Date of Award
Master of Arts
The question we set out to investigate was whether Caesar exhibited an organized policy toward the economy of the Spanish provinces. Two distinct aspects have been considered: that of Spain itself and its economic growth and that of Caesar personally and his policies.
During the first century B.C. the Spanish peninsula was exhibiting signs of the economic growth which reached its height during the first two centuries of Imperial times. Mining, industry and commerce were flourishing. Agriculture was becoming ore diverse and profitable. Italian immigration, both of money and manpower, was providing an impetus to spur the growth which had been slowed in part due to the inconsistent and, at times, exploitative administration which the Republican Roman governors provided.
When Caesar returned to Spain it was as one of the contestants in a political power struggle that was to change the Roman world. It was not likely that he was unmindful of his position or of the future. The steps that he took in extending municipal government seem to be a definite attempt to provide some uniformity of administration. Such a more expedient administration would surely have made the economic life more healthy. However, this does not seem to be Caesar's main consideration. While it is true that colonies were placed at times in consideration of their commercial potential, the main concern was the rewarding of loyal veterans. His municipal grants were merely a raising of the status of towns or areas which were already urbanized and ready for such action. I suppose that the question of Caesar's economic policy towards Spain might best be summed up in the words of T. Frank, "Julius Caesar's program was apparently not thought out in economic terms, and yet Caesar more than any other Roman statesman seems to have considered the economic aspects of his political measures."
Turek, Robert O., "Caesar in Spain : an economic policy?" (1971). Master's Theses. 1359.