Tomás de Mercado (1525–1575) was a Spanish Dominican friar and both an economist and a theologian, best known for his book Summa de Tratos y Contratos ("Manual of Deals and Contracts") of 1571. Together with Martín de Azpilcueta he founded the economic tradition of "Iberian monetarism"; both form part of the general intellectual tradition often known as "Late Scholasticism", or the School of Salamanca.
The Order of Preachers, also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega in France, approved by Pope Innocent III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans.
A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.
An economist is a practitioner in the social science discipline of economics.
He was either born in Seville or possibly Mexico, where he joined the Dominicans as a young man, becoming lecturer in Arts in the Priory in Mexico City, before returning to study at Salamanca University, where he then became a lecturer in philosophy, moral theology and law.He then worked in the Exchange House of Seville, the centre of Spain's international money-flows. He died at sea on a voyage returning to Mexico.
Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville, Spain. It is situated on the plain of the river Guadalquivir. The inhabitants of the city are known as sevillanos or hispalenses, after the Roman name of the city, Hispalis. Seville has a municipal population of about 690,000 as of 2016, and a metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the fourth-largest city in Spain and the 30th most populous municipality in the European Union. Its Old Town, with an area of 4 square kilometres (2 sq mi), contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Alcázar palace complex, the Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. The Seville harbour, located about 80 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, is the only river port in Spain. Seville is also the hottest major metropolitan area in the geographical Southwestern Europe, with summer average high temperatures of above 35 °C (95 °F).
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. It is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.
Mercado became more widely known outside the Spanish-speaking world after he was discussed by Joseph Schumpeter in his History of Economic Analysis, published posthumously, ed. Elisabeth Boody Schumpeter, in 1954. With the strong revival of monetarist economics since then, he has attracted further scholarly attention.
Joseph Aloïs Schumpeter was an Austrian political economist. Born in Moravia, he briefly served as Finance Minister of Austria in 1919. In 1932, he became a professor at Harvard University where he remained until the end of his career, eventually obtaining U.S. citizenship.
The Summa was an expanded edition of a work first published in 1569 as De los tratos de India y tratantes en ellas.It was written for businessmen as well as scholars and contains many general digressions on social issues, often in very lively language. Azpilcueta, a few years before, was the first to link the price revolution that was affecting Spain to the influx of American gold, and Mercado extended this analysis, remarking that:
The Price Revolution, sometimes known as the Spanish Price Revolution, was a series of economic events that occurred between the second half of the 15th century and the first half of the 17th century, and most specifically to the high rate of inflation that occurred during this period across Western Europe. Prices rose on average roughly sixfold over 150 years. This level of inflation amounts to 1–1.5% per year, a relatively low inflation rate for modern-day standards, but rather high given the monetary policy in place in the 16th century.
"High prices ruined Spain as the prices attracted Asian commodities and the silver currency flowed out to pay for them. The streets of Manila in the Spanish territories of the Philippines could be paved with granite cobblestone brought from China as ballast in Chinese ships coming to get silver for China".
Ballast is used in ships to provide moment to resist the lateral forces on the hull. Insufficiently ballasted boats tend to tip or heel excessively in high winds. Too much heel may result in the boat/ship capsizing. If a sailing vessel should need to voyage without cargo then ballast of little or no value would be loaded to keep the vessel upright. Some or all of this ballast would then be discarded when cargo was loaded.
He devotes much thought to the concept of the fair or "just price", analysing it in terms of wheat, and strongly supporting the tasa or fixed price set by the government on social and ethical grounds, even if it meant producers selling at a loss.
Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat.
Mercado devoted a chapter to the African slave trade, of which he was highly critical, seeing clearly that the concept of "just enslavement" did not reflect the practice of the actual trade.However he regarded it as acceptable for Europeans to buy slaves enslaved by Africans, and accepted the enslavement of captives in war, those sentenced for crimes, or children sold by their parents from necessity.
Pelagius was a Visigothic nobleman who founded the Kingdom of Asturias, ruling it from 718 until his death. Through his victory at the Battle of Covadonga, he is credited with beginning the Reconquista, the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moors. He established an independent Christian state in opposition to Moorish hegemony.
The just price is a theory of ethics in economics that attempts to set standards of fairness in transactions. With intellectual roots in ancient Greek philosophy, it was advanced by Thomas Aquinas based on an argument against usury, which in his time referred to the making of any rate of interest on loans. It gave rise to the contractual principle of laesio enormis.
