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Chapter Summary

Glory, God, and Gold, so goes the refrain, drove Spain into its New World ventures. In the late fifteenth century, however, the shortage of gold in Europe was compelling enough in itself to motivate the quest for new sources of that metal. In Spanish America silver ultimately dominated, although very early in the colonial epoch Europeans discovered gold in the Caribbean and later in Chile, Ecuador, and New Granada as well. In Luso-America (Brazil) the Portuguese eventually found gold in great abundance, primarily in the eighteenth century. Estimations of New World bullion output continued into the early twentieth century. Except for Brazil in Luso-America and New Granada, Ecuador, Chile, and the Caribbean in Spanish America, gold in the Indies was scarcer than silver.

Keywords: Brazil; gold; New World bullion output; Spanish America silver



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