Impact of the Manila Galleon Trade on Hispanic Production of Manufactured Goods

In: The Atlantic World and the Manila Galleons

Through the pages of this chapter the reader will gain insight into how New Spain became a protagonist in receiving transfers of the materials and skills needed to produce Asian-like products as soon as the early decades of the seventeenth century. The chapter addresses why the circulation of Chinese silk was not culturally and economically desirable for all classes of the Hispanic society, and how Hispanic traders and producers responded differently to those different tastes. It also describes how craftsmen of New Spain became interested in making Asian-like products using the same techniques and materials as those used in Asia; it analyses the ways by which in New Spain the successful production of imitations and transformations of such Asian luxury and semi-luxury goods as Chinese porcelain and Chinese and Japanese furniture depended upon creating new products that accommodated the tastes of local consumers.