Trade and Navigation Betwen Spain and the Indies in the Time of the Hapsubrgs
Publisher: Harvard University Press
xxviii+372 pages with frontispiece fold out map, appendixes, bibliography, tables and index. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Harvard Economic Studies Volume XIX. First edition.
It is an historical commonplace that with the discovery of the western hemisphere and of the Portuguese route to the East, European trade expanded from a continental and Mediterranean into a world commerce. The mapping of new sea routes revolutionized the conditions of mercantile traffic. But from the end of the fifteenth century ocean trade assumed the first place, and galleons and carracks challenged the secrets of the outer seas. The shores of the Atlantic became the the center of international exchange, and the commercial hegemony of Europe passed from the cities of Renaissance Italy to the maritime states int he west. In Spain and Portugal suddenly flowed the age of their greatest material prosperity, and the powerful influence they exerted in the sixteenth century on the political fortunes of Europe was in no small measure made possible by their conquests in the eastern and the western Indies. In the two centuries before Columbus, the lack of precious metals to meet the requirements of an expanding mercantile activity came to be felt with increasing severity. It was the crying need for gold which fostered an increase of alchemy toward the end of the Middle Ages; and one of the principal motives which led to the discovery of the New World was the conviction that by sailing westward might be found Marco Polo's golden land of Zipangu. It was Spain, the discoverer, which first engrossed the entire New World, and through Spain in the sixteenth century passed virtually all the commerce with the west. The Spanish government accept the task of colonization with the most painstaking seriousness. With high ideals of order and justice, of religious and political unity, it extended to its ultramarine possessions its faith, its language, its law and its administration. It endeavored to make the colonies and integral part of the Spanish monarchy. It is a description of the trade and navigation between Spain and the New World, of the commerce which made possible the creation of this Spanish-American civilization, that is focus of this work.
Some small neat pencil notes on front end paper, corners bumped, spine sunned and gilt dulled else a very good copy without jacket.
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