Bankruptcy of Empire: Mexican Silver and the Wars Between by Dr Carlos Marichal

By Dr Carlos Marichal

This e-book emphasizes that the Spanish empire remained the 3rd most vital eu country by way of economic source of revenue and naval energy, and primary in measurement of territorial empire, relatively as a result of its colonies in Spanish the USA. The Spanish crown was once focused on 4 wars with nice Britain and wars with France through the many years 1760-1810. Colonial Mexico financed each one of these wars via remitting silver within the type of taxes and loans. The expenses of the imperial wars have been so nice that they finally brought on the financial disaster of either the Spanish American colonies and of the monarchy itself.

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Extra resources for Bankruptcy of Empire: Mexican Silver and the Wars Between Spain, Britain and France, 1760-1810

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To cover their considerable and regular deficits, the latter were obliged to rely on remittances of silver from other parts of the empire, and most particularly from New Spain. The transfers of tax silver from rich to poor colonies were known as situados, a term which usually referred to monies dispatched to cover the expenses of military or naval garrisons in different parts of the empire. The complex network of these tax transfers was one of the great fiscal secrets of the longevity of the Spanish empire in the Americas since the metropolis did not have to cover most overseas defense expenses as they were financed by the silver-rich colonies.

Humboldt felt that the viceroyalty could continue to make its huge annual contributions to the empire without grave difficulties because of the great output of its silver mines and the considerable productivity of its economy, as a whole. 3 The inordinate ability of the Spanish monarchy to extract fiscal revenues from its colonies had long been the cause of envy by its rivals. 4 Other contemporaries coincided with the famous Scottish economist. The fiscal surplus produced by the Spanish American colonies attracted the attention of the Spanish General Francisco Saavedra during a prolonged military mission to the Caribbean in the midst of war with Great Britain in the years 1780–1783.

49 The royal treasuries of Lima, for their part, annually sent monies to sustain the military and naval garrisons at Panama and Portobello as well as to Valdivia and Chilho´e on the southern coast of Chile. In addition, it should be noted that the great treasury at the silver-rich city of Potosi (in modern Bolivia) financed additional garrisons, including that of Buenos Aires and, through it, those of Montevideo, Patagonia, and the Malvinas Islands. 50 Since the Mexican situados were the 48 Bibiano Torres Ram´ırez, La Armada de Barlovento (Seville: Escuela de Estudios Americanos, 1981), Chapter 8 and pp.

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