Jose Canga-Arguelles, a Spanish statesman, born in Asturias in 1770, died in 1843. He was deputy from Valencia to the cortes of 1812. After the revolution of 1820 he was appointed finance minister. While in this office he presented to the cortes a report on the church and state property of Spain, and a paper on the condition of the Spanish revenue, in which he showed the insufficiency of the national income to meet current expenses. He proposed an immediate loan, and to sell one seventh of the ecclesiastical property, together with the small possessions in Africa, and to levy indirect taxes. These proposals created sharp discussions, and were adopted only in part, and he retired from the ministry. When the constitution was suppressed he fled to England, where he wrote Elementos de la ci-encia de hacienda (8vo, London, 1825); Dic-cionario de hacienda, para el uso de la suprema direccion de ella (5 vols. 8vo, London, 1827-'8); and Observaciones sobre la guerra de la Peninsula, in which he disputed the current English assertions that the success of the Spanish war for independence was mainly owing to the British armies.
He returned to Spain in 1829, and was appointed keeper of the archives at Simancas, where he began a history of Spain from the earliest times.