Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Your title page and bibliography (and any other pages that are not written) do not count toward

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Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Your title page and bibliography (and any other pages that are not written) do not count toward the page count. Please cite all your sources, with an accepted citational standard of your choice. For sources, you may only use:

  • Readings assigned in class.
  • Other writing by authors assigned in class.
  • Sources that address the exact same topic as readings assigned in class (e.g. West African deindustrialization; gender roles in Iriquois Confederacy, etc.).
  1. Discuss the outlines of the emergence of the mercantilist system. Using several examples, what role did violence play in forging the expansion of mercantilist relations across the globe? What role did voluntary exchange play in other parts of the system? Using examples from three different continents, discuss how the expansion of market relations drastically transformed social relations. Finally, discuss how mercantilist accumulation opened up possibilities for industrial capitalist accumulation, and what processes enabled that.
  2. Describe the Great Divergence (or Reversal of Fortune) that took place in the world from around 1500 to around 1850, both in terms of average incomes as well as outlines of changes in the mode of production. In terms of national incomes and wealth, how did Europe jump ahead of Asia, Africa, and the Americas? Two broad schools of thought seek to explain the Great Divergence, which we have termed ‘culturalist’ and ‘world systems through’ explanations. Describe the main ideas of each. What’s at stake with these theories? Which one makes more sense to you, and why?

Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Your title page and bibliography (and any other pages that are not written) do not count toward
A B rie f H is to ry o f CO M MER CIA L CA PIT A LIS M JA IR US B AN AJI Hay m ark et B ooks Chic a g o, I llin ois C O N TE N TS 1 . Rein sta tin g C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 2 . The I n fr a str u ctu re o f C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 3 . The C om petit io n o f C ap it a ls : Str u ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f r o m t h e T welf th t o Eig hte en th C en tu rie s 4 . Brit is h M erc a n tile C ap it a lis m a n d t h e C osm opo lit a n is m o f t h e N in ete en th C en tu ry 5 . Com merc ia l P ra ctic e s : Puttin g-O ut o r t h e C ap it a lis t D om estic I n dustr ie s 6 . The C ir c u la tio n o f C om merc ia l C ap it a ls : C om petit io n, V elo cit y , V ertic a lit y A PPEN D IX : I SL A M AN D C APIT ALIS M A CKN O W LED GM EN TS N O TES S ELEC T B IB LIO GRA PH Y For H en ry , J a ved , M . J ., a nd S ughosh 3 TH E C O M PETIT IO N O F C A P IT A LS S tru ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f ro m t h e T w elf t h t o E ig h te en th C en tu rie s B YZA N TIU M : T H E S U BOR DIN ATIO N O F G R EEK C A P IT A L I n C onsta n tin ople th e e arly m odern w orld in herit e d a n “ u rb an m onste r,” 1 b u t o ne w hose tr a je cto ry h ad i n volv ed sh arp f lu ctu atio n s o v er t h e c e n tu rie s , w it h a h is to ry g oin g b ack , o f c o urse , t o la te a n tiq u it y ( u nlik e m eg acit ie s lik e C air o a n d B ag hdad ). O n t h e e v e o f it s c o nqu est b y t h e O tto m an s in 1 453, t h e c it y ’s p o pu la tio n h ad s ta b iliz e d a ro und s e v en ty t h ousa n d, 2 b u t a t it s e arly -B yza n tin e p eak in th e s ix th c e n tu ry it h ad b een p ro bab ly w ell o ver h alf a m illio n, a n d a t t h e e n d o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry w as a g ain s o m ew here in th e r e g io n o f h alf a m illio n, s a y , f o ur h undre d th ousa n d. 3 B etw een th ose p eak s c a m e a d ow ntu rn r e ach in g a l o w p o in t, f o rty t h ousa n d t o s e v en ty t h ousa n d, i n t h e e ig hth c e n tu ry ( fo llo w in g a p la g ue in 7 47– 8), 4 a n d t h en a s u sta in ed r e n ew al o r e x p an sio n f r o m t h e n in th c e n tu ry d ow n t o t h e e n d o f th e tw elf th . A s th e p o lit ic a l b ase o f a n e m pir e , h ow ev er, th e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f th e in te rn al m ark et t h at o ccu rre d f r o m t h e n in th t o t w elf th c e n tu rie s w as t r u e n ot j u st o f t h e m etr o po lis b u t t o s o m e d eg re e o f t h e w hole e m pir e i n clu din g i t s v ario us s e co ndary u rb an c e n te rs a s w ell a s t h e i s la n ds. 5 W hat w as in p la y h ere w as a h uge co m mon m ark et , th e b ig gest in th e w orld in th e tw elf th c e n tu ry (if w e e x ce p t C hin a, o f c o urse ), a n d i t w as b o und t o e x ert c o nsid era b le f o rc e a s a c o m merc ia l m ag net. C onsta n tin ople is s a n dw ic h ed b etw een t h e G old en H orn t o it s n orth a n d t h e S ea o f M arm ara t o t h e s o uth . I n t h e s ix th c e n tu ry , a s o ne s c h ola r h as a rg ued c o nvin cin gly , t h e p la g ue o f 5 42 t r ig gere d a m ajo r r e lo ca tio n o f b u sin ess an d re sid en ce to th e so uth ern (M arm ara ) co ast, b eca u se b o die s w ere b ein g d um ped in th e se a a n d a n y d um ped in th e G old en H orn w ould n ot h av e b een w ash ed a w ay . 6 T he G old en H orn h ad b een a b an doned w ell b efo re t h e l a te s e v en th c e n tu ry 7 a n d i t w as t h e s o uth c o ast t h at w as m ore a ctiv ely u se d in th e se v en th to te n th c e n tu rie s. 8 T he su sta in ed e x p an sio n o f th e n in th to t w elf th c e n tu rie s, h ow ev er, s a w a s u cce ssio n o f I ta lia n c it y -sta te s s ta rtin g t o t r a d e w it h t h e e m pir e i n a b ig w ay , a n d it w as e sse n tia lly t h eir p re se n ce in C onsta n tin ople t h at r e v it a liz e d t h e G old en H orn in to t h e m ajo r c o m merc ia l h ub t h at i t b eca m e f r o m t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry d ow n t o e arly O tto m an t im es 9 a n d t h en a g ain , w it h th e r e n ew ed c o lo niz a tio n o f P era ( G ala ta , o n th e E uro pean s id e o f I sta n bu l) , in th e m ain p art o f t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . A ll t h e m ajo r I ta lia n c o lo nie s ( A m alf i, P is a , G en oa, V en ic e ) w ere c lu ste re d in th e lo w er G old en H orn , w it h je ttie s o r la n din g-sta tio ns ( sk ala i ) w here s e ag oin g v esse ls c o uld lo ad a n d u nlo ad . T he c it y c e n te r a n d th e s e ash ore s w ere “ h eav ily b u ilt u p w it h th re e- o r e v en f iv e-sto ry h ouse s.” 10 I n t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry C onsta n tin ople w as a d en se ly p o pu la te d c o sm opo lit a n c it y , s h arp ly d iv id ed in s o cia l te rm s, a n d p ro ne to v io le n t, u nco ntr o lla b le fir e s. 11 J o hn T ze tz e s b o aste d h e c o uld s p eak to lo ca l r e sid en ts in n o fe w er th an s e v en la n guag es, in clu din g P ersia n , A ra b ic , R ussia n , a n d H eb re w . 12 E usta th io s o f T hessa lo nik i c o unte d six ty th ousa n d “ L atin s” in th e c it y , 13 a n d a k een obse rv er, t h e J e w is h t r a v ele r B en ja m in o f T udela t e lls u s, “ T hey s a y t h at t h e t r ib u te o f t h e c it y a lo ne am ounts e v ery d ay to tw en ty th ousa n d f lo rin s, a ris in g f r o m r e n ts o f h oste lr ie s a n d b aza ars, a n d f r o m th e d utie s p aid b y m erc h an ts w ho a rriv e b y s e a a n d b y l a n d.” 14 I t w as t h e g re ate st c o m merc ia l c e n te r o f th e e aste rn M ed it e rra n ean , 15 w it h a p o pu la tio n b y t h en n ot f a r s h ort o f h alf a m illio n. 16 F in ally , e v en a s la te a s 1 192 th e n ativ e, G re ek , m erc h an ts o f C onsta n tin ople w ere a “ la rg e, in flu en tia l, r ic h ” g ro up. 17 Oik onom id ès c it e s th e e x am ple o f K alo m odio s, a b an ker w ho a ccu m ula te d a v ast fo rtu ne th ro ugh su cce ssfu l o pera tio ns i n l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e, f in an cin g c o m merc ia l t r ip s u nderta k en b y o th ers. 18 Yet th e m ost e x tr a o rd in ary f a ct a b o ut B yza n tin e c o m merc e f r o m th e e n d o f th e e le v en th c e n tu ry to th e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d la te r w as t h e s e v ere d is c rim in atio n G re ek m erc h an ts w ere s u bje cte d t o v is – à-v is fo re ig n c o m petit o rs by th eir o w n s ta te . B y th e te rm s o f th e tr e aty o f 1 082, “ V en etia n m erc h an ts co uld b u y a n d s e ll i n e v ery p art o f t h e E m pir e , f r e e o f d uty o r c u sto m s e x am in atio n.” M an y p o rts w ere open ed a n d “ v ast te rrit o rie s m ad e a cce ssib le to th em f o r f r e e tr a d e.” 19 “ T hese p riv ile g es, r e n ew ed b y th e e m pero rs o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . . . r e n dere d t h e V en etia n s v ir tu al m aste rs o f t h e c o m merc ia l lif e of t h e e m pir e .” 20 B y t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry , w hen t h e G en oese c a m e in to B yza n tin e e co nom ic lif e in a big w ay a n d s im il a r w id e-ra n gin g c o nce ssio ns w ere g ra n te d , “ Ita lia n m erc h an ts , w heth er G en oese o r Ven etia n s, b eca m e s o e n tr e n ch ed in C onsta n tin ople th at th ey c o ntr o lle d th e e co nom y o f th at c it y .” 21 And b y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry , th e is la n ds o f th e A eg ean (th e A rc h ip ela g o) w ere b ein g div id ed b etw een G en oese an d V en etia n co ntr o l, 22 th e A eg ean ’s east co ast b eco m in g th e h eart o f Gen oa’s m arit im e d om ain . G re ek m erc h an ts , m ean w hile , c o ntin ued to p ay a d uty o f 1 0 p erc e n t a n d Byza n tin e a cce ss to m ark ets in th e w est re m ain ed se v ere ly lim it e d . G re ek m erc h an ts ra re ly g ain ed acce ss t o I ta lia n m ark ets . 23 T he I ta lia n s d is c o ura g ed B yza n tin e e x p an sio n w est o f t h e P elo po nnese , 24 s o th at G re ek c a p it a l w as e ffe ctiv ely s h ut o ut o f t h e l o ng-d is ta n ce t r a d e. 25 A m ajo r u psh ot o f e n tr e n ch ed I ta lia n e co nom ic d om in an ce w as th e e n dem ic h ostilit y th at g re w u p betw een th e Ita lia n s a n d la rg e se cto rs o f th e lo ca l p o pu la tio n. 26 T he v io le n t c ru sa d er o ccu patio n o f Consta n tin ople i n 1 204 a n d t h e l o ng-sta n din g d iv is io n b etw een t h e c h urc h es d id n oth in g t o a b ate t h at, of c o urse . E very a tte m pt to b rin g th e tw o c h urc h es to geth er w as se en a s a “ n atio nal b etr a y al” a n d sp ark ed rio ts . 27 G re ek s liv in g in te rrit o rie s under L atin co ntr o l w ere lo oked dow n upo n as a “co nqu ere d p eo ple ” a n d s u ffe re d th e e co nom ic a n d s o cia l c o nse q u en ce s o f th at e v en to th e p o in t o f bein g d en ie d th e rig ht to h av e th eir o w n b is h ops. 28 “ T hey tr e ate d c it iz e n s lik e sla v es,” w ro te o ne tw elf th -c e n tu ry c h ro nic le r. “ T heir b o ld ness a n d im pu den ce in cre ase d w it h t h eir w ealt h u ntil t h ey n ot only d ete ste d t h e R om an s [ G re ek -sp eak in g B yza n tin es] b u t e v en d efie d t h e t h re ats a n d c o m man ds o f th e E m pero r.” 29 O n t h e o th er h an d, a s t h e le ft- w in g h is to ria n N ic o la s O ik onom id ès e m ph asiz e d , n one of t h is p re v en te d G re ek b u sin ess c ir c le s f r o m e n te rin g i n to p artn ersh ip s w it h I ta lia n c a p it a l. T here w as ex te n siv e c o lla b o ra tio n, a n d G re ek m erc h an ts e v en s o ught G en oese o r V en etia n n atio nalit y to e n jo y th e s a m e b en efit s . The e m erg en ce o f a B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l “ m id dle c la ss” w as a r e m ark ab le f e atu re o f t h e e le v en th – ce n tu ry b o om in th e e co nom ic a n d c u lt u ra l lif e o f th e e m pir e , a n d it s m ost s tr ik in g p o lit ic a l o utc o m e was th e th re e d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e c e n tu ry w hen a s tr ic tly a ris to cra tic m odel o f g overn m en t sp lit w id e o pen to a llo w th e p o pu la r c la sse s a n d c o m merc ia lly a ctiv e str a ta (lit e ra lly , “ th ose o f th e mark et p la ce ” ) acce ss, fo r th e fir st tim e ev er, to th e se n ate an d h ig her ad m in is tr a tio n. 30 N o le ss in te re stin gly , t h e s a m e r u le rs w ho b ro ught a b o ut t h is r e v olu tio nary c h an ge r e sp o nded t o t h e eco n om ic need s o f th e m id dle c la ss ( meso i ) b y a llo w in g fo r a c o ntr o lle d d ev alu atio n o f th e g old c o in ag e— a measu re not o f c ris is b u t o f t h e e co nom ic b o om r e fle cte d b y a g ro w in g d em an d f o r m ean s o f c ir c u la tio n an d p ay m en t as B yza n tiu m ’s m ark ets w ere b eco m in g m ore d eep ly in te g ra te d in to th e ex p an sio n occu rrin g in t h e w est. 31 W hat e m erg ed b rie fly in t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry w as a f a sc in atin g a llia n ce o f t h e ab so lu tis t p o w er w it h a m id dle c la ss h ostile to th e a ris to cra cy . It w as th is “ ca p it a lis t” d re am o f th e ele v en th c e n tu ry th at w as sh atte re d in 1 081/ 2 in th e v io le n t re actio n o f a str o ngly p ro -a ris to cra tic dynasty (th e K om nen oi) th at se t ab o ut cu rb in g th e g ro w in g afflu en ce an d p o w er o f th e G re ek merc a n tile c la ss b y a b o lis h in g “ all th e p riv ile g es th e b u sin essm en h ad ju st a cq u ir e d ” 32 a n d (ju st a s im po rta n t!) gra n tin g ex te n siv e co nce ssio ns to V en etia n ca p it a l, effe ctiv ely allo w in g a w hole sa le ta k eo ver o f B yza n tin e m ark ets b y I ta lia n m erc h an t c a p it a lis ts , w it h th e m ajo r e x ce p tio n o f th e B la ck Sea w hic h in a n y c a se fa ile d to a ttr a ct m uch a tte n tio n till th e la te r th ir te en th c e n tu ry . T he F re n ch Byza n tin is t L em erle d esc rib ed A le x io s I K om nen os’s ch ry so b u ll o f 1082 as a “m assiv e eco nom ic ca p it u la tio n,” th e p o in t b ein g th at th ough a B yza n tin e m erc h an t c la ss s u rv iv ed a n d c o ntin ued to b e activ e d ow n to th e e n d o f th e tw elf th c e n tu ry , it h ad lo st c o ntr o l o f th e e m pir e ’s m ark ets . 33 G oin g b y la te r e x p erie n ce , it is p o ssib le th at th e v ast m ajo rit y o f lo ca l m erc h an ts w ork ed a s b ro kers fo r th e Ita lia n f ir m s. 34 The la st tw o a n d a h alf c e n tu rie s o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e (1 204– 1453) w ere c h ara cte riz e d b y th e ca ta str o ph e o f th e V en etia n o ccu patio n o f C onsta n tin ople , w hic h perm an en tly d is m em bere d th e em pir e a n d le ft t h e c it y it s e lf d ep le te d a n d im po veris h ed ; 35 b y f e ro cio us s tr u ggle s b etw een V en ic e a n d Gen oa f o r c o ntr o l o f t h e le ad in g t r a d e s e cto rs, o nce B yza n tin e r u le w as r e sto re d ( in 1 261) a n d G en oa esta b lis h ed a m ajo r p re se n ce th ro ugh it s allia n ce w it h M ic h ael V III P ala io lo gos (th ose str u ggle s eru pte d i n t h e l a st q u arte r o f t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d b eg an w it h t h e B la ck S ea); b y t h e c iv il w ars o f th e 1 340s w hic h s a w th e a ris to cra cy c o nte n din g w it h r e b ellio ns b ase d o n a lo ose c o alit io n o f u rb an cla sse s th at in clu ded sa ilo rs an d lo ngsh ore m en ; b y th e aris to cra cy ’s d ecis iv e tu rn to co m merc ia l in vestm en t a s la n ded a sse ts w ere p ro gre ssiv ely lo st to th e O tto m an a d van ce fr o m th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry ; a n d f in ally , b y t h e o verw helm in g g rip t h at G en oa e v en m ore t h an V en ic e h ad n ow esta b lis h ed o ver m uch o f t h e t r u nca te d e m pir e ’s t r a d e. I n deed , t h e G en oese h ad c lo se r e la tio ns w it h t h e Turk s t h ro ughout t h e f o urte en th c e n tu ry , a n d a v ery s u bsta n tia l p art o f t h eir b u sin ess w as d one i n t h e Otto m an t e rrit o rie s. 36 The id ea th at a n cie n t a n d m ed ie v al w rit e rs w ere o bliv io us to th e p la y o f e co nom ic fo rc e s in th e his to ry o f th eir re sp ectiv e so cie tie s an d civ iliz a tio ns d oes n ot sta n d u p to sc ru tin y. T o B yza n tin e writ e rs lik e G eo rg e P ach ym ere s an d N ik ep h oro s G re g ora s it w as fa ir ly obv io us th at G en oa’s ex p lo it a tio n o f B yza n tin e m ark ets w as th e b asis o f h er p ro sp erit y . 37 P ach ym ere s h im se lf h as so m e re m ark ab le p assa g es o n t h e k in d o f d om in an ce t h e G en oese h ad e sta b lis h ed o ver t h e e m pir e a n d a b o ut th e fie rc e s tr u ggle s b etw een th em a n d th e V en etia n s fo r th e d om in atio n o f G re ek m ark ets . I n o ne o f th ese h e w rit e s, “ th e V en etia n s a n d th eir c o m munit y ( in C onsta n tin ople ) fo rm erly g re atly s u rp asse d th e G en oese i n w ealt h . . . b eca u se t h ey m ad e g re ate r u se o f t h e [ n arro w ] w ate rs ( th e A eg ean ) t h an d id th e G en oese a n d b eca u se th ey s a ile d a cro ss th e h ig h s e a ( th e M ed it e rra n ean m ore w id ely ) w it h lo ng sh ip s ( g alle y s), a n d th ey s u cce ed ed in g ain in g m ore p ro fit th an d id th e G en oese in tr a n sp o rtin g a n d ca rry in g w are s. B ut o nce th e G en oese b eca m e m aste rs o f th e B la ck S ea b y g ra n t o f th e e m pero r (M ic h ael III) a n d w it h a ll lib erty a n d fr a n ch is e , th ey b ra v ed th at [s e a], a n d sa ilin g in th e m id st o f win te r i n s h ip s o f r e d uce d l e n gth . . . t h ey n ot o nly b arre d t h e R om an s ( B yza n tin es) f r o m t h e l a n es a n d ware s o f t h e s e a bu t a ls o e clip se d t h e V en etia ns i n w ea lt h a nd m ate ria l [ g ood s] . B eca u se o f t h is t h ey c a m e to lo ok d ow n n ot o nly u po n th ose o f th eir o w n k in (o th er Ita lia n s) b u t als o u po n th e R om an s th em se lv es.” 38 H ere P ach ym ere s d esc rib es t w o b ro ad p erio ds in t h e c o m merc ia l h is to ry o f t h e e m pir e , in th e f ir st o f w hic h , a cco rd in g to h im , th e V en etia n s e sta b lis h ed th eir p rim acy th ro ugh a s tr a te g y o f ca b o ta g e o r c o asta l tr a d in g in th e p u re ly G re ek p arts o f th e e m pir e ( a B yza n tin e v ersio n o f w hat in In dia th e B rit is h w ould la te r c a ll th e “ co untr y tr a d e” ). T he G en oese la te r s u rp asse d th em b y m ak in g th e B la ck S ea th e re n ew ed fo cu s o f th eir c o m merc ia l o pera tio ns. T his str ik es m e a s a re m ark ab ly co here n t s u m mary o f o ver t w o c e n tu rie s o f B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l h is to ry . In b o th c it ie s, V en ic e a s w ell a s G en oa, th e a ris to cra cy it s e lf w as v ery s u bsta n tia lly in volv ed in th e tr a d e w it h “ R om an ia .” 39 T he in vestm en ts a t s ta k e w ere th ose o f th e le ad in g fa m ilie s in b o th c e n te rs. But c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as s till w id ely d is p erse d a m ong th e alb erg hi . O n th e G en oese sid e, th e six le ad in g fa m ilie s acco unte d fo r 29 perc e n t of all in vestm en t, a deg re e of co nce n tr a tio n sc a rc e ly co m para b le w it h t h e m uch h ig her l e v els c h ara cte ris tic o f l a te r c e n tu rie s. 40 I n ca . 1170 t h e V en etia n s h ad vastly m ore c a p it a l tie d u p in B yza n tiu m th an a n y o f th eir c o m petit o rs. T hey h ad a s tr o nger h old o n th e i s la n ds, a n d t h is w as e x te n siv e b y t h e s e co nd q u arte r o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . 41 When th e G en oese fir st so ught to e sta b lis h th em se lv es in C onsta n tin ople , th eir n ew ly e sta b lis h ed qu arte rs w ere re p eate d ly atta ck ed an d ev en d em olis h ed — in 1 162 b y a m ob co nsis tin g m ain ly o f Pis a n s, th en a g ain in 1 170 b y th e V en etia n s th em se lv es, a n d a th ir d tim e, in A pril 1 182, in a d re ad fu l lo ca l p o gro m a g ain st a ll Ita lia n s (e x ce p t th at th e V en etia n q u arte r la y v aca n t a t th is tim e). 42 O n a ll th ese v ario us o cca sio ns, c la im s fo r c o m pen sa tio n w ere s u bm it te d b y th e m ain a g grie v ed p artie s, a n d fr o m th ese o ne g ets a t le ast a c ru de im pre ssio n o f th e s c a le o f th eir r e sp ectiv e in vestm en ts . G en oese estim ate s o f t h e l o sse s t h ey s u sta in ed i n 1 162 a n d 1 182 r e sp ectiv ely s u ggest t h at i n t h e p re v io us d eca d e or s o th ere h ad b een v ery r a p id e n ric h m en t o f G en oese m erc h an ts tr a d in g to B yza n tin e m ark ets . 43 I t se em s e n tir e ly lik ely th at th e d is ru ptio n o f V en etia n b u sin ess fo llo w in g th e r e p ris a ls a g ain st th em in 1171 w ork ed s tr o ngly i n G en oa’s f a v or. That t h e L atin c o nqu est o f C onsta n tin ople w as l a rg ely a f u nctio n o f t h e e n dem ic r iv alr y b etw een t h e tw o m ain co m merc ia l po w ers is sh ow n by th e fa ct th at G en oa w as not offic ia lly re p re se n te d in Con sta ntin op le d urin g t h e o ccu patio n. 44 V en ic e ’s t e rrit o ry in t h e c it y e x p an ded s u bsta n tia lly s o on a fte r th e c o nqu est. 45 T he re sto ra tio n o f B yza n tin e ru le in 1 261 tu rn ed th e ta b le s d ra m atic a lly a s G en oa beca m e t h e d om in an t e co nom ic p o w er i n C onsta n tin ople a n d s e cu re d a cce ss t o t h e B la ck S ea, w here a co lo ny w as e sta b lis h ed a t C affa t h at w as t h riv in g b y t h e 1 280s. 46 T he w hole p erio d f r o m 1 270 t o 1 3 40 sa w s u bsta n tia l G en oese i n vestm en t. I n 1 348, a cco rd in g t o t h e c h ro nic le r G re g ora s, r e v en ues f r o m t h e cu sto m s c o lle cte d a t G en oa’s c o lo ny a t P era w ere a lm ost se v en tim es b ig ger th an th e c o lle ctio ns a t Consta n tin ople . 47 T hese f e ll s h arp ly in th e la te r f o urte en th c e n tu ry , w hic h s a w a p ro lo nged r e ce ssio n th at o nly lif te d in th e e arly p art o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry . C om petit io n w as s h arp er th an e v er in th ese deca d es, s in ce t h ere w ere n o f e w er t h an t h re e “ co lo nia l w ars” b etw een V en ic e a n d G en oa f o r c o ntr o l of t h e A eg ean , t h e u psh ot o f w hic h w as a d iv is io n, a “ d e f a cto c a rv e-u p,” o f t h e s e a b etw een t h em . 48 Thus th e “ co lo niz a tio n” o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e p ro bab ly c o unts a s th e m ost s tr ik in g e x am ple o f a “co lo nia l- sty le ” eco nom y befo re co lo nia lis m . The para lle l has been dra w n re p eate d ly , an d Oik onom id ès h im se lf w ould s p eak o f t h e “ eco nom ic im peria lis m o f w este rn m erc h an ts .” 49 A n a tte m pt in th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry to r e esta b lis h g re ate r p arit y in th e d utie s p aid b y G re ek a n d Ita lia n m erc h an ts le d to a v io le n t re actio n w hic h fo rc e d th e em pero r Jo hn V I K an ta k ouze n os to re v erse h is d ecis io n. 50 ( T he G en oese r e acte d b y b u rn in g B yza n tin e m erc h an t s h ip s a n d w are h ouse s!) The t r e aty o f 1 352 i n clu ded a c la u se “ se v ere ly l im it in g t h e a cce ss o f B yza n tin e m erc h an ts t o T an a a n d th e S ea o f A zo v.” 51 T he meso i w ho w ere a ctiv e in t h e r e b ellio ns o f t h e 1 340s in clu ded a la y er o f G re ek ca p it a l t h at b o th r e se n te d i t s s u bo rd in atio n t o m ore p o w erfu l c o m petit o rs and d ep en ded o n t h em f o r i t s ow n s u rv iv al. I n T hessa lo nik i, th e m ost r a d ic a l fa ctio n, th ose k now n a s th e Z ealo ts , e v en c o ntr o lle d th e c it y ’s g overn m en t f o r s o m e s e v en o r e ig ht y ears a n d w ere le d , in p art a t le ast, b y t h e c it y ’s h arb o r work ers. 52 A ngelik i L aio u a rg ued th at th e c iv il w ar w as “ an a b o rtiv e e ffo rt to c re ate a sta te q u it e dif fe re n t f r o m w hat h ad e x is te d in B yza n tiu m , o ne w here t h e i n te re sts o f t h e c o m merc ia l e le m en t w ou ld b e pa ra m ou nt .” 53 In a n y c a se , b y th e la tte r h alf o f th e c e n tu ry a m ore su bsta n tia l k in d o f in volv em en t em erg ed a s m em bers o f th e G re ek a ris to cra cy c o m pen sa te d fo r fa llin g in co m es fr o m th eir e sta te s b y tu rn in g t o l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e a n d b an kin g. A s O ik onom id ès s h ow ed , t h e h ig hest l e v els o f t h e a ris to cra cy were in volv ed in th is , 54 w it h th e n um ber o f a ris to cra ts in volv ed in tr a d e g ro w in g d ra m atic a lly . “ T he urb an u pper c la ss o f B yza n tiu m w as a t la st u nit e d in p u re ly c a p it a lis t a sp ir a tio ns,” h e w ro te , 55 a n d t h e pre v io us d is tin ctio n b etw een t h e meso i a n d t h e a ris to cra cy e v en tu ally d is a p peare d . A f in al w ord . N one o f t h e le ad in g I ta lia n t r a d e c e n te rs t h at t r a d ed w it h B yza n tiu m s im ply r e p lic a te d th e p atte rn o f th eir c o m petit o rs. I n th e e le v en th c e n tu ry , A m alf i ( w here , a g ain , th e a ris to cra cy w ere key d riv ers o f e x te rn al in vestm en t, u nlik e th e o th er so uth ern n obili t ie s) 56 h ad sp ecia liz e d in lu xu ry im po rts f r o m C onsta n tin ople f o r m ark ets in R om e a n d N ap le s, in te g ra tin g it s t r a d e w it h t h e s o uth ern Med it e rra n ean b y u sin g th e g old fr o m th e S ah ara a cq u ir e d in th e M ag hre b p o rts a n d in E gypt (in ex ch an ge fo r g ra in , tim ber, lin en clo th , an d so o n) to fin an ce p u rc h ase s fr o m th e B yza n tin es. In Consta n tin ople th e A m alf it a n s w ere b u yers, n ot se lle rs. 57 In th e e le v en th a n d tw elf th c e n tu rie s, th e Ven etia n s h ad tr a d ed in th e lo ca l p ro duce o f th e G re ek m ain la n d a n d G re ek is la n ds a n d o f s o uth ern Ita ly , in it e m s s u ch a s o liv e o il, c h eese , w in e, w heat, r a w s ilk , a n d r a w c o tto n. A bo ut s ix ty p erc e n t o f Ven ic e ’s tr a d e w it h th e e m pir e is s a id to h av e b een tr a n sa cte d in G re ece . 58 S outh ern C ala b ria w as a majo r p ro duce r o f r a w s ilk 59 a n d t h is m ust a ls o h av e r e ach ed m an ufa ctu rin g c e n te rs s u ch a s T heb es in Ven etia n s h ip s. O liv e o il c a m e f r o m t h e P elo po nnese . 