The Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperialism in America, 1492-1810

BookThe Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperialism in America, 1492-1810

The Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperialism in America, 1492-1810

1998

June 1st, 1998

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This is the 2nd English edition of John Fisher’s acclaimed book. The study examines economic relations between Spain and Spanish America in the colonial period, and their implications for the economic structures of both parties, from the beginning of Spanish imperialism until the outbreak of the Spanish-American revolutions for Independence. Originally published in Spanish in 1992, the text has been fully revised for this first English edition. Fisher begins with a general overview of the economic aspects of Spanish imperialism in America until the mid-sixteenth century before considering what America was able to offer Spain (and, through her, Europe as a whole), in terms of products and resources. A detailed explanation of imperial commercial policy follows and a close examination is made of inter-colonial trade, explaining ways in which it was articulated both directly and indirectly towards trans-Atlantic structures. The final four chapters of the book deal exclusively with the Bourbon era inaugurated in 1700. Issues tackled include the Spanish defeat at the hands of the British, the impact of commercial reform upon economic life in America and Spanish-Spanish American relations on the eve of the revolutions for Independence.

This book examines economic relations between Spain and Spanish America in the colonial period, and their implications for the economic structures of both parties from the beginning of Spanish imperialism until the outbreak of the Spanish-American revolutions for Independence. Originally published in Spanish in 1992, the text has been fully revised for this first English edition.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Contents5
Figures and Tables8
1: Introduction9
The historiographical context9
Chapter structure and methodology13
2: Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperial Expansion, 1492-155020
Motives for European overseas expansion20
The first voyage of Christopher Columbus22
Columbus’ second, third, and fourth voyages26
Herna´ n Corte´ s and the conquest of Mexico28
Early trade between Spain and America30
Exploration in South America32
3: Commodities and Resources During the Conquest Period39
The Columbian Exchange and its economic potential39
The reality of economic and commercial exchange45
4: The Hapsburg Commercial System51
Origins51
Structure and principal features54
Trans-Atlantic commercial trends, 1550-170064
5: Inter-Colonial Trade and the Hapsburg Commercial System71
Hapsburg Commercial System71
Peruvian-Mexican trade and the Manila galleon73
Caribbean and South American trade76
6: Foreign Penetration of the Ibero-American Economy in the Hapsburg Period80
Motives and significance80
The Caribbean84
The Pacific92
The Rio de la Plata96
7: Economic Growth in Spanish America in the Hapsburg Period100
Economic interdependence100
Mining101
Agriculture110
Industry113
8: Commercial and Economic Relations in the Early Bourbon Period, 1700-1765118
The new dynasty118
The War of the Spanish Succession120
The Treaty of Utrecht126
The War of Jenkins’ Ear133
The Seven Years’ War138
9: ‘Free Trade’ and the Peninsular Economy142
The introduction of ‘free trade’, 1765-89142
Exports from Spain to America, 1778-96151
Exports to America and Spanish regional economies155
American markets for Spanish exports161
10: ‘Free Trade’ and the American Economy168
Values of imports into Spain from America168
Ports of arrival172
Commodities175
Origins of imports178
The mining industry in the Bourbon era194
11: Economic Relations Between Spain and America on the Eve of the Revolutions for Independence205
Economic growth in the late eighteenth century205
Commercial and economic trends, 1797-1810209
12: Conclusion: Economic Grievances and Insurrection in Late Colonial Spanish America215
The abdication of economic authority215
Anti-fiscal protests in the late colonial period218
Appendix: Spanish Monarchs225
Glossary of Spanish Terms226
Bibliographical Essay228
Index239