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The crisis of public finances in the cities of late medieval Catalonia (1350-1500)

AutorOrtí Gost, Pere; Verdés-Pijuan, Pere
Palabras claveFourteenth century
Taula de Canvi
Crown of Aragon
Public debt
Financial crises
Public bank
Fecha de publicación2016
EditorFirenze University Press
CitaciónLe crisi finanziarie : gestione, implicazioni sociali e conseguenze nell'età preindustriale : selezione di ricerche = The financial crises : their management, their social implications and their consequences in pre-industrial times : selection of essays : 199-221 (2016)
ResumenDuring the second half of the fourteenth century, the Crown of Aragon underwent a financial revolution, at the centre of which was a new credit agreement, the sale of annuities, with urban governments as the main stage and war funding the initial driving force. Although it has been known of since the early twentieth century, especially in the case of the city of Barcelona, the phenomenon had previously been viewed very negatively by historians working in this area, who considered the emergence of public debt as an expression of the late medieval crisis and the “betrayal” of a bourgeoisie that abandoned its commercial interests to live off its investments. It is only in the last two decades that the study of public debt in the Crown of Aragon has again attracted the interest of historians, who are now better able to gauge the economic and social importance of the emergence of public finances which became a fundamental part of a much stronger financial system than had existed previously. However, a phenomenon of this magnitude was not without its contradictions, with the documenting of both cyclical financial problems and authentic financial crises which even led to the bankruptcy of some towns. These same difficulties also constituted the setting for the development of original solutions, such as the creation of the first public bank of Western Europe, the Taula de Canvi in Barcelona. The main aim of this article is to analyse these financial problems and the different solutions adopted by urban governments, here based on towns in Catalonia, to overcome them. To this end, we have divided this paper into three parts: the first is devoted to briefly presenting the main characteristics of the public debt market; the second on an analysis of financial problems and the measures taken to address them; and the third is devoted to studying the financial crises that led to the bankruptcy of some of the Catalan towns.
Versión del editorhttp://digital.casalini.it/9788866559498
Identificadoresisbn: 978-88-6655-948-1
e-isbn: 978-88-6655-949-8
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