Reading34-1 (dragged) 8

Reading34-1 (dragged) 8 - Reading 34-1 9 Meanwhile wealthy...

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9 Reading 34-1 Meanwhile, wealthy western Europeans had turned to sugar rather than honey, and even before the advent of tea, coffee, and cocoa, sugar dependence was great enough to bring the New World into the reckoning to redress the balance of the Old. In the Europe of 1600, only Spain produced sugar in quantity. The rise in the price of sugar over the last 30 years of the 16th century was partially caused by in f a- tion, in turn caused by increased money supply throughout Europe. There is much argument about gold and silver treasure from Latin America and its effects on Europe. At this time the very unimaginative system of management did not allow the treasure to be employed usefully in Spain or the colonies, and this vast capital bene F ce, a windfall equivalent to F ve or ten years’ national income, was largely lost through ignorance and the rigid habits of a monarchy in theory absolute, in fact limited by ability. This affected the whole of Europe, not least Portugal which was a dependency of Spain from 1580 onward. By 1640, when Spain relinquished
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