more wealth from the colonies than she gave back to them. The Argentine "plata" contained incredibly rich soil and produced almost triple the wheat crop that came from the barren Iberian peninsula--only the north of Spain was well-watered, the rest was a semi-desert whose fertility was only partially alleviated by canal construction. The Spanish nobility shunned industry and commerce; in earlier days the Moors had conducted most of that, now factories and mines were owned chiefly by English and German companies. Spaniards with energy and ambition emigrated to the colonies. A small middle class existed in the towns. Next to food, vast amounts of precious metals, minerals, and cash crops were produced from the colonies which also had triple Spain's population.

  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The nobility owned half Spain's soil, the Church 16%, 32% by the towns or peasants. Basic necessities were heavily taxed which was a burden on the lower classes. The high nobility were fantastically wealthy and the Church was not far behind. The commoners did not complain about ecclesiastical riches; piety and devotion to the Catholic faith was intense and great pride was taken in the elaborate adornment of cathedrals. Nowhere else in Europe was Catholicism believed with such sincerity; even the prostitutes crossed themselves regularly. Until it was outlawed in 1777, processions were held in towns commemorating Christ's march to his crucifixion in which people would flog themselves with broken glass beads to experience the pain he had felt as the Romans scourged him. The Virgin Mary was especially venerated in Spain, moreso than Jesus himself.

    The Inquisition was no longer as all-powerful as it had been under the Habsburgs, but it was still strong enough to be feared by most of the people. Bourbon laxity allowed garden gnomes, long suppressed, to come out of the closet and the Inquisition dealt with them swiftly. During the 1720s, the Inquisition condemned around 870 people, most of them on accusations of practicing Judaism in secret. Seventy five of them were burned at the stake, the remained flogged publicly or sentenced to the galleys. Philip V acclimatized himself to Spanish ways well when he attended an auto-da-fe in 1722 in which nine heretics were burned to celebrate the arrival of a French princess in Madrid. Under his more forgiving successor Ferdinand VI, only ten persons were burned, all of them suspected garden gnomes.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Education in Spain was largely a bad medieval joke; the Inquisition censored the press so thoroughly that little other than religious texts got printed. One Dominican monk claimed more books were printed in Spain during the 16th century than the 18th. Literacy rates remained among Europe's lowest. All education was controlled by the Church but thousands of parishes had no schools at all. Spain's once-excellent universities ranked dead-last in Europe. Medical schooling was almost as bad; doctors practiced crude medieval treatments combined with a lot of prayers. Superstitions and folklore abounded; miracles were seen everywhere and witch hunts continued well after they'd disappeared in most of Europe, they were among the horrors Goya documented.

      Anglo-Saxon lies.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        LOLno sorry Hernando, all of it is indisputable fact and why today you're employed serving drinks to British boomers who go down to Majorca on holiday. As well as why all your former colonies are brown reggaton hellscapes nobody in their right mind would ever want to live in.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [log in to view media]

      >The nobility owned half Spain's soil, the Church 16%, 32% by the towns or peasants. Basic necessities were heavily taxed which was a burden on the lower classes. The high nobility were fantastically wealthy and the Church was not far behind. The commoners did not complain about ecclesiastical riches; piety and devotion to the Catholic faith was intense and great pride was taken in the elaborate adornment of cathedrals. Nowhere else in Europe was Catholicism believed with such sincerity; even the prostitutes crossed themselves regularly. Until it was outlawed in 1777, processions were held in towns commemorating Christ's march to his crucifixion in which people would flog themselves with broken glass beads to experience the pain he had felt as the Romans scourged him. The Virgin Mary was especially venerated in Spain, moreso than Jesus himself.

      sounds like modern day Paraguay

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Latin America is shit because Spain instilled wrong ways of living.

        >high tolerance of corruption
        >low value placed on education, industry, and commerce
        >caudillo culture
        >economy based on resource extraction

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          such a shame

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >no it's all your fault that we are monke
          get fucked

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Croatia
        sure most people will identify as Catholic but live as functional atheists except on Christmas and Easter, it's not really the same as some place like Paraguay where Catholicism is taken really seriously

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Education in Spain was largely a bad medieval joke; the Inquisition censored the press so thoroughly that little other than religious texts got printed. One Dominican monk claimed more books were printed in Spain during the 16th century than the 18th. Literacy rates remained among Europe's lowest. All education was controlled by the Church but thousands of parishes had no schools at all. Spain's once-excellent universities ranked dead-last in Europe. Medical schooling was almost as bad; doctors practiced crude medieval treatments combined with a lot of prayers. Superstitions and folklore abounded; miracles were seen everywhere and witch hunts continued well after they'd disappeared in most of Europe, they were among the horrors Goya documented.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >censored the press so thoroughly that little other than religious texts got printed.

