Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions
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Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions

Edited by Francisco Cabrillo and Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro

This extensive book explores in detail a wide range of topics within the public choice and constitutional political economy tradition, providing a comprehensive overview of current work across the field.
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Chapter 4: Early Spanish liberalism and constitutional political economy: the Cádiz Constitution of 1812

Roger D. Congleton


The history of Spain is not usually associated with liberalism or constitutional innovation by most English or American historians. That is partly because other aspects of Spain’s history attract the most attention. American historians tend to focus on Spanish exploration and settlement in the New World. European historians tend to focus on wars against the remnants of the Islamic empire to the south, Turkish Empire to the east, and the roles that Spanish rulers, such as Charles V (Carlos I) and Philip II, played during the Protestant Reformation. Spain’s international policies had major impacts on Europe and the New World during the late Middle Ages and early modern period. The neglect of early Spanish liberalism is also partly a consequence of the infamous Spanish Inquisition developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Inquisition was used to curtail the rise of Protestantism throughout the Hapsburg territories and also to suppress political dissent.

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