The Diplomatic Enlightenment

Spain, Europe, and the Age of Speculation


This book reconfigures the study of the origins of the Enlightenment in the Spanish Empire. Challenging dominant interpretations of the period, this book shows that early eighteenth-century Spanish authors turned to Enlightenment ideas to reinvent Spain’s role in the European balance of power. And while international law grew to provide a legal framework that could safeguard peace, Spanish officials, diplomats, and authors, hardened by the failure of Spanish diplomacy, sought instead to regulate international relations by drawing on investment, profit, and self-interest. The book shows, on the basis of new archival research, that the Diplomatic Enlightenment sought to turn the Spanish Empire into a space for closer political cooperation with other European and non-European states and empires.

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Edward Jones Corredera is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in 2020.

1 The Missing Century
 The Enlightenment, the Nation, and Modern Spain
 1 Introduction
 2 The Nineteenth-Century Spanish Enlightenment
 3 The Twentieth-Century View of the Absence of the Spanish Enlightenment
 4 Religion and the Spanish Political Elites
 5 The Diplomatic Enlightenment

2 Predicting War and Peace
 1 Introduction
 2 Spain, Europe, and Arbitrary Monarchy
 3 Crisis and Catharsis: The Dawn of the Early Spanish Enlightenment
 4 What News Do You Bring?
 5 Information Overload and Elite Political Debate

3 Investing in the Luces
 1 Introduction
 2 Shorting Diplomacy
 3 Representations of the Spanish Empire
 4 The Assembly of Public Trust
 5 Luces in the Mines
 6 The Seminary of Lawsuits: Law, Trade, and Corporations
 7 José Carvajal y Lancaster and the Arbitration of Europe
 8 Private Vices, Public Virtues, and Diplomatic Cooperation
 9 Coins, Corporations, China, and Europe
 10 The Naval Officer and the Aristocrat

4 Revolts and Returns
Free Trade and the Fear of Independence
 1 Introduction
 2 Investing in a New Timepiece
 3 Mapping Reform in Enlightenment Europe
 4 Free Trade: The Farce of Independence and the Growth of Spanish Political Economic Debate
 5 The Perils of Emulation: Corporations and the Meaning of the Spanish Empire
 6 The Criticism of Carvajal’s Joint-Stock Companies

5 The Lever of the Balance of Power
 1 Introduction
 2 Iberia’s Role in Europe
 3 Borders and Trade
 4 Investing in Peace
 5 A Monarchy without a King

6 Carthage’s Contractors
The Ends of the Spanish Empire
 1 Introduction
 2 The Grain Monopoly and the Voice of the People
 3 The Idea of the Nation: Outsourcing Propaganda and Colonisation
 4 Constitutionalism in the Spanish Empire and the International Order

7 Conclusion


All those interested in early modern Iberian empires, eighteenth-century political economy, the Enlightenment. It will be of interest to institutes, (academic) libraries, specialists, (post-graduate) students, and practitioners.
  • Collapse
  • Expand