In the 16th-century, the primary constraint of the export of gold and silver from Spanish colonies to the mainland was the shortage of labor. The indigenous workers kept dying in the mines. Later, when the flow of gold stemmed, a tradition of devaluing hard currencies– caused by the historical surplus of gold in Spain– led to economic panic, as the Spanish were trading their gold away for cheaply produced products from more industrial nations. People started to call the Spanish the Indians of Europe.
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