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A Silver River in a Silver World
Dutch Trade in the Rio de la Plata, 1648–1678


Part of Cambridge Latin American Studies

  • Date Published: April 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108417495

£ 78.99

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About the Authors
  • Drawing on a wide and rich array of sources, this book explores the nature and extent of Dutch trade and commerce in the Río de la Plata during three decades of the least-studied century (1650–1750) of Spain's rule in the Americas. In doing so, it raises important questions about trade in colonial South America and how it was impacted by the Dutch, suggesting that these transactions were carried out within the confines of the law, contradicting common beliefs among scholars that this trading was not regulated. The book contributes to a growing literature on contraband trade, administration, networks, and corruption while challenging narratives of exclusively Spanish influence on the Americas.

    • Explores an understudied region and era of colonial America so that new entities are introduced into the historiography of colonization
    • Focuses on the impact Dutch traders had on colonial South America's economy through trade transactions
    • Stresses the legitimacy with which these transactions were carried out in order to challenge popular narratives surrounding colonial trade
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this valuable new book, David Freeman has illuminated the complexity and importance of Dutch commercial connections with the Rio e la Plata in the seventeenth century, thus revising our understanding of both colonial administration and the organization of the regional economy. Based on impressive archival research, this well-researched volume thus provides valuable new insights into the form and structure of Dutch and other foreign trade through Buenos Aires to the silver-producing centers of the Andes.' Lyman Johnson, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

    'A Silver River in a Silver World eloquently bridges the local and the global and provides a novel perspective on the making of the Atlantic World and early modern globalization. Freeman beautifully illustrates the importance of the interconnected histories of the Dutch and Spanish empires in the South Atlantic.' Fabricio Prado, College of William & Mary, Virginia

    'Freeman has written a beautiful narrative history of a little-known episode of the Dutch in Spanish South America between 1648 and 1678 … This work fits into and illuminates Atlantic world, Dutch, Spanish, and South American history, as well as the history of early modern globalization … Recommended.' J. J. Butt, Choice

    '… his excellent archival work and the use of multilingual sources, David Freeman reveals an internal contradiction to his overall picture in this regard.' Gilberto Guerra Pedrosa, Rechtsgeschichte - Legal History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108417495
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The silver world
    2. The silver river
    3. Golden connections: governors, networks, and contracts
    4. Dutch ships and Dutch men on the Río de la Plata
    5. Conflicting ownership
    6. Silver tongues
    7. Silver politics on the estuary
    8. The Silver River runs dry.

  • Author

    David Freeman, University of Missouri, Kansas City
    David Freeman is Associate Professor of History at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

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