The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

BOOK REVIEWS
The Manila Galleon. By William Lytle Schurz. (New York:
E. P. Dutton & Co., 1939. Pp. 453. Maps, charts, bibliog-
raphy, and index. $6.00.)
This book is an exhaustive and definitive study of a field of
Spanish colonial history heretofore generally neglected by writers
of both history and fiction. The general student of history and the
reader of historical novels have been given much of fact and fancy
about the rich galleon trade between the Americas and Spain, but
it has remained for Mr. Schurz to present the infinitely more inter-
esting commerce across the Pacific, "the Spanish Lake."
The Manila galleons plied their annual way from Acapulco,
Mexico, and Manila, in the Philippines, for two hundred and
fifty years, from 1565 to 1815. These long and perilous trade
trips began twenty years before Raleigh's first effort to settle
Virginia failed, and continued till the year Andrew Jackson
won the battle of New Orleans. These trade trips made and lost
the fortune of many a Spanish grandee of Manila and enriched
the life of New Spain with Oriental luxuries.
Mr. Schurz's work is broader than a history of Spanish treasure
ships and colonial trade. The ramifications of this galleon trade
touched every phase of the early history of the Pacific area. After
a detailed introduction of the early history of Spain in the Philip-
pines, Mr. Schurz shows the effect which this galleon trade had
on the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and others, and the part
which each of these nationalities played in this trade and in the
early history of the Spanish Philippines.
Part II is devoted to the actual navigation of the Pacific trade
route between Manila and Mexico. A chapter is given to each
of the subjects, The Galleons, The Route, and The Voyage. Part
III discusses the efforts of Spain to convert the Pacific into a
"Spanish Lake," and the resultant conflicts with the Dutch and
English over trade and dominion in this area. Here are given the
attempts of Drake, Cavendish, Dampier, and Rogers to capture
the richest of all prizes that a buccaneer ever sought, the Manila
Galleon.
The last part of the book proper shows the effect of the Pacific
galleon trade on Mexico and Peru. Except for a brief period,

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 43, July 1939 - April, 1940. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101111/. Accessed July 12, 2014.