Extractive Economy and Institutions? Technology, Labour, and Land in Potosí, the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century.

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The mita is frequently seen as a paradigmatic example of an extractive
economic and political institution of the Spanish Empire. This chapter
fijirst provides an overview of the complex process to obtain silver, showing
it is more than mere extraction. The second part delineates a complex
picture of extraction based on unfree (mita) and free labour, at the same
time. A close analysis of the mita reveals changes, reminding us that
institutions have a transformative history. Behind the continuity of the
mita, there were far-reaching changes like the emergence of an important
group of self-employed workers (kajchas) who were processing ores. In
the third part, labour relations are linked to the institutions of land and
mine ownership within the Spanish Empire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationColonialism, Institutional Change and Shifts in Global Labour Relations
EditorsKarin Hofmeester, Pim de Zwart
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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