Madrid was the most relevant exception to the crisis and stagnation of Castilian towns during the seventeenth century. is raises the question of knowing to what extent the situation described in parts I and II, below, was representative of the rest of the towns of the country, and part III addresses this issue. ere are sound reasons to suggest that the case of Madrid should have been fairly representative. e Castilian cities reached the rst decades of the eighteenth century su ering the e ects of heavy indebtedness caused by their close links with the Royal Treasury, and this was aggravated by a regressive scal system which rested on indirect taxation, although it is also worth stressing that such trends appear to have been especially important in the Castilian capital.4