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date: 31 October 2020

Barcelona Business Interests and the Atlantic Worldlocked

  • Yolanda Blasco-MartelYolanda Blasco-MartelDepartment of Economic History, Institutions, World Politics, and Economy, Universitat de Barcelona
  •  and Jose Miguel Sanjuan MarroquinJose Miguel Sanjuan MarroquinDepartment of Economic History, Institutions, World Politics, and Economy, Universitat de Barcelona

Summary

Barcelona is an ancient Mediterranean Catalan city. It was inhabited by the Iberians, the Romans, and the Muslims, who turned it into an important port city. In the 10th century it became the capital of an independent county. It merged with the Crown of Aragon two centuries later and thus began a process of intensive commercial expansion that has characterized the city’s history of over the intervening centuries.

The merchants from Barcelona were actively involved in trade with America in the 18th century, as were those from some other cities from the Kingdom of Spain. The last decades of that century saw the beginning of a process of population and commercial exchange that continued to develop through the 19th century. This process helped Barcelona become the first city on the Iberian Peninsula to industrialize. It is during this period that we observe the emergence of the indianos—individuals born on the peninsula who went to do business in America. Many indianos returned to the peninsula after the loss of the Spanish Continental Empire, others moved to Cuba and Puerto Rico, the last Spanish colonies in the Antilles. Around these individuals, commerce and business of all kinds were developed, giving Barcelona the appearance of an open and cosmopolitan city that it has maintained ever since.

Subjects

  • Latin American History
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Social and Cultural History
  • Urban History
  • Slavery and Abolition of Slavery

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