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Staying Afloat
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Staying Afloat: Risk and Uncertainty in Spanish Atlantic World Trade, 1760-1820

Jeremy Baskes

Abstract

Early modern, long-distance trade was fraught with risk and uncertainty, driving merchants to seek means to reduce them. In the traditional historiography on Spanish colonial trade, the role of risk is largely ignored. Instead, the guild (consulado) merchants are depicted as anti-competitive monopolists who manipulated markets and exploited colonial consumers. This book argues that much of the commercial behavior interpreted by modern historians as predatory was instead designed to reduce the uncertainty and risk of Atlantic world trade. It examines the development and use of maritime insuranc ... More

Keywords: risk, trade, insurance, New Institutional Economics, markets, Bourbon reforms, mercantilism, convoy system, privateering, information

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780804785426
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785426.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeremy Baskes, author