60 A V en etia n b y t h e n am e o f V it a le V olt a n i, w ho se ttle d in G re ece in th e 1 160s, w as sa id to h av e “ d om in ate d th e o il m ark et in C orin th , S parta a n d Theb es.” 61 F or t h eir p art, t h e G en oese c o m bin ed t h e b u lk t r a d es o f t h e B la ck S ea r e g io n, P hokaia , a n d Chio s ( g ra in , a lu m , le ath er, c o tto n, e tc .) w it h th e im po rta tio n o f e x p en siv e fa b ric s, “ m an y d if fe re n t ty pes o f E uro pean c lo th ,” 62 t h e e x p o rt o f A nato lia n c a rp ets , 63 R ussia n f u rs, 64 a n d s o o n. VEN IC E T O P O R TU GAL Unlik e t h e r u le rs o f B yza n tiu m , i t w as M am lu k p o lic y n ot t o i n te rv en e i n t h e c o nflic ts b etw een V en ic e an d G en oa. I n 1 294 t h e c o m merc ia l b attle b etw een t h em h ad s p ille d o ver i n to t h e f a r e n d o f t h e e aste rn Med it e rra n ean . T he S yria n ch ro nic le r al- J a za ri n ote s th at in 1294 “w it n esse s re p o rte d th at la rg e num bers o f F ra n ks c a m e b y s e a to A yas fo r p u rp o se s o f tr a d e a n d th at th ey b elo nged to tw o n atio ns ( ta if a ). O ne l o t w ere c a lle d V en etia n s, t h e o th er G en oese .” A s a cts o f h ostilit y e sc a la te d b etw een t h em , th ey g ot i n to a b it te r f ig ht a n d “ o n o ne d ay a lo ne o ver 6 000 p eo ple w ere k ille d .” “ T he G en oese g ot t h e bette r o f t h e V en etia n s.” 65 A l- J a za ri w as d esc rib in g a c ru cia l p art o f t h e p re lu de t o t h e m ajo r w ar t h at dev elo ped tw o y ears la te r, w hic h b eg an a n d e n ded w it h th e V en etia n s se ttin g fir e to P era a n d th e Gen oese r e ta lia tin g b y m assa crin g l a rg e n um bers o f t h em i n t h eir q u arte r o f t h e c it y . In th e tw elf th a n d th ir te en c e n tu rie s, th e e x p an sio n o f Ita lia n b u sin ess in te re sts in th e L ev an t ra n pa ra lle l to a r a p id g ro w th o f M uslim tr a d e a n d s e ttle m en t o n th e M ala b ar c o ast. 66 T he L ev an t c o tto n tr a d e w as d om in ate d b y t h e I ta lia n s, s o t h at b y t h e l a te f if te en th a n d s ix te en th c e n tu rie s “ in p eak y ears th e to ta l v olu m e o f V en etia n c o tto n im po rts fr o m a ll s o urc e s c o uld e x ce ed 4 ,0 00 to ns.” 67 T hey h ad su bsta n tia l in te re sts in th e L ev an tin e s u gar in dustr y , fo r e x am ple , in th e v illa g es a ro und T yre w here th e m ost im po rta n t s u gar p la n ta tio ns o f t h e S yro -P ale stin ia n c o ast p asse d in to V en etia n h an ds in 1 123 (b etw een t h e f ir st a n d s e co nd C ru sa d es). 68 W it h t h e f a ll o f A cre in 1 291, V en etia n s u gar in te re sts w ere re lo ca te d to th e is la n ds. In C ypru s in th e la te r fo urte en th an d fif te en th ce n tu rie s, th e C orn ers, a po w erfu l V en etia n f a m ily , b u ilt a t h riv in g e n te rp ris e i n s u gar. 69 I n 1 183 t h e S pan is h t r a v ele r I b n J u bay r sa w in num era b le lo ad s o f p ep per b ein g s h ip ped t o t h e S udan ese p o rt o f A ydhab a n d t r a n sp o rte d f r o m th ere in n um ero us ca ra v an s. 70 B are ly se v en y ears la te r, th e v alu e o f g oods e x p o rte d b y C hris tia n merc h an ts t r a d in g t h ro ugh t h e N ile p o rts w as e stim ate d t o b e “ w ell o ver 1 00,0 00 d in ars,” a n d t h is a t a tim e o f c o nsid era b le p o lit ic a l te n sio ns (S ala d in h ad c a p tu re d Je ru sa le m in 1 187). 71 T he n um ber o f merc h an ts f r o m t h e w est t r a d in g i n A le x an dria i n 1 216 w as ( a s I n ote d e arlie r) p u t a t t h re e t h ousa n d b y th e h is to ria n a l- M aq riz i. 72 I n ca . 1260 V en etia n s o urc e s in dic a te “ la rg e c o tto n s h ip m en ts fr o m A cre .” 73 Can dia i n V en etia n -c o ntr o lle d C re te b eca m e a m ajo r s p ic e m ark et i n t h e e arly f o urte en th c e n tu ry . T he su gar a n d c o tto n e x p o rte d t h ere f r o m A le x an dria w ere r e ex p o rte d t o I ta ly i n V en etia n g alle y s. 74 B y t h e mid dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e p ap ers o f t h e V en etia n n ota ry B re sc ia n o r e fle ct massiv e i m po rts o f I ta lia n a n d Fle m is h te x tile s in to C an dia , s o m eth in g th at w as d oubtle ss tr u e o f o th er V en etia n c o lo nie s. 75 B y th e en d o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e v olu m e o f I ta lia n b u sin ess h ad i n cre ase d d ra m atic a lly . I n vestm en ts c o uld r u n a s hig h a s 4 50,0 00 d in ars w it h t h e V en etia n s in t h e 1 390s, a n d b etw een 2 00,0 00 a n d 3 00,0 00 d in ars e v ery year b etw een 1394 an d 1400 in G en oa’s ca se . (T he C ata la n s ca m e th ir d w it h an an nual av era g e ca . 200,0 00.) 76 A nd b y th e fif te en th c e n tu ry w hen , a s B ra u del sa y s, “ V en ic e w as u nqu estio nab ly th e vig oro us h eart o f th e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 77 th an ks la rg ely to it s tr a d e w it h th e L ev an t, m erc h an t g alle y s wit h g oods w orth o ne m illio n d uca ts p lu s 4 00,0 00 i n c a sh w ere s a ilin g f r o m V en ic e f o r A le x an dria a n d Beir u t. 78 The L ev an t t r a d e w as t h e m id dle s e g m en t o f a c ir c u it t h at e x te n ded t o t h e p o rts o f M ala b ar in S outh In dia a n d b ey ond th em in to S outh east A sia . H ere th e g re at c o unte rp art to th e c ru sa d in g p erio d’s “cre atio n o f n um ero us L atin tr a d in g co lo nie s in th e N ear E ast w it h th eir o w n co nsu ls , h oste ls , ware h ouse s, m ark etp la ce s, a n d c h urc h es” 79 w as t h e e x p an sio n o f I sla m , w hic h , s im ila rly , b eg in s in t h e tw elf th c e n tu ry a n d r e ach es it s c o m merc ia l z e n it h in t h e f if te en th . T he o ld est r e lia b ly d ata b le m osq u e on th e M ala b ar c o ast w as fo unded in 1 124, a t M ad ay i. 80 B y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry M uslim se ttle m en ts w ere w ell e sta b lis h ed b o th th ere a n d o n th e C oro m an del c o ast, 81 r e fle ctin g a n e x p an sio n acro ss th e e n tir e w este rn h alf o f th e I n dia n O ce an . E ven in th e e arly th ir te en th c e n tu ry , it h as b een cla im ed , th e E ast A fr ic a n c o ast w as la rg ely Isla m ic , 82 a n d c e rta in ly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry th e ev id en ce fr o m K ilw a im plie s a “ v ery la rg e M uslim re sid en t p o pu la tio n.” 83 B y ca . 1331 Ib n B attu ta desc rib es a “ v ast n etw ork o f M uslim s a ll a ro und th e p erip h ery o f th e I n dia n O ce an .” 84 T hese w ere esse n tia lly c o m merc ia l n etw ork s d ra w n f r o m m an y d if fe re n t p arts o f t h e N ear E ast. C alic u t’s M uslim s who te n dere d th eir a lle g ia n ce to th e R asu lid su lt a n a l- A sh ra f II in 1 393 re fle cte d a m ult ip lic it y o f geo gra p h ic o rig in s, 85 a n d th e s a m e is s u ggeste d in B arb o sa ’s r e p o rt th at b y th e s e co nd d eca d e o f th e six te en th c e n tu ry t h ese c o sm opo lit a n m erc h an ts “ d ep arte d t o t h eir o w n l a n ds a b an donin g I n dia a n d i t s tr a d e,” 86 fo llo w in g th e d ra m atic a n d v io le n t w ay in w hic h th e P ortu guese m ad e th eir e n tr y in to th e In dia n O ce an tr a d e w it h V asc o d a G am a in sis tin g o n th e e x p u ls io n o f th e M uslim s fr o m C alic u t a n d bo m bard in g t h e t o w n w hen i t s r u le r r e fu se d . 87 That t h e c ru sh in g o f t h e V en etia n s p ic e m onopo ly w as t h e p re m ed it a te d g oal o f P ortu gal’s m arit im e ex p an sio n in th e fif te en th c e n tu ry c a n , o f c o urse , b e ru le d o ut. T he str a te g y o f A tla n tic e x p an sio n ev olv ed o nly g ra d ually . 88 T here w as, a s L uís F ilip e T hom az h as a rg ued , n o co h ere n t im peria l p ro je ct till th e la st tw o d eca d es o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry a n d w hat h e c a lls th e “ ca lc u la te d im peria lis m ” o f a model th at w as “ im peria l, g lo baliz in g, a n d s ta te -d riv en .” 89 F ro m th e r e ig n o f D om F erd in an d ( 1 367– 83), P ortu guese r o yal p o w er h ad f o und i t s s tr o ngest s u ppo rt i n t h e p o pu la tio n o f t h e p o rts , 90 w here t h e Portu guese m erc h an t c la ss g re w in s tr e n gth . 91 B ut in th e p artn ersh ip th at e v olv ed o ver th e fo llo w in g ce n tu ry b etw een th e m onarc h y a n d p riv ate c a p it a l, th e sta te c a n sc a rc e ly b e d esc rib ed a s a p assiv e ag en t o f th e la tte r. F in an cia lly , it d ep en ded o n th e re so urc e s o f b ig L is b o n m erc h an ts lik e F ern ão Gom es ca . 1469 a n d, la te r, o f p o w erfu l s y ndic a te s o f G erm an a n d I ta lia n b u sin essm en , b u t it w as th e cro w n t h at b o th d ro ve a n d m onit o re d t h e p ro ce ss, a n d ( ju st a s im po rta n t) t h ere w as n ev er a n y “ cle ar- cu t d em arc a tio n b etw een th e fin an ce s o f th e S ta te an d it s co m merc ia l ca p it a l.” 92 A ll co m merc ia l ca p it a lis m s o f th e six te en th to e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s w ould c o m e to b e in ex tr ic a bly b ou nd u p w it h th e sta te , b u t i n P ortu gal’s c a se t h e r e la tio nsh ip w as p o sit e d a s i m med ia te . I t w as t h e c ro w n t h at w ould a ct as a m erc h an t c o m pan y o n th e w est c o ast o f I n dia , “ se ttin g u p fe it o ria s (tr a d in g p o sts , fa cto rie s) in vario us k ey p o rts , b u yin g u p p ep per, s p ic e s a n d o th er p re cio us c o m modit ie s, w hic h t h ey w ould s h ip t o Euro pe a n d s e ll t h ere a t a h uge p ro fit .” 93 The P ortu guese , o f c o urse , w ere q u it e c le ar w ho th eir c o m petit o rs w ere . T ry in g to c o nvin ce th e mem bers o f h is c o uncil o f th e n eed to c a p tu re a n d re ta in M ala cca , A lb u qu erq u e w ro te , “ S in ce w e gain ed c o ntr o l o f t h e M ala b ar p ep per t r a d e, C air o h as n ot r e ce iv ed a n y e x ce p t w hat t h e M osle m s h av e been a b le t o t a k e f r o m t h is r e g io n ( th e S tr a it s ) . . . I a m v ery s u re t h at, i f t h is M ala cca t r a d e i s t a k en o ut of t h eir h an ds, C air o a n d M ecca w ill b e c o m ple te ly l o st a n d no s p ic e s w ill g o t o t h e V en etia ns e x ce p t t h ose th at th ey g o to P ortu gal to b u y .” 94 T he ta rg et h ere , in 1 511, w as th e e n tir e R ed S ea ro ute , a c ir c u it dom in ate d b y a so rt o f m assiv e jo in t v en tu re b etw een V en etia n c a p it a l, C air o m erc h an ts , a n d th e su pplie rs in C alic u t. B ut m ovin g b ack alo ng th e ch ain , th e m ajo rit y o f h is ca p ta in s ag re ed w it h Alb u qu erq u e, it w as e sse n tia l t o “ ta k e t h e c it y o f M ala cca , to e x pel t h e M osle m s , a n d t o b u ild a f o rtr e ss th ere .” 95 P ortu gal’s “ co m merc ia l a n d re lig io us w ar a g ain st Isla m ” 96 o ccu pie d th e g re ate r p art o f a ce n tu ry a n d w as n ev er c o m ple te ly s u cce ssfu l, b u t i n C alic u t t h e e ffe cts o f h er i n tr u sio n w ere f e lt a lm ost im med ia te ly . A lr e ad y b y 1 507 o ne tr a v ele r, th e I ta lia n L udovic o d i V arth em a, w as w rit in g, “ C alic u t was r u in ed b y t h e K in g o f P ortu gal, f o r t h e m erc h an ts w ho u se d t o c o m e t h ere w ere n ot t h ere , n eit h er did th ey c o m e.” 97 I t w as C och in th at b eca m e P ortu gal’s e co nom ic b ase in th e r e g io n a n d th e b u lk o f Portu guese p ep per fr o m M ala b ar w as e x p o rte d fr o m th ere . 98 B y 1 512 A lb u qu erq u e w as te llin g K in g Man uel th at th e net v alu e o f s h ip m en ts fr o m I n dia w as n ow “ w orth a m illio n cru za d os .” 99 I f s o , th ese le v els w ere nev er su bse q u en tly su sta in ed . T he m ajo rit y of actu al cu lt iv ato rs w ere St. T hom as Chris tia n s. 100 P ep per w as so ld to th e P ortu guese fa cto ry in C och in by m erc h an ts fr o m th eir co m munit y a n d b y C och in J e w s. 101 A ppare n tly , t h e k in g h ad a sk ed o ffic ia ls t o d eal w it h C hris tia n a n d Hin du tr a d ers (N air s w ere u se d as b ro kers) “ an d to keep th e M uslim m erc h ants aw ay fr o m tr a d e activ it ie s .” 102 D om M an uel’s “ro yal ca p it a lis m ” 103 w as a cu rio us m ix tu re of m erc a n tilis m an d messia n is m 104 w here h ard head ed b u sin ess d ecis io ns an d a M ed it e rra n ean -sty le eco nom ic w ar w ere clo ak ed i n r e lig io us z e al a n d a g re at d eal o f b o th i g nora n ce a n d b ig otr y . The habit u al u se o f f o rc e a s a n a cce p ta b le p art o f t h e c o m petit io n b etw een s u bsta n tia l blo cs o f c a p it a l was n ow , fo r th e fir st tim e in th e h is to ry o f eit h er se a, tr a n sp o se d fr o m a th eatr e w here it h ad flo uris h ed fo r c e n tu rie s (sin ce V en ic e ’s d ev asta tin g a tta ck o n C om acch io in 9 32, sa y ) to th e In dia n Oce an , w here it s m ajo r ta rg ets w ere th e p o w erfu l M uslim c o m merc ia l n etw ork s th at str a d dle d th e en tir e o ce an f r o m K ilw a a n d S ofa la in E ast A fr ic a t o S um atr a a n d t h e s o uth ern P hilip pin es. I n C och in it s e lf t h e p rin cip al m erc h an ts o f t h e p o rt ( M uslim c o nverts o f t h e M ara k kar f a m ily ) r e lo ca te d t o C alic u t by th e 1 520s, fo rc e d o ut b y w hat o ne h is to ria n c a lls a n “ atm osp h ere o f c o erc io n a n d v io le n ce .” 105 Ahm ad Z ay n a l- D in ’s la te s ix te en th -c e n tu ry h is to ry , Tuhfa t a l- m uja hid in , h as g ra p h ic d esc rip tio ns o f th e v io le n ce i n flic te d o n M ala b ar’s M uslim c o m munit ie s. H e w rit e s o f t h e b u rn in g o f t h e ja m i‘ m asji d i n Calic u t in 1 510, th e e arlie r d em olit io n o f th e C och in m osq u e, th e se iz u re o f sh ip s, d estr u ctio n o f pro perty , a n d s o o n. T here w as a ls o t h e r e p eate d p erso nal h um ilia tio n M uslim s w ere s u bje cte d t o , a n d of c o urse b lo odsh ed . Z ay n a l- D in h ad a n a cu te s e n se o f t h e h is to ry o f h is o w n lif e tim e, k now in g t h at th e a d ven t o f th e P ortu guese h ad b een r u in ous fo r th e p ro sp erit y o f M uslim c o m merc e in th e I n dia n Oce an . T he P ortu guese , h e w rit e s, h ad s o ught t o “ se cu re f o r t h em se lv es a mon op oly o f t h is t r a d e ” ( th e sp ic e t r a d e). 