1st Edition

Genoese Entrepreneurship and the Asiento Slave Trade, 1650–1700

By Alejandro García-Montón Copyright 2022
    310 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explains how Genoese entrepreneurs transformed the structures of global trade during the second half of the seventeenth century. The author reconstructs the business network built by the Genoese merchant Domenico Grillo between the 1650s and the 1680s. Grillo’s business interests stretched from the Mediterranean to Pacific South America, traversing and joining the Spanish, Dutch, and English Atlantics. He and his associates created a new business model that was to be emulated by Dutch, French, and English traders in subsequent decades: the monopolistic asientos for the exploitation of the trans-imperial and intra-American slave trade to Spanish America. Offering a connected history of capitalism across trans-continental geographies and different empires, this book challenges established views of a period which has traditionally been interrogated from a northern European mercantile perspective. Cutting across the histories of the slave trade in the Atlantic world, early modern capitalism, and early modern empire, this study has much to offer to students and scholars interested in the agents, economic practices, and geographies of trade that do not easily fit into and therefore disrupt the traditional narratives of the Rise of the West.

    Chapter 6 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com


    1. From Mediterranean Galleys to the Transatlantic Slave Trade: The Tale of the Grillo Family

    2. Resiliency and Adaptation: Genoese Entrepreneurs During the 17th Century

    3. A New Business Model for the Atlantic World: Monopolistic Asientos and the Slave Trade to Spanish America

    4. The Backbone of the Asiento: Factors, Ships’ Captains and Judges

    5. Penetrating the Dutch and the English Atlantic: Slaves, Merchandise and Trans-imperial Entanglements

    6. Implementing the Asiento and Smuggling: A Perspective from the Isthmus of Panama and Pacific South America

    7. Genoa: A Mediterranean Hub for Overseas Entrepreneurs



    Alejandro García-Montón is a Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación fellow at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain.