Twilight of Atlantism

Europe will be prosperous again when it stops looking Westwards and turns its regard to the East and recognises itself as part of Eurasia, as it had always been until the XV Century.

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Since the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe has not seen an organized and prosperous economy producing wealth and credit that was not linked to China, whose reflection reached Europe' through its neighbors in the Near East.


In the 15th century, several events occurred that changed that millennial trend in Europe, which since Antiquity Europe finds its economic complement in the East.


Those who best enjoyed this powerful international economic relationship were the Italian merchant marine republics or the free cities of the Germanic Empire; whose fleets also sailed to the Near East.


The magistrates of those prosperous free cities were educated and experienced business people which without having synthesized their experience in theoretical principles of political economy, had an empirical knowledge that they applied to avoid whatever could harm the interest of their fellow citizens.


The Discovery of America coincides (1492) with the fall of Byzantium (1453) in the hands of the Turks. The fall of Byzantium left trade with the East as a monopoly of the Turkish Empire.


That coup weakened the political and military power of the prosperous European republics and favored the development of National States ruled by aggressive absolute monarchs (Louis XI of France, Henry VIII of England, Ferdinand of Aragon) who destroyed the statutes and freedoms of their respective republican cities and disregarded their guilds rights and the tax exemptions of the commercial corporations that administered both industries and trade and governed the politics of the free city-states that nurtured with their prosperity and cosmopolitan vision a cultural revolution: the Renaissance.


The Renaissance was a powerful revolution that displaced after a whole millennium the grim and cruel pontifical and clerical universalism that, by the name of  Christianity, was installed by the tyrannical Emperor Constantine imposed with blood, fire and destruction throughout Europe .


The new type of European national and absolute monarch considered himself qualified to dispose of the national fortune, whose administration was left in the hands of small groups of friends without any industrial, productive or commercial experience, therefore oblivious to the good administration that produces an abundance that is synonymous with well-being.


The absolute monarchs tended to cede the administration of the Kingdom, entrusting it to people of pedigree in their fidelity to the King, but without experience in any productive economic activity. Usually flattering courtiers of extravagant tastes or nobles of ancient lineage, unrelated to any economic activity beyond the typical agricultural production of feudal society.


The wars between Spain, France and England lasted a whole century (16th) and ruined and devastated the richest and most productive regions of Europe.


Some philosophers, faced with the destitution, studied norms to improve the administration of the finances of the State and to return to prosperity.


Those philosophers studied the cause and origin of the wealth of nations.


European kings, ruined by their wars, began to be more cautious in choosing ministers of public finance.


This is how Sully (Henry IV) and Colbert (Louis XIV) imposed a certain logic on the administration of the French estate.


With them the Mercantile System was imposed in Europe. According to which, the origin of wealth is the national accumulation of precious metals; For this, it is necessary to retain metals by importing little and attracting them by exporting a lot.


At that time and until the 19th century, the greatest economic power in the world was China. An empire that under the Ming dynasty was in the process of substituting its paper money in circulation for silver coins. That coincided with the mercantile doctrine; so it seemed that China was in fact practicing a similar policy.


China was self-sufficient, produced and supplied itself with everything it needed; everything but the silver coins needed to optimize its internal trade with more durable money. For this reason, in 1663, his Emperor ordered that exports products be paid for with silver. A somewhat complicated requirement for European merchants. Because in Europe most silver mines were exhausted. At this very moment it was discovered that in America there was abundant silver in unexploited mines.


Suddenly, in the seventeenth century, European attention turned from East to West, to America, on the other side of the Atlantic where there is a lot of silver currency.


Navigation techniques had improved greatly, Holland and England had supplanted Portugal in trade with the Orient; it prompted the creation of several private companies engaged in trade with the East Indies that needed silver from the West Indies, across the Atlantic to keep their prosperous trade with China.


Hence the shift of Europe towards the Atlantic occurred in the XV Century, when the Turks blocked the Access by land to the Far East


Anglo-Saxon interest in Spanish America became intense because 300-gram silver coins were the standard currency in that fortunate region.


In the XVIII Century, Charles III of Spain created the Viceroyalty (Virreinato) of Rio de la Plata, integrating the legendary Potosi silver mines. So the Potosi silver was to reach the Atlantic via Buenos Aires. That was the reason for England to request in the Utrecht peace deals the right to have a ship permanently in front of Buenos Aires (barco de alzada) so it could trade in silver with the local merchants. In 1806, England went further and invaded Buenos Aires and would have probably marched up to Potosi if Linniers hadn’t immediately expelled them by force.


China doesn’t request payments in silver for its products anymore. European interest in the indebted wealth on the other side of the Atlantic tends to decrease since the U.S. pays its purchases with more debt and worthless digital money.


China is again the First World Economy and Europe its main trading partner.


China reaches Europe from the East. It is investing huge amounts of money to carry out the New Silk Road Initiative which means an ultramodern transport infrastructure to carry trade between China and Europe. The reality of the mutual wealth increase that the Chinese approach promotes may someday dawn on the minds of the Brussels politicians, to realize that it is a better deal than to pay obedience and tribute (2% of GDP) for Atlanticist Military Occupation.


Europe will be prosperous again when it stops looking Westwards and turns its regard to the East and recognises itself as part of Eurasia, as it had always been until the XV Century. Geography is the real author of History.


Almeria 04/05/2021
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