products of their manufacture to the colonies, when they did not have enough to supply their own needs. To make up for this deficiency their merchants were driven to have recourse to foreigners, to whom they lent their names in order to elude a law which forbade commerce between the colonies and traders of other nations. In return for the manufactured articles of the English, Dutch and French, and of the great commercial cities like Genoa and Hamburg, they were obliged to give their own raw materials and the products of the Indies--wool, silks, wines and dried fruits, cochineal, dye-woods, indigo and leather, and finally, indeed, ingots of gold and silver. The trade in Spain thus in time became a mere passive machine. Already in 1545 it had been found impossible to furnish in less than six years the goods demanded by the merchants of Spanish America. At the end of the seventeenth century, foreigners were supplying five-sixths of the manufactures consumed in Spain itself, and engrossed nine-tenths of that Amer
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