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12. In the Shadow of Power

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims to delve further into the consequences of the state-entrepreneur relations in making supply arrangements. The Spanish state's demand spawns and nurtures Spanish entrepreneurial groups but also served to restrict the size of this group. The Spanish state found it preferable to work with a few favoured entrepreneurs, even at the cost of granting them privileges and monopolies, and while also running the risk of curbing market expansion. The eighteenth-century Spanish monopolist entrepreneur was the product of a complex web of economic and political relations, which allowed the state to ensure military demand but also made supply arrangements notably fickle, both for the state and the monopolist entrepreneurs themselves. The first half of the eighteenth century saw the growth and development of one of the most important business groups of the Spanish Empire, the Cinco Gremios Mayores.

Keywords: eighteenth century; military demand; monopolist entrepreneur; Spanish Empire; Spanish entrepreneurial groups



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