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dc.contributor.authorRussell, Eleanoren
dc.description.abstractThis thesis analyses the multi-national European merchant-banking companies who dominated European commerce at the beginning of European engagement with the Americas and with Asia via the Cape Route, focusing upon how they responded to these changes. In the first decades of the sixteenth century, it was these companies, mostly from southern Germany and the Italian city-states, who dominated the European trade in Asian and American goods, whose capital funded Spanish and Portuguese royal policies overseas, and whose agents played crucial roles in establishing the Spanish and Portuguese empires and colonial trade. Using their correspondence as its main source material, it analyses their participation in overseas trade and the networks which they used to participate; their specifically mercantile perception of the New World and Asia; and their exploitation of the opportunities newly made available, particularly through the use of luxury exotica, for political, social, and commercial advantage. It examines how their position changed in response to political and economic shifts, highlighting their cultural and economic flexibility that allowed them to adapt to overseas activity and to the decline of their near-hegemonic position when the growing centralisation and power of the states in the 1530s caused their previous authority to wane. It re-examines the traditional quantitative, statistical approach to economic history and the general separation of economic and cultural history, instead prioritising the choices and motivations of these powerful individuals and groups in their political, cultural, and economic contexts, with the broader political and economic changes as background to the questions of who these merchants thought that they were, and what they thought that they were doing. This dissertation considers how merchants sought to increase their status, their wealth, their political connections, their power, and their commercial success through their trade in and conspicuous consumption of luxury items and their facilitation of the same for the princes with whom they sought economic relations.en
dc.description.sponsorshipUniversity of Sydneyen
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden
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dc.rightsAll rights reserveden
dc.subjectNews and Informationen
dc.titleThe Response of Elite European Merchant Companies to European Expansion into Asia and the Americas, c.1492-c.1530en
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)en
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridgeen
dc.contributor.orcidRussell, Eleanor [0000-0002-9283-5579]
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD in Historyen
cam.supervisorAbulafia, David

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