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The Iberian Atlantic: Ties, Networks, and Boundaries

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Chapter Summary

The Iberian Atlantic was established through social networks and commercial circuits that connected different markets and regions. This chapter challenges the Northern vision of the Atlantic system that resulted from the search for a common western civilisation, built through the American and the French revolutions, which could justify NATO, the political and military organisation created after the Second World War to face communist expansion. It also takes on board the debate on Wallerstein's theory of world systems, which helps us to understand the major economic structures and how they shaped space. As such, the chapter takes as its focus three separate, but intimately related issues: the economic, social, and cultural processes that forged the Iberian Atlantic; the different periods of development and decline in that geographical complex; and its boundaries and levels of integration or separation over time.

Keywords: Atlantic system; commercial circuits; Iberian Atlantic; social networks; Wallerstein's theory ofworld systems



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