"Reverse Colonialism": The Multi-Directional Nature of Cultural Exchange in the 18th-Century Spanish Atlantic
Author(s): Kathryn Ness
In 1492, Spain “discovered” the Americas and proceeded to lay claim to as much of the New World and its natural resources as it could. The colonization and territorial expansion that followed has been fodder for clergy, scholars, historians, and archaeologists throughout the intervening centuries. The majority of these discussions, however, address the impact of Spain’s imperial activities in the Americas, specifically during the “Golden Age” of the 16th and 17th centuries. In this paper, I explore the multi-directional nature of this trans-Atlantic cultural exchange by considering the impact the Americas had on daily life in Spain, especially during the 18th-century Bourbon dynasty. This period was one of intense cultural refashioning throughout the Atlantic as the new French-based dynasty gave rise to an increase in non-Spanish, European fashions and philosophies in the Spanish Empire. Similarly, exotic American goods like chocolate permeated from the Spanish upper classes to middle-class households, indicating that significant portions of Spanish society had access to and consumed foreign goods and ideas. Using the 18th-century Spanish Atlantic as an example, I aim to emphasize the importance of considering how a colony can influence the motherland.
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"Reverse Colonialism": The Multi-Directional Nature of Cultural Exchange in the 18th-Century Spanish Atlantic. Kathryn Ness. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403784)
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