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Penguin History of Latin America
Penguin History of Latin America
Trade was a defining element of commerce in the colonial administration of Spanish America. Trade a significant role in Spanish America. Trade was the core activity that enabled individuals to live higher standards of living. It was a medium for the exchange of goods and services. The inter-imperial and inter-colonial trade circuits and markets facilitated the shaping of the Iberian empires. Therefore, trade was a key element in the commerce of the administration of Spanish America because the trade markets eventually became centers of strong economic and political administration.
Trading commodities were at the centre of trade in the colonial Spanish America. The trade networks that connected the trade markets also linked the colony with other trade and colonial regions within the Americas leading to the flourishing of trans-imperial commerce. With the connections of these colonial regions and the development of the trans-imperial commerce, there was an increase in unofficial and official trans-imperial trade. As a result of this trans-imperial trade, the trade markets became regions of meeting by the colonial groups of merchants, which became prominent in the Spanish American Society. As such, the trade markets gave these merchants the capacity to operate within given autonomy levels that influenced the local administration.
The trade markets were important because they became administrative and commercial centers that enabled the emergence of powerful merchants, which allowed the colonial traders to take control of the inter-colonial trade routes and networks. As such, the trade markets influenced the local politics and played a role in the emergence of contraband trade. The trade markets enable the merchants to participate in philanthropic activities in the Spanish American society. To some extent, the colonial activities in the Spanish American Society was shaped by the existence of kinship structures.
Strong mercantilist policies shaped the colonial society of Spanish America. Moreover, the Colonial Spanish American societies established social and commercial connections with other existent colonial regions. These connections, which were facilitated by the development of the places of trade were important because they influenced the establishment of significant interregional systems of commerce that were not connected or controlled directly by the metropolitan agents. Commercial circuits and inter-colonial trade routes were common in Spanish America and they facilitated smooth organizations and administration of the Spanish American society by enabling the easy transport of the colonial administrators.
On the other hand, commerce in the administration of colonial Spanish America was important for various reasons. first, commerce was essential because it provided the merchants to accumulate wealth. Some of the merchants became lenders who gave out some of their money to individuals wishing to conduct trade. As such, the individuals were able to raise their living standards and become significant people in society.
Commerce provided individuals, especially the colonial administration to raise revenue that would sustain the colonies. With the revenues, they were able to meet the wants of the consumers, which minimized the instances of rebellions. Commerce in the Spanish America was important because it comprised of the various trade activities in the colony. The trade activities pushed the commercial expansion of the colony, thus making it a strong colony that could defend itself. Commercial activities were significant aspects of financing the commercial ventures by the merchants and other elemental people in the society.
Interactions were also important in the role of commerce and trade markets of the colonial administration of the Spanish American Society. these interactions were in the form of participation of the natives from the Central valley of Mexico or Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Andes or the Viceroyalty of Peru. These natives had an elemental role in the context of commercial exchanges and markets. They acted as marketers of the trading commodities and items in the colonial society.
They came with their goods and met in the trade market in the colonial Spanish American society for exchange of goods. As such, they also acted as the intermediaries for the trading activities, especially marketing. They were also the advertisers of the trading items and promoted their items. These individuals were commercial intermediaries and they helped the merchants in marketing their items between the two regions.
In summary, trade markets and commerce was a core element in the administration of the colonial Spanish America. The two aspects facilitated the establishment of activities that led o the growth of the society. The participation of the natives of New Spain and Peru were important in terms of all the commercial exchanges and markets.
Williamson, E. penguin history of Latin America. L N.p., n.d. Print.
Lugar, Catherine. “Merchants.” In Cities and Society in Colonial Latin America. Edited by Susan Socolow and Louise Hoberman, 47–76. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986.
Flory, Rae, and David Smith. “Bahian Merchants and Planters in the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries.” Hispanic American Historical Review 58.4 (November 1978): 571–594.
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