Asiento Agreement

Posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2021 at 4:49 pm

The last and most remarkable Asiato was the one awarded to the British South Sea Company 1713 by a provision of the Utrecht contract. This contract allowed the company to send 4,800 slaves to Spanish America each year for 30 years and to send a ship (permiso navéo) to the general trade each year. The company did not find the business profitable because war and other adverse conditions generally prevented importation into the U.S. markets, while an annual tax of $34,000 on the Spanish krona was to be paid for the first 4,000 slaves, whether imported or not. Legal trade was also accompanied by an illegal trade that continued to exacerbate Spanish-British relations, leading to the Jenkins` Ear War in 1739. This disrupted the UK`s profitable trade with the Spanish peninsula. Spain renewed Asia by the Treaty of Aachen in 1748, but two years later the British gave up their rights in exchange for a payment of $100,000 from Spain. Between 1600 and 1750, an estimated 450,000 Africans were sent to Spain as part of the Asiato system. Asia apparently originated in the 1590s, although similar contracts date back to the early 1500s. The Portuguese dominated Asia until Portugal`s declaration of independence in 1640 undermined the agreements.

Spain refused to offer commercial rights to “rebels,” “heretiles” or enemies – categories that are in the middle of the 16th It was not until 1662 that the Spaniards, who were trying to increase royal incomes, revived Asiato. Until the 18th century, some Spaniards, as well as subjects from Portugal, France and Great Britain, entered into such contracts. Despite high taxes, state interference and turbulent trading conditions, all of which severely restricted Asia`s profitability, foreigners nevertheless sought them because they offered the opportunity to participate in the lucrative Spanish-American trade and, above all, to acquire some of the gold and silver lingos produced by the slave trade. In 1714, 2,680 slaves and 1716-17 13,000 more slaves were transported, but the trade was not profitable. As the French discovered earlier, high costs meant that the real benefits of the slave trade were due to smuggling, that import duties had been denied and that the authorities did not have much-needed income. Each slave was charged an import duty of 33 out of 8 (although two children were counted as adult slaves).

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