The Protestant work ethic, the Calvinist work ethic or the Puritan work ethic is a work ethic concept in theology, sociology, economics and history that emphasizes that hard work, discipline and frugality are a result of a person's subscription to the values espoused by the Protestant faith, particularly Calvinism. The phrase was initially coined in 1904–1905 by Max Weber in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
François Joseph Charles Simiand was a French sociologist and economist best known as a participant in the Année Sociologique. As a member of the French Historical School of economics, Simiand predicated a rigorous factual and statistical basis for theoretical models and policies. His contribution to French social science was recognized in 1931 when, at the age of 58, he was elected to the faculty of the Collège de France and accepted the chair in labor history.
Habsburg Spain refers to Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries (1516–1700), when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power. They controlled territory that included the Americas, the East Indies, the Low Countries and territories now in France and Germany in Europe, the Portuguese Empire from 1580 to 1640, and various other territories such as small enclaves like Ceuta and Oran in North Africa. This period of Spanish history has also been referred to as the "Age of Expansion".
Francisco de Vitoria was a Spanish Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian, and jurist of Renaissance Spain. He is the founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law. He has in the past been described by some scholars as one of the "fathers of international law", along with Alberico Gentili and Hugo Grotius, though contemporary academics have suggested that such a description is anachronistic, since the concept of international law did not truly develop until much later. American jurist Arthur Nussbaum noted that Vitoria was "the first to set forth the notions of freedom of commerce and freedom of the seas."
The School of Salamanca is the Renaissance of thought in diverse intellectual areas by Spanish and Portuguese theologians, rooted in the intellectual and pedagogical work of Francisco de Vitoria. From the beginning of the 16th century the traditional Catholic conception of man and of his relation to God and to the world had been assaulted by the rise of humanism, by the Protestant Reformation and by the new geographical discoveries and their consequences. These new problems were addressed by the School of Salamanca. The name refers to the University of Salamanca, where de Vitoria and other members of the school were based.
The arbitristas were a group of reformist thinkers in late 16th and 17th century Spain concerned about the decline of the economy of Spain and proposed a number of measures to reverse it. Arbitristas directed analyses of problem and proposals ("memorials") for their solution to the king, asking him to take a particular action in the economic or political sphere. The increase in the production of proposals and analyses outlining solutions to the perceived problems of the empire were at a pace comparable to the inflation in the real economy during the price revolution of the sixteenth century and increased further with the crisis of the seventeenth century.
Slavery in the Spanish American colonies was an economic and social institution central to the operation of the Spanish Empire – it bound Africans and indigenous people to a relationship of colonial exploitation. Spanish colonists provided the Americas with a colonial precedent for slavery; however, early on opposition from the enslaved Indians and influential Spaniards moved the Crown to limit the bondage of indigenous people, and initiated debates that challenged the idea of slavery based on race. Spaniards regarded some indigenous people as tribute under the encomienda system during the late 1400s and part of the 1500s.
In Marxist economics and preceding theories, the problem of primitive accumulation of capital concerns the origin of capital, and therefore of how class distinctions between possessors and non-possessors came to be.
Luis de Molina was a Spanish Jesuit priest and scholastic, a staunch defender of free will in the controversy over human liberty and God's grace. His theology is known as Molinism.
Domingo de Soto was a Dominican priest and Scholastic theologian born in Segovia, Spain, and died in Salamanca at the age of 66. He is best known as one of the founders of international law and of the Spanish Thomistic philosophical and theological movement known as the School of Salamanca.
Martín de Azpilcueta, or Doctor Navarrus, was an important Spanish canonist and theologian in his time, and an early economist, the first to develop monetarist theory.
Gaspar de Quiroga y Vela was a prominent Catholic official who rose to become General Inquisitor of Spain, from 1573 to 1594, and Archbishop of Toledo from 1577 to 1594. He was named a Cardinal by Pope Gregory XIII in 1578. He was the nephew of the 1st Bishop of Michoacán, Mexico, Vasco de Quiroga,.
José de Salamanca y Mayol, 1st Marquis of Salamanca and Grandee of Spain was a Spanish nobleman, politician and businessman. He served as Finance Minister of Spain and briefly as de facto prime minister in 1847.
Abū al-Faḍl Jaʻfar ibn ʻAlī al-Dimashqī was a prosperous Muslim merchant from Damascus. He is best known for being the author of Kitab al-Isharah ila Mahasin at-Tijarah wa Marifat Jayyid al-A’rad wa Kadiiha wa Ghush-ush al-Mudallisin fiha.
Slavery in Latin America was practiced in precolonial times.