[Manuscript. 19th c. Expansion of Philippine Cuban Trade]
by Real Tribunal de Comercio de Manila
Manila, 1842. First edition. Disbound. A very good copy, stitching lacking, ink burn on final leaf..  manuscript pages. With the independence of the Spanish colonies in the Americas, and the end of the Galleon trade, the Philippines could no longer rely on protected markets in Latin America nor on Mexican subsidies to sustain their trade. Commercial isolation was no longer possible. Thus the port of Manila was finally opened to unrestricted foreign trade and the Real Compania de Filipinas was dissolved and replaced by the Real Tribunal de Comercio de Manila, in January 1834 under the progressive administration of Pasqual Enrile y Alcedo, General of the Philippines. In this document, eight years after this transition began, the Board of Commerce of the Philippines reaches out to President and Delegates of the Royal Board of Development of Cuba (Junta de Fomento de Cuba), to establish trade relations as part of Manila's strategy to increase trade links with the Americas, noting that Spain and other European nations have benefitted from trade with the Philippines due to its close proximity to important Asian markets, especially China. They argue that the Philippines ports are quite advantageous to use, especially for items coming from China as well as from the Philippines. A description of some products follows including those that the Philippines were especially eager to sell into foreign markets: Abaca (in stick), coconut oil (in 12 gallon barrels), white rice, Abaca weavings (to be used as a protector against mosquitoes), cigar holders, bedcovers, Bejuco hats; and from China, numerous silk products, rhubarb, teas, both green and black, clove, nutmeg, pepper. Assurance is provided that the items are of high quality and easily obtainable. The document is dated 14 April, 1842 and signed by three members of the Real Tribunal de Comercio de Manila: José de Ortezua, Juan Antonio de Orbeta and José de Menchasatorre. An important example of the trading activities of the often underrated 19th century remnants of Spanish Empire and the centrality of these two remaining colonies to their respective markets of Asia and America. (Inventory #: 43250)
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