Plan, Market and Money: a Study of Circulation in Peru
Citation:Barbara Bradby, Plan, Market and Money: a Study of Circulation in Peru, unpublished DPhil thesis, Falmer, University of Sussex, 1982, 363pp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. hence 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 Some unpublished documentation from the archive at Huancavelica is used to analyse the conflict over the supply of forced labourers to the state's mercury mine there and, more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.
Keywords:Huancavelica, mercury mine
Peru, colonial period
Publisher:University of Sussex