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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

He co?perated with Orry to increase the revenues


Important ministers of the first half century of Bourbon rule.]

Despite the thoroughgoing nature of the Bourbon absolutism, it is fitting for the first time to award special credit to the secretaries of state, or ministers, although the kings were responsible for their selection as well as for their acts. This was an age of great reformers. The initiative came from France on the accession of Philip V, and the first great name is that of a Frenchman, Orry. When he came to Spain, in 1701, he found that the income of the state was about 142,000,000 _reales_ ($8,875,000) while expenditures were 247,000,000 ($15,437,500). The outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession made the situation still worse. Yet he displayed such ability that national receipts actually advanced in course of the war, and were some 160,000,000 ($10,000,000) at its end. Amelot, another Frenchman, was an even more remarkable figure. He co?perated with Orry to increase the revenues, and reorganized and bettered the administration of the army. The Italian Alberoni and the Dutchman Ripperd? were less notable as reformers. With the fall of the latter in 1726 there began an era of great ministers of Spanish birth. First of these was Pati?o, who, though born in Italy, was of a Galician family. He was especially prominent for his financial reforms, but was also noteworthy for his measures to develop commerce and improve the army and navy. In an age when graft was general, and in a

country which has rarely been backward in this particular, Pati?o was able to achieve the distinction of dying poor; his death occurred in 1736. The next notable financial reformer was Campillo, an Asturian who had been born poor, though of _hidalgo_ rank. More important, however, was Somodevilla, a Castilian of very humble birth who became Marquis of Ensenada, by which name he is more generally known. The period of his power was from 1743 to 1754, and his reforms covered the same matters as those mentioned above in the case of Pati?o, although he was especially remarkable in his endeavors on behalf of the Spanish navy. His fall in 1754 (as a result of his disagreement with Ferdinand VI with regard to the treaty with Portugal concerning Sacramento and Paraguay) was received with rejoicing in England; the English ambassador reported exultingly that Spain would build no more ships. Ensenada was responsible, also, for the construction of important public works, and once suggested the idea of single tax as worthy of trial in Spain.

[Sidenote: Great reformers of the reigns of Charles III and IV.]

The greatest reformers, however, belonged to the reign of Charles III and the early years of Charles IV. Earlier ministers had increased the national revenues and cut down expenses, but the deficit had not been wiped out. One of the great names of both of the above-named reigns was that of the Count of Aranda, of a distinguished Aragonese noble family. Aranda was obstinate, brutal in speech, aggressive, and energetic, but a man of vast information and clear foresight,--as witness his prediction, in 1775, of the future greatness of the yet unborn United States. Aside from his connection with Spain's foreign policies he particularly distinguished himself while president

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