106 T hey h ad e sta b lis h ed t h em se lv es “ in t h e g re ate r p art o f t h e s e a p o rts o f t h is p art o f t h e world .” 107 T hey h ad ev en “ fo und th eir w ay to th e C hin ese em pir e , ca rry in g o n tr a d e in all th e in te rm ed ia te a n d o th er p o rts , in a ll o f w hic h th e c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th e M uslim s h av e b een in co nse q u en ce c o nsig ned t o r u in .” T he P ortu guese “ re n dere d i t im possib le t h at a ny o th ers s h ou ld c o m pete wit h t h em ” i n t h e t r a d es t h ey s o ught t o d om in ate . 108 T he M uslim s o f M ala b ar h ad s e en t h e b u lk o f t h eir in te rn atio nal c o m merc e m assiv ely d is ru pte d a n d w ere le ft o nly w it h t h e c o astin g t r a d e o f I n dia . T hey had b eco m e “ im po veris h ed a n d w eak a n d p o w erle ss.” 109 There i s a f a sc in atin g r e fe re n ce i n t h ese p assa g es t o a s e lf – fin an cin g m odel t h at b eca m e c h ara cte ris tic not o nly o f P ortu gal’s tr a d e in A sia n w ate rs b u t, e v en m ore c ru cia lly , o f th e b ette r-o rg an iz e d D utc h ex p an sio n th at w ould la te r re p la ce it in th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry . T he P ortu guese m onarc h y w as ch ro nic a lly s h ort o f c a sh a n d s o ught t o s u sta in t h e E uro pean s id e o f it s m onopo ly o f t h e s p ic e m ark et by in volv in g th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis ts a s in vesto rs a n d e n co ura g in g g overn ors lik e Alb u qu erq u e to fin an ce th e ro yal sh are o f p u rc h ase s fr o m p ro fit s g en era te d b y P ortu guese tr a d in g wit h in A sia n m ark ets . 110 A t th e M ala b ar e n d, th ere w as n ev er a n y re al m onopo ly , sin ce e x p o rts to Lis b o n n ev er s e em to h av e e x ce ed ed a b o ut 4 0 p erc e n t o f th e to ta l o utp u t o f p ep per e v en in th e e arly six te en th c e n tu ry a n d fe ll d ra m atic a lly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry , w hen F ra n cis c o d a C osta r e lia b ly estim ate d th at o f a to ta l p ro ductio n o f 2 58,0 00 q u in ta ls , e x p o rts to P ortu gal w ere a m eag re tw en ty th ousa n d to th ir ty th ousa n d q u in ta ls . 111 I n 1 587 F erd in an d C ro n, C och in a g en t o f th e F uggers, w ro te th at a lt h ough ca . th re e h undre d t h ousa n d q u in ta ls o f p ep per w ere p ro duce d a n nually i n s o uth ern I n dia , only a v ery lit tle o f th is c a m e in to th e h an ds o f th e c o ntr a cto rs to b e ta k en to E uro pe. 112 T hom az h as arg ued th at “ P ortu guese c o m merc e in th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry d ev elo ped p re d om in an tly in th e I n dia n Oce an , ov er a n etw ork o f s h ort a nd m ed iu m r a ng e r o u te s w hic h a ctu ally e n co m passe d a lm ost e v ery c o ast of A sia . . . T he m ain r e aso n w hic h d ro ve t h e P ortu guese t o a p ply t h em se lv es t o t h e lo ca l t r a d e s e em s to b e th at th e C ap e ro ute to P ortu gal w as o fte n a lo se r.” 113 In sh ort, P ortu gal’s A sia n tr a d e c ro ss- su bsid iz e d t h e t r a d e t o L is b o n, s in ce o verh ead s w ere s o h ig h i n t h e l a tte r. Pep per w as g ro w n o n lit e ra lly th ousa n ds o f g ard en s in M ala b ar. 114 T he P ortu guese s im ply d id n ot hav e th e lo gis tic a l s e t- u p to d eal w it h p ro duce rs d ir e ctly a n d c e rta in ly h ad n o w ay o f c o ntr o llin g th e pro duce rs. 115 T here fo re , p ric e d om in atio n h ad to b e e n fo rc e d th ro ugh a g re em en ts w it h th e ru le r o f Coch in a n d o th er l o ca l r u le rs. A l o w f ix ed p ric e w as v it a l t o t h e w hole e n te rp ris e a s k in g D om M an uel had c o nce iv ed t h is in it ia lly . I n 1 503 t h e p ric e o f a bh ar o f p ep per ( th at is , o f a b atc h o f ca . 166 k g) w as fix ed a t le ss t h an h alf t h e m ark et p ric e p re v ailin g in C alic u t t h re e y ears e arlie r. 116 P ric e s w ould r e m ain fix ed fo r d eca d es. B ut M ala b ar p ep per w as a h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark et w it h o ver a d oze n r e g io nal ce n te rs w here m erc h an ts b o ught th e p ro duce w hole sa le . C om petit io n w as fie rc e in th ose m ark ets . 117 This acco unts fo r th e p u re ly th eo re tic a l n atu re o f th e P ortu guese m onopo ly , sin ce , as C esa re d e Fed eric i n ote d , p ro bab ly in th e 1 570s, th e b u lk o f g ood-q u alit y p ep per w as b ein g s h ip ped to th e R ed Sea b eca u se m erc h an ts c o nnecte d w it h th at tr a d e pa id m ore a nd g ot a b ette r q u alit y o f p ro d uce , “ cle an e an d dry an d bette r co ndit io ned .” 118 T his is th e esse n tia l re aso n beh in d th e re silie n ce of th e Med it e rra n ean r o ute t h at B ra u del c o nsta n tly d re w a tte n tio n t o . 119 If th e “ ro yal ca p it a lis m ” o f th e early six te en th ce n tu ry w as ev en tu ally ab an doned fo r a “ m ore str a ig htf o rw ard s e m i- A bso lu tis t c o nce p tio n o f t h e s ta te ’s r e la tio nsh ip t o t r a d e,” 120 P ortu guese c o lo nia l en te rp ris e , o r th e A sia n th ala sso cra cy th at fo rm ed it s c o re , b eca m e e v en s tr o nger a s a m ag net fo r a n ag glo m era tio n o f ca p it a lis t in te re sts th at is p ro bab ly b est d esc rib ed in H en ry B ern ste in ’s id ea o f “cla sse s o f c a p it a l.” A t th e to p w ere th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis t h ouse s ( th e W els e rs, Fuggers, H öch ste tte rs, A ffa it a d i, B arto lo m eo M arc h io nni, G io van ni R ovela sc a ) w ho co m bin ed in po w erfu l s y ndic a te s to fin an ce th e a ctu al e x p ed it io ns to I n dia , s u ch a s th e o ne in 1 505 in w hic h th e Wels e rs h ad a v ery s u bsta n tia l in vestm en t o f tw en ty th ousa n d cru za d os , o r a g re ed to h an dle s a le s in Euro pe, w it h p le d ges to b u y a stip u la te d q u an tit y o f p ep per a t a n a g re ed p ric e . B oth a rra n gem en ts were f r a u ght w it h t e n sio ns b o und u p w it h t h e v ola tilit y o f t h is m ark et, w it h t h e c ro w n q u it e c a p ab le o f re n eg in g o n co ntr a cts . F lo re n tin e m erc h an ts w ere w ell- e n tr e n ch ed in L is b o n an d m an y o f th em “fin an ce d a n d j o in ed t h e P ortu guese o n t h e e arlie st v en tu re s t o t h e I n die s d urin g t h e f ir st q u arte r o f t h e six te en th c e n tu ry .” 121 T he S outh G erm an c o m merc ia l h ouse s h ad s tr o ng o rg an iz a tio nal s tr u ctu re s a n d work ed th ro ugh ca rte l arra n gem en ts w it h o ne an oth er. 122 T hey “am asse d ca p it a l fa r b ey ond th e ca p ab ilit y of an y F lo re n tin e m erc h an t- b an ker,” 123 so th at ev en at th is ra re fie d le v el th ere w ere in te re stin g d if fe re n ce s. C onsid era b ly b elo w th ese g ia n t c a p it a lis ts w ere th e r ic h er ca sa d os o f C och in , se ttle rs o f P ortu guese o rig in , w ho a t v ario us tim es a cte d a s fin an cie rs to th e Esta d o a n d d om in ate d Coch in ’s co asta l tr a d e. 124 B etw een 1 570 an d 1 600 th e ca sa d os , “ a p o w erfu l m erc a n tile g ro up w it h co nsid era b le c a p it a l r e so urc e s,” “ v ir tu ally t u rn ed C och in in to o ne o f t h e b ig gest e n tr e p ô ts o f A sia .” 125 Their in te re sts ex te n ded all o ver th e In dia n O ce an . 126 H ow ev er, fr o m th e se co nd d eca d e o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , th ere w as a m ass e x o dus o f ca sa d o tr a d ers f r o m C och in to th e o ppo sit e c o ast, a s th e la tte r p art o f th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry s a w d w in dlin g s u pplie s o f p ep per th an ks to m ass d is a ffe ctio n am ong S t. T hom as C hris tia n s w ho h ad s e en t h eir b is h op a rre ste d t w ic e ( a n d d ie i n R om e i n 1 569) a n d “b eg un t o c o opera te w it h t h e t r a d ers o f t h e g hat r o ute ” in r e ta lia tio n. 127 F in ally , M ala b ar’s o w n n ativ e Muslim s, th e M ap pila s, w ere a m ong th e “ la rg est fin an cie rs o f P ortu gal’s im peria l p ro je ct in A sia ” 128 an d w ere d oubtle ss a ctiv e in m uch o f th e tr a d e th at e sc a p ed P ortu guese c o ntr o l, th e v ast a m ounts o f pep per t h at c ro sse d t h e g hats t o m ak e i t s w ay t o t h e e ast c o ast, f r o m w here i t w as w id ely e x p o rte d . In e co nom ic t e rm s, t h e f r a g ile b asis o n w hic h P ortu gal’s a rm ed t h ala sso cra cy r e ste d w as o bv io us t o mem bers o f it s é lit e . I n 1 563 th e O tto m an s o ffe re d th e P ortu guese a fr e e tr a d e a g re em en t, w it h th e la tte r b ein g g iv en th e r ig ht to “ esta b lis h tr a d in g h ouse s in B asra , C air o , a n d A le x an dria a n d to tr a d e fr e ely in a ll th e O tto m an -c o ntr o lle d p o rts o f b o th th e P ersia n G ulf a n d th e R ed S ea,” in r e tu rn fo r sim ila r fr e ed om s fo r O tto m an m erc h an ts to tr a d e th ro ughout th e In dia n O ce an , w it h th e rig ht to esta b lis h c o m merc ia l a g en cie s o f t h eir o w n “ in S in d, C am bay , D ab u l, C alic u t, a n d a n y o th er p o rt t h ey desir e d .” 129 A gain st th is q u it e re m ark ab le p ro po sa l o ne fid alg o is su ppo se d to h av e a rg ued , “ if th e Turk s w ere a llo w ed t o t r a v el f r e ely t o I n dia , a n d e sta b lis h f a cto rs, a n d t r a d e in m erc h an dis e w here v er th ey w is h ed , n ot o nly w ould Y our M aje sty ’s o w n p ro fit s s u ffe r g re atly , b u t t h e r e st o f u s w ould b e l e ft co m ple te ly e m pty h an ded , b eca u se all o f t h e b u sin ess [ h and le d b y t h e P ortu guese ] w ou ld i m med ia te ly f a ll to t h e T urk s .” T here w as a c le ar r e fe re n ce h ere to P ortu guese priv a te c a p it a l. H e w en t o n to s a y , “ A s fo r [th e sta te m onopo ly in ] p ep per an d o th er co ntr o lle d sp ic e s, th is w ould als o b e th re ate n ed b y allo w in g th e T urk s to e sta b lis h fa cto rs in I n dia . Even n ow , w hen th ey h ave n ot b een a llo w ed to o p en ly co m pete a g ain st th e P ortu guese , it is k now n th at th ey co nduct a tr a d e in se cre t, ca rry in g sp ic e s to Horm uz, t o B asra , a n d t o B en gal, P eg u, C hin a, a n d o th er la n ds, a n d e sp ecia lly t o t h eir o w n m ark ets , desp it e th e g re at ris k s in volv ed . T hus, [if a llo w ed to o pera te fr e ely , th eir tie s w it h ] lo ca l M uslim s would le a ve th em e v en b ette r in fo rm ed a nd b ette r o rg aniz e d , su ch th at b y m ean s o f th e [R ed S ea a n d Persia n G ulf ] t h ey c o uld s e n d a s m uch [ p ep per] a s t h ey w an te d , and b eco m e m aste rs o f t h e l io n ’s s h are o f th e t r a d e in s p ic e s .” 130 H ere it w as a n e n tr e n ch ed n etw ork o f tr a d in g c o m munit ie s th at w as s e en a s th e big gest p o te n tia l “ co m petit iv e a d van ta g e” t h e O tto m an s w ould h av e i f c o m merc e w as c o m ple te ly f r e e, th at i s , n ot d ete rre d b y t h e p erm an en t t h re at a n d a ctu al u se o f v io le n ce f r o m t h e P ortu guese s id e. 131 In h is g re at His to ry o f I ta ly , F ra n ce sc o G uic cia rd in i s a w P ortu gal’s b re ak in g o f th e V en etia n s p ic e monopo ly a s “ th e m ost m em ora b le t h in g t h at h as h ap pen ed in t h e w orld f o r m an y c e n tu rie s.” 132 T his was w rit te n la te in t h e 1 530s a n d w as a r e m ark ab ly a ccu ra te a sse ssm en t, n ot o nly b eca u se c o m merc ia l po sit io ns th at V en ic e h ad b u ilt u p o ver ce n tu rie s w ere (m om en ta rily ) p lu nged in to d ep re ssio n a n d dra stic a lly a ffe cte d b y t h e n ew t r a d e r e g im e, 133 b u t m ore o bv io usly b eca u se P ortu gal’s o pen in g o f th e Atla n tic r e co nfig ure d t h e w hole s h ap e o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a lis m a s t h e w orld h ad k now n it t ill t h en . I t open ed th e w ay f o r a n ew c a p it a lis m w hic h w ould s o on b e r e fle cte d in th e c o m merc ia l d om in an ce o f th e D utc h in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry a s w ell a s E ngla n d’s e x p an sio n in t h e s a m e c e n tu ry . I n 1 519 t h e Ven etia n s w ere p erfe ctly a w are o f P ortu gal’s d ev asta tin g im pact o n th e L ev an t p ep per tr a d e, a n d f o r th e n ex t te n y ears th ey w ere to ta lly a t th e m erc y o f th e P ortu guese a s g lo bal s u pplie s o f p ep per w ere co rn ere d b y th e la tte r. 134 B ut B ra u del rig htly in sis te d th at V en ic e re m ain ed a fo rm id ab le e co nom ic fo rc e th ro ughout th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry . A s la te a s 1 585 th ere w ere s till s o m e fo ur th ousa n d V en etia n fa m ilie s “ sc a tte re d th ro ughout th e c it ie s a n d la n ds o f I sla m ” a s fa r a w ay a s H orm uz. 135 N or w as th e Red S ea r o ute e v er c o m ple te ly s tif le d . I n 1 560 th e P ortu guese a m bassa d or a t R om e r e ce iv ed r e p o rts th at e n orm ous q u an tit ie s o f p ep per a n d s p ic e w ere a rriv in g a t A le x an dria . 136 I n 1 593 t h e F uggers w ere sim ila rly to ld th at A le x an dria w as su pply in g V en ic e w it h as m uch p ep per as L is b o n re ce iv ed . 137 How ev er, b y t h e s e co nd d eca d e o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry V en ic e ’s p rim acy i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean w as fin ally o ver. 138 T he Ita lia n cris is o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry h as b een ch ara cte riz e d as a “ g ra d ual in tr o versio n o f t h e n orth ern I ta lia n b o urg eo is ie ,” a “ p ro gre ssiv e c lo su re t o t h e w orld b ey ond I ta ly .” 