Diplomatic and General History
When thirteen of Britain's North American colonies rebelled in 1775, Portugal naturally feared that the revolutionary doctrines being propounded in those colonies would spread to Brazil and Portugal. At the same time, it appreciated that a large amount of dried fish, grain and naval stores were regularly imported from North American colonies by Portugal and Brazil. These imports enabled America to import in return a large part of the wines produced in Madeira, some cotton and woollen cloth and spices, as well as goods from England and Europe. To understand Pombal's reactions to events in America they must be viewed against a backdrop of Spanish-Portuguese relations at that time.
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