Italy, Holland, & Britain: Rural Industry & Imperialism

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Oct 29 19:57:22 MST 2000

The quote machine sayeth:
>*****   The decline of the traditional centres of the Italian wool
>industry starts around 1600 and is indisputable some decades into the
>new century.  The Castilian wool industry stagnated from about the
>end of the sixteenth century, but there seems to have been no
>question of a real depression until the middle of the seventeenth
>century.  The Catalan industry seems to have been in difficulties
>from about 1620.

One of the co-authors (Geoffrey Parker) you are quoting seems best known as
a military historian, according to what I could find in JSTOR. He couldn't
possibly supply the kind of information dug up by Spanish "revisionist"
historians collected in "The Castilian Crisis of the 17th Century" I
referred to the other day. Now that I have had a chance to read the whole
thing, I will prepare a longish post on the question of Spanish decadence
and make sure to cc the wretched Anglocentrics, Wood and Brenner.

In actuality, the Castilian wool industry declined in the final quarter of
the 17th century, but grew larger than ever in the 18th century. For
example, wool exports in 1760 to 1769 was 5,108 tons while in
1561-1569--prior to the collapse--it was only 4,025 tons. The rise and fall
of the Spanish wool industry can not be simply correlated with agrarian
class relations, but I can't imagine that making any difference to the
quote machine.

Louis Proyect
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