139 If s o , G uic cia rd in i’s j u dgem en t w as e v en m ore p ro ph etic . DUTC H P R IM ACY The f a ll o f A ntw erp i n A ugust 1 585 t r ig gere d a v ast e x o dus o f r e fu gees f r o m t h e s o uth ern p ro vin ce s o f th e N eth erla n ds to th e N orth , w it h m ajo r co nse q u en ce s fo r A m ste rd am an d D utc h co m merc e . Am ste rd am ’s p ro sp erit y a fte r 1 600 w as b u ilt b y ém ig ré s fr o m A ntw erp . 140 O ver h alf th e D utc h E ast In dia C om pan y/ V ere en ig de O ostin dis c h e C om pag nie or V O C’s sta rtin g ca p it a l of 6.4 2 m illio n guild ers w as su bsc rib ed in A m ste rd am , bu t am ong A m ste rd am in vesto rs th e big gest in div id ual in vestm en ts w ere m ad e by m en lik e Isa ac le M air e an d B alt h asa r C oym an s, all ém ig ré s fr o m Antw erp . 141 T hey w ere W allo on o r F le m is h e x ile s a n d p ro vid ed c lo se t o 4 0 p erc e n t o f t h e C om pan y’s to ta l c a p it a l. 142 I t w as t h eir “ v ast w ealt h a n d in te rn atio nal c o nnectio ns” 143 t h at e n ab le d H olla n d’s r a p id bre ak th ro ugh i n to t h e r ic h t r a d es o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean a n d A sia . The s e v en te en th c e n tu ry w as d om in ate d b y t h e c o m petit io n b etw een E nglis h a n d D utc h c a p it a l. T he tr a je cto ry o f D utc h c a p it a lis m ru ns fr o m it s ra p id e x p an sio n in th e e arly se v en te en th c e n tu ry to it s declin e in th e s e co nd q u arte r o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , w it h a p eak in th e d eca d es a ro und 1 647– 72, desc rib ed b y J o nath an I sra el a s t h e z e n it h o f t h e R ep u blic ’s “ w orld -tr a d e p rim acy .” 144 D utc h t r a d e w it h Asia h ad f a r o uts tr ip ped t h at o f t h e P ortu guese p o ssib ly a s e arly a s 1 601. 145 T he c la sh w it h E ngla n d f o r maste ry of th e M ed it e rra n ean tr a d e ex p lo ded in th e la te 1640s, pro m ptin g th e fir st of se v era l “N av ig atio n A cts ” b y w hic h E nglis h ca p it a l so ught to cu rb D utc h d om in an ce . In 1661 C olb ert assu m ed t h e d ir e ctio n o f c o m merc ia l a ffa ir s in F ra n ce , a n d b y t h e la te s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h e F re n ch had e m erg ed a s a m ajo r c o m merc ia l p o w er, 146 w it h th e la st q u arte r o f th e c e n tu ry d om in ate d b y a co nfr o nta tio n b etw een t h em a n d t h e D utc h . 147 T he 1 680s w as a ls o w hen t h e V O C w as a t t h e p eak o f i t s su cce ss a s a n A sia n p o w er. 148 The c ru sh in g I ta lia n s u pre m acy o f t h e t w elf th t o f if te en th c e n tu rie s h ad e n ca p su la te d a c a p it a lis m o f netw ork s , t h e o nly k in d in dig en ous t o t h e M ed it e rra n ean c o untr ie s a n d t h e w id er w orld o f I sla m . T he new ca p it a lis m o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry w as d riv en , in co ntr a st, by jo in t- sto ck co m pa nie s th at em erg ed f r o m t h e m arit im e f r in ge o f n orth w este rn E uro pe a n d e n jo yed t h e s tr o ng b ack in g o f t h e s ta te (a s, in deed , V en etia n ca p it a l h ad ). T hey w ere ca p it a lis t en te rp ris e s o f a h ig her po w er th an th e im perfe ct “ ro yal c a p it a lis m s” o f I b eria , b u t lik e th em th ey r e ta in ed a p u blic o r se m i- p u blic c h ara cte r th at e m bo die d a q u asi- fo rm al d ele g atio n o f s o vere ig nty t h at m ad e t h em f o rm id ab le c o m petit o rs. 149 T he main E ast I n dia C om pan ie s ( E nglis h , D utc h , a n d F re n ch ) w ere th e m ost p o w erfu l o f th e jo in t- sto ck co m pan ie s in th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s, a n d th e c o m petit io n b etw een th em w as s u ch th at D av id H um e, in a n e ssa y p u blis h ed in 1 742, c o uld f a m ously s a y , “ T ra d e w as n ev er e ste em ed a n affa ir o f s ta te t ill t h e la st c e n tu ry .” 150 T he h ead -o n c la sh b etw een t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h g en era te d th e d octr in e th at c a m e to b e c a lle d “ je alo usy o f tr a d e.” 151 T ow ard th e e n d o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry Adam S m it h a g re ed w it h H um e t h at t r a d e h ad c h an ged E uro pean p o lit ic s in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . In Wea lt h o f N atio n s h e r e fe rs to “ m erc a n tile je alo usy ” w hic h “ in fla m es, a n d is it s e lf in fla m ed b y th e vio le n ce o f n atio n al a nim osit y .” 152 S ta te a n d c a p it a l n ow h ad a u nif y in g “ n atio nal” i n te re st i n s e cu rin g o r re ta in in g c o m merc ia l d om in an ce . I n “ O f t h e J e alo usy o f T ra d e” ( 1 752) H um e w ro te “ N oth in g i s m ore usu al, a m ong s ta te s w hic h h av e m ad e s o m e a d van ce s i n c o m merc e , th an . . . t o c o n sid er a ll t r a d in g s ta te s as t h eir r iv a ls .” 153 I n t h e la te n in ete en th c e n tu ry G usta v v on S ch m olle r e x p re sse d t h is m ore f o rc e fu lly . “C om merc ia l c o m petit io n, e v en in tim es n om in ally o f p eace , d eg en era te d in to a s ta te o f u ndecla re d hostilit y : it p lu nged n atio ns in to o ne w ar a fte r a n oth er, a n d g av e a ll w ars a tu rn in th e d ir e ctio n o f tr a d e, i n dustr y , a n d c o lo nia l g ain . . . . ” 154 To J o sia h C hild w ho b eca m e g overn or o f th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y in 1 681, th e e sse n tia l ch ara cte ris tic o f t h e D utc h m odel w as i t s p ecu lia r i n te g ra tio n o f s ta te a n d c a p it a l. A t t h e t o p o f C hild ’s lis t o f r e aso ns f o r D utc h e co nom ic s u cce ss “ w as t h e f a ct t h at D utc h C ouncils o f S ta te , t h e l a w -m ak in g bo die s, w ere c o m po se d o f tr a d in g m erc h an ts w ho h ad liv ed a b ro ad m ost o f th eir liv es a n d w ho h ad gre at p ra ctic a l a n d th eo re tic a l k now le d ge o f c o m merc ia l m atte rs.” 155 I n Obse rv a tio n s u pon th e U nit e d Pro v in ce s o f th e N eth erla nd s ( 1 673), S ir W illia m T em ple w ould lik ew is e n ote th is p artic u la r f e atu re o f th e D utc h R ep u blic ; a m ong i t s s tr e n gth s, h e c la im s, w as “ [a ] G overn m en t m an ag ’d e it h er b y m en t h at tr a d e, o r w hose F am ilie s h av e r is e n b y it , o r w ho h av e t h em se lv es s o m e I n te re st g oin g in o th er m en ’s Tra ffiq u e, o r w ho a re b o rn a n d b re d in T ow ns, T he so ul a n d b eein g w here o f c o nsis ts w holly in tr a d e.” 156 In oth er w ord s, th e V O C an d it s pre d ece sso r co m pan ie s “ty pif ie d th e hig h deg re e of in te ra ctio n o f ru lin g o lig arc h y w it h p riv a te e n te rp ris e w hic h c h ara cte riz e d m uch , if n ot m ost, o f D utc h overse as c o m merc e .” 157 T he V O C w as “ th e c re atio n o f th e D utc h s ta te a s m uch a s o f th e m erc h an ts who h ad a ctu ally o pen ed u p t h e E ast I n dia t r a ffic ,” 158 a n d, l ik e i t s l a te r, A tla n tic , c o unte rp art, t h e W est In dia C om pan y, “ in tim ate ly e n tw in ed ” w it h th e c o untr y ’s “ re g en t o lig arc h y.” 159 I n s h ort, th e n ex u s betw een s ta te a n d c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as a lt o geth er m ore d ir e ct h ere th an a n yth in g r e fle cte d in th e “str o ng s o cia l a n d c o m merc ia l t ie s b etw een t h e m erc h an ts a n d f in an cie rs o f t h e C it y o f L ondon a n d t h e Brit is h s ta te a n d a ris to cra cy ” 160 t h at w ere c o ev al w it h i t . The sh eer effic ie n cy of D utc h ca p it a l ste m med fr o m th e re m ark ab le effic ie n cy of it s sh ip pin g in dustr y , t h e m assiv e c o nce n tr a tio n o f c a p it a l i n A m ste rd am ’s e x ch an ge-b an k, e sta b lis h ed i n 1 609 ( o ne early e ig hte en th -c e n tu ry e stim ate p u t t h e b an k’s h old in gs a t a ro und t h re e h undre d m illio n g uild ers), 161 th e t e ch nic a l s o ph is tic a tio n a n d f le x ib ilit y o f t h e D utc h f in e-c lo th i n dustr y , 162 a n d t h e “ so ph is tic a tio n o f Dutc h m eth ods an d te ch nolo gy” 163 m ore g en era lly . B ut b ey ond th ese fa cto rs, all esse n tia l, w as a co m merc ia l s tr a te g y d efin ed b y it s s in gle -m in ded c o nce n tr a tio n o n t h e r ic h t r a d es o f E uro pe a n d A sia , by f a r-re ach in g v ertic a l in te g ra tio n in to s o urc e -m ark ets a n d, m ost s tr ik in gly , b y th e s h eer s c a le o f it s Asia n tr a d e n etw ork 164 ( u nm atc h ed b y th e E nglis h ) 165 a n d th e w ay th e V O C w as a b le to in te g ra te it s lo ca l, in te r-A sia n t r a d e in to a la rg ely s e lf – c o nta in ed if e x p an din g c ir c u la tio n o f c a p it a l t h at m in im iz e d th e n eed f o r p ay m en ts i n s ilv er. 166 I n m ost w ay s, it w as t h e A sia n p art o f t h is s tr a te g y t h at s h ow ed ju st how m uch t h e D utc h e n tr e p ô t w as h arn esse d t o t h e a ctu al m ach in ery o f t h e D utc h s ta te , 167 s in ce D utc h co m merc e in A sia w as “ h eav ily a rm ed ” f r o m t h e o uts e t. 168 B y 1 623, t h e D utc h h ad n in ety s h ip s in t h e East I n die s a n d t w o t h ousa n d r e g ula r t r o ops p o ste d i n t w en ty f o rts ! 169 Ralp h D av is ex p la in ed w hy D utc h sh ip pin g w as m ore effic ie n t. B efo re th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry Dutc h s h ip bu ild ers d id n ot h av e to lo ok o ut fo r th e d efe n sib ilit y o f th eir s h ip s b u t s im ply c a rry in g ca p acit y a n d c o st o f o pera tio n. “ T hey e v olv ed h ull fo rm s th at m ax im is e d c a rg o s p ace in r e la tio n to overa ll d im en sio ns.” B eca u se th ey w ere fla t- b o tto m ed , “ th ey d ra w e n ot s o e m uch w ate r a s o ur s h ip s do,” w ro te t h e E nglis h e x p lo re r G eo rg e W ay m outh i n 1 609, “ . . . a n d t h ere fo re m ust h av e le ss M asts , Say le s, T ack lin g a n d A nch ors, t h an o urs h av e; and a re th ere fo re a ble to s a yle w it h o n e th ir d p a rt o f m en le ss th an o u rs , o r th er a bou ts .” “ T hus, b y th e a d van ta g e th ey g ay n o f u s in b u rd en , a n d b y th e c h arg e th ey sa v e in m arrin ers w ag es, an d v ic tu als , th ey are ab le to ca rry th eir fr a ig ht b ette r ch eap th an wee.” 170 Wit h in E uro pe a n d l a rg e p arts o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean , b arte r w as w id ely u se d a s a m erc a n tile s tr a te g y beca u se it w as alw ays “ m ore p ro fit a b le t o t r a d ers t o e x p o rt g oods r a th er t h an m oney .” 171 H ow ev er, in Asia th e c ru cia l c o nstr a in t o n E uro pean tr a d e, a s th e P ortu guese ra p id ly d is c o vere d , w as E uro pe’s “in ab ilit y t o s u pply w este rn p ro ducts a t p ric e s t h at w ould g en era te a l a rg e e n ough d em an d” t o p ro vid e th e n ece ssa ry r e v en ue fo r th e p u rc h ase o f A sia n g oods. “ T he o nly m ajo r it e m th at E uro pe w as in a po sit io n to p ro vid e A sia [w it h ] w as p re cio us m eta ls .” 172 (E ven d ow n to th e e n d o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry , “tr e asu re ” acco unte d fo r 70 to 90 perc e n t of th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y’s to ta l ex p o rts .) 173 T he re su rg en ce o f eco nom ic co nflic t b etw een S pain an d th e D utc h in 1621 an d th e em barg o o n D utc h sh ip pin g in Ib eria n p o rts 174 w ere th ere fo re p o te n tia lly d is a str o us to co ntin ued Dutc h ex p an sio n in A sia , b eca u se th ey ch oked th e tr a n sfe r o f S pan is h A m eric a n b u llio n to th e Neth erla n ds a n d c re ate d a n e n dem ic sh orta g e o f sp ecie th ere ; th e V O C in p artic u la r re q u ir e d “ an im men se re g ula r in pu t o f b u llio n to se ttle it s b ala n ce s in th e E ast In die s.” 175 In ste ad o f se ek in g in fu sio ns o f c a p it a l f r o m A m ste rd am , t h e V O C’s g overn or-g en era l a t B ata v ia , J a n P ie te rsz o on C oen , ev olv ed a c o m merc ia l s tr a te g y o r “ m aste r p la n ” t h at e n co ura g ed t h e D utc h t o p artic ip ate ex te n siv ely i n th e t r a d e o f t h e I n dia n O ce an . 176 N o o th er E uro pean c o m merc ia l p o w er d id t h is o n q u it e t h e s a m e s c a le or w it h th e so ph is tic a tio n an d ru th le ssn ess dem onstr a te d by th e D utc h th ro ugh m ost of th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry . W it h th eir p re co cio us b ase in T aiw an , th ey c o m man ded a m ajo r sh are o f th e Nag asa k i tr a d e ( b asic a lly , a n e x ch an ge o f C hin ese s ilk y arn fo r J a p an ese s ilv er), w hic h m ean t th at a la rg e p art o f th eir A sia n o pera tio ns c o uld b e fin an ce d w it h J a p an ese silv er a n d, to a le sse r d eg re e, Chin ese g old . “ In 1 652, f o r e x am ple , t h e V O C e x p o rte d f r o m N ag asa k i 1 ,5 55,8 50 g uild ers ( e q u iv ale n t to 1 7,0 22 k gs.) o f J a p an ese s ilv er” o f w hic h l e ss t h an 9 p erc e n t a rriv ed a t t h e C om pan y’s h ead qu arte rs in B ata v ia , t h e r e m ain der e n din g u p i n C hin a. 177 Yet b u llio n s to ck s w ere n ev er e n ough t o r e so lv e t h e p ro ble m o f f in an cin g c o m merc ia l a ccu m ula tio n in A sia n m ark ets , a n d th e V O C w ould e v en tu ally c re ate a v ast c o ntin en ta l s y ste m o f b arte r w hic h , re d uce d to it s s im ple st e le m en ts , e m bo die d a n e x ch an ge o f I n donesia n s p ic e s f o r I n dia n te x tile s. T his is th e s e n se i n w hic h “ th e s a le s o f s p ic e s f o rm ed t h e b asis o f C om pan y e x p an sio n i n o th er s p h ere s o f t r a d e in A sia ” 178 a n d t h e r e aso n w hy t h e d ir e cto rs c o uld s ta te i n 1 648, “ T he c o untr y t r a d e a n d t h e p ro fit f r o m it are th e s o u l o f th e C om pa ny w hic h m ust b e lo ok ed a fte r c a re fu lly .” 