- About the Exhibit
- Empires and Revolutions: 1613–1825
- Trade with Spanish America: 1825-1900
- Cultural Encounters: 1825-1900
- Political Encounters: 1850-1930
- An Hispano Landscape: 1900–45
Trade with Spanish America: 1825-1900
After their revolutions, the U.S. and the countries of Spanish America traded without interference from imperial rulers. U.S. merchants also did a booming business with Spain’s remaining Caribbean colonies—Cuba and Puerto Rico.
In the 1800s, the South American trade helped turn the New York-Brooklyn metropolis into one of the world’s most prosperous urban centers. The city’s advantages already included a deep, safe harbor, access to the U.S. agricultural heartland through the Erie Canal, a huge and skilled workforce, and daring entrepreneurs. The growing volume of trade with South America now spurred the development of industry (from sugar refineries to machine shops), infrastructure (docks and warehouses), and finance (banks and marine insurance companies).