William Bernstein

A Splendid Exchange

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A Splendid Exchange tells the epic story of global commerce, from its prehistoric origins to the myriad crises confronting it today. It travels from the sugar rush that brought the British to Jamaica in the seventeenth century to our current debates over globalization, from the silk route between China and Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly in spices in the sixteenth. Throughout, William Bernstein examines how our age-old dependency on trade has contributed to our planet's agricultural bounty, stimulated intellectual and industrial progress and made us both prosperous and vulnerable.
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    Juan Arenasje citiraoпре 3 године
    the goods of another nation was outlawed. Since this law applied to most cargo on Dutch vessels, the act amounted to a declaration of war against Holland.

    Cromwell’s navy and privateers began seizing hundreds of Dutch flutes, and within seven months of the act’s passage, the first of the Anglo-Dutch wars began. All together, three such conflicts broke out between 1652 and 1672. Each was closely fought, and the Dutch generally came out on top.

    In the first war, which lasted until 1654, Holland’s shipping in northern Europe was devastated by the capture or sinking of more
    Juan Arenasje citiraoпре 3 године
    earning the investors an enormous profit.7

    When the first of these ships arrived back in Amsterdam in 1601, church bells rang with joy. According to one observer, “So long as Holland has been Holland, such richly laden ships have never been seen.”8 The Dutch were seized by a righteous commercial fervor that would do any modern free-trade enthusiast proud. Jacob van Neck, the commander of the successful expedition, noted that their modus operandi was “not to rob anyone of their property, but to trade uprightly with all foreign nations.”9 That would soon change.
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