The South Sea Company and its plan for a naval expedition in 1712

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Abstract

This article investigates the project of a naval expedition to the Pacific planned by the South Sea Company in 1712, which has been disregarded by historians as either a political farce or an inexplicable incident. By examining the company's documents and pamphlets, this article reveals the contemporary economic and political situations that obliged it to plan an expedition for securing trading bases in Spanish America. It also shows that the failure of the project and the acceptance of the Asiento were a turning point in the history of Britain's struggle to take the Spanish American market from France.

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