Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic by Christopher Ebert

By Christopher Ebert

This examine examines the wholesale exchange in sugar from Brazil to markets in Europe. The significant industry was once northwestern Europe, yet for far of the time among 1550 and 1630 Portugal used to be drawn into the clash among Habsburg Spain and the Dutch Republic. regardless of political hindrances, the exchange persevered since it was once now not topic to monopolies and was once quite evenly regulated and taxed. The funding constitution used to be hugely overseas, as Portugal and northwestern Europe exchanged groups of retailers who have been cellular and inter-imperial in either their composition and association. This end demanding situations an imperial or mercantilist standpoint of the Atlantic economic system in its earliest stages.

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Extra resources for Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Economy, 1550-1630 (The Atlantic World)

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3 (1989): 289–30. V. Scammell, “The English in the Atlantic Islands, c. 1450–1650,” Mariner’s Mirror 72, no. 3 (1986): 295–317. 55 Andrews, Trade, Plunder and Settlement, 24. , 25. 34 chapter two Holland and Zeeland squeezed out other competitors as well, with important consequences for Portugal. By 1600 the northern Netherlands dominated the exchange of bulk commodities—particularly salt and grain—to and from Portugal. Dutch merchants initially entered this business indirectly. Grain transactions could be organized in any center of capital and credit, although by mid-century merchants tended to employ cities in Holland and elsewhere as trans-shipment centers.

A direct journey through the English Channel lasted around forty days and was always favored except for those times when the threat of English or Dutch privateering prompted merchants to direct ship’s captains to take a much longer detour around Scotland and Ireland. Autumn was another typical 31 32 33 Kellenbenz, Unternehmerkrafte, 49. , 50. Ibid. 34 German ships leaving in the fall would winter in the Iberian Peninsula. Significantly, however, the ships could be employed during this time on trips to the Atlantic Islands, the Mediterranean or even to Brazil, where sailing was far less restricted by weather.

Castile, in spite of endemic political friction with the English crown, remained the chief exporter of Iberian products to England. Although Portuguese merchant capital was clearly growing by the end of the sixteenth century, its merchant community probably did not have the means to trade directly in two large northern markets. Given their limitations, Portuguese merchants were forced to specialize. 51 Indeed, the city on the Schelde drew merchant energies from everywhere. , 204–5. , 200. , 209, 212.

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