Atlantic Financial Entanglements
These words by the German poet Christian Johann Heinrich Heine encapsulated the new financial connections of the Atlantic world during the nineteenth century. When Spain and Portugal opened the Atlantic world with their voyages of exploration and colonization, the conquistadors searched for wealth and brought masses of gold and silver from the colonies to the mother country. In the course of the colonial period, wealth tended to flow to Europe and states were reluctant to allow specie to accumulate in the Americas, even prohibiting bullion to go back into the colonies. Nevertheless, the early modern Atlantic world contained a web of financial connections. The financial ties that bound the various parts of the Atlantic region together continued after independence and into the nineteenth century.
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