The world of 1714. Around Barcelona
The world in 1700 was a patchwork of cultures and powers that was much more diverse than the world today. The epicentre of the world’s population, as well as the largest, most auton - omous empires, could be found in Asia, while in fragmented Europe the competition between the different states and trade initiatives boost - ed overseas expansion.
The earliest systems of globalisation, controlled by Portugal and Castile since the 15th century, were being increasingly challenged by the big trading companies and by other European na - tions. When King Charles II died, the uncertain succession to the crown of the Spanish empire affected both the European balance of power and relations with other continents. As a result, war broke out.
After military strategies had pushed the conflict towards Catalonia – where the constitutions were solidly defended in the face of absolut - ism, and the trading elites mirrored those of Holland and England – the Catalans viewed participation in the war as representing both a risk and an opportunity.