After the Galleons: Foreign Trade, Economic Change and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines

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After the Galleons: Foreign Trade, Economic Change and Entrepreneurship in the Nineteenth-Century Philippines, tracks the progress of Philippine foreign trade in the nineteenth century from the end of the galleon trade to the Philippine Revolution. It describes the great increase in the value of domestic exports with their progressive concentration of imports on textiles. It identifies the major trading partners (Britain, the U.S., Chine) and notes the minor part played by Spain. It finds that the country was land rich, characterized by smallholdings; it was labor short, and was a rice exporter. Behind the material progress it discerns growing extremes of wealth and of concentration in landownership. Unlike elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the driving forces behind the increase in trade and output were not government pressure or the plantation system, but incentives deriving from entrepreneurship and capital imports working through a system of flexible prices and exchange rates.

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