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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the years from the mid-seventeenth to the end of the eighteenth century, the Spanish empire exhibited increasing economic diversity and robustness and maintained its dominant position among European empires in the Americas without serious challenge, notwithstanding Spain's eclipse as a military power in Europe and maritime power on the seas. In size alone, Spain's possessions in the Americas dwarfed those of any other colonising nation and indeed, despite some losses in the Caribbean, were growing both in territorial extent and in the size and density of populations. Spanish America loomed large in the Atlantic world, and its peripheries in particular fell within the orbit of other nations that increasingly participated in and profited from its potential both as a market, especially for African slaves and manufactured goods, and as a producer of desirable raw materials. This article discusses the history of the Spanish Atlantic during the years 1650–1780, focusing on its population growth, reorganisation and reform of the region, and colonial revolts.

Keywords: Spain, Atlantic world, Europe, Spanish America, population growth, reorganisation, reform, revolts, empires

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