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'Report on the Agrarian Law' (1795) and Other Writings

'Report on the Agrarian Law' (1795) and Other Writings

Gabriel Paquette | Álvaro Caso Bello | Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos


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"Report on the Agrarian Law" (1795) and Other Writings' is the first modern English translation of perhaps the greatest work of the Spanish Enlightenment, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos’s 'Informe sobre la Ley Agraria' (1795). A major work of political economy and a beautifully crafted philosophical history of Spain’s political development until the eighteenth century, 'Informe sobre la Ley Agraria' is a classic work of the Spanish Enlightenment. Displaying the richness of Spanish Enlightenment writing on political economy emerging from a fecund conjugation of foreign writers (Smith, Ferguson, Condillac, Mirabeau, Genovesi) with Spanish writers (Ulloa, Olavide, Uztáriz, Campomanes), this masterpiece explores the lessons learned from the shortcomings of the Spanish Crown's economic policies in the eighteenth century.

Gabriel Paquette is professor of history at The Johns Hopkins University.

Álvaro Caso Bello is a PhD candidate at The Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover 1
Front Matter i
Half-title i
Series information ii
Title page iii
Copyright information iv
Table of contents v
List of illustrations vii
Editors' biographies ix
Note on the text xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Chapter 1
Introduction: Liberty (Libertad), Knowledge (Luces)... 1
The Life and Career of Jovellanos 9
The Contexts and Reception of Jovellanos’s Informe 12
Between Practical Politics and Philosophical History: An Outline... 17
Bibliography 26
Report On The Agrarian Law (1795) 31
The Historical Development of Our Agriculture 35
The Influence of Legislation on the Development of Agriculture 38
Laws Should Limit Themselves to Agriculture’s Protection 38
This Protection Should be Limited to the Removal of the... 40
[on the] Convergence of the Object of the Laws with that of Self-Interest 41
[on the need to] Investigate the Obstacles that Oppose said Interest 42
First Kind 42
Political Obstacles, or those Derived from Legislation 42
1st. Baldíos 43
2nd. Municipal lands [Tierras concejiles] 47
3rd. The openness of lands [La apertura de las heredades] 49
The usefulness of enclosures 55
4th. Partial protection of cultivation 62
5th. The Mesta 67
6th. Mortmain tenures [La amortización] 74
1st. Ecclesiastical 81
Regular clergy 81
Secular clergy 83
2nd. Civil: mayorazgos [primogeniture entail] 85
7th. Circulation of agricultural produce 95
On fixed prices [De las posturas] 96
On general domestic trade 99
On foreign trade 106
1st. Of agricultural products 106
2nd. Of raw materials 107
3rd. Of grain 108
8th. On taxes examined in relation to agriculture 112
Second Kind 118
Moral Obstacles, or Those Derived from Opinion 118
1st. On the part of the government 119
2nd. On the role of agriculture’s agents 122
3rd. Means of removing both [obstacles] 127
1st. The instruction of the propertied classes 128
2nd. The instruction of farmers 129
3rd. The creation and use of technical manuals 131
Third Kind 133
Physical Obstacles, or those Derived from Nature 133
1st. Neglect of irrigation 134
2nd. Absence of proper communication 136
Overland transportation 136
[Transportation] by water 140
3rd. Lack of commercial seaports 141
Means of removing physical obstacles 143
1st. Improvements with respect to the kingdom as a whole 145
2nd. Improvements with respect to the provinces in particular 146
3rd. Improvements with respect to municipalities 147
Conclusion 150
On The Need To Combine The Study Of History And Antiquities With The Study Of Law 153
Eulogy In Praise Of Charles III 171
Advertencia 171
Inaugural Address To The Royal Asturian Institute 183
On The Need To Combine The Study Of Literature With The Study Of The Sciences 195
End Matter 203
Index 203