REDISCOVERING AMERICA: POLITICAL ECONOMY OF SPANISH COLONIES ACCORDING TO THE EXPLORERS JUAN-ULLOA, MALASPINA AND HUMBOLDT

Luis Perdices De Blas, José Luis Ramos-Gorostiza
2015 Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History  
ABSTRACTTwo scientists and sailors from the Spanish Navy, Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, the Italian sailor and explorer Alessandro Malaspina, and the German sage Alexander von Humboldt were the main actors in three great voyages to Spanish America between the second-third of the 18thcentury and the beginning of the 19thcentury. This enabled them to provide three first hand«photographs»of the state of the Spanish empire in America at three different moments in time: approximately before,
more » ... mately before, during and after the implementation of colonial reforms designed in the reigns of Ferdinand VI and Charles III. This work aims, in the first place, to compare the socio-economic views of Spanish America deriving from the three expeditions, highlighting similarities and differences. Second, this work aims to connect the analysis of the weaknesses of the politico-institutional organisation of Spanish colonies, which the four travellers did at first hand, with the present debate on the role of colonial institutions in long-term economic development.
doi:10.1017/s0212610915000245 fatcat:vi3dspf2ybdijea53h7hhkxsxy