Campomanes, Pedro Rodriguez

Campomanes, Pedro Rodriguez


Born July 1, 1723, in Santa Eulalia de Sorribas, Asturias Province, Spain; died Feb. 3, 1803, in Madrid. Count, Spanish statesman, economist, historian, one of the leading advocates of the policy of enlightened absolutism in Spain. Son of an Asturian peasant.

Campomanes studied with Dominican monks. He was a lawyer and director of the postal department. From 1763 to 1789 he was minister of finance, from 1789 to 1791 chairman of the Royal Council of Castile, and from 1791 to 1798 state secretary. As a supporter of the teachings of the Physiocrats, he sought to free the Spanish economy from feudal restrictions, introducing free trade in grain, facilitating trade with the colonies, and attempting to impede the accumulation of property through mortmain. He helped regularize state finance, encouraged the creation of manufactories and technical schools, and contributed to the improvement of roads and means of communication. A staunch Catholic, he nevertheless sought to limit the privileges of the church to the benefit of the crown. He favored expelling the Jesuits from Spain (achieved in 1767) and laid the foundation for the work of “economic societies,” which discussed the problems of the economic development of Spain. From 1764 he headed the Royal Academy of History. Campomanes wrote several economic, legal, and historical works.


Tratado de la regalia de amortización. Madrid, 1765.
Discurso sobre el fomento de la industria popular. Madrid, 1774.
Discurso sobre la educación popular de los artesanos y su fomento. Madrid, 1775.
Memoria sobre los abusos de la Mesta. Madrid, 1791.