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The Map behind the Curtain

The Map behind the Curtain

(p.13) 1 The Map behind the Curtain
(p.iii) The Indies of the Setting Sun
Ricardo Padrón
University of Chicago Press

Conventional narratives of early modern European exploration and discovery emphasize the process by which the New World came to be understood as a landmass of continental status that was geographically separate from Asia and host to a range of natural phenomena and human cultures that were significantly different from those of the Old World, relegating attempts to imagine various forms of connectivity between Asia and America to the margins of the story. This chapter brings these attempts, as they were articulated by Spaniards involved in various ways in the work of maritime empire, to the forefront. It thereby contributes to emerging scholarly work in Spanish Pacific studies, which has emphasized the economic, material, and demographic exchanges facilitated by the Manila Galleons, but has not yet examined the geopolitical imaginary that made the galleons possible, and that was in turn transformed by their operation.

Keywords:   Edmundo O'Gorman, invention of America, Spanish Pacific, Manila Galleons

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