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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the economic relationship between the Spanish colonies in the Americas and the Asian markets at the center of the early modern world economy. Pointing to the importance of political and family networks that existed within the Pacific borderlands, it investigates how Spanish merchants and bureaucrats supplied the sought-after silver to Asian markets in exchange for varied luxury goods like textiles, spices, porcelains, and furniture. The Manila Galleon functioned as the conduit, moving goods, people, and knowledge through the Pacific borderlands. These relationships across the Pacific, which were built on commerce but extended to political and cultural exchange, demonstrate that Spanish colonies that were far beyond the control of a European power benefitted from their direct access to the Asian economy across the Pacific.

Keywords: Asia, Pacific Ocean, silver, trade, contraband, fraud, ports, Manila Galleon, elites, family networks

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