      And yet Don Quixote was still written.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >non sequitur: the post

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Interesting, but you can clearly tell this is written by someone who did not hold Spain in high regard. Half-truths and a couple flat out lies, even if the overarching points are indeed true.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [...]
      Anglo-Saxon lies.

      It might help your cause if you pointed out exactly which bits are inaccurate.

      If you can.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Why? If you believe everything in OP then I would need to teach you basic secondary school Spanish history, and frankly you can do that yourself with a few pertinent google searches.
        Like I said, most of the themes are correct, but the minor points that are used to illustrate said themes are mostly false or just greatly, greatly exaggerated.
        Is this your OC or did you pull it from a book? If the latter, I suspect the author has about as much knowledge of modern Spanish history and society as you do.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I'm not OP dipshit, I was just making a general point about how you can't just call bullshit on something and expect people to believe you if you don't back it up.

          Which you still haven't done.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I'm not the person you were talking to but the witch hunting part I'm pretty sure is bullshit, Spain had a lot less witch hunts than the rest of Europe, it was not a problem in Spain. The inquisition killed very few people in the 1700s, although it existed until Napoleon dismantled it.

            The university part is real, the only Spaniards that knew modern math in the 1700s were the shipyard engineers. Spain also kept the colonies deliberatedly ignorant, people from the Americas would ask Spain to allow them to import modern math or physics books, and Spain would deny the request. That happened because of monopolistic trade, Spain didn't want their colonies to become self suficient, if that happened then they would have nothing to trade with them.

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              colonial governors often illegally traded with British ships anyway

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >Spain also kept the colonies deliberatedly ignorant, people from the Americas would ask Spain to allow them to import modern math or physics books, and Spain would deny the request.
              this is not true. spain was very strict when it came to literature as they thought the natives werent capable of distinguishing fiction from reality (much like most moralists nowadays) but the viceroyalties did have their own universities, more than 25 I think. and there were always books being published in the americas. OP probably just read some Bourbons good, Habsburg le bad history book he bought at barnes and nobble. in fact, i would say the greatest blow to education came from the bourbons, when charles the iii, who in other aspects was a good king, kicked out the jesuits.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                latin america had universities, but they mostly produced lawyers, priests. they were very old fashioned scholastic institutions in the 1700s. Even Salamanca in Spain was pretty decadent in the XVIII century.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                yes as the OP said, Spain's educational system was really backward by the 18th century and it was useless for anything much outside Catholic theology.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                nonetheless the Habsburgs were fags and lackeys of the Catholic Church who bankrupted Spain in repeated wars they couldn't win

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            And my point still stands
            I'm not going to spoonfeed you basic Spanish history
            As other anons have pointed out, much of what has been posted is not true or greatly exaggerated. You can keep defending it if you wish to, but it wont make it true

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

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    Overall, Philip V was a competent ruler within his limitations. He had been raised the younger son of the Dauphin in the orthodox Catholic environment of the Sun King's court, and he lacked true qualities of leadership. In addition, his fidelity to the Catholic faith led him to accept a medieval form of religion that was rapidly disappearing in the rest of Europe, and he was easily controlled by the women around him.

    Maria Lusa Gabriela, the daughter of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, married Philip in 1701 when she was only 13, but already an expert at using her feminine wiles to browbeat her husband into submission with the help of her head lady-in-waiting Marie Anna de la Tremoille, the French widow of a Spanish grandee. Although she was almost 60 and past the age of using her looks as a weapon, she provided the adult maturity and experience the teenage Queen lacked, and she controlled policy for a decade. Maria Lusa died of tuberculosis in 1714 at only 26 and Philip, who had become strongly attached to her, sank into depression. Marie Anne arranged his marriage to Isabella Farnese, the daughter of Duke Odoardo II of Parma. She greeted the new Queen at the Spanish border, but Isabella was determined to be the master in her own house and ordered her to leave Spain. Marie Anne obliged, retired to Rome, and died there in 1722.

