Economic Reforms in the Kingdom of Naples – a new book by D. Ciccolella, A. Clemente and B. Salvemini

In 1734, when the Kingdom of Naples became once again independent under the rule of Charles of Bourbon after two centuries of Spanish dominion and almost three decades of Austrian rule, things began to move in Southern Italian politics and intellectual debates. Commerce was identified as a strategic sphere where nation building and international relations met with the legitimate expression of private interest. The monarchy sought to establish a unified royal sovereignty over the manifold and fragmented jurisdictions of the Old Regime state. Technical expertise other than legal knowledge began to play an increasing role in decision-making. Old and newly created institutions were called upon to create norms and regulations that would create a wealth-enhancing order. The projects and reforms of this period, however, were far from tracing a linear path, their outcome was all but certain.

This volume presents the edition of 330 documents: expert opinions requested by the king (consulte) in view of defining new normative rules and economic initiatives, petitions (rappresentanze) submitted to the sovereign, projects (progetti) for “good government” written by private individuals as well as letters by consuls and administrators. All together, this book offers extraordinarily rich insights into the economy, politics and intellectual debates of early Bourbon Naples.

Consulte, rappresentanze, progetti per l’economia del Regno di Napoli, vol. I, 1734-1739, edited by Daniela Ciccolella, Alida Clemente and Biagio Salvemini, CNR Edizioni, Roma 2021.

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