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asiento (Spanish: contract) was the concession made by Spain to Britain at Utrecht in 1713 of the right to supply negro slaves to the Spanish empire. It had previously been held by the Portuguese and the French. Intended to last for thirty years, the trade was never as profitable as the British hoped and disputes about its implementation were among the causes of the War of Jenkins's Ear in 1739. At Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 the British argued for an addition of the four years lost by warfare, but in 1750 relinquished the concession for £100,000 compensation.

J. A. Cannon

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