The Denver Art Museum held a symposium in 2006 to examine a little-known aspect of globalization in the early modern era. Specialists in the arts and history of Asia and Latin America came from Europe, Asia, and the Americas to present recent research on connections between the two areas. Edited by Denver Art Museum curators Donna Pierce and Ronald Otsuka, this volume presents revised and expanded versions of the papers presented at the symposium.
European dominance of the shipping lanes in the early modern period was a prelude to the great age of European imperial power in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yet in the present age we can see that the pre-imperial age was in fact more an 'age of partnership' or an 'age of competition' when the West and Asia vied on even terms. The essays in this volume examine, on a global basis, the many different trading empires from the end of the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century.
Plantations, especially sugar plantations, created slave societies and a racism persisting well into post- slavery periods: so runs a familiar argument that has been used to explain the sweep of Caribbean history. Here one of the most eminent scholars of modern social theory applies this assertion to a comparative study of most Caribbean islands from the time of the American Revolution to the Spanish American War. Arthur Stinchcombe uses insights from his own much admired Economic Sociology to show why sugar planters needed the help of repressive governments for recruiting disciplined labor. Demonstrating that island-to- island variations on this theme were a function of geography, local political economy, and relation to outside powers, he scrutinizes Caribbean slavery and Caribbean emancipation movements in a world-historical context. Throughout the book, Stinchcombe aims to develop a sociology of freedom that explains a number of complex phenomena, such as how liberty for some individuals may restrict the liberty of others. Thus, the autonomous governments of colonies often produced more oppressive conditions for slaves than did so-called arbitrary governments, which had the power to restrict the whims of the planters. Even after emancipation, freedom was not a clear-cut matter of achieving the ideals of the Enlightenment. Indeed, it was often a route to a social control more efficient than slavery, providing greater flexibility for the planter class and posing less risk of violent rebellion.
Located in the heart of the Andes, Potosí was arguably the most important urban center in the Western Hemisphere during the colonial era. It was internationally famous for its abundant silver mines and regionally infamous for its labor draft. Set in this context of opulence and oppression associated with the silver trade,Trading Rolesemphasizes daily life in the city’s streets, markets, and taverns. As Jane E. Mangan shows, food and drink transactions emerged as the most common site of interaction for Potosinos of different ethnic and class backgrounds.
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Located between Mexico City and Veracruz, Puebla has been a political hub since its founding as Puebla de los Ángeles in 1531. Frances L. Ramos's dynamic and meticulously researched study exposes and explains the many (and often surprising) ways that politics and political culture were forged, tested, and demonstrated through public ceremonies in eighteenth-century Puebla, colonial Mexico's "second city." With Ramos as a guide, we are not only dazzled by the trappings of power--the silk canopies, brocaded robes, and exploding fireworks--but are also witnesses to the public spectacles through which municipal councilmen consolidated local and imperial rule. By sponsoring a wide variety of carefully choreographed rituals, the municipal council made locals into audience, participants, and judges of the city's tumultuous political life. Public rituals encouraged residents to identify with the Roman Catholic Church, their respective corporations, the Spanish Empire, and their city, but also provided arenas where individuals and groups could vie for power. As Ramos portrays the royal oath ceremonies, funerary rites, feast-day celebrations, viceregal entrance ceremonies, and Holy Week processions, we have to wonder who paid for these elaborate rituals--and why. Ramos discovers and decodes the intense debates over expenditures for public rituals and finds them to be a central part of ongoing efforts of councilmen to negotiate political relationships. Even with the Spanish Crown's increasing disapproval of costly public ritual and a worsening economy, Puebla's councilmen consistently defied all attempts to diminish their importance. Ramos innovatively employs a wealth of source materials, including council minutes, judicial cases, official correspondence, and printed sermons, to illustrate how public rituals became pivotal in the shaping of Puebla's complex political culture.
