By Christopher Ebert
This research examines the wholesale exchange in sugar from Brazil to markets in Europe. The crucial industry used to be northwestern Europe, yet for a lot of the time among 1550 and 1630 Portugal was once drawn into the clash among Habsburg Spain and the Dutch Republic. even with political hindrances, the exchange persevered since it used to be now not topic to monopolies and was once quite frivolously 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 viewpoint of the Atlantic financial system in its earliest stages.
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Additional info for Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Economy, 1550-1630 (The Atlantic World)
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. Unlike the ‘rich trades’ which were associated with monopoly and which utilized a narrow range of ports, the trade in bulk commodities was decentralized. Antwerp’s merchants continued to organize this kind of traffic in considerable quantities, but essentially it was open to any merchant with appropriate connections linking Iberian demand with German and Baltic ports.
This success in bulk trades developed independently of Antwerp’s problems. Nevertheless, Antwerp’s decline eventually did benefit Amsterdam through immigration. In the first decades of the seventeenth century, Portuguese merchants in Antwerp began to move—in ever increasing numbers—into the northern Netherlands, especially to Amsterdam. Partly as a result of this relocation of human capital, Amsterdam showed a clear advantage as a location from which to trade with the Iberian Peninsula, particularly during the Twelve-Year Truce.
Other debtors were officials from the monopoly Casa da Mina who owed nearly 49,000 ducats, about twice as much as the crown’s gold income from São Jorge da Mina that year. 39 The final important German town to trade with Portugal was Cologne. 40 Nevertheless, merchants from Cologne indirectly entered Portuguese trade through Hansa intermediaries. , 99–102. Probably in the first half of the sixteenth century the total value of exports from Portugal to the East—mostly specie—did not exceed 80,000 cruzados in most years: Godinho, Os descobrimentos, 1:270.
Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Economy, 1550-1630 (The Atlantic World) by Christopher Ebert