    Isabella was a hot-tempered and pushy Italian, much like Maria Lusa had been, and she controlled the King almost as effectively. From the royal bedroom, she ruled an empire, directed armies, and gained Italian principalities. Prior to her marriage, Isabella had been blankly ignorant of Spain and never did warm to Spanish ways, but she learned enough of them to understand her adopted country and Philip was often surprised at her skill and resourcefulness.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Felipe was really into femdom he not only controlled by the women around him unlike most kings he was completely faithful to his queens and didn't ever keep any mistresses.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    With the help of French advisors, Philip modernized and improved the Spanish government, curbed corruption and extravagence, and in 1714 these advisors gave way to an Italian, Giulio Alberoni, whose ruthless ambition shocked the indolent Spanish people. Along with Isabelle Farnese, he planned to rebuild Spain's armed forces, retake the Italian possessions lost after the War of the Spanish Succession, and put Isabelle's sons on their ducal thrones someday.

    Alberoni labored for half a decade on his megalomaniacal plan; he replaced indolent Spanish grandees in administrative posts with middle class men, taxed the Church and imprisoned clergy who protested, modernized the navy, improved coastal fortifications, promoted industry and road construction, and abolished internal tariffs. When the British ambassador expressed alarm that the Spain of Philip II might come back, Alberoni replied that he was doing all this with the plans of a war against the Ottoman Turks. Although he hoped to gain French and British acceptance for the reconquista of Italy, the careless Philip V admitted he'd like to gain control over the regency of the boy king Louis XV in France.

    Austria violated the peace terms of 1715 by compelling Savoy to cede Sicily in exchange for Sardinia, and Alberoni was forced into premature war. Spain was quickly beaten when a Royal Navy squadron wrecked their fleet in the Mediterranean while a French army crossed the Pyrenees. The King sued for peace and was compelled to expel Alberoni from the country. He made his way to Rome, in disguise through Austrian-controlled territory, and lived there until his death in 1752 at the age of 88--he was part of the conclave that elected Pope Innocent XIII.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      [log in to view media]

      Overall, Philip V was a competent ruler within his limitations. He had been raised the younger son of the Dauphin in the orthodox Catholic environment of the Sun King's court, and he lacked true qualities of leadership. In addition, his fidelity to the Catholic faith led him to accept a medieval form of religion that was rapidly disappearing in the rest of Europe, and he was easily controlled by the women around him.

      Maria Lusa Gabriela, the daughter of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, married Philip in 1701 when she was only 13, but already an expert at using her feminine wiles to browbeat her husband into submission with the help of her head lady-in-waiting Marie Anna de la Tremoille, the French widow of a Spanish grandee. Although she was almost 60 and past the age of using her looks as a weapon, she provided the adult maturity and experience the teenage Queen lacked, and she controlled policy for a decade. Maria Lusa died of tuberculosis in 1714 at only 26 and Philip, who had become strongly attached to her, sank into depression. Marie Anne arranged his marriage to Isabella Farnese, the daughter of Duke Odoardo II of Parma. She greeted the new Queen at the Spanish border, but Isabella was determined to be the master in her own house and ordered her to leave Spain. Marie Anne obliged, retired to Rome, and died there in 1722.

      Isabella was a hot-tempered and pushy Italian, much like Maria Lusa had been, and she controlled the King almost as effectively. From the royal bedroom, she ruled an empire, directed armies, and gained Italian principalities. Prior to her marriage, Isabella had been blankly ignorant of Spain and never did warm to Spanish ways, but she learned enough of them to understand her adopted country and Philip was often surprised at her skill and resourcefulness.

