Portuguese Trade in Asia Under the Habsburgs, 1580–1640
This fascinating history reassesses the consequences of Portugal's flourishing private trade with Asia, including increased tensions between the growing urban merchant class and the still-dominant landed aristocracy. James C. Boyajian shows how Portuguese-Asian commerce formed part of a global trading network that linked not only Europe and Asia but also—for the first time—Asia, West Africa, Brazil, and Spanish America. He also argues that, contrary to previous scholarly opinion, nearly half of the Portuguese-Asian trade was controlled by New Christians—descendants of Iberian Jews forcibly converted to Christianity in the 1490s.
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