Spain acquired Louisiana from France in 1763 but was initially unsuccessful in integrating the distant colony into the Spanish commercial system. Encouraged by the colony’s chief financial officer, Intendant Martín Navarro, the Spanish Crown introduced legislation on January 22, 1782 to promote commerce. Free trade was to be permitted for ten years with designated ports in France. The liberal character of the code fostered the growth of numerous merchant companies in New Orleans who found markets for all of Louisiana’s exports in France, England and the French West Indies. Unfortunately, Spain continued to absorb all of the administrative costs for a colony whose trade was almost exclusively with foreign countries.
Economic History | Economic Policy
Recommended Repository Citation
Coutts, Brian E., "The Intendant, the Merchants, and Free Trade in Louisiana, 1778-1788" (1988). DLPS Faculty Publications. Paper 40.