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Cádiz

CÁDIZ

CÁDIZ. The Spanish city Cádiz is located in the southwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, close to the Strait of Gibraltar, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This location explains the historically strategic position of the city in international trade routes that linked Europe, Africa, and America. The commercial activities in the city started with the Phoenicians three thousand years ago, and trade financed the first defensive walls built to protect the city against pirates in the Middle Ages. Commercial specialization was reinforced by the fact that land and water for agricultural purposes were scarce and by the large bay suitable for use by numerous heavy ships.

Between the thirteenth and the fifteenth centuries fishing and trade with North Africa were the main economic activities of the Cádiz inhabitants (1,255 in 1465). Both fishing and trade attracted merchants and fishermen from northern Spain (Biscay) and Italy (Genoa in particular). In the fifteenth century peace on the Iberian Peninsula and Castilian expansion into the Atlantic favored the transformation of a village of fishermen into a larger city. The end of the Granada War against Muslim Spain in 1492 and the Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands and America increased enormously the strategic and commercial importance of Cádiz in the crown of Castile.

Growing trade and wealth in the sixteenth century stimulated manufactures, guilds, religious and educational establishments, and cultural life. Commercial prosperity also spawned numerous attacks from Portuguese, North African, and British pirates or corsairs in the second half of the sixteenth century.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries merchants and institutions of Spanish American colonial trade moved from Seville to Cádiz because its geographical and commercial conditions were better adapted to increasing shipping tonnage and the value of commercial exchanges. Cádiz became the only legal center allowed to administer the Spanish monopoly of trade with America from the establishment in 1717 of the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) and Consulado de Comercio (Mercantile Association). Despite the end of the legal monopoly after 1765 and 1778, Cádiz remained a major center of Spanish colonial trade until the last decade of the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth century. Between 1778 and 1788 exports from Cádiz increased 400 percent and came to represent 72 percent of all legal exports sent from Spain to its American colonies. The crown protected colonial revenues by installing the military headquarters of the Capitanía General de Andalucía (a regional department of the Spanish army) in Cádiz in 1768.

The increasingly multicultural mercantile community of the city, composed of hundreds of merchants from the rest of Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, England, Germany, Russia, the Low Countries, Portugal, and the American territories, enjoyed religious and cultural protection from royal officers. Immigration increased the total population of a city characterized by low fertility rates and led to the city's demographic growth from 30,000 inhabitants in 1709 to 77,500 in 1791, with a density of nearly 9,000 inhabitants per square kilometer in 1791. Foreigners represented approximately 15 to 21 percent of the total population on average, most of them involved in colonial trade. Spanish merchants by and large worked as commissioners for foreign merchants, who benefited most from Spanish colonial trade in the city. Nevertheless, research in notarial archives has revealed that important percentages of foreigners did not return to their countries with the profits from colonial trade but stayed in the city, married, and founded families who lived in Andalusia for several generations, thus reinvesting their wealth and maintaining commercial networks in Spain.

See also Commerce and Markets ; Spain.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bustos Rodríguez, Manuel, ed. Historia de Cádiz: Los siglos decisivos. Madrid, 1990. A general overview.

Fernández Pérez, Paloma. El rostro familiar de la metrópoli: Redes de parentesco y lazos mercantiles en Cádiz, 17001812. Madrid, 1997. A study of the mercantile community of Cádiz in the eighteenth century, with a focus on multicultural coexistence, gender, and the creation of networks of family groups in the firms.

García-Baquero González, Antonio. Cádiz y el Atlántico 17171778: El comercio colonial español bajo el monopolio gaditano. 2 vols. Cádiz, 1976. An economic study of Spanish colonial trade in Cádiz.

Pérez Serrano, Julio. Cádiz, la ciudad desnuda: Cambio económico y modelo demográfico en la formación de la Andalucía contemporánea. Cádiz, 1992. A specialized book on the demography of the city in the transition from early modern to late modern times.

Paloma FernÁndez PÉrez

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Cádiz

Cádiz (kä´dēth), city (1990 pop. 156,903), capital of Cádiz prov., SW Spain, in Andalusia, on the Bay of Cádiz. Picturesquely situated on a promontory (joined to the Isla de León, just off the mainland), it is today chiefly a port exporting wines and other agricultural items and importing coal, iron, and foodstuffs. Shipbuilding and fishing are other industries. There is a Spanish naval base in Cádiz and a U.S. naval base at nearby Rota.

The Phoenicians founded (c.1100 BC) on the site the port of Gadir, which became a market for tin and the silver of Tarshish. It was taken (c.500 BC) by the Carthaginians and passed late in the 3d cent. BC to the Romans, who called it Gades. It flourished until the fall of Rome, but suffered from the barbarian invasions and declined further under the Moors. After its reconquest (1262) by Alfonso X of Castile, its fortifications were rebuilt.

The discovery of America revived its prosperity, as many ships from America unloaded their cargoes there. Columbus sailed from Cádiz on his second voyage (1495). In 1587, Sir Francis Drake burned a Spanish fleet in its harbor, and in 1596 the earl of Essex attacked and partly destroyed the city. But it continued to flourish and in 1718, after Seville's port had become partially blocked by a sandbar, Cádiz became the official center for New World trade. After Spain lost its American colonies, the city declined. During the siege by the French—which Cádiz resisted for two years (1810–12) until relieved by Wellington—the Cortes assembled in the city and issued the famous liberal constitution for Spain (Mar., 1812). Cádiz fell to the Nationalists almost immediately in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1980 Phoenician sarcophagi were discovered at two different sites, supporting the theory that the city is of Phoenician origin. One of the oldest and best-preserved Roman theaters was discovered in Cádiz in 1980. The clean, white city has palm-lined promenades and parks. Its 13th-century cathedral, originally Gothic, was rebuilt in Renaissance style; the new cathedral was begun in 1722. Cádiz has several museums and an art gallery with works by Murillo, Alonso Cano, and Zurbarán. In the church of the former Capuchin convent hangs the Marriage of St. Catherine by Murillo, who was at work on this painting when he fell from a scaffold to his death.

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Cádiz

Cádiz Port in sw Spain, on the Gulf of Cádiz; capital of Cádiz province (founded 1100 bc). It became an important port for shipping routes to the Americas, and in 1587 a Spanish fleet was burned here by Sir Francis Drake. It has a 13th-century cathedral, art and archaeological museums. Industries: shipbuilding, sherry, olives, salt, fishing. Pop. (2000) 138,006.

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Cadíz

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