By the end of the eighteenth century, Peru had witnessed the decline of its once-thriving silver industry, and it had barely begun to recover from massive population losses due to smallpox and other diseases. At the time, it was widely believed that economic salvation was contingent upon increasing the labor force and maintaining as many healthy workers as possible. In Medicine and Politics in Colonial Peru,Adam Warrenpresents a groundbreaking study of the primacy placed on medical care to generate population growth during this era. The Bourbon reforms of the eighteenth century shaped many of the political, economic, and social interests of Spain and its colonies. In Peru, local elites saw the reforms as an opportunity to positively transform society and its conceptions of medicine and medical institutions in the name of the Crown. Creole physicians in particular, took advantage of Bourbon reforms to wrest control of medical treatment away from the Catholic Church, establish their own medical expertise, and create a new, secular medical culture. They asserted their new influence by treating smallpox and leprosy, by reforming medical education, and by introducing hygienic routines into local funeral rites, among other practices. Later, during the early years of independence, government officials began to usurp the power of physicians and shifted control of medical care back to the church. Creole doctors, without the support of the empire, lost much of their influence, and medical reforms ground to a halt. As Warren's study reveals, despite falling in and out of political favor, Bourbon reforms and creole physicians were instrumental to the founding of modern medicine in Peru, and their influence can still be felt today.
To rule their vast new American territories, the Spanish monarchs appointed viceroys in an attempt to reproduce the monarchical system of government prevailing at the time in Europe. But despite the political significance of the figure of the viceroy, little is known about the mechanisms of viceregal power and its relation to ideas of kingship. Examining this figure, The King's LivingImagechallenges long-held perspectives on the political nature of Spanish colonialism, recovering, at the same time, the complexity of the political discourses and practices of Spanish rule. It does so by studying the viceregal political culture that developed in New Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the mechanisms, both formal and informal, of viceregal rule. In so doing, The King's Living Imagequestions the very existence of a "colonial state" and contends that imperial power was constituted in ritual ceremonies. It also emphasizes the viceroys' significance in carrying out the civilizing mission of the Spanish monarchy with regard to the indigenous population. The King's LivingImagewill redefine the ways in which scholars have traditionally looked at the viceregal administration in colonial Mexico.
This study examines certain key elements of the "making" or "inventing" of Lima as Peru's viceregal capital. Through analysis of seventeenth-century ceremonies of state and local religious rituals, this book asserts that colonial Lima was culturally diverse and its rich population more integrated than historiography would suggest.
In an age of revolution, Mexico's creole leaders held aloft the Virgin of Guadalupe and brandished an Aztec eagle perched upon a European tricolor. Their new constitution proclaimed 'the Mexican nation is forever free and independent'. Yet the genealogy of this new nation is not easy to trace. Colonial Mexico was a patchwork state whose new-world vassals served the crown, extended the empire's frontiers and lived out their civic lives in parallel Spanish and Indian republics. Theirs was a world of complex intercultural alliances, interlocking corporate structures and shared spiritual and temporal ambitions. Sean F. McEnroe describes this history at the greatest and smallest geographical scales, reconsidering what it meant to be an Indian vassal, nobleman, soldier or citizen over three centuries in northeastern Mexico. He argues that the Mexican municipality, state and citizen were not so much the sudden creations of a revolutionary age as the progeny of a mature multiethnic empire.
In this comparative-historical analysis of Spanish America, Mahoney offers a new theory of colonialism and postcolonial development. He explores why certain kinds of societies are subject to certain kinds of colonialism and why these forms of colonialism give rise to countries with differing levels of economic prosperity and social well-being. Mahoney contends that differences in the extent of colonialism are best explained by the potentially evolving fit between the institutions of the colonizing nation and those of the colonized society. Moreover, he shows how institutions forged under colonialism bring countries to relative levels of development that may prove remarkably enduring in the postcolonial period. The argument is sure to stir discussion and debate, both among experts on Spanish America who believe that development is not tightly bound by the colonial past, and among scholars of colonialism who suggest that the institutional identity of the colonizing nation is of little consequence.