'Amsterdam is Standing on Norway', Part I: The Alchemy of Capital, Empire and Nature in the Diaspora of Silver, 1545–1648
2010 (English)In: Journal of Agrarian Change, ISSN 1471-0358, E-ISSN 1471-0366, Vol. 10, no 1, 33-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the first of two essays in this Journal, I seek to unify the historicalgeography of early modern ‘European expansion’ (Iberia and Latin America)with the environmental history of the ‘transition to capitalism’ (northwestern Europe). The expansion of Europe’s overseas empires and the transitions to capitalism within Europe were differentiated moments within the geographicalexpansion of commodity production and exchange – what I call the commodityfrontier. This essay is developed in two movements. Beginning with a conceptual and methodological recasting of the historical geography of the rise of capitalism,I offer an analytical narrative that follows the early modern diaspora of silver.This account follows the political ecology of silver production and trade from the Andes to Spain in Braudel’s ‘second’ sixteenth century (c. 1545–1648). In highlighting the Ibero-American moment of this process in the present essay, Icontend that the spectacular reorganization of Andean space and the progressive dilapidation of Spain’s real economy not only signified the rise and demise of a trans-Atlantic, Iberian ecological regime, but also generated the historicallynecessary conditions for the unprecedented concentration of accumulation andcommodity production in the capitalist North Atlantic in the centuries thatfollowed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 10, no 1, 33-68 p.
capitalism as world-ecology, world-systems analysis, environmental history, economic history, world history, Peru, Spain, environmental history, political ecology, historical sociology, historical geography, mining, ecological crisis
Business Administration Ethnology Agricultural Science Economic History History of Technology History of Technology Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Economic Geography Human Geography Sociology
Research subject Economic History; Social and Economic Geography; Sociology; Systems Analysis; History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-43162DiVA: diva2:412171