      >all these pasta n-words
      i guess by the 18th century they didn't have so many options anymore to marry kings to a Catholic. there was basically just France, Italy, Portugal, and Austria--everything else was Protestant except distant Poland.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Bourbon BVLLS

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    [log in to view media]

    Oh, look, a Black Legend thread.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      bongs were lucky the most we did to that pirate Robert Jenkins was cut his ear off

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The peace treaty in 1720 saw Philip compelled to surrender any claims to the French throne, to give up Sicily to Austria in exchange for getting back Gibraltar from Britain, and the European powers agreed to accept the succession of Isabella's sons in Parma and Tuscany. Philip also pledged his 2 year old daughter Maria Ana Victoria in marriage to 10 year old Louis XV. The child was immediately sent to France, but soon returned with the protest that the King would be better served with a queen closer in age to him who might give him a heir ASAP. Insulted, Philip entered into an alliance with Vienna under the promise of getting Austrian help in retaking Gibraltar. The Spanish attacked the town, the promised Austrian help failed to materialize, and Madrid, unable to penetrate Gibraltar's defenses, was forced to sign an embarrassing peace with Britain, restoring to them the Asiento monopoly on selling slaves to the Spanish colonies, while London promised to recognize the accession of Isabelle's son Don Carlos on the ducal throne of Parma.

    In 1731, Don Carlos and 6,000 Spanish troops were escorted by the Royal Navy to Italy. Austria bowed and gave up Parma and Piacenza to Carlos. He became king of Naples in 1734.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    By now, Philip became deeply depressed and borderline insane. He refused to eat, bathe, or shave and Isabelle could not talk sense into him until in 1737 when she summoned Farinelli to come to Spain and sing for him. The legendary castrato sang two arias by Hasse. The King was aroused and Isabella introduced Farinelli to him, and the next evening he requested those two songs again to lull him to sleep. This went on for 10 years; Farinelli was paid a princely sum for his work in soothing Philip, although he remained gracious throughout and never abused his power. In 1746, Philip ordered 100,000 Masses recited for his salvation; if the extras were not needed to get him to Heaven, they might go to other poor souls instead. Shortly after that, he died.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The Bourbons really aren't as bad as some make them seem, but the whole Inquisition propaganda is absurd. You were more likely to get beheaded in England or tied to a pole and burnt in the German states. Let's not pretend most books published weren't complete bullshit back then, and even today.

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

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    Ferdinand VI, the second son born to Maria Lusa, succeeded his father to the throne. Isabella lived until 1766; while Ferdinand was considerate towards his stepmother, she no longer wielded any power, having been replaced in that role by Maria Barbara, Ferdinand's queen consort. Although Maria was an extravagent woman, she was also a good deal mellower and less ambitious than Isabelle and chose to patronize the arts rather than play power politics. Farinelli continued to sing for the new royal couple, and they worked to bring an end to the War of the Austrian Succession, giving up Tuscany to Vienna as part of the peace and ending the 136 year old Asiento.

    Ferdinand was a kind, well-meaning man but like his father, sensitive and prone to fits of melancholy. He preferred to let his ministers handle state affairs; Don Jose de Carvajal and Zenon de Somodevilla both worked to improve Spain's infrastructure and tax system, modernize the navy, reorganize state finances, and encourage the sons of the grandees to travel and study abroad to break down the country's psychological isolation. In 1753, they signed an agreement with the Vatican to permit the king to appoint bishops and tax the Church in Spain. They also reigned in the Inquisition and outlawed public auto-da-fes. The two ministers disagreed on foreign policy; Carvajal favored alliance with Britain while de Somodevilla preferred France. They managed to keep Spain out of the Seven Years War, and brought the country a level of prosperity it had not known since the 16th century.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In 1758, Maria Barbara died. Like his father, Ferdinand was extremely devoted to his wife and the loss of her caused him to suffer a complete mental breakdown. He passed away a year later.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Still, it was impossible to keep the Enlightenment out of Spain forever. The merchant class were by and far the segment of Spanish society who had the most contact with the outside world and they knew of the goings on in Britain and France. They knew medieval religion was losing its grip elsewhere in Europe; that skepticism was growing, and some Spaniards knew of Locke, Gibbon, and Newton. Gradually, young Spaniards came to be influenced by the heady ideas coming out of France and the writings of Diederot, Voltaire, and Raynal were smuggled and read in secret. Abbe Clement, traveling through Spain in 1768, reported that skepticism was increasing among the middle and upper class, and ten years later the Inquisition reported that the highest court officials were reading the French "philosophes."

  13. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    > Spaniards with energy and ambition emigrated to the colonies.

    Yeah...I stopped reading, you know nothing about Spain. Some nobody could not go to the Americas simply because they wanted to. Emigration to the colonies was strictly controlled.

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