Genoese economic culture: from the Mediterranean into the Spanish Atlantic.

Salonia, Matteo
Genoese economic culture: from the Mediterranean into the Spanish Atlantic. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis investigates the economic culture that fostered the constitutional history and political cosmology of late medieval and early modern Genoa. Genoese economic actors are here studied through their diversified trades and businesses, as they moved from the shores of the Black Sea into the Atlantic. Genoa’s late medieval economic expansion is described through several case studies and briefly compared to the state-run military expansion of Venice’s empire. Genoese colonial history is found to be both peculiar and relevant, as entrepreneurial techniques, institutions and attitudes later transferred to the Atlantic first originated in the private networks built by Ligurian businessmen in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The adaptability and entrepreneurial skills that allowed Genoese merchants and bankers, captains and businessmen, tax collectors and clergymen to enter the Spanish Atlantic in the sixteenth century are linked to the medieval history of the Genoese commune, to the specific idea of libertà progressively defined and protected by its fluid elite, and to the development of Hispanic-Genoese diplomatic and financial relations. Through the study of diverse documents in Italian, Genoese dialect, Venetian dialect, Spanish, Latin, and English, Genoa’s civic ideology and institutions are revealed to be intertwined with Genoese entrepreneurs’ simultaneity of careers, cosmopolitan self-perception, and mimetic imperialism. The thesis closes with a survey of the Genoese economic activities in Spain’s American kingdoms, whose most significant result is the illustration of Genoa’s multifaceted roles in the building of the Hapsburg Atlantic. This work thus constitutes the first chronologically and thematically broad attempt to explain the prolonged Genoese presence on the stage of intercontinental commerce as well as the existence of a modern Ligurian Atlantic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2015-01 (completed)
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Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 11:38
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 01:34
DOI: 10.17638/02009805