An Atlantic Slave Trade Stretching from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and Beyond

David Wheat, Xabier Lamikiz, Roberto Zaugg, April Lee Hatfield, Filipa Ribeiro da Silva, L. H. Roper, Alejandro García-Montón

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalBook/Film/Article reviewScientific


The study of the trans-Atlantic slave trade is becoming increasingly sophisticated, diverse, and international. Challenging prevailing stereotypes about the dominance of northern European business interests, García Montón’s study shows the persistent vigor of Genoa’s merchant community in this examination of the asiento system that emerged in the mid-seventeenth century and continued into the mid-eighteenth century. Along the way, he also illuminates the slave trade’s connections to many other forms of trade, legitimate and illegitimate, on both sides of the Atlantic. Impressed with his research and approach, these six reviewers discuss its implications for a variety of international contexts, from Central Europe to Italy, Iberia, England, and the Caribbean, including the profitability of the asiento trade and the many different people who participated in and benefitted from it on both sides of the Atlantic. It emerges that the asiento was about much more than just the slave trade. Its profits and trading networks helped integrate the different imperial economies with footholds in the Caribbean. Drawing on the wealth of new scholarship from these different historiographies, they raise some questions about elements that García Montón did not pursue fully in the book. He responds with additional research to address some of those issues, while also calling for more research on the interconnected “asiento worlds” that are one of the most fascinating and unanticipated results of his research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-240
Number of pages72
JournalJournal of Early American History
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Asiento
  • Economic History
  • Slave Trade
  • Smuggling


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