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2. Military Entrepreneurs in the Crown of Aragon during the Castilian–Aragonese War, 1356–1375

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Chapter Summary

The Castilian-Aragonese war of 1356-75 marked a watershed in the fiscal and bureaucratic history of the Crown of Aragon. The 'censal system' of public debt, which was perfected in the crucible of this conflict, marked an important step in the transition from a feudal to a modern state bureaucracy. A key element of this system was the enlistment of town governments for the purpose of selling shares in the public debt; this, in turn, drove the towns to rely on the efforts of businessmen, whose pre-existing networks and skills enabled them to find buyers for the government's annuities. This nineteen-year period therefore became a 'golden age' of cooperation between the state and entrepreneurs in terms of military finance. The financial revolution also had repercussions in the sphere of military levying, although networks of military supply were not affected as much as either finance or troop levying.

Keywords: Castilian-Aragonese war; censal system; Crown of Aragon; military finance; state bureaucracy



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