Fruitfully combining approaches from economic history and the cultural history of commerce, this book examines the role of interpersonal trust in underpinning trade, amid the challenges and uncertainties of the eighteenth-century Atlantic. It focuses on the nature of mercantile activity in two parts of Spain: Cadiz in the south, and its trade with Spain's American empire; and Bilbao in the north, and its trade with western and northern Europe. In particular, it explores the processes of trade, trading networks and communications, seeking to understand merchant behaviour, especially the choices made by individuals when conducting business - and specifically with whom they chose to deal. Drawing from a broad range of Spanish, Peruvian and British archival sources, the book reveals merchants' experiences of trusting their agents and correspondents, and shows how different factors, from distance to legal frameworks and ethnicity, affected their ability to rely on their contacts.
Xabier Lamikiz is Associate Professor of Economic History at the University of the Basque Country. .
[This] well-written and interesting book is a welcome addition to the growing sub-field of research that situates the history of the Atlantic world on the Atlantic Ocean itself. JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
An original and commendable study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY
This marvellous book brings theoretical rigour and insightful analysis to bear on an exceptional body of previously unknown primary-source material. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
Sheds very welcome light on how Spaniards and foreign merchants in Spain traded with other markets. [...] It is both a very enjoyable and a very intelligent book. JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
[An] excellent book. [The] arguments are sophisticated, nuanced and well supported, and the clarity of their presentation makes them wholly accessible to all historians. This superb book is highly recommended. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
A major contribution not only to Atlantic history, but to colonial Latin American history in general. COLONIAL LATIN AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
Very well written, with a good index, an extensive bibliography, and several useful maps and tables. Anyone interested in the Early Modern period would profit from reading it. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY