Based on unpublished documents from Tuscan archives, this book investigates an unknown aspect of the English sea and trade expansion in the Mediterranean during the seventeenth century. After going through the history of Leghorn port and its role as the main partner of the English trade in the Mediterranean, Carlo Cipolla examines the importance of the sea trade sanitary precautions, especially during the plague in London in 1665, when in Leghorn the quarantine was widely used as a very effective way of controlling trade. Finally, the author considers the conflict between the Tuscan sanitary bureaucracy and the English traders, meant also and especially as a clash between two profoundly different cultures.
Carlo M. Cipolla, former Professor of Economic History at the University of California at Berkeley. During his lifetime he also taught at several major Italian Universities.