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Anti-corruption in HistoryFrom Antiquity to the Modern Era$
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Ronald Kroeze, André Vitória, and Guy Geltner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809975.001.0001

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A Sick Body

A Sick Body

Corruption and Anticorruption in Early Modern Spain

Chapter:
(p.139) 9 A Sick Body
Source:
Anti-corruption in History
Author(s):

Francisco Andújar Castillo

Antonio Feros

Pilar Ponce Leiva

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809975.003.0010

At the heart of this chapter is the connection that exists between anticorruption measures and power politics. It shows how the resistance of Spanish elites—the same elites whom the king relied on to keep kingdom and empire together—was one of the main reasons why anticorruption measures in sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century Spain were ultimately ineffective. Spanish kings were reluctant to antagonize these elites for fear of creating more serious and damaging political problems. However, the lively debate about corruption could also be seen as an attempt to better understand and control it. Of the various administrative mechanisms available to control royal ministers and administrators, the authors pay particular attention to the so-called visitas and residencias: audits of institutions or individuals conducted during or at the end of their terms of office.

Keywords:   corruption, anticorruption, early modern, Spanish empire, elites, royalty, visitas, residencias, Philip IV

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