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Panels

(P22)

Changes in European trade during the overseas expansion, 1450-1550

Location Sala 38, Piso 0
Date and Start Time 19 July, 2013 at 11:30

Convenors

Joana Sequeira (CHAM-UNL, CITCEM-UP) email
Flávio Miranda (IEM-UNL, CITCEM-UP) email
Mail All Convenors

Short Abstract

The aim of this panel is to address how the changes caused by the overseas expansion were understood by European traders, and what was the effect of those transformations in their commercial activities and economic relationship in global perspective roughly from 1450 to 1550.

Long Abstract

In 1459, Afonso V of Portugal (1438-81) commissioned a world map made by the Venetian geographer Fra Mauro, which would depict some of the newly found lands and beyond. The Portuguese were exploring unchartered territory, adding new markets and commodities to the European commercial system, and radically changing the perception that fifteenth-century European princes, cartographers, and merchants had of their world. The voyages of exploration would influence politics, trade, and economic networks, but also culture, art, and architecture.

The aim of this panel is to address how the changes caused by the overseas expansion were understood by European traders, and what was the effect of those transformations in their commercial activities and economic relationship in global perspective roughly from 1450 to 1550.

Speakers are asked to challenge models and explanations found in conventional national economic histories by considering cross-cultural approaches that explore how the overseas expansion provoked changes in trade and traders; merchant communities and institutional relationship; products, markets, and commercial systems; socioeconomic and cultural life.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Empire and market: interaction of the political and the economic in the pepper market

Authors: Laura Panza (University of Melbourne)  email
Greg Barrett  email

Short Abstract

The impact of early modern empire on European markets can be assessed by the integration of market prices across political boundaries. The pepper prices in London and Antwerp were linked by a web of market and political institutions. After 1450 these institutions included the growing Portuguese Empire.

Long Abstract

The early modern pepper markets in northwestern Europe were a product of the interaction of markets and empires, merchants and kings. By 1455, the growing Portuguese Empire entered the pepper market by supplying West African malaguetta pepper from their new colonial outposts and in 1501 expanded by supplying Indian pepper to Antwerp.

The impact of the Portuguese Empire on European markets can be assessed by the integration of market prices across political boundaries. The pepper prices in London and Antwerp were linked to each other by a web of market institutions. After 1501 the growing Portuguese Empire in India (Estado da Índia) rapidly expanded as a source of Europe's pepper. This challenged and for a time displaced the existing Venetian dominance of the European pepper market.

The paper investigates the role of technology and institutions in the changing balance of Portuguese and Venetian pepper supply to Europe. Venice and Portugal varied considerably in their sailing technology and their trading institutions. These differences will be examined to assess the changing balance of the pepper trade and the impact on pepper prices in London and Antwerp.

Portugal as a game-changer in Europe's late medieval economy

Authors: Flávio Miranda (IEM-UNL, CITCEM-UP)  email
Joana Sequeira (CHAM-UNL, CITCEM-UP)  email

Short Abstract

In the fifteenth century, Portugal emerged as a key player in European trade, abandoning its secondary position as a commercial kingdom. This paper will analyse how Portugal changed Europe’s late medieval economy by interconnecting European and African commercial systems.

Long Abstract

In the fifteenth century, Portugal emerged as a key player in European trade, abandoning its secondary position as a commercial kingdom. Lisbon progressively became one of the most important economic gateways of Western Europe, attracting merchants from the Baltic, North Sea, Atlantic and Mediterranean markets. By interconnecting European and African commercial systems, Portugal became a game-changer in Europe's late medieval economy.

This paper will address the following issues: What was the effect of the overseas expansion in Portugal's maritime trade? How did the Portuguese interlink European and African markets? What was the role of the Portuguese in this process of Euro-African commercial exchange? And how did foreign merchants adapt to the overseas expansion? How were the European economic systems affected by the emergence of Atlantic trade?

The trade of Asian textiles in the ´Carreira da India´: consumer trends and impact on Portuguese culture (1500-1700)

Author: Maria João Ferreira (CHAM)  email

Short Abstract

The impact of Asian textiles in the Portuguese manufactures, in the consumption standards, and in the shifts of taste will be explored. It will focus in the research of textile trade and develop an updated state of the art on the volume and type of traded goods between Asia and Portugal.

Long Abstract

Despite the increasing interest that textiles have recently aroused,

studies on the Portuguese global expansion and Asian trade have not

yet developed an autonomous analysis of these goods. Economic

historians have not performed any better, although the importance of

textiles in the intra- and trans-continental system of transactions of

the 'Carreira da India' between Goa and Lisbon is well documented both

by written testimonies and the remaining material goods.

It is therefore essential to investigate the quantity and typology of

the negotiated load, commercial rules, and the amount of income and

losses obtained in this commerce. Nevertheless, it is also important

to understand the meaning of this trade in a broader context, and,

especially, to assess the impact of Asian textiles on the cultural and

artistic level.

This paper explores the impact of textile trade in the Portuguese

manufactures, in the consumption standards, and in the shifts of Asian

and Portuguese (European) taste. It will focus on the specific

problems involved in the investigation of textile trade and develop an

updated state of the art on the volume and type of traded goods

between Asia and Portugal in the early modern period. This approach

aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Portuguese role on

early globalization, and to throw light on Portugal's contribution in

the acquisition and distribution of Asian textile commodities across

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries before England and Holland

set up large trading companies.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.