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British trade with Spanish America, 1763-1808 /
Adrian J. Pearce.
imprint
Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 2007.
description
xxxviii, 320 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1846311136, 9781846311130
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 2007.
isbn
1846311136
9781846311130
general note
Errata slip inserted.
catalogue key
6360712
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Adrian Pearce is Lecturer in Early Modern History at Nottingham Trent University.
Reviews
Review Quotes
... British Trade with Spanish America is certainly an important piece of work. It also hints suggestively at broader themes and at avenues for future research. Perhaps most importantly, Pearce's work indicates the rich rewards to be pursued through histories of the Americas which consider interactions between Francophone, Hispanic, Lusophone and Anglophone regions.
Presents a detailed study of British trade with Spanish America in the latter half of the eighteenth century.
... this is an outstanding monograph, very well written, very engaging, which I am sure will become the definitive work on this subject and, perhaps more importantly, will lead to new investigations into related topics. I heartily recommend this book to both students and general readers.
Although dealing with a different period of time, this is without doubt the most important contribution to Anglo-Spanish (and Latin) American trade history since D.C.M. Platt''s Latin America and British Trade, 1806-1914 (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1972). Graeme J. Milne, in his Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool:Mercantile Business and the Making of a World Port (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000), rightly notes that ''trade has sometimes seemed to be the Cinderella subject of modern economic history, especially in Britain'' (p. 47). Indeed, no other major work on Pearce''s topic has been published during the last half century. It is, therefore, very encouraging to see that a serious scholar such as Pearce has devoted 6-7 years of his academic life to produce this remarkable and pathbreaking piece of work. Despite the title of the book (which makes reference to the whole of Spanish America), Pearce''s monograph deals above all with the trade routes between Britain and Spanish America via the entrepo ts in the British West Indies up to Cuba,Mexico, New Granada and Venezuela. However, Southern South America is not dealt with in Pearce''s excellent work. This is understandable, since covering Southern South America would be an ambitious research project on its own. And, indeed, Pearce recognises this, and highlights a wide range of related topics which still require further research.This is a great book for many reasons. First, Pearce convincingly shows that Spanish America was far more important as a market for British manufactures than was hitherto thought, and from much earlier than so far suspected. If Pearce''s estimates are right, and I think they are, then Spanish America took over 6% of all British exports from the 1790s to 1808, certainly an impressive share. Thus, British trade with Spanish America increased at a remarkable 300-400% during the period covered by this book (1763-1808). This conclusion is quite different from the findings of eminent historians such as Ralph Davis. Pearce''s statistical findings will therefore have many repercussions in many different fields, ranging from informal imperialism to trade flows. My own estimates for the 1810s are very much in line with Pearce''s finding.Second, those who have worked on trade flows know how tedious it is to collect trade data as well as meaningful qualitative evidence. Pearce has done both in a masterly manner, and, more importantly, has managed to write a very entertaining story, a remarkable achievement for a text on trade flows. Third, the archival research conducted by Pearce is impressive. Pearce worked for long periods of time in both Spanish and British archives (mainly in Seville''s Archivo General de Indias and the British National Archives at Kew), but he also visited the USA and Latin America (i.e. Mexico, Cuba and Colombia) for further research. The range of secondary sources used is also very comprehensive, and more importantly Pearce, by reading in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, has built important bridges between Latin American scholars and European scholars. Pearce''s extensive archival research was necessary because the primary sources for this topic (by definition an illegal trade in the eyes of Spanish authorities) are not concentrated in one place only. On the contrary, Pearce had to piece together a great deal of information scattered in a sea of documentation. Smuggling and contraband are not usually well documented, if documented at all. The collection of evidence for this book was, therefore, painstaking but very well executed. One often reads books in which any matters connected to contraband are omitted on account of the difficulties of getting reliable information. Pearce discusses these matters fully.Fourth, there are many qualitative findings about which we knew very little. For example, we did not know that so much British trade reached Spanish America via the USA during times of war (c. 1796-1808; chapter 6). We were also in the dark about who was undertaking most of the trade between British entrepots in the Caribbean and Spanish America. Now we know that it was mainly Spanishmerchants who went to the British entrepo ts rather than British smugglers who went to the Spanish American ports (as was usually thought). Pearce has also laid new stress on how important British entrepo ts were in the West Indies, to the detriment of other channels of Anglo-Spanish American trade such as re-exports via southern Spain.After a remarkable introductory chapter by Professor John R. Fisher (Pearce''s mentor), the book is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 is a comprehensive review of British trade with Spanish America from Columbus to 1763, that is before the main period covered by the book (1763-1808). It is based mainly on secondary sources, and it should become the standard undergraduate text on the topic. Later on, in 1766, the British