Salamanca and its links with economics

Salamanca and its links with economics

The importance of the School of Salamanca is well-known in economics. In general terms, this School, as a concept, housed different university professors, with Francisco de Vitoria at its head, who advanced thought in various areas, one of which was economics. These were years in which Spanish thought was at the forefront in fields such as the arts, literature, and science, an issue that was particularly evident in this School.

From the economic point of view, Joseph Alois Schumpeter finally recognised the work of the School of Salamanca in the 1950s. This renowned economist vindicated and was able to shed light on the great work of the Salamancans as creators of what is known today as economic science. Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson also did a great job developing significant studies on the subject.

As I indicated, Francisco de Vitoria led the Salamanca School of economists. As a professor at the Soborna, he was already being questioned by merchants about such transcendental aspects as the legitimacy of trade, to which he reacted by moving away from positions that were rotting in the past and undoubtedly obsolete and by researching and delving deeper into such transcendental aspects as the free circulation of people, goods and ideas, he came to link trade with the general welfare, as it provided an essential service to society. Based on these premises, this group of professors, including Martín de Azpilicueta, Luis de Alcalá, Luis De Molina and Diego de Covarrubias, developed knowledge of concepts such as private property, money, value, price, fair price and the first approaches to the nature of banking interest.

Although the link between Salamanca and economics is essential in terms of the birth of the Salamanca School of economists, the city of Tormes was already a mint fifteen centuries ago when the Visigoth king Recadero promoted the first mint in the town. In fact, after the Muslim invasion, the kings of León chose the capital of Salamanca again in the 12th century as a minting centre. Salamanca was a royal mint for nine centuries.

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