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Conflicts Produced by Growth of Cities in 19th and Early 20th Century Spain - Essay Example

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Development and despotism are said to be incompatible, where the latter stifles the former. This is true where economies do not secure property but pose the possibility of arrest, ruin, or execution at the command of the ruling prince, or the possibility of ruinous taxation (De Long and Shleifer 1992)…
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Conflicts Produced by Growth of Cities in 19th and Early 20th Century Spain
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Conflicts Produced by Growth of Cities in 19th and Early 20th Century Spain

Download file to see previous pages... Because of the liberty to acquire and engage in trade and commerce, great enterprises are found in republican but not in monarchical governments (Montesquieu 1748, cited in De Long and Shleifer 1992). In other words, princes are said to be bad for the growth of cities (Ibid).
By analysis, "a nation in slavery labors more to preserve than to acquire but a free nation, more to acquire than to preserve" (Van Gelderen and Skinner 2002). Imperial Spain, for itself, being the core of the immense empire ruled by absolutist Habsburg princes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries imposed heavy tax burdens on the prosperous towns of Catalonia and Andalusia. This was to enable fighting the wars of the Counterreformation. It then saw later on its cities lose wealth and population that by 1800 Spain had become virtually isolated and backward (De Long and Shleifer 1992).
With technological advances in agriculture and transportation, cities can be said to grow with trade, but can take the back burner with famine and disease. Cities rose and fell with the military fortunes of city-states, territorial empires and nation-states, but with the industrial revolution, urbanization rose (Kim 1995.) It is contended, despite the fast growth of capital and court cities, absolutism is a negative factor. The particular failure of cities located near capitals to grow suggests that absolutism hand a hand in it (Ibid).
The Isabeline system (1833-1868) of Spain is an example of failed government because "the crown was capricious and authoritarian and the political system too narrow and exclusive" (Payne 1973). The Spanish polity had to be reorganized through the workings of one Antonio Cnovas del Castillo in establishing a workable constitutional monarchy, liberalizing in the process the Isabeline system (Ibid).
III. Republicanism
The 19th and early 20th centuries of Spain were spent in passionate tug and pull between radical republicanism and absolute monarchy. Imperial Spain lost most of its dominions in the West on account of colonial rebellions in the first half of the 19th century. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines were gone from the Spanish-American War in 1898. ("Spain," Thomas Gale 2005)
Republicanism is government by elected representatives instead of a king. On the other hand, monarchy is that form of government where the head of State is not elected and bases his office on a higher law that all power comes from a transcendental source (Habsburg 1996).
Republicanism is said to be better than a monarchy (Wyger Velema, cited in van Gelderen et al. 2002) as the main characteristics of monarchial rule are that laws that emerge are all in the interest of the court and not the subject. Worse yet, the interpretation and explanation of these laws are in the hands of the king and therefore totally unpredictable and arbitrary (Ibid). The unmitigated dreadfulness and barbarism of monarchial rule in the past lead to revolt thence to the emergence of a republic in which assemblies of the state variously composed in each the province were held sovereign (Habsburg 1996).
Upholding the rule of law and the protection of life, liberty, and property may be republic ideals, however its attainment and survival are demanding and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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