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The Intendant, the Merchants, and Free Trade in Louisiana, 1778-1788
DLPS Faculty Publications
  • Brian E. Coutts, Western Kentucky University
Publication Date

Presented at the International Congress on Charles III and the South of the United States, La Rabida, Spain, November 11, 1988, by Dr. Brian E. Coutts, Head of the Department of Library Public Services, WKU.

In Spanish. Translation by Aldofina V. Simpson, who, at the time, was an assistant professor in WKU Libraries.

Spain acquired Louisiana from France in 1763 but was initially unsuccessful in integrating the distant colony into the Spanish commercial system. Encouraged by the colony’s chief financial officer, Intendant Martín Navarro, the Spanish Crown introduced legislation on January 22, 1782 to promote commerce. Free trade was to be permitted for ten years with designated ports in France. The liberal character of the code fostered the growth of numerous merchant companies in New Orleans who found markets for all of Louisiana’s exports in France, England and the French West Indies. Unfortunately, Spain continued to absorb all of the administrative costs for a colony whose trade was almost exclusively with foreign countries.
Citation Information
Brian E. Coutts. "The Intendant, the Merchants, and Free Trade in Louisiana, 1778-1788" (1988)
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