Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura
Print version ISSN 0120-2456
RAMIREZ MENDEZ, LUIS ALBERTO. Boom and bust of the Ecclesiastical Financial System in Venezuela. Anu. colomb. hist. soc. cult. [online]. 2010, vol.37, n.2, pp. 159-194. ISSN 0120-2456.
During the colonial period and well into the nineteenth century, the placement of capital and goods, and the collection of rents in Venezuela were fulfilled mostly by the Catholic Church. Those functions were subject to different juridical and legal frameworks, especially during the Republican period and up to its extinction in 1870, by the decrees issued by President Antonio Guzmán Blanco. Thus, this paper examines the operation and regulations to which the ecclesiastical financial system in Venezuela was subjected, and the tensions that confronted the clergy to the nineteenth-century governments. The study is based on bibliographical and documentary review on the subject, particularly manuscript sources that lie in regional, national and foreign archives. Research shows the intense religious participation of the rentier sector in the protection of its capital and interest, and its progressive decline during the nineteenth century due to its inability to obtain new contributions of cash, to recapitalize interests, to react to competition of foreign capital, and to protect itself from the greed of powerful and important political groups who sought to appropriate its wealth.
Keywords : capital; Catholic Church; financial system; nineteenth century; rents; Venezuela.