Corporate Body - Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Guerra (España)

Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Guerra (España)



Corporate Body

Preferred form:

Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Guerra (España)Other forms

Fechas de Existencia:

from 1714-11-30 to 1851


It was officially created by Royal Decree issued on the 11th July 1705, when the Universal Secretariat split into two: a Secretariat of War and Finance and a Secretariat for the remaining matters. Nevertheless, its actual status and the exclusive dedication to matters of war will not be secured until 1714 (by R.D. issued on the 30th November). A year later (R.D issued on the 28th April, 1715), it took over the powers of the abolished Secretariat of Marine and the Indies up until their permanent separation in 1721 (by R.D. issued on the 14th January). Following the dissolution of the Secretariat of the Indies in 1790, the terrestrial military affairs were taken over by the Secretariat of War. This Secretariat will remain functional throughout the whole 18th century and enter the 19th century without any remarkable changes at an organizational and functional level. Although the word “minister” was used in the Bayonne Statute (1808) and the Constitution (1837) as a reference to the “secretary”, both terms will be used as synonyms until 1851 (by R.D. issued on the 20th September, whereby the Ministry of Development is established). As soon as the designation “ministry” became official, the secretariat was renamed as Ministry of War. The “plant” did not change in the slightest, except for the number of staff members which increased over time: a secretary, head officials of the departments, clerks, an archivist, a concierge and other assistants. Similar to other secretariats with the same scope, it will take over the matters that originally depended on the Council of War (it will maintain the judicial function) through the “vía reservada*”. Held accountable to anyone but the King, it will also trace the political line to be followed and define the means to accomplish the goals. Overall, its functions consisted in securing the defense policy in the terrestrial domain. Relevant for this purpose were the communication and the correspondence with military and civil leaders, which covered the strategy and the expansion of armies; the cavalry, the artillery, and the engineers, their education in schools and academies; general staff; recruitments; mercies for military service; matters regarding the military orders; hospitals and military health services, among others. Such functions used to be developed by the departments. Its competencies covered territorially the peninsula, the Balearic and Canary Islands, and the Presidios in the North of Africa (from 1715 to 1721 and from 1790 to the Imperium of Overseas Territories).

*Vía reservada: used to handle certain business affairs by the King or any of his secretaries without seeking advice or requesting intervention of the corresponding courts or authorities.

Mandates/Legal Sources


Real decreto de 30 de noviembre por el que se crea la Scretaría de Estado y delDespacho de Guerra

Real decreto de 28 de abril de 1817 por el que la Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Guerra asume las compentencias de la desaparecida Secretaría de Marina e Indias

Real decreto de 20 de septiembre de 1851 por la que se crea el Ministerio de Fomento


ESCUDERO, José Antonio. Los Secretarios de Estado y del Despacho (1424-1724), 4 vols. Madrid, 1976.

ESCUDERO, José Antonio. Los orígenes del Consejo de Ministros en España, 2 vosl. Madrid, 1979.

PARES: Código Referencia:ES.47161.AGS/2.19//

GÓMEZ GÓMEZ, Margarita. Forma y expedición del documento en la Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Indias, Sevilla, 1993.

FRANCO RUBIO, A. Reforma administrativa y nuevas instituciones: las Secretarías de Guerra y Marina en el siglo XVIII, en El mundo hispánico en el siglo de las Luces. I, págs. 643-658.

Related Authorities

Fernández de Olarte, José (1756-?)  ( Tiene como empleado a )

Associative relations :

Goicoechea Urrutia, Juan Bautista (1772-?)  ( Tiene como miembro a )

Jabat Aztal, Juan Gabriel (1782-1825)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Moreno Daoiz, Tomás (ca.1765-1829)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Remón Zarco del Valle Huet, Antonio (1775-1866)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Sánchez Salvador, Estanislao (1776-1823)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Somodevilla Bengoechea, Zenón de (1702-1781)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Torrijos, José María de (1791-1831)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Valdés Flórez, Cayetano (1767-1835)  ( Tiene de titular a/ tiene como beneficiario a )

Wall, Ricardo (1694-1777)  ( Tiene como miembro a )