Corporate Body - Consejo de Guerra (España)

Consejo de Guerra (España)

Identification

Type:

Corporate Body

Preferred form:

Consejo de Guerra (España)Other forms

Fechas de Existencia:

from 1516 to 1834-03-24

History:

The references to war councillors date back to 1516. For some people, the Council of War is originally linked to a “vía de cámara*”, where some members gave the Monarch military advice. For other people, its origins are tightly linked to the Council of State and both are even regarded as a single body.

The Independence of the Council of War was consolidated in 1586, when the king Philip II appointed specific councillors and divided the Secretariat of War into two, a Secretariat of Land and a Secretariat of Sea.

The main aim of the Council of War was the resolution of all matters regarding the military sphere. Nevertheless, the Council of State was the one to design the military policy and strategy, while the Council of War provided the means for their implementation.

Some Boards limited its competencies during certain periods, especially in the 18th century. The most important Boards were the Junta de Armadas, Galeras, Contrabando, Ejecución, Presidios, Milicias, Almirantazgo.

As for its headquarters, they were based in Valladolid (usual headquarters until 1561 and 1601-1605) and Madrid (headquarters 1561-1601 and from 1606 onwards until its dissolution in 1834).

*Vía de cámara: fast-track and fairly inexpensive, it was ideal for issues of political concern such as grace, mercy, royal patronage or anything that fell under the category of “royalties” thanks to the direct participation of the monarch.

Internal Structure-Genealogy:

The organization of the Council of War was quite limited until 1586. Chaired by the King, the Council was staffed by several counsellors and a shared secretary appointed in some of the other councils and assisted by officers, scribes and the rest of the subordinates. Starting in 1554, an auditor would be in charge of the judicial matters and the number of counsellors would increase, ranging from five to ten.

In 1586, the Secretariat split into the Secretariat of Land and the Secretariat of See. An increased control of two conflictive areas triggered the division of the Secretariat of Land into the Secretariat of Land-Catalonia and the Secretariat of Land-Extremadura in 1646.

After the advent of the Bourbon dynasty in 1706, the Secretariats of Land and Sea were reunified.

In 1717, the reduction of the Council's plant affected the number of its counsellors, who were divided into military counsellors and consejeros togados*. The Secretary of War was appointed president and the secretariat disappeared, hence why the Escribanía de Cámara took over the administrative matters formerly borne by the secretariat.

In the newly-established plant of 1773, there was a total of twenty counsellors (ten consejeros natos** and ten assistant counsellors), distributed between the administration division and the justice division, and the figure of secretary was restored. The workforce was also integrated by two district attorneys, three narrators, a chamber scribe, an attorney, a prosecutor, officers, scribes, court clerks and superintendents.

This structure largely remained stable until its abolition in 1834.

*Consejero togado: senior judges who were a toga.

**Consejeros natos: these counsellors remain in office until the person who appointed them ceases their function.

Context:

The incorporation of the documentary materials from the Council of War to the General Archive of Simancas (in Spanish "Archivo General de Simancas") took place by means of several expeditions organized by the production organism throughout the 17th and 18th centuries (the last expedition dates back to 1720).

The documentation from the Council serves as a reflection of the relationships between the institutions and the military and administrative authorities of their scope. It spans the period from the Catholic Monarchs (prior to the establishment of the Council) to the advent of the Bourbons and addresses all matters related to war and military strategy.

Mandates/Legal Sources

Description:

La finalidad del Consejo de Guerra fue la resolución de todos los asuntos relacionados con el ámbito militar. Simultáneamente tuvo competencias judiciales y gubernativas. Por las primeras entendía en todas las causas civiles y criminales en las que intervenía personal militar. Por las segundas resolvía cuestiones de levas y reclutamientos, nombramientos de jefes militares, aprovisionamiento, construcción de navíos, preparación de armadas, fabricación de armamento, sistemas defensivos, hospitales, ejércitos permanentes de la Península (gaurdas y milicias....).

En el s. XVIII con la creación de la Secretaría del Despacho Universal de la Guerra, las atribuciones del Consejo quedaron reducidas a cuestiones contenciosas y judiciales, asuntos de protocolo e interpretación de ordenanzas y reglamentos militares. El ámbito territorial de actuación se limitó a la Península, Islas Baleares y Canarias así como Norte de África.

Legal Statuses

Status:

Organismo de la Administración Central del Estado.

Sources

ANDUJAR CASTILLO, Francisco. Consejo y consejeros de Guerra en el siglo XVIII. Granada: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Granada, 1996.

THOMPSON, I. A. A. Guerra y decadencia: gobierno y administración en la España de los Austrias, 1560-1620. Barcelona: Crítica, 1981.

OYA Y OZORES, Francisco de. Promptuario del Consejo de Guerra, y Jurisdicción Militar, en que se refieren el instituto, govierno, y facultades de este Supremo Tribunal, y los casos en que compete, o se limita el fuero militar..., según Ordenanzas, y Reales resoluciones. [Madrid] : [s.n.], 1740.

Código de Referencia de PARES: ES.47161.AGS/2.6//

FERNÁNDEZ CONTI, Santiago. El gobierno de los asuntos de la guerra en Castilla durante el reinado del emperador Carlos V (1516-1558). In Intrex: Instituciones y elites de poder en la monarquía hispana durante el siglo XVI. Madrid: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 1992. p. 47-105.

FERNÁNDEZ CONTI, Santiago. Los Consejos de Estado y Guerra de la monarquía hispana en tiempos de Felipe II (1548-1598). [Valladolid]: Consejería de Educación y Cultura, 1998.

DOMÍNGUEZ NAFRÍA, Juan Carlos. El Real y Supremo Consejo de Guerra (siglos XVI-XVIII). Madrid: Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, 2001.

GOODMAN, David. Spanish naval power, 1589-1665: reconstruction and defeat. Cambridge: Cambrigde University Press, 1997.

Related Authorities

Ayala, Juan de (?-1594)  ( It has as a member )

Associative relations :

Ceres del Villar, Juan Nepomuceno (1815-1877)  ( It has as a member; Asesor. )

Díez de Aux Armendáriz Saavedra, Lope (1575-1644)  ( It has as a member )

Fernández de Cabrera Bobadilla, Pedro (?-1575)  ( It has as a member )

Gálvez Gallardo, Miguel (1725-1792)  ( It has as a member; Fue ministro togado del Consejo de Guerra )

Secretaría de Estado y del Despacho de Guerra (España)  ( Entidad relacionada por tramitación administrativa. La Secretaría del Despacho de Guerra era la encargada de la dirección y ejecución de la política militar terrestre. Para este fin mantenía una relación estrechísima con el Consejo en la tramitación administrativa de los expedientes relativos a sus competencias. El Secretario del Despacho fue en algún periodo presidente del propio Consejo. )