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Campomanes, Pedro Rodríguez, Conde de (1723–1802)

Pedro Rodríguez, Conde De Campomanes (b. 1 July 1723; d. 3 February 1802), president of the Council of Castile (1783–1791). The son of a poor Asturian hidalgo, Campomanes, an attorney, became a fiscal (crown attorney) of the Council of Castile in 1762. Committed to royal absolutism yet open to Enlightenment ideas, Campomanes was essentially a utilitarian who believed that the interests of special groups like the Mesta (sheepowners' corporation), clergy, and guilds were detrimental to the welfare of the state. In his capacity as policymaker and royal adviser to Charles III, Campomanes embarked upon a program of agrarian reform that advocated free grain trade within Spain, limits on ecclesiastical entailment of land, crown incorporation or señorios (noble or aristocratic estates), and elimination of guild restrictions. He was instrumental in the movement to repopulate deserted regions of Spain (1767), founded the Royal Economic Society of Madrid (1775), and used his position as president of the Mesta (1779) to weaken that institution and its agricultural privileges. More importantly, he was a supporter of the expulsion of the Jesuits and helped compose a plan to support their removal from the nation. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, Charles III enhanced his support of the Franciscans and they soon replaced the Jesuits in their mission fields in California and elsewhere. In the end, Campomanes' policy toward Latin America included promoting colonial trade and limiting American manufacture.

See alsoFranciscans; Jesuits.


Laura Rodríguez Díaz, Reforma e ilustración en la España del siglo XVIII: Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes (1975).

Manuel Bustos Rodríguez, El pensamiento socio-económico de Campomanes (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Engstrand, Iris H.W. "The Enlightenment in Spain: Influences upon New World Policy" The Americas (April 1985): 436-444.

Llombart, Vicent. Campomanes: Economista y político de Carlos III. Madrid: Alianza, 1992.

                          Suzanne Hiles Burkholder

Campomanes, Pedro Rodríguez, Conde de (1723–1802)

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