The Spanish Society during their Golden Age
The golden age of Spain does not exactly refer to tremendous economic growth or an excellent era of monarchial rule in peace and prosperity rather it refers to the rule of Charles II, which was characterized by the weakening of the Castile, and the deteriorating
Spanish crown. According to Sedney Donell (2003), during this time, the Castilian privileged classes in various provinces of the Monarchy took advantage of the weakened Monarchy and began to take the affairs of the imperial state in their own hands, which later came to be known as the golden age of Spain (Donell 2003, p. 151). Spanish society during this time was in confusion and this was aggravated by the impact of feminization that was creating confusion on the role of men in the society.
Life in Spain during the golden age was not ordinary as people experienced acute economin difficulty due to severe economic decline because of wars. Marcelin Defourneaux (1979) cited demographic statistics, which proves beyond doubt that “there was steep decline in the towns which formerly- and recently- had played such a vital role in the economic life of the country” (Defourneaux 1979, p. 92). Defourneaux noted during Philip II Spain’s prosperity was ruined by the waning of the Spanish economy and people had to survive mainly on land products as most of their industries had collapsed.
What I could point out about Spain’s society during this time is that theirs was a stubborn society. Despite of the failures of their rulers to bring them peace and prosperity, they remained loyal to their Monarchs. A case in point was the collapsed of Charles II rule only to be replaced by a more inefficient king.
Explain the Reason why Spain was like that in the Golden Age
There had been several reasons why Spain was economically in distress during their golden age. Among these reasons were corruptions, wars, gender issue, and ineffective leadership. William H. Robinson and Jordi Falgas however, cited that Barcelona and Madrid suffered economic decline due to trade monopoly of King Ferdinand of Argon- Catalonia and Isabella of Castile Robinson & Falgas 2006, p. 5). All this contributed to the economic problem that Spain had suffered during their so-called ‘golden age.’
Defourneaux, M., (1979) Daily life in the Golden Age. California: Stanford University
Donell, S., Feminizing the Enemy: Imperian Spain, Transvestite Dramma, and the Crises. . USA: Bucknell University Press.
Knight, C., (1840) Penny Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge. London: Encyclopedias &