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The Genoese Response to the Collapse of the Spanish Empire in America

AuthorsBrilli, Catia
Issue Date2010
CitationJahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas (47) : 247-272 (2010)
AbstractThis artiele focuses on the effects of the Spanish Empire's crisis on the Genoese Atlantic trade, which in the early 19th century shifted its main commercial axis from the port of Cadiz to Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Despite the Republic of Genoa's intemational marginalization, during the 18th century Ligurians continued to participate in the Spanish colonial trade due to the persistent productive and naval shortfalls of the monarchy: the monopolistic port of Cadiz became their main operative center. The Napoleonic wars, the consequent crisis of the Spanish Empire and the collapse of the oligarchical republic, which culminated in the annexation of Genoa to the Sardinian kingdom, decisively damaged the Genoese system of participation in the Carrera de Indias . But the conjuncture also created the conditions for their autonomous Atlantic adventure. The neutrality of the Sardinian flag and the traditional ties woven in the Iberían trade allowed Ligurian ves seis to play an essential role of commercial intermediation between Spain and the lost colony of Rio de la Plata. Buenos Aires became the new destination of many Ligurían migrants, who contributed to local economic growth and created tight bonds with the new host society.
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