The Atlantic Sugar Trade: Amsterdam’s Sephardic Merchants in the Seventeenth Century
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The book presents a new synthesis for understanding the westward expansion of sugar production and trade in the seventeenth century Atlantic world by linking Amsterdam’s expanding sugar market to the Sephardic merchant network. The author offers a historical-geographic perspective which ties Amsterdam as emerging staple market to a network of merchants of the “Portuguese Nation” conducting trade from the Iberian Peninsula to Madeira, São Tomé, and Brazil to Antwerp in the sixteenth century and Amsterdam in the early seventeenth century. Drawing on Lesger’s The Rise of the Amsterdam Market (2010), the first chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book covering the Golden Age during which the Dutch Republic experienced a period of great wealth and the Amsterdam Sephardic merchant community its recognition of contribution to the sugar trade.