1479-1660 History of Northern Africa Canary Islands, 1815-1880

Canary Islands, 1660-1815

By 1660, the plantation economy of the (Spanish) Canary Islands was on a sorry condition, it's sugar prosuction long outshadowed by the sugar plantations of Brazil and the West Indies. Other plantation crops - dyestuffs and wine - did not sell at such high prices. Raids by the pirates who had their bases on the Moroccan coast made life much more difficult; coastal settlements were pillaged, the population carried off to be sold on the slave markets of North Africa. Many Canarians moved inland. On August 16th 1672, a battle was fought on Tenerife, against pirates from Algiers.
The rigidity by which Spanish privileges and monopolies were enforced harmed the island's economy. The Treasure Fleet too often did not reach Spain, it became a burden rather than an asset for the island's economy. The Canary Islands, as nearby Portuguese Madeira, became emigration country.
From 1778, trade was liberalized, and the islands' economy slowly began to recover. Among the products were tobacco, wine, cotton and silk. In 1797, the British navy under Lord Nelson was repelled at Santa Cruz.

History of La Palma, from ing.iac.es
The Canary Islands, from Catholic Encyclopedia, and from Infoplease
History of Lanzarote, from Gray's World
Enfrentamientos Canarias/Berberia, from Historia Canarias, in Spanish

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 22nd 2001, last revised on November 6th 2004

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