The Manila Galleons: A 16th Century Example of Globalization

TLDR The Manila Galleons were a crucial trade route in the 16th century, connecting Asia, the Americas, and Europe. This system of globalization allowed for the exchange of goods, culture, and ideas between these continents, leaving a lasting legacy of trade and cultural exchange.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Manila Galleons were an early example of globalization in the 16th century, connecting three continents and multiple civilizations.
02:13 The first true system of globalization began in the early 16th century as European naval powers, particularly Spain, claimed territory around the world, including the Philippines, which was strategically located for accessing Asian markets.
04:07 The Manila Galleon trade route was established in 1565, allowing Spanish ships to sail from the Philippines to Acapulco, Mexico, and trade silver with China, which heavily relied on silver for its monetary system.
06:05 Chinese merchants sailed to Manila from southern China, bringing luxury products from all over Asia, and the Manila Galleons were heavily protected due to the value of their cargo, with only four ships ever being captured in the 250-year history of the trade route.
07:57 Goods from Acapulco would then travel overland to Veracruz, where they would be loaded onto Galleons and sail to Spain as part of the treasure fleets, which were heavily armed armadas that sailed once or twice per year, making the Manila Galleon and the Atlantic Treasure Fleet one of the greatest conveyor belts of goods for 250 years; sailing around Africa was not an option due to the Treaty of Tortesillas, and the downfall of the Manila Galleon system was ultimately caused by reforms in Spain and the dissolution of the Spanish Empire in the Americas.
09:51 The Manila Galleon ended in 1815 due to revolutions in the Americas and advancements in sailing, but it left a lasting cultural connection between Mexico and the Philippines, and the logs of the Galleon voyages provide insight into the Pacific climate during that time; one mystery is why the Spanish never made contact with Hawaii despite passing by it for 250 years.
11:42 The Manila Galleon created a lasting legacy of trade and cultural exchange, and there is speculation but no hard evidence of Spanish contact with Hawaiians.
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