Cover

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

By the middle of the eighteenth century, three established European empires were on a collision course in the western Atlantic, with each determined either to preserve its territory or enlarge it at the expense of its competitors. Spain,...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

In the course of research we have beneWted from the cooperation of many people and institutions. In Mexico, José Ignacio Rúbio Mañé and Beatriz Arteaga (Archivo General de la Nación), Ernesto de la Torre Villar (Biblioteca Nacional), Luís González y González, and Luís Muro (El Colegio de México), and...

List of Monetary Equivalents

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p. xiii

Part One: Stalemate in the Metropole

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1. From Naples to Madrid

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pp. 3-36

A change of leadership at the highest political level in the eighteenth century often brought opportunity for policy changes, the introduction of new personnel, and renewed hope for the resolution of long-standing problems. Fernando VI’s death in August 1759 and the accession of his half-brother to the Spanish throne as Charles...

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2. Renovation under Esquilache

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pp. 37-68

In the broad spectrum of reforms in the early years of Charles III’s regime, the historian detects the new bureaucratic cadres’ sensitivity to challenge and the possible rewards of loyal state service, as well as their uncommon (and potentially dangerous) disregard of the dangers of a rigorously pursued policy of renovation...

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3. The First Reglamento del Comercio Libre (1765)

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pp. 69-80

In the Wrst quarter of 1765, Madrid seemed committed to reviewing its policies toward the overseas empire. The views of Esquilache’s Special Junta, its “Consulta original” of 14 February 1765, and the carefully formulated instructions that followed a month later to José de Gálvez, the visitador general dispatched to New Spain, should...

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4. Privilege and Power in Bourbon Spain: The Fall of Esquilache (1766)

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pp. 81-116

Since the eighteenth century, mainly as a result of English and French experience, political systems in western Europe and the western portion of the North Atlantic have provided relatively open channels of communication between rulers and ruled, between government and people, elites and masses. The frittering away of systems..

Part Two: The Colonial Option

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5. Flotas to New Spain: The Last Phase, 1757-1778

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pp. 119-142

By now it is evident that, unlike other eighteenth-century imperial trading systems, the Spanish transatlantic system of managed trade operated until the last quarter of the century out of a single metropolitan port, Cadiz, where merchants had acquired “an exclusive trading right each exercises with his own...

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6. The Second Reglamento del Comercio Libre (1778)

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pp. 143-185

The Atlantic economy to which the young Ulloa was Wrst exposed in the 1730s had changed dramatically by the 1770s when the mature Ulloa brought his extraordinarily valuable convoy safely into the Bay of Cadiz. Both shores of the Atlantic were now in a phase of rapid expansion. Europe’s exports of manufactures were...

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7. The Aftermath in Spain

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pp. 186-222

In evaluating the repercussions of the comprehensive October 1778 statute on colonial trade, one must take into account the broad policy considerations of the Spanish state for the metropolitan and colonial economies. Probably because of the virtual stalemate in the metropole in the aftermath of the fall of Esquilache...

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8. A Colonial Response to Comercio Libre: New Spain

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pp. 223-266

On reviewing data for those sectors of the economy of New Spain closely watched by bureaucrats and businessmen in the metropole seeking to gauge the impact of the comercio libre of 1778, there were grounds for their guarded optimism by 1787. Colony watchers in the metropole paid attention to at least two statistical series, the output of the Mexico..

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9. Incorporating New Spain into Comercio Libre (1789)

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pp. 267-304

As Spain’s dependence upon New Spain’s pesos fuertes deepened in the 1780s, the commercial and Wnancial interests of Cadiz and Mexico City monopolizing that colony’s external trade necessitated sensitive handling by state authorities. By 1787, four years after a long war in the Atlantic and an extraordinary short-term postwar...

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10. The French Connection: Spanish Trade Policy and France

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pp. 305-337

At the end of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48), French merchants and shippers could expand only inside Spain’s transatlantic trading system, now centered on Cadiz, not Sevilla. They exploited trade concessions by the Spanish Hapsburg governments in the last half of the seventeenth century that eVectively...

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11. Euphoria and Pessimism

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pp. 338-350

The closing years of Charles III’s long reign were a time of stocktaking, drawing up a balance sheet of what Spain’s political class and leading policymakers had managed to achieve. Charles’s life (1716–88) spanned most of the Wrst century of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty, which many hoped would bestir both the metropole..

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12. By Way of Conclusion

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pp. 351-356

Monographs by their nature emphasize detail to be convincing. Hence the detail should Wt into a wider context to avoid irrelevance. In a long retrospective view, eighteenth-century Spain could not recover from the eVects of the drawn-out, wasting conXict with the Netherlands that ended in the middle of the seventeenth..

Notes

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pp. 357-424

Bibliography

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pp. 425-442

Index

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pp. 443-464