Campomanes' economic ideas can not be adequately understood only in terms of the economic thought prevailing in 18th century Europe; it is also necessary to consider his origins, life and professional progress. As a general attorney —and, later, as governor— of the Council of Castile, the Asturian gentleman was perfectly fitted in the social and political system of the Old Regime. He attempted to introduce in the Spanish economy the elements of market rationality that the system could accept, but he did not go beyond.
Campomanes was neither a mercantilist nor a physiocratic economist. He thought necessary to promote both agriculture and manufacture and he was always worried with social problems. Campomanes fought to stabilize tenant-farmers on the land and to extend technical education among people; he tried to promote free markets against official prices, controls, privileges and monopolies; and he supported the creation of a public bank in the hope that it would help to movilise savings and to foster production.