The Galleon Trade


Acapulco Acapulco in 1628 – Photo Credit: Wikipedia 


The Manila Galleons were Spanish trading ships which linked the Philippines with Mexico when both were part of the New Spain. Until 1821, the Philippines was administered by the Viceroy of Mexico; direct rule by Spain only started in 1821.

The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade began when Spanish navigators Andres de Urdaneta and Alonso de Arellano discovered the eastward return route from the Philippines to Mexico in 1565. The Manila-Acapulco galleon trade lasted until 1815 when the Mexican War of Independence broke out.

Sailing as part of the expedition commanded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to conquer the Philippines in 1565, Urdaneta and Arellano were given the task of finding a return route. Reasoning that the trade winds of the Pacific might move in a gyre as the Atlantic winds did, they had to sail north to the 38th parallel north, off…

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