Huancavelica, mercury mine Peru, colonial period Sociology History
University of Sussex
Barbara Bradby, Plan, Market and Money: a Study of Circulation in Peru, unpublished DPhil thesis, Falmer, University of Sussex, 1982, 363pp
This thesis reanalyses a paradigm colonial encounter, that of the' Spanish conquest of Inca Peru, in the light of the theory that circulation and money are themselves class processes, which cannot be reduced to market' exchange
A reading of the. 16th century Spanish Visitas shows that the Andean
settlement pattern of 'vertical colonies' was part of a mode of exploitation of labour based on control of the-circulation of certain key goods - coca,
salt, chilli, -maize-alcohol. These goods, produced in the colonies, were
means of payment that could be exchanged for labour in the main centres
of population. Cloth, one of the main goods produced by such labour, was
itself crucial in controlling the circulation of population and planning of tribute under the Incas.
Three case-studies of the colonial period then examine the articulation between this Andean system, the development of the market, and attempts
by the Spanish state to control circulation. It is argued that the 16th
century encomienda was a mechanism for marketing the products of a planned tribute system not dissimilar to that of the Incas, and that the
rapid development of the market in goods whose circulation had formerly
been controlled - coca, alcohol and cloth - presented a major contradiction
for the local Indian rulers. Some unpublished documentation from the archive
at Huancavelica is used to analyse the conflict over the supply of forced
labourers to the state's mercury mine there and, more generally, the inter- action between the forces of plan and market. Finally, the legalisation
of the 'Distributions of Goods' in the 18th century is seen as an attempt
at state planning of the market in payment goods. The breakdown of the alliance between Spanish and Indian ruling classes in the 18th century reb-
ellions is then reinterpreted, and some conclusions drawn on the different material ways in which circulation can be used to control labour.
Please note: There is a known bug in some browsers that causes an
error when a user tries to view large pdf file within the browser window.
If you receive the message "The file is damaged and could not be
repaired", please try one of the solutions linked below based on the
browser you are using.
Items in TARA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.