Trans-Pacific Trade and the Political Economy of the Spanish Empire

in The Atlantic World and the Manila Galleons
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This chapter addresses the trade that expanded from Southeast and East Asia to Castile via New Spain in connection with the institutional and economic relations between merchants from different areas of the Spanish Empire as well as those between merchants and the Crown. These relations were marked by cooperation, but also rivalry, between the Pacific and the Atlantic areas of trade. The chapter copes with the economic and political conflict between two of the most powerful elites of the Spanish Empire – the Mexican and the Sevillian wholesalers –, caused by the expansion of trade of Asian goods, and how that rivalry caused various institutional transformations within the Spanish Empire, especially in New Spain.