Although it has been argued that Cameralism had a prominent place in the formation of the modern economic mind and that public happiness was a crucial intersection of early modern economic discourses, its (re) discovery by mainstream economics has been considered partial and unconvincing. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that it was in the aftermath of the political and economic crisis of the Thirty Years’ War that happiness was established at the core of the foundations of Spanish Imperialism in the 1650s and then again in the 1760s. The text Signs of Happiness by Francesc Romà i Rossell (1768) is the best thread to reconstruct the evolution of Spanish imperialism. It spins the thread from the 1650s when happiness expanded the public sphere until the publication of his proposal where happiness is defined as the ability to recover from the decline through internal development and the improvement of agriculture, industry, and commerce. It is then when happiness and Cameralist teachings came together to sharpen Romà i Rossell’s science of government to transform the monarchy and underpin the creation of the Spanish nation.
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Adriana Luna-Fabritius; Signs of Happiness: A Proposal for a New Spanish Empire. History of Political Economy 1 June 2021; 53 (3): 515–532. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-8993372
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