established free ports in the British Caribbean (e.g. Jamaica) to trade with Spanish America, and this development was largely responsible for the spectacular growth of British exports to Spanish America. In turn, this ''rendered trade by Spaniards in the British West Indies legal for the first time in its history'' (p. 231). This topic is very well covered in chapters 2 (1763-83) and 3 (1783-96). Chapter 3 also deals with another development promoting British trade with Spanish America: the neutral trade allowed by the Spanish crown for its colonies during wartime (up to 1796). Chapters 4, 5 and 6 deal with trade during 1796-1808, when Britain was at war with Spain and British re-exports to Spanish America via southern Spain ceased. The first of these three chapters focuses on the trade by Spanish merchants at British free ports, while chapter 5 focuses on the declining trade by British contrabandists in Spanish American ports. Chapter 6 deals with the neutral trade conducted during 1796-1808 and the booming trade between the USA and Spanish America, which included so many British manufactures. This chapter also deals with the Hope-Barings contract, mainly intended to carry bullion from Spanish America to Spain during times of war, about which Pearce recently published an article with further findings in the English Historical Review.The minor faults of this book could easily be rectified in a second edition. First, a book on trade requires more tables and charts to show the trade data collected by the author and to make it more accessible to the reader. Although the book has more than 250 pages of main text (excluding appendices), it has just 9 tables and no charts. Take, for instance, the discussion on pages 102-3 or 239-44; these paragraphs are crying out for a table. Second, I missed conclusions at the end of each chapter, which would have been more helpful than the condensed version offered at the very end of the book.Overall, this is an outstanding monograph, very well written, very engaging, which I am sure will become the definitive work on this subject and, perhaps more importantly, will lead to new investigations into related topics. I heartily recommend this book to both students and general readers.
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Summaries
Long Description
In this detailed and accessible volume, Adrian Pearce presents the first major study of British trade with the Spanish colonies to appear in half a century. This landmark analysis traces the development of British commercial relations with Spanish America during a historically-crucial period2;the late-eighteenth century, and in particular, the French Revolutionary wars. A rich synthesis of secondary literature as well as a step forward toward understanding the economics of imperialism, "British Trade with Spanish America" looks to become the standard treatment of its topic in the years to come.
Main Description
In this detailed and accessible volume, Adrian Pearce presents the first major study of British trade with the Spanish colonies to appear in half a century. This landmark analysis traces the development of British commercial relations with Spanish America during a historically-crucial periodthe late-eighteenth century, and in particular, the French Revolutionary wars. A highly-original analysis of an enormous range of archival sources (from Spain, UK, USA, Venezuela and Colombia) as well as a step forward toward understanding the economics of imperialism, British Trade with Spanish America looks to become the standard treatment of its topic in the years to come.
Main Description
In this detailed and accessible volume, Adrian Pearce presents the first major study of British trade with the Spanish colonies to appear in half a century. This landmark analysis traces the development of British commercial relations with Spanish America during a historically-crucial periodthe late-eighteenth century, and in particular, the French Revolutionary wars. A rich synthesis of secondary literature as well as a step forward toward understanding the economics of imperialism,British Trade with Spanish Americalooks to become the standard treatment of its topic in the years to come.
Main Description
In this erudite and comprehensive study Adrian Pearce offers a detailed survey of British trade with Spanish America in the latter half of the eighteenth century drawing together a variety of sources and looking at all aspects of commercial activity. The history and vicissitudes of the free port system are documented in a much fuller way than heretofore and the interests of competing interest groups are mapped out. Pearce re-examines the share of British export trade provided through Spanish America in one of the most important interventions in the field in recent years.
Title Summary
"In this comprehensive study, Adrian Pearce offers a detailed survey of British trade with Spanish America in the latter half of the eighteenth century, drawing together a variety of sources and looking at all aspects of commercial activity. The major trade routes are discussed, via both Span and the Caribbean, and the history of vicissitudes of the British free ports in the West Indies are documented in a much fuller way than has previously been the case."--BOOK JACKET.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Mapsp. viii
Prefacep. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
Note on Exchange Rates and Valuesp. xvi
Introductory Essayp. xix
The Origins of British Trade with the Spanish Colonies, Sixteenth Century to 1763p. 1
The 'Spanish Trade', 1763-83: Geographical Expansion and the Free Portsp. 41
The Comercio de Colonias and the Consolidation of the Free Port System, 1783-96p. 80
Trade during Wartime (1796-1808): The Spanish Licensed Trade in the British West Indiesp. 119
Trade during Wartime (1796-1808): British Contraband and the Spanish-American Perspectivep. 161
Trade during Wartime (1796-1808): Neutral Trade, the Bullion Contracts, and the 'Secret Trade'p. 190
Conclusionsp. 230
Mapsp. 252
Statistical Appendix: British Trade with the Spanish Colonies, 1788-95p. 261
Note on Archival Sourcesp. 288
Bibliography for the Study of British Trade with the Spanish Coloniesp. 290
Indexp. 312
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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