English Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Italy

Front Cover
This book shows how England's conquest of Mediterranean trade proved to be the first step in building its future economic and commercial hegemony, and how Italy lay at the heart of that process. In the seventeenth century the Mediterranean was the largest market for the colonial products which were exported by English merchants, as well as being a source of raw materials which were indispensable for the growing and increasingly aggressive domestic textile industry. The new free port of Livorno became the linchpin of English trade with the Mediterranean and, together with ports in southern Italy, formed part of a system which enabled the English merchant fleet to take control of the region's trade from the Italians. In her extensive use of English and Italian archival sources, the author looks well beyond Braudel's influential picture of a Spanish-dominated Mediterranean world. In doing so she demonstrates some of the causes of Italy's decline and its subsequent relegation as a dominant force in world trade.
 

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Contents

List of abbreviations xv
26
Imports of raw materials into England in the seventeenth page
33
The English merchant fleet 15601702
42
Routes and ports
76
Imported goods
91
The population of London in comparative perspective
100
Population of Livorno
115
Estimated figures for Englands foreign trade
126
English exports to Venice c 1690
132
Production rates of the Florentine silk industry 16081739
139
Imports of olive oil arriving in the Port of London
152
Domestic exports from England average of 16991701
158
I
177
Conclusion
182
Index
196
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