In the late eighteenth century, Montevideo evolved from a small colonial town dependent on Buenos Aires into the main Atlantic port in the region. Networks connecting Montevideo to Luso-Brazilian merchants turned Montevideo into a hub for trans-imperial trade. Between 1778 and 1810, thousands of Spanish and foreign ships entered the port of Montevideo. As a result, although economically dependent on Buenos Aires’ commercial community, Montevideo merchants and authorities managed to use their privileged port, newly created institutions and trans-imperial networks to advance the city's commercial and political role within the estuary. The emergence of Montevideo as an Atlantic port city with global connections was not an isolated event, but a part of a broader process of growing global trade and political transformation.
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