179 T he C om pan y b eca m e a n A sia n tr a d er o n a l a rg e s c a le , 180 w it h m ajo r p o sit io ns a t o ne t im e o r a n oth er i n e v ery th in g f r o m C hin ese s u gar an d J a p an ese s ilv er t o J a p an ese c o pper, s p ic e s f r o m t h e A rc h ip ela g o, i n dig o f r o m B ay an a a n d G uja ra t, co tto n c lo th fr o m th e C oro m an del, p ep per fr o m M ala b ar, c in nam on fr o m C ey lo n, ra w silk , D acca muslin s a n d o piu m f r o m B en gal, s ilk f r o m P ersia , c o ffe e f r o m M och a, a n d s o o n. I n 1 619 w hen C oen se n t h is b lu ep rin t o f th e A sia n tr a d e to th e d ir e cto rs in A m ste rd am , th e C om pan y alr e ad y h ad a “p erm an en tly c ir c u la tin g c a p it a l” o f b etw een ƒ 2.5 a n d ƒ 3.5 m illio n i n t h e E ast I n die s a n d C oen w an te d more . 181 A fte r 1 647 th e r e su m ed f lo w o f S pan is h s ilv er to A m ste rd am r e v erse d th e d eclin e o f b u llio n re m it ta n ce s t o t h e e ast, 182 a n d b y t h e m id dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e E ast I n dia f le et w as r e tu rn in g h om e w it h ca rg oes w orth b etw een f if te en a n d t w en ty m illio n g uild ers, r o ughly e q u iv ale n t t o t h e c o m bin ed v alu e of th e C ad iz a n d S m yrn a fle ets ! 183 B y 1 673 S ir W illia m T em ple w ould r e fe r to th e “ v astn ess o f th e Sto ck tu rn ’d w holly to th at T ra d e” a n d to th e V O C “ en gro ssin g th e w hole C om merc e o f th e E ast- In die s.” 184 Ren ew ed a cce ss t o S pan is h s ilv er in t h e la te 1 640s a n d a b o om in L eid en ’s t e x tile in dustr y t r ig gere d by c o nversio n t o t h e e x p en siv e f a b ric s k now n a s c a m le ts a n d la ken m ean t r a p id D utc h d om in atio n o f Med it e rra n ean m ark ets , 185 w it h T urk ey n ow a b so rb in g a t h ir d o f L eid en ’s o utp u t. F or t h e E nglis h t h is sp elle d a s u dden c ris is a s “ m assiv e q u an tit ie s o f f in e g oods b eg an t o b e lo ad ed o n t o D utc h v esse ls a t Liv orn o f o r th e E nglis h a s w ell a s f o r th e D utc h m ark et.” 186 I t w as th is “ su dden m arit im e c ris is ” th at fo rm ed th e “ b ack gro und o f th e f ir st th oro ughly w ork ed o ut p ie ce o f E nglis h p ro te ctiv e le g is la tio n— th e N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 651— an d o f t h e F ir st A nglo -D utc h W ar.” 187 T he o rd in an ce o f 1 651 e sta b lis h ed a m odel fo r th e tig hte r N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 660, w hic h “ re m ain ed a t th e h eart o f E nglis h m arit im e po lic y f o r n early t w o c e n tu rie s,” p ro vid in g t h at “ all g oods im po rte d t o E ngla n d s h ould c o m e d ir e ctly fr o m t h eir p la ce o f p ro ductio n ( th us e lim in atin g t h e D utc h e n tr e p o t) ” a n d t h at “ n o f o re ig n ( i.e . D utc h ) sh ip s s h ould t r a d e w it h E nglis h c o lo nie s.” 188 T he y ears f r o m 1 651 t o 1 672 h av e b een d esc rib ed a s “ th e peak o f A nglo -D utc h c o m merc ia l riv alr y .” 189 H ow ev er, fr o m th e m id -1 660s C olb ert’s m erc a n tilis m beca m e th e p iv ot o f a n ew str u ggle fo r M ed it e rra n ean d om in an ce , th is tim e b etw een F ra n ce an d Holla n d, w it h th e F re n ch ta rif fs o f 1667 u nle ash in g a co m merc ia l w ar in w hic h C olb ert’s “ cle ar obje ctiv e w as t o c a p tu re t h e r ic h t r a d es,” w re stin g c o ntr o l f r o m t h e D utc h . 190 B y t h e 1 690s t h e F re n ch co uld m ak e r a p id in ro ad s in to th e O tto m an m ark et, a n d b y 1 701 w ere s e llin g m ore fin e c lo th th ere th an t h e D utc h . 191 T he D utc h h ad d om in ate d S m yrn a f o r m ost o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . 192 A s la te a s 1680 s ilv er r e m it ta n ce s t o t h e L ev an t w ere r u nnin g a t w ell o ver t w o m illio n g uild ers a y ear. 193 I n 1 675 th e m ajo rit y o f E uro pean s in S m yrn a w ere r e p o rte d t o b e D utc h . 194 H ow ev er, b etw een 1 688 a n d 1 719 th e n um ber o f D utc h m erc h an t h ouse s t h ere f e ll d ra stic a lly f r o m ca . tw en ty -fiv e t o o nly s ix , 195 c le arin g th e w ay f o r t h e o verw helm in g F re n ch d om in atio n t h at c h ara cte riz e d t h e L ev an t f o r t h e g re ate r p art o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry . R ic h elie u an d C olb ert re fle cte d id eas th at o vertly alig ned th e in te re sts o f co m merc ia l ca p it a l to th ose o f th e sta te . In th e w ord s o f th e F re n ch d ip lo m at N ic o la s M esn ag er, Ric h elie u “ d id n ot f in d a n y m ean s m ore e ffe ctiv e t o in cre ase t h e p o w er o f t h e k in g a n d t h e w ealt h o f th e s ta te t h an t o i n cre ase n av ig atio n a n d c o m merc e .” 196 Much of th e pré cis ab o ve is base d on Jo nath an Isra el’s tig htly -a rg ued his to ry of th e D utc h co m merc ia l s y ste m , w hic h e n ds b y s u ggestin g th at “ th e b asic r e aso n fo r th e d ecis iv e d eclin e o f th e Dutc h w orld -tr a d in g s y ste m in t h e 1 720s a n d 1 730s w as t h e w av e o f n ew -sty le in dustr ia l m erc a n tilis m whic h s w ep t p ra ctic a lly t h e e n tir e c o ntin en t f r o m a ro und 1 720.” 197 A “ co m pre h en siv e i n te rv en tio nis m ” to ok h old o f n orth ern E uro pe, w it h fa ta l c o nse q u en ce s fo r D utc h e x p o rt m ark ets a n d in dustr ie s. 198 Wit h in E uro pe, th e D utc h ric h tr a d es w ere “ d ev asta te d ” d urin g th ose d eca d es, an d in In dia th e Englis h E ast I n dia C om pan y “ h ad d ecis iv ely o verta k en t h e D utc h ” i n m ost p arts o f t h e c o untr y w here th ey w ere p re se n t b y 1 740. 199 T he esse n tia l v it a lit y o f th e se v en te en th -c e n tu ry en tr e p ô t h ad b een la rg ely d estr o yed b y t h e m id dle o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 200 EN GLA N D’S R IS E T O D OM IN AN CE In E ngla n d th e “ co nsc io us u se o f sta te p o w er fo r c o m merc ia l e n ds” 201 fir st c a m e to th e fo re in th e re v olu tio nary d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , ro ughly a w hole c e n tu ry afte r th e Eliz a b eth an c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n b eg an . T hat e x p an sio n, a s B re n ner s h ow ed , w as d riv en b y t h e r a p id gro w th o f th e im po rt tr a d es a n d h ad n oth in g to d o w it h E nglis h c lo th m erc h an ts lo okin g fo r n ew mark ets . 202 T he re m ark ab le fe atu re of th e im po rt tr a d es of th e la te six te en th ce n tu ry is th eir in te rlo ck in g str u ctu re , w it h th e sa m e g ro ups o f en tr e p re n eu rs d om in atin g th e v ario us co m pan ie s flo ate d b etw een 1 573 a n d 1 592. 203 E nglis h o verse as c o m merc e w as th us h ig hly c o nce n tr a te d a n d o f co urse re m ain ed so a s lo ng a s it w as o rg an iz e d a s a c lu ste r o f c o m merc ia l m onopo lie s ru le d b y a han dfu l of big L ondon m erc h an ts . A “clo se -k nit gro up of V en ic e C om pan y m erc h an ts w it h wid esp re ad o pera tio ns” h elp ed o rg an iz e t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 592, a n d t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y i n tu rn , w hen i t w as f o unded i n 1 599, “ w as d om in ate d b y t h e L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts .” S ev en o f t h e orig in al fif te en d ir e cto rs w ere L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts . 204 “ L ev an t C om pan y m em bers p ro vid ed betw een o ne-fo urth a n d o ne-th ir d o f t h e t o ta l f u nd in veste d in t h e f ir st, t h ir d , a n d f o urth jo in t s to ck s” of t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y. 205 B y 1 630 t h e t o ta l c o m bin ed v alu e o f I ta lia n , L ev an tin e, a n d E ast I n dia n im po rts w as £ 527,0 00, in 1 634 £ 689,0 00, a n d in 1 669 £ 1,2 08,0 00, sh ow in g w here th e d ynam is m o f Engla n d’s tr a d e la y fo r m uch o f th e fir st h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry in to th e e arly y ears o f th e Resto ra tio n. N oth in g b ette r d em onstr a te s t h e d om in an ce o f t h e i m po rt t r a d es ( in b o th E ngla n d a n d t h e Neth erla n ds) t h ro ughout t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h an t h e f a ct t h at ex ports w ere v ery l a rg ely a f u nctio n of th e n eed to fin an ce th ese s u bsta n tia l a n d r is in g le v els o f im po rts ; fo r e x am ple , E nglis h m erc h an t im po rte rs “ in cre ase d t h eir c lo th e x p o rts in o rd er t o p a y f o r in cre a se d im ports , a n d t h ey g en era lly f e ll f a r beh in d.” 206 I t w as t h is t h at c a u se d m ajo r c o nce rn a b o ut t h e b ala n ce o f t r a d e i n E ngla n d. The im po rt b o om o f th e se co nd q u arte r o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry 207 fu ele d a ste ad y in cre ase in re ex ports f r o m t h e 1 630s o nw ard s. 208 I n f a ct, t h e g ro w th o f a r e ex p o rt t r a d e w as t h e c h ie f in novatio n o f th e l a te r S tu art p erio d 209 a n d b o und u p b o th w it h t h e m onopo ly c re ate d b y t h e N av ig atio n A cts a s w ell as th e n ew m ass p ro ductio n in dustr ie s lin ked to th e c o lo nia l tr a d es in p la n ta tio n p ro duce . 210 B etw een th em i m po rts a n d r e ex p o rts s u sta in ed a n ew , g ig an tic w av e o f e x p an sio n o f E nglis h m erc h an t s h ip pin g, esp ecia lly i n t h e y ears 1 660– 89. 211 N ot o nly d id t h e L ev an t t r a d e r a n k h ig h i n t h e o verse as c o m merc e o f Resto ra tio n L ondon, 212 b u t th e s a m e y ears s a w a n ear-d oublin g o f E ngla n d’s p la n ta tio n to nnag e ( th e dead w eig ht to nnag e o f th is sh ip pin g se cto r). 213 T obacco im po rts h ad re g is te re d a fiv efo ld in cre ase betw een 1 620 a n d 1 640, l e ad in g t h e w ay t o s u gar. 214 L ondon’s s u gar i m po rts t r e b le d b etw een t h e 1 660s an d 1 680s, w it h s ix h undre d im po rte rs a ctiv e in t h e t r a d e in 1 686. 215 I n t h e s a m e y ear t h ere w ere 1 ,2 83 merc h an ts tr a d in g to th e W est In die s, o f w hom tw en ty -e ig ht, w it h tu rn over ex ce ed in g £ 10,0 00, acco unte d f o r ju st o ver 5 0 p erc e n t o f t o ta l im po rts b y v alu e. 216 T hey w ere am on g th e b ig gest c o lo nia l merc h an ts a n d c o uld “ accu m ula te s u ffic ie n t c a p it a l t o d iv ersif y in vestm en t a ro und t h eir c o re b u sin ess in to sh ip -o w nin g, jo in t- sto ck s, in su ra n ce , w harf- le ase s, a n d in dustr y .” 217 L ondon a cco unte d fo r 8 0 perc e n t o f c o lo nia l im po rts a n d 8 5 p erc e n t o f a ll re ex p o rts ca . 1700, a n d in th e la st d eca d es o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry “ E ngla n d e sta b lis h ed a la rg er sta k e in th e A tla n tic th an a n y o th er c o untr y in North ern E uro pe.” 218 T obacco , su gar, an d In dia n ca lic o es acco unte d fo r th e bu lk of E ngla n d’s re ex p o rts a n d p re fig ure d t h e m ass m ark ets o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 219 B y 1 700 t h e E nglis h p la n te rs i n Barb ad os, J a m aic a , a n d th e L eew ard s w ere su pply in g c lo se to h alf th e su gar c o nsu m ed in W este rn Euro pe. 220 Of t h e 1 70 L ondon m erc h an ts c la ssif ie d b y Z ah ed ie h a s “ b ig c o lo nia l m erc h an ts ,” t w o-th ir d s a re s a id to h av e h ad a “ su bsta n tia l tr a d e in th e C arib bean .” 221 T hat w ould m ak e a ro und 1 10 m erc h an ts w it h su bsta n tia l s ta k es, w hic h m ak es t h e A tla n tic t r a d es v astly m ore a cce ssib le t h an a n y o f t h e t r a d es t o t h e east, L ev an tin e, o r E ast I n dia n . B y it s c h arte r o f 1 592, th e L ev an t C om pan y w as r e str ic te d to fif ty – th re e p erso ns, a n d r e cru it m en t t o t h e L ev an tin e t r a d e r e q u ir e d b o th w ealt h a n d f a m ily c o nnectio ns. 222 The ric h est an d m ost activ e tr a d ers w ere , in B re n ner’s w ord s, “ jo in ed in a ra m if ie d n etw ork o f in te rlo ck in g fa m ily r e la tio nsh ip s, th e m em bers o f w hic h c o ntr o lle d a m ajo r s h are o f th e tr a d e.” 223 I n th e E ast I n dia C om pan y, th e la rg est o f th e jo in t- sto ck v en tu re s, tw en ty -fo ur d ir e cto rs “ cla im ed th at th ey h eld m ore sto ck th an fo ur h undre d o f th e g en era lit y .” 224 A gain , it is u se fu l to co nce p tu aliz e London’s c o m merc ia l c a p it a l in te rm s o f “ cla sse s o f c a p it a l,” w it h th e e astw ard -tr a d in g c o m bin e th at fo rm ed t h e h eart o f L ondon’s c o m merc ia l e sta b lis h m en t 225 f o rm in g a s u bsta n tia lly m ore p o w erfu l l a y er th an th e “ m id dlin g s tr a tu m ” fr o m w hic h th e v ast m ajo rit y o f c o lo nia l m erc h an ts d eriv ed . 