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Grant number like: FB-51765-05

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Jeremy Alan Baskes
Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH 43015-2333)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 6/30/2006

Merchant Strategies of Risk Management in Spain's Colonial Trade with Mexico, 1700-1821

This project examines the strategies pursued by Spanish and Mexican merchants to reduce the risks and uncertainties prevalent in transatlantic trade in the eighteenth century. Challenging historians' customary image of the rapacious colonial merchant, it argues that many of the business practices and trade institutions of the Spanish empire identified as the predatory creations of monopoly merchants should be understood instead as adaptations to risk, attempts to reduce the tremendous uncertainty that characterized long distance trade. The study will focus especially on the impact on risk of the late colonial reforms culminating in comercio libre as well as the wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon.