Amsterdam’s Dutch and Sephardic Merchants in the Atlantic Supply Trade and the Sugar Trade in the Seventeenth Century
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In this chapter, the author presents evidence from freight records researched at the City Archives of Amsterdam which illustrate that after trade and navigation restrictions were imposed, Dutch and Sephardic merchant trade diverged. Whereas Dutch merchants from Amsterdam held business interest in Barbados in the mid-seventeenth century through the supply trade, it was Amsterdam’s Sephardic merchants who engaged primarily in the sugar trade. As the navigation acts required all trade to be conducted by English merchants and be directed to the English market, Sephardic merchants requested and were granted “denizenship.” Meanwhile, Amsterdam remained the primary sugar refining center for the European market and Sephardic merchants played a significant role in sustaining the Amsterdam sugar market through most of the seventeenth century.