Edge of Crisis: War and Trade in the Spanish Atlantic, 1789–1808

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JHU Press, Jan 1, 2010 - History - 640 pages

This authoritative study of colonialism in the Spanish empire at the end of the eighteenth century examines how the Spanish metropole attempted to preserve the links to its richest colony in the western Atlantic, New Spain (Mexico), in the face of international developments. Continuing the approach in Silver, Trade, and War and Apogee of Empire, Barbara and Stanley Stein detail Spain’s ad hoc efforts to adjust metropolitan and colonial institutions, structures, and ideology to the pressures of increased competition in the Old and New worlds.

In reviewing the attempts at reform, the authors explore networks of individuals and groups, some accepting and others rejecting the Spanish transatlantic trade system. They provide accounts from both sides of the Atlantic to show how economic policy, imperial goals, and consequent social divisions and factionalism in New Spain and Spain undermined the government’s efforts at economic and political adjustments. The Steins draw on a wide range of archival material in Mexico, Spain, and France to place the waning of the Spanish empire in an Atlantic perspective. They also show how Spain came to the verge of collapse in a time of revolution and at the beginning of the transition from commercial to industrial capitalism.

Comprehensive and carefully researched, Edge of Crisis explains the broad array of factors that led up to the French invasion of Spain in early 1808.

-- Carlos Marichal

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Autumn of Proyectismo
Continuity and Crisis 17891797
Aranda and Godoy
Fissioningof New Spain 4 Reorganizing New Spains External TradeThe Effects of 17891796 Comercio Libre 5 A Hegemony ThreatenedMexico Cit...
Mining and Its Fissures
Growth and Conflict
Informal Comercio Neutro 18041808
Toward the Second War of Succession
Treasures in the New World
Conspiracy at the Escorial
By Way ofConclusion

Comercio NeutroComercio Directo

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About the author (2010)

Barbara H. Stein (1916-2005) was an independent historian and former bibliographer for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal at Princeton University's Firestone Library. Stanley J. Stein is the Walter S. Carpenter Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture, Emeritus, at Princeton University. The Steins coauthored Silver, Trade, and War and Apogee of Empire, both also published by Johns Hopkins.

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