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Between West Africa and America: The Angolan slave trade in the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic Empires (1560-1641)

Dates:
  • Fri 18 Oct 2019 16.00 - 18.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-10-18 16:00 2019-10-18 18:00 Europe/Paris Between West Africa and America: The Angolan slave trade in the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic Empires (1560-1641)

According to most recent estimates, close to 350,000 Africans are now believed to have been forcefully embarked into the territories of Spanish America during the Iberian Union (1581-1640). The source behind this massive forced diaspora was located in West Central Africa, primarily in the inner most region of Angola, from where most slaves were shipped via the port of Luanda. This thesis explores the interconnection between the Portuguese occupation and colonization of Angola, and the expansion of the Iberian slave trade to Spanish colonies during the Union of Crowns. By focusing on Angola, a territory traditionally regarded as a periphery in the vast realm of the Habsburg Monarchy, I look at the different administrative, economic, and military policies employed by the Crown in this territory during the dynastic union, and demonstrate how they were closely intertwined with the economic growth of Spanish American colonial societies. Portuguese large-scale warfare in Ndongo was contemporary with the development of Spanish administrative and economic centres in America, and the vast number of slaves captured in West Africa supported the expansion of Spanish American economic sectors that fundamentally relied on coerced labour. This dissertation also explores the legal and financial organization of the Iberian slave trade, from an official and informal perspective. It follows the different policies and strategies employed for the capture and acquisition of African slaves in Angola, and its relationship with the financial mechanisms drawn in the metropolis by both Iberian Crowns for the control of this activity, and maximization of its revenues. This research also captures some of the commercial strategies and business networks of agents participating on the slave trade, both from an official and private nature, as it intermingles commercial operations in Luanda, with distant credit and financial circuits established between the ports in the Kingdom and Spanish America.

Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

According to most recent estimates, close to 350,000 Africans are now believed to have been forcefully embarked into the territories of Spanish America during the Iberian Union (1581-1640). The source behind this massive forced diaspora was located in West Central Africa, primarily in the inner most region of Angola, from where most slaves were shipped via the port of Luanda. This thesis explores the interconnection between the Portuguese occupation and colonization of Angola, and the expansion of the Iberian slave trade to Spanish colonies during the Union of Crowns. By focusing on Angola, a territory traditionally regarded as a periphery in the vast realm of the Habsburg Monarchy, I look at the different administrative, economic, and military policies employed by the Crown in this territory during the dynastic union, and demonstrate how they were closely intertwined with the economic growth of Spanish American colonial societies. Portuguese large-scale warfare in Ndongo was contemporary with the development of Spanish administrative and economic centres in America, and the vast number of slaves captured in West Africa supported the expansion of Spanish American economic sectors that fundamentally relied on coerced labour. This dissertation also explores the legal and financial organization of the Iberian slave trade, from an official and informal perspective. It follows the different policies and strategies employed for the capture and acquisition of African slaves in Angola, and its relationship with the financial mechanisms drawn in the metropolis by both Iberian Crowns for the control of this activity, and maximization of its revenues. This research also captures some of the commercial strategies and business networks of agents participating on the slave trade, both from an official and private nature, as it intermingles commercial operations in Luanda, with distant credit and financial circuits established between the ports in the Kingdom and Spanish America.


Location:
Sala dei Levrieri - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Examiner:
Jorge Flores (European University Institute)
Dr. Toby Green (King's College London)
Filipa Ribeiro Da Silva (IISH Amsterdam)

Supervisor:
Regina Grafe (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Defendant:
Miguel Geraldes Rodrigues (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Contact:
Fabrizio Borchi (EUI - Department of History and Civilization) - Send a mail

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