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Reyes, Raquel A. G. (2017) 'Flaunting It: How the Galleon Trade Made Manila, circa 1571–1800.' Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 15 (4). pp. 683-713.

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Manila was designated by Spain as the colonial capital of the Philippine archipelago in 1571. From being a small Muslim settlement, the city was swiftly transformed by the trans-Pacific galleon trade to Acapulco. Manila emerged as one of the greatest and wealthiest entrepôts in Southeast Asia, rivaling the Dutch city of Batavia in Indonesia and dominating commerce with America and Europe in both silk and spices. Manila became a magnet to trading ships from China, Japan, Maluku, Malacca, Siam, Cambodia, and Borneo, which arrived laden with an astonishing abundance of luxurious goods. The trade flows of silver and precious Asian merchandise—the bales of Chinese silks, the porcelain, Indian textiles, spices, local wax, honey, and forest products—and the shifting and hybrid populations that supplied labor and diverse expertise lent the city its own special character and texture. Drawing on a range of primary sources—from secular and missionary accounts to architecture and artistic works, including paintings and objects, this essay explores the much less well-studied social and cultural effects of global trade on local contexts, and considers whether Manila was any different from other early modern port cities in the Atlantic and Asian worlds. I discuss a variety of fundamental areas—sartorial fashions and bodily scents, culinary tastes, and architectural innovations—in which imported goods and their consumption affected everyday sensibilities in Manila and beyond.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Philippines, Manila, Manila Galleon, Trans-Pacific trade, Inter-Asian trade, Globalization, Christianization, Catholic devotion, Early Modern history, Conspicuous consumption, Columbian Exchange, Overseas Chinese, Overseas Japanese
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
ISSN: 15590895
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies. This is the published version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2017 14:08

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