226 O n th e oth er h an d, in te rm s o f c o m merc ia l c o nce n tr a tio n, th e tw o tr a d e se cto rs w ere n ot v astly d if fe re n t. Durin g 1 627– 1635, w hen th e tr a d e to th e L ev an t ra n b etw een £ 200,0 00 a n d £ 300,0 00 a y ear, so m e tw en ty -fo ur Lev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts co ntr o lle d 54 perc e n t of th e tr a d e, 227 w hic h is not dra m atic a lly h ig her t h an t h e 5 0 p erc e n t s h are c o ntr o lle d b y t h e b ig gest t w en ty -e ig ht m erc h an ts t r a d in g to th e W est I n die s w ho w ere m en tio ned p re v io usly . R eg ard le ss o f w heth er tr a d es w ere r e se rv ed o r open , e co nom ic c o nce n tr a tio n w ork ed i n t h e s a m e w ay . In t h e M ed it e rra n ean in t h e e arly p art o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry E ngla n d’s m ain c o m merc ia l r iv als , th e V en etia n s a n d t h e F re n ch , b o th l o st g ro und r a p id ly . T he V en etia n s w ere “ u nderso ld a n d d riv en o ff th e s ta g e,” th eir a g en ts c o m pla in in g o f th e lo w p ric e o f th e c lo th s e n t o ut b y th e E nglis h . 228 B y th e 1620s L iv orn o h ad e m erg ed a s t h e p rim e c o m merc ia l b ase f o r E ngla n d’s t r a d e w it h s o uth ern I ta ly a n d th e L ev an t. “ In 1 629,” W ood re p o rts , “ th ere w as sa id to b e fo ur m illio n c ro w ns w orth o f E nglis h goods l y in g o n t h e q u ay s o f L eg horn ( L iv orn o).” 229 I n The T re a su re o f T ra ffic k e ( 1 641) L ew is R oberts note d th at a m illio n d uca ts in c a sh w ere e x p o rte d fr o m L iv orn o a n nu ally . 230 T he “ m ost m odern a n d fu lly e q u ip ped p o rt i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 231 i t p la y ed a c ru cia lly im po rta n t p art in t h e L ev an t t r a d e a s a c e n te r w here E nglis h e x p o rts a n d re ex p o rts c o uld b e c o nverte d in to c u rre n cy . 232 T hat th e L ev an t Com pan y c o uld r e p eate d ly a tta ck th e E ast I n dia C om pan y fo r it s e x p o rt o f b u llio n to I n dia s u ggests th at th e L ev an t tr a d e it s e lf w as la rg ely a b arte r tr a d e, th at is , o ne w here th e b u lk o f im po rts w as fin an ce d b y t h e e x p o rt o f c lo th , t in , s p ic e s, a n d s o o n. T hom as M un c la im ed , “ O f a ll E uro pe t h is n atio n dro ve th e m ost p ro fit a b le tr a d e to T urk ey b y r e aso n o f th e v ast q u an tit ie s o f b ro ad c lo th , tin , & c., whic h w e e x p o rte d th it h er; en ou gh to p u rc h ase a ll th e w are s w e w ante d in T urk ey — where a s a b a la nce in mon ey is p a id b y th e o th er n atio n s tr a d in g th it h er .” 233 O n t h e o th er h an d, in t h e “ cu rra n t is la n ds” w here th e E nglis h p u rc h ase d a b o ut t w o-th ir d s o f t h e c ro p, t h ere w as “ p ra ctic a lly n o m ark et f o r E nglis h g oods an d p ay m en t h ad to b e m ad e in r e ad y m oney .” 234 I n 1 629 th e V en etia n a m bassa d or r e p o rte d th at th e Lev an t C om pan y, “ h av in g a c o nsid era b le c a p it a l, bu y u p b efo re h and th e p ro duce o f th e p o ore st o f th e in hab it a n ts o f th ese is la n ds . . . so th at fo r th em th e p ric e s a re a lm ost a lw ays th e sa m e .” 235 A dvan ce pay m en ts w ere u se d t o e n su re l o w s ta b le p ric e s. I n I ta ly , E nglis h m erc h an ts r a n a d efic it o n t h e t r a d e i n goods w it h a ll I ta lia n s ta te s th ro ugh m ost o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , w hic h th ey c o uld s u cce ssfu lly tr a n sfo rm in to a tr a d e su rp lu s th an ks to th e su rp lu s on “in vis ib le s,” th at is , net earn in gs fr o m sh ip pin g, 236 in su ra n ce , a n d th e c o m mis sio ns c h arg ed o n E nglis h e x p o rts . 237 It w as th is co m merc ia l str a te g y t h at w ould l a te r f o rm t h e h eart o f t h e C it y ’s e co nom ic d om in an ce i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . The L ev an t C om pan y w as n ot a j o in t- sto ck , m em bers t r a d ed i n dep en den tly o n a “ re g ula te d ” b asis . 238 Facto rs w ere r e cru it e d a s a p pre n tic e s o n s e v en -y ear t e rm s, a fte r w hic h t h ey w ere p aid a c o m mis sio n o n all g oods th ey h an dle d th at v arie d fr o m 2 to 4 p erc e n t. O f c o urse , a s w it h th e E ast I n dia C om pan y’s se rv an ts in In dia , “ fa cto rs m ad e a g ood d eal o f p ro fit fr o m th eir o w n p erso nal tr a d in g.” 239 W ood’s His to ry o f t h e L ev a nt C om pa ny s u ggests t h at t h e t h re e f a cto rie s a t C onsta n tin ople , S m yrn a, a n d A le p po “re ach ed th eir g re ate st p ro sp erit y a n d s iz e in th e la tte r h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry .” 240 H ow ev er, th e b u lk o f t h e c o m merc e w as c o nce n tr a te d o nly in t h ose f a cto rie s a n d t h ere w as a s tr o ng t e n den cy t o dis c o ura g e e x p an sio n a t o th er tr a d in g s ta tio ns. 241 B y th e 1 680s b o th th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a n d th e Fre n ch h ad b eco m e m ajo r so urc e s o f c o m petit io n. T he L ev an t m erc h an ts w ould c o m pla in b it te rly ab o ut t h e im po rt o f I n dia n r a w s ilk a n d s ilk g oods b y t h e f o rm er, b u t “ th e c ro w n c o nsis te n tly b ack ed th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a g ain st it s c rit ic s.” 242 M ean w hile , C olb ert’s r e v iv al o f th e L an gued oc c lo th in dustr y m ad e t h e F re n ch e v en m ore f o rm id ab le r iv als , a s t h ey p ro ved t o b e f o r t h e D utc h a s w ell. B y th e e n d o f t h e c e n tu ry , F re n ch i m po rts f r o m t h e L ev an t w ere s o arin g, a n d b y t h e 1 720s s ig ns o f a r a p id declin e b eca m e v is ib le i n t h e f o rtu nes o f t h e E nglis h c o m pan y. 243 The eig hte en th ce n tu ry sa w th e decim atio n o f E nglis h tr a d e in th e L ev an t, 244 th e re su lt b o th o f Fra n ce ’s d om in atio n o f t h e t e x tile m ark et a n d o f t h e C om pan y’s o w n f a ta l p o lic y “ to c u rb a tte m pts a t ex p an sio n a n d t o d is c o ura g e t h e o pen in g o f n ew m ark ets .” 245 I t w as le ft t o t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y t o note , in 1 696, “ it h as a lw ay s b een o bse rv ed t h at t h e p artic u la r t r a d ers in a r e g ula te d c o m pan y c o nte n t th em se lv es t o g o t o a c e rta in k now n p la ce i n t r a d e, e v er t a k in g a m easu re o f t h eir p ro fit a n d l o ss b efo re th ey g o o ut . . . .” 246 I n a d dit io n t o w hic h , t h ro ughout t h e la te e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t r a d e w as h am pere d by a C om pan y r e g ula tio n f o rc in g m erc h an ts t o m ak e a ll p u rc h ase s i n t h e L ev an t b y t h e b arte r o f g oods ex p o rte d fr o m E ngla n d a n d fo rb id din g th e e x p o rt o f c o in o r b u llio n to T urk ey , w here as F re n ch a n d Dutc h m erc h an ts “ca rrie d la rg e q u an tit ie s o f co in to th e L ev an t,” w here lo ca l tr a d ers p re fe rre d outr ig ht s a le s t o b arte r. 247 B y t h e 1 730s o nly s o m e f if ty o r s ix ty L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts r e m ain ed activ e t r a d ers, “ an d i t w as w id ely b elie v ed t h is h an dfu l o f m onopo lis ts d elib era te ly c u rb ed a ll i n it ia tiv e, en te rp ris e , a n d e x p an sio n in p u rsu it o f h ig h p ro fit s o n a lim it e d b u sin ess.” 248 A gain , th e C om pan y’s fa cto rs w ere c ru cia lly d ep en den t o n J e w is h b ro kers in th e O tto m an m ark ets , b u t th e f e ar o f p o te n tia l co m petit io n fr o m th em s u sta in ed s tr o ng r e sis ta n ce to th e a d m is sio n o f J e w s to th e C om pan y. W hen th ey fin ally w ere ad m it te d (in th e 1750s) Je w is h m em bers o f th e C om pan y w ere ban ned fr o m em plo yin g f e llo w J e w s a s f a cto rs i n t h e L ev an t! 249 In th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry w ell o ver h alf th e se ab o rn e tr a d e b etw een E uro pe a n d th e M id dle E ast ca m e to b e c o ntr o lle d b y th e F re n ch m erc h an ts o f M arse ille s, 250 a n d F re n ch c o m petit io n w as w id ely ack now le d ged t o b e t h e m ain c a u se b eh in d t h e c o lla p se o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y. I f t h e M ed it e rra n ean had b een t h e s e m in al g ro und o f E ngla n d’s c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n i n t h e l a tte r p art o f E liz a b eth ’s r e ig n, by t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t h e d ecis iv e c e n te rs o f g ra v it y h ad f ir m ly s h if te d t o t h e A tla n tic a n d t h e E ast In die s. B y 1 750 a lm ost h alf o f E ngla n d’s m erc h an t f le et w as e n gag ed i n t h e t r a n sa tla n tic t r a d e. 251 F ro m th e 1 730s th ere w as a h uge in cre ase in th e v olu m e o f c a p it a l a d van ce d to th e c o lo nie s b y sp ecia lis t gro ups o f c o m mis sio n a g en ts . 252 J a m aic a n e sta te s tr ip le d in v alu e a n d p la n te rs lik e P ete r B eck fo rd co uld d ie le av in g fo rtu nes w orth £ 300,0 00. 253 S ugar b eg an to b e fin an ce d b y lo nger-te rm le n din g o n mortg ag e, a n d w hen H en ry L asc e lle s d ie d i n 1 753, h e h ad ca . £194,0 00 ( ste rlin g) o ut o n lo an t o c lie n ts in B arb ad os a n d Ja m aic a . 254 L asc e lle s h ad fin an ce d h is lo an s b y b o rro w in g fr o m L ondon b an k ers, whic h s h ow s u s th at N ew W orld s la v ery w as tig htly in te g ra te d in to fin an cia l a n d c o m merc ia l w eb s ce n te re d in L ondon. 255 B y a ro und 1 770 th e to ta l su m o w in g to L ondon m erc h an ts b y W est In dia n su gar p la n te rs w as i n t h e r e g io n o f s e v era l m illio n p o unds. 256 D oubtle ss t h e s a m e w as t r u e o f A m eric a n pla n te rs. I n 1 784 T hom as J e ffe rso n d esc rib ed t h em a s “ a sp ecie s o f p ro p erty a nnex ed t o c e rta in m erc a ntile hou se s in L on d on ”! 257 B y th e 1 770s th e A m eric a n c o lo nie s p ro vid ed 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit is h im po rts a n d to ok o ver 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit a in ’s d om estic e x p o rts . 258 The tr a n sfo rm atio n o f th e E ast In dia C om pan y fr o m a p u re ly co m merc ia l o rg an iz a tio n in to a “p o lit ic a l p o w er” 259 w as o f c o urse it s m ost d is tin ctiv e fe atu re h is to ric a lly . H ow ev er, a n in ord in ate str e ss o n w hat J o hn B re w er h as c a lle d t h e “ p riv atiz e d i m peria lis m o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y” 260 r u ns a double r is k , b o th o f d is tr a ctin g a tte n tio n f r o m t h e f a ct t h at t h e C om pan y w as a lw ay s r u n “ b y a g ro up of e x tr e m ely r ic h c a p it a lis ts ” 261 and o f fa ilin g to s e e, o r n ot s e ein g s u ffic ie n tly , th at it s tr a n sfo rm atio n fr o m a p u re ly c o m merc ia l e n tit y in to a n im peria lis t o ne r e d efin ed th e fr a m ew ork w it h in w hic h n ew fo rm s o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a l p ro lif e ra te d f r o m t h e e n d o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t o s p aw n t h e p o w erfu l co m merc ia l lo bbie s o f th e n in ete en th , s u ch a s th ose w hic h la y b eh in d th e O piu m W ars. I n th e p ag es th at f o llo w t h e f o cu s i s t h us o n t h e p u re ly c o m merc ia l o r c a p it a lis t a sp ects o f t h e C om pan y’s o pera tio ns sim ila r t o t h ose t h at K . N . C hau dh uri f o re g ro unded in h is s u bsta n tia l m onogra p h The T ra d in g W orld of A sia a nd t h e E ng lis h E ast I n d ia C om pa ny . The E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y w as a tig htly ce n tr a liz e d bu sin ess org an iz a tio n w here th e in vestm en t d ecis io ns w ere m ad e b y th e C ourt o f D ir e cto rs w ork in g th ro ugh th e c e n tr a l m an ag eria l co m mit te es in L ondon. C ap it a l su m s w ere assig ned to in div id ual “ fa cto rie s” fr o m L on d on . 262 T he bu sin ess m odel w as o f c o urse im po rt- d riv en , w hic h in tu rn im plie d ( a ) a m assiv e e x p o rt o f c a p it a l to fin an ce im po rts a n d ( b ) th e v it a l p art p la y ed b y th e r e -e x p o rt tr a d es “ in c lo sin g th e g ap th at w ould oth erw is e h av e o pen ed u p in B rit a in ’s v is ib le t r a d e b ala n ce .” 263 I n t h e E IC ’s c a se , c a p it a l e x p o rts t o ok th e fo rm , o verw helm in gly , o f p re cio us m eta ls , w hic h w ere p u rc h ase d in it ia lly in L ondon fr o m th e gold sm it h -b an kers an d la te r, fr o m th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , on th e co ntin en t (in C ad iz an d Am ste rd am ). 264 T he C om pan y’s A sia n im po rt p o rtf o lio w as “ so f in ely d if fe re n tia te d t h at it t o ok m ore th an t w o h undre d p ag es i n t h e L ed ger B ooks t o l is t t h em ,” 265 b u t b y a n d l a rg e i m po rts w ere d om in ate d by a fe w k ey c o m modit ie s su ch a s c o tto n a n d silk p ie ce g oods, ra w silk , p ep per, te a, a n d so o n. Dis tr ib u tio n a t t h e L ondon e n d t o ok t h e f o rm o f q u arte rly s a le s a tte n ded b y i n div id ual m em bers o f t h e Com pan y w ho w ere th em se lv es s u bsta n tia l e x p o rte rs a s w ell a s b y w hole sa le d eale rs fr o m H olla n d, Germ an y, a n d e ls e w here , 266 w it h o rd ers fo r fu tu re s u pplie s b ein g a d ju ste d o n th e b asis o f th e a ctu al pric e s r e ce iv ed a t t h ose a u ctio ns. At th e In dia n e n d, th e a d van ce c o ntr a cts h ad to b e m ad e in a n tic ip atio n o f th e e x act o rd ers a n d fin an cia l r e so urc e s t h at w ere t o c o m e f r o m E ngla n d. T he p o st- R esto ra tio n p erio d s a w c a lic o es r a p id ly gain in g in p o pu la rit y , a n d b y th e 1 680s th e C om pan y w as im po rtin g m ore th an a m illio n a n d a h alf pie ce s, w it h th e te x tile sh are o f to ta l im po rts e x ce ed in g 8 0 p erc e n t b y v alu e. 267 T o se cu re th is v ast su pply t h e C om pan y r e lie d o n s u bsta n tia l lo ca l m erc h an ts a ctin g a s b ro kers w it h t h e p o w er t o e n su re th at o rd ers w ould b e f u lf ille d o n t im e. “ [T ]h e C om pan y’s s e rv an ts a d voca te d t h e u se o f m id dle m en o n th e g ro und th at if th ey d ealt d ir e ctly w it h th e w eav ers, ‘a tt th e y eare s e n d, w hen w e e x p ecte d to b e in veste d o f o ur g oods, w e s h ould u ndoubte d ly c o m e s h orte o f h alf o ur q u an tit y e.’” 268 I n o th er w ord s, th e r is k o f d efa u lt b y t h e w eav ers w as s h if te d t o t h e s h ould ers o f t h e m erc h an ts . C hau dhuri n ote s, “ A ll co m merc ia l ris k s w ere to b e b o rn e b y th e In dia n m erc h an ts , a n d if th e la tte r m ad e a lo ss o n th e Com pan y’s b u sin ess t h ey w ere s till e x p ecte d t o c a rry o n c o ntr a ctin g f o r g oods a s b efo re .” 