By Kendall W. Brown
For twenty-five years, Kendall Brown studied Potosí, Spanish America's maximum silver manufacturer and maybe the world's most renowned mining district. He examine the flood of silver that flowed from its Cerro Rico and realized of the toil of its miners. Potosí symbolized extraordinary wealth and incredible ache. New global bullion influenced the formation of the 1st international financial system yet even as it had profound results for hard work, as mine operators and refiners resorted to severe varieties of coercion to safe staff. In
many situations the surroundings additionally suffered devastating harm.
All of this happened within the identify of wealth for person marketers, businesses, and the ruling states. but the query continues to be of ways a lot fiscal improvement mining controlled to supply in Latin the USA and what have been its social and ecological effects. Brown's specialize in the mythical mines at Potosí and comparability of its operations to these of alternative mines in Latin the US is a well-written and obtainable research that's the first to span the colonial period to the present.
Part of the Diálogos sequence of Latin American reports
Read Online or Download A History of Mining in Latin America : From the Colonial Era to the Present PDF
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Additional info for A History of Mining in Latin America : From the Colonial Era to the Present
The guild oversaw the Mining Tribunal, which drew up mining ordinances for the industry and adjudicated legal disputes and also supported the mining school established in 1792 in Mexico City. A tax of one real for each mark of registered silver provided revenue for the tribunal and school. The Crown approved a similar guild for Peru in 1787, with regulations and ordinances based on the Mexican model, and another for Upper Peru in 1794 that was headquartered in Potosí. The guilds acted as a lobby for miners’ interests.
23 During the heyday of Potosí’s production in the late sixteenth century, the treasure fleets amazed the spectators. For example, 12 Chapter 1 on 22 March 1595 the ships of the Indies silver fleet arrived at the docks of Seville, and began to unload and put in the Board of Trade 332 cartloads of silver, gold and pearls of great value. 24 Sometimes the treasure was so great that piles of silver and gold bars had to be left under guard on the docks. In the Seville mint, two hundred workers struggled to make coins out of the flood of bullion.
5–7:1, whereas in Spain, as indicated above, the ratio was 12–14:1. ”32 Although Europeans traded some woolen textiles, metal products, and other goods for the luxuries of the East, Asian demand for European goods was not nearly as strong as the European taste for Eastern luxuries. Given this negative balance of trade, European merchants often had to pay for 40 to 50 percent of their purchases in silver. East Asia used the bullion as a medium of exchange in its economies and thus was willing to trade luxury goods for the metals.