Between the boom and the crisis. The Cinco Gremios Mayores of Madrid in Arequipa (1790-1820)

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid
In 1790 the Company of the Cinco Gremios Mayores of Madrid established a commercial house in the city of Arequipa, Peru, to take advantage of the economic situation that appeared in southern Peru after the proclamation of Free Trade in 1778. Thanks to it, the Company managed to control the import trade throughout the region for nearly a decade. However, mismanagement and bad loans triggered a serious crisis within the house, which forced the intervention of directors from Madrid and their appointment of new commissioners. This articles seeks to reveal the various strategies employed by those commissioners and the Arequipa house, and how the strategies were related to the management of accounts, the collection of debts and the liquidation of stocks, all during a general crisis of the Company. © 2014. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.