The Economic Aspects of Spanish Imperialism in America, 1492-1810


This is the 2nd English edition of John Fisher's acclaimed book. The study examines economic relations between Spain and Spanish America in the colonial period, and their implications for the economic structures of both parties, from the beginning of Spanish imperialism until the outbreak of the Spanish-American revolutions for Independence. Originally published in Spanish in 1992, the text has been fully revised for this first English edition. Fisher begins with a general overview of the economic aspects of Spanish imperialism in America until the mid-sixteenth century before considering what America was able to offer Spain (and, through her, Europe as a whole), in terms of products and resources. A detailed explanation of imperial commercial policy follows and a close examination is made of inter-colonial trade, explaining ways in which it was articulated both directly and indirectly towards trans-Atlantic structures. The final four chapters of the book deal exclusively with the Bourbon era inaugurated in 1700. Issues tackled include the Spanish defeat at the hands of the British, the impact of commercial reform upon economic life in America and Spanish-Spanish American relations on the eve of the revolutions for Independence.