With a tail wind. The Association for the Reform of Tariffs, 1859-1869


  • José Mª Serrano Sanz Universidad de Zaragoza


Free trade, Tariffs, 19th century Spain, pressure groups


This paper studies the first ten years of the Asociación para la Reforma de los Aranceles de Aduanas, from its formation to its dissolution in 1869. Through a rigorous examination of its publications and of references to it in the contemporary press, we reconstruct its regular meetings, conferences and proposals on customs reform. As a first result, we illustrate the singularity of the Asociación, which was more than a mere transposition of the Free-Trade Congress of Brussels in 1856. Secondly, we call into question the traditional vision of an Asociación where different political parties live in harmony. Finally, we show how the temporary disappearance of the Asociación in 1869 was not caused by its satisfaction with the Figuerola bill but rather by the division that this bill created among the supporters of free-trade because of its gradualism and fiscal duties.


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