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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Rio de la Plata was one of the most disputed regions in the Atlantic world among Portuguese, Spanish, and indigenous groups, and it was an area of interest for the British and French. Despite geopolitical disputes over the north bank of the Rio de la Plata, Portuguese Colonia do Sacramento, and Spanish Buenos Aires and Montevideo formed an important port complex where powerful networks of trade, religion, and family connected subjects of the Spanish and the Portuguese empires. Colonia do Sacramento and Montevideo became important Atlantic ports that connected the region to Europe, Africa, and other regions in the Americas. This article examines the social, economic and political dynamics in the Rio de la Plata, focusing on the role of port cities as centers of trans-imperial interaction that not only connected subjects of both Spanish and Portuguese empires but also linked the region to the broader Atlantic world.

Keywords: Atlantic world, Rio de la Plata, port cities, rural hinterland, trans-imperial trade

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