Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Peter Gordon: The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalisation, 1565–1815

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

13 Sep
LCI Peter Gordon - Copy
Peter Gordon Main

Long before London and New York rose to international prominence, a trading route was discovered between Spanish America and China that ushered in a new era of globalisation. The “Ruta de la Plata” or “Silver Way” catalysed economic and cultural exchange, built the foundations for the first global currency in the Spanish and Mexican pesos, and led to the rise of the first “world city”. And yet, for all its importance, the “Silver Way” and Manila galleons that traversed it have too often been neglected in conventional narratives on the birth of globalisation.

This talk will recap the history of the “Ruta de la Plata”, its connection to past and future “Silk Roads”, how it can inform an understanding of China’s global role today, its relevance to the extension of the Belt & Road Initiative to Latin America, and what financial lessons there might from the time when “the dollar spoke Spanish”.

Speaker: Peter Gordon

Peter Gordon is co-author of “The Silver Way: China, Spanish America and the Birth of Globalisation, 1565–1815” (Penguin 2017) and editor of the Asian Review of Books. He has been resident in Hong Kong since 1985 and was instrumental in the establishment and organization of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and Man Asian Literary Prize. His writings have appeared in the Diplomat, South China Morning Post, the Nikkei Asian Review, Caixin and other publications.

Search for another event