269 W eav ers, of co urse , re fu se d to w ork w it h out su bsta n tia l ad van ce s w hic h C hau dhuri co nfu sin gly ca lls th eir “w ork in g c a p it a l,” 270 w hen t h e a d van ce s, t h e ca pit a l l a id o ut o n l a b o r a n d o n r a w m ate ria ls , c a m e f r o m th e C om pan y. T he “ w ork in g c a p it a l” w as s tr ic tly th at o f th e C om pan y, s in ce th e d is b u rse m en ts o f ca sh m ad e th ro ugh th eir b ro kers (a n d la te r, m ore d ir e ctly th ro ugh th e ag en ts ca lle d gum ash ta s ) in volv ed a c ir c u la tio n o f t h at p art o f t h e C om pan y’s c a p it a l w hic h w en t i n to e n ab lin g t h e l a b o r p ro ce ss, in clu din g r e p ro ductio n o f w eav ers’ l a b o r p o w er. In th e 1 720s A le x an der H um e n ote d , “ T he E nglis h a n d D utc h , w ho a re th e g re ate st T ra d ers in th is co untr y (B en gal) , d o th eir b u sin ess w holly b y th eir B ro kers, w ho a re th eir p rin cip al M erc h an ts .” 271 Forw ard co ntr a cts w it h la rg e w hole sa le m erc h an ts w ere th e ru le b o th in th e C oro m an del an d in Ben gal, 272 w it h m erc h an ts w ho c o ntr a cte d fo r th e in vestm en t fr e q u en tly b o rro w in g “ la rg e su m s o f money to c a rry it o n” a n d w ealt h y b an kers a ctin g a s th eir g uara n to rs. 273 T he C om pan y w ould n’t alw ay s se cu re su ch g uara n te es. “ T he w ealt h y m erc h an ts liv in g in H ugli o r K asim baza r h ab it u ally re fu se d th e C om pan y’s dem an d fo r fin an cia l se cu rit y as th eir cre d it an d bu sin ess sta tu s w ere unim peach ab le .” 274 H um e s ta te s in t h e s a m e m em oir t h at t h e g re ate r t h e a d van ce t h e m ore c e rta in t h e Com pan y w as o f r e ce iv in g th e g oods o n tim e, w hic h is p ro bab ly w hy in B en gal th e g ro up k now n a s dad ni o r dad an m erc h an ts w ere u su ally p aid a s m uch a s 5 0 to 7 5 p erc e n t o f th e c o ntr a ct v alu e in ad van ce . 275 F ro m t h e 1 750s, w it h l a rg e p arts o f I n dia r e elin g u nder t h e i m pact o f t h e M ara th a i n cu rsio ns an d t h e d am ag e i n flic te d o n m erc a n tile f o rtu nes, t h e s u bsta n tia l m erc h an ts w ho a cte d a s b ro kers f o r t h e Com pan y f o und it le ss a n d le ss p o ssib le t o g uara n te e d eliv ery a n d t h e s y ste m b ro ke d ow n. T he dad an merc h an ts w it h dre w fr o m th e C om pan y’s tr a d e, th us fo rc in g it to e sta b lis h m ore d ir e ct c o ntr o l o ver pro duce rs, a d riv e th at c u lm in ate d in a s e rie s o f r e g ula tio ns ( b etw een 1 773 a n d 1 793) th at s o ught to re d uce w eav ers to th e sta tu s o f C om pan y em plo yees, w it h re str ic tio ns o n th eir m obilit y , tig hte r su perv is io n o f l o om s, a n d a m ore o vertly c o erc iv e u se o f d eb t. 276 I n deb te d ness b eca m e a n “ in te g ra l p art of p ro ductio n fo r th e C om pan y” in th e fin al d eca d es o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , an d ab sc o ndin g work ers w ere p u rsu ed r e m orse le ssly . 277 Dutc h e x p o rts fr o m th e C oro m an del r a n a t a lm ost tw o m illio n g uild ers b y th e la te 1 660s, 278 w hile to ta l E IC e x p o rts w ere o fte n i n e x ce ss o f £ 1 m illio n a y ear a c e n tu ry l a te r. 279 V olu m e p ro ductio n m ean t th at th e E uro pean c o m pan ie s d ealt w it h w hole c lu ste rs o f w eav in g v illa g es, e it h er o n th eir o w n o r more u su ally t h ro ugh t h eir b ro kers ( “ p rin cip al m erc h an ts ” ), o n a m odel b ro ad ly s im ila r t o t h e w id ely dis p erse d Verla g n etw ork s th at S outh G erm an co m merc ia l fir m s lik e th e F uggers h ad b u ilt th eir pro sp erit y o n in th e th ir te en th to s ix te en th c e n tu rie s. 280 F or m ost o f th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th ce n tu rie s th e C om pan ie s w ere cru cia lly dep en den t on lo ca l m erc h an t ca p it a lis ts 281 w ho had th e re so urc e s to ru n th eir o w n co m merc ia l n etw ork s an d ev en fin an ce p ro ductio n o n b eh alf o f th e Com pan y. B oth t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h u se d t h e b ig m erc h an ts o f K asim baza r f o r t h eir s ilk b u yin g in N orth B en gal. 282 B en gal silk , C oro m an del c a lic o es, A gra a n d B ay an a in dig o, e tc . w ere a ll, lik e Mala b ar p ep per, h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark ets ; f o r e x am ple , “ th e c o ntr a ct p ric e f o r s ilk w as a n o bje ct o f in te n se barg ain in g betw een th e (B en gal) m erc h an ts an d th e Euro pean tr a d in g co m pan ie s.” 283 How ev er, b y th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry th e c o m petit io n o f priv a te , m ostly E nglis h , m erc h an ts in je cte d a new d im en sio n in to th e c o m merc ia l d ynam ic s o f th e E ast I n dia C om pan y. B rit is h p riv ate c a p it a l a n d it s in volv em en t in th e c o m merc e o f I n dia s a w a s te ad y e x p an sio n in th e e arly p art o f th e e ig hte en th ce n tu ry an d th en a b ig ger an d m ore ra p id ex p an sio n in th e la te r eig hte en th ce n tu ry , fo llo w in g dev elo pm en ts th at qu ic k ly open ed th e in la n d tr a d e of B en gal to priv ate ca p it a l an d sa w th e co nte m po ra n eo us c a p tu re o f S ura t i n 1 759. Alr e ad y b y t h e l a te r s e v en te en th c e n tu ry ( th e 1 660s, i n f a ct) t h e C om pan y e x te n ded a “ w id e m easu re of o ffic ia l to le ra tio n” to th e p riv ate sh ip pin g th at e m erg ed in In dia n p o rts w it h siz e ab le E uro pean tr a d in g co m munit ie s over w hic h th e B rit is h had so m e co ntr o l. 284 M asu lip atn am (n ot a B rit is h se ttle m en t b u t a c o sm opo lit a n p o rt) , 285 M ad ra s a n d C alc u tta b eca m e, in tu rn , th e m ajo r h ubs o f a bu rg eo nin g “ co untr y tr a d e” th at w as p ro gre ssiv ely d om in ate d b y p riv ate c a p it a l. In th e c o nte x t o f Com pan y d om in an ce , t h e t e rm “ p riv ate c a p it a l” is o f c o urse a m biv ale n t, s in ce it w ould h av e t o c o ver th e p riv ate tr a d in g a ctiv it ie s o f o ffic ia ls lik e th e G overn ors o f M ad ra s w ho w ere b ig -tim e p riv ate tr a d ers a t th e s ta rt o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , o th er C om pan y s e rv an ts w it h c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th eir o w n, as w ell as th e g re ate r m ass o f so -c a lle d fr e e m erc h an ts w ho w ere en tir e ly o uts id e th e Com pan y. I n 1 681 c a m e th e C om pan y’s “ d ra m atic a n d s u dden d ecis io n to w it h dra w fr o m th e lo ca l tr a d e o f th e In dia n O ce an ,” 286 an d a p o te n tia lly v ast fie ld o pen ed u p fo r th e ex p an sio n o f n on- Com pan y c o m merc ia l c a p it a l, w here t h e m ain c o m petit io n s te m med n ot f r o m t h e C om pan y it s e lf b u t fr o m in dig en ous A sia n c a p it a ls t r a d in g t o t h e R ed S ea a n d t o m ark ets lik e A ch eh a n d t r a d in g b etw een th e m ain c o asta l re g io ns o f In dia . In th e tr a d e b etw een S ura t a n d B en gal, th e fr e e m erc h an ts w ho ev en tu ally gain ed co ntr o l of C alc u tta ’s sh ip pin g fa ce d “fo rm id ab le co m petit io n fr o m A sia n sh ip o w ners.” 287 Y et B rit is h d om in an ce o f In dia ’s c a rry in g tr a d e w as sw if t, a n d b y th e 1 730s A sia n – ow ned s h ip s h ad la rg ely c e ase d to tr a d e b etw een B en gal a n d S ura t. 288 B y th e 1 780s fr e e m erc h an ts were g ro w in g r a p id ly i n n um bers a n d w ealt h , 289 b eg an t o s u pply a l a rg e p art o f t h e C om pan y’s e x p o rts of t e x tile s ( in t h e D hak a ara ng s v astly m ore t h an e it h er t h e C om pan y o r it s C om merc ia l R esid en t) , 290 an d t o ok t h e le ad in o pen in g u p n ew a re as f o r t r a d e. 291 O ne u psh ot o f t h is s u rg e o f p riv ate c o m merc e was th at a s m uch a s ca . £15 m illio n c o uld b e s e n t h om e in r e m it ta n ce s o ver th e tw en ty -se v en y ears betw een 1 757 a n d 1 784. 292 B y t h e 1 790s t h e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f B en gal in dig o, m uch o f w hic h c a m e fr o m A wad h a n d f u rth er a fie ld , w as d om in ate d b y p riv ate m erc h an ts . 293 T heir c h ie f c o ntr ib u tio n t o t h e co m merc ia l h is to ry o f b o th B rit a in a n d I n dia w ere th e “ h ouse s o f a g en cy ” w hic h C alc u tta -b ase d f r e e merc h an ts w ere la rg ely r e sp o nsib le f o r e sta b lis h in g. I t w as th is la y er o f c a p it a l th at h elp ed to d estr o y th e m onopo ly o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y e arly i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . 294 The tr a n sa tla n tic tr a d es w ere ro ughly a ce n tu ry ah ead o f B rit is h p riv ate en te rp ris e in A sia in in novatin g t h e c o m mis sio n s y ste m a s t h e c h ie f m eth od o f t r a d in g t y pic a l o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a ls i n t h at se cto r. T he r e aso n s h ould b e o bv io us: p riv ate c a p it a l w as d om in an t in t h e c o lo nia l t r a d es b y t h e m ain part o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , in deed it n ev er f a ce d t h e c h alle n ge o f t h e b ig “ C om pan y m erc h an ts ” ex ce p t fo r th e R oyal A fr ic a n C om pan y’s sh ort- liv ed m onopo ly o f th e sla v e tr a d e. T his p re co cio us dev elo pm en t o f n on-m onopo ly , p riv ate e n te rp ris e w as sig nif ic a n t b eca u se a lr e ad y b y th e 1 660s th e co lo nia l tr a d es w ere “ am ong th e g re ate st o f E nglis h tr a d es.” 295 In In dia , H ouse s o f A gen cy o nly ev olv ed f r o m t h e 1 770s a n d t h en m ore r a p id ly f r o m t h e 1 790s, f o llo w in g C orn w allis ’s b an o n s e rv an ts of th e E ast In dia C om pan y e n gag in g in p riv ate c o m merc ia l e n te rp ris e . 296 B ut th e C alc u tta a g en cy house s a re th e m ost p alp ab le lin k b etw een th e tw o m ain p erio ds o r “ ep o ch s” o f B rit is h c o m merc ia l ca p it a lis m , w hose d iv id in g lin e lie s a t th e s ta rt o f th e “ lo ng n in ete en th c e n tu ry ” ( 1 784– 1914), in th e years afte r 1784 w hic h sa w th e en din g o f th e A m eric a n W ar o f In dep en den ce , a b o om in n ew co m mis sio n h ouse s, 297 a n d a r a d ic a lly n ew e co nom ic c o nju nctu re t h at s a w b an kin g r e v olu tio ns o n b o th sid es of th e A tla n tic , a dra m atic ex p an sio n of th e co tto n in dustr y in B rit a in , an d a su rg e in man ufa ctu re d ex p o rts to th e U S an d o th er in te rn atio nal m ark ets . M ean w hile , th e E IC ’s tr a d in g monopo ly w as f o rm ally t e rm in ate d i n 1 813, t h at o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 825.
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A B rie f H is to ry o f CO M MER CIA L CA PIT A LIS M JA IR US B AN AJI Hay m ark et B ooks Chic a g o, I llin ois C O N TE N TS 1 . Rein sta tin g C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 2 . The I n fr a str u ctu re o f C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 3 . The C om petit io n o f C ap it a ls : Str u ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f r o m t h e T welf th t o Eig hte en th C en tu rie s 4 . Brit is h M erc a n tile C ap it a lis m a n d t h e C osm opo lit a n is m o f t h e N in ete en th C en tu ry 5 . Com merc ia l P ra ctic e s : Puttin g-O ut o r t h e C ap it a lis t D om estic I n dustr ie s 6 . The C ir c u la tio n o f C om merc ia l C ap it a ls : C om petit io n, V elo cit y , V ertic a lit y A PPEN D IX : I SL A M AN D C APIT ALIS M A CKN O W LED GM EN TS N O TES S ELEC T B IB LIO GRA PH Y For H en ry , J a ved , M . J ., a nd S ughosh 3 TH E C O M PETIT IO N O F C A P IT A LS S tru ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f ro m t h e T w elf t h t o E ig h te en th C en tu rie s B YZA N TIU M : T H E S U BOR DIN ATIO N O F G R EEK C A P IT A L I n C onsta n tin ople th e e arly m odern w orld in herit e d a n “ u rb an m onste r,” 1 b u t o ne w hose tr a je cto ry h ad i n volv ed sh arp f lu ctu atio n s o v er t h e c e n tu rie s , w it h a h is to ry g oin g b ack , o f c o urse , t o la te a n tiq u it y ( u nlik e m eg acit ie s lik e C air o a n d B ag hdad ). O n t h e e v e o f it s c o nqu est b y t h e O tto m an s in 1 453, t h e c it y ’s p o pu la tio n h ad s ta b iliz e d a ro und s e v en ty t h ousa n d, 2 b u t a t it s e arly -B yza n tin e p eak in th e s ix th c e n tu ry it h ad b een p ro bab ly w ell o ver h alf a m illio n, a n d a t t h e e n d o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry w as a g ain s o m ew here in th e r e g io n o f h alf a m illio n, s a y , f o ur h undre d th ousa n d. 3 B etw een th ose p eak s c a m e a d ow ntu rn r e ach in g a l o w p o in t, f o rty t h ousa n d t o s e v en ty t h ousa n d, i n t h e e ig hth c e n tu ry ( fo llo w in g a p la g ue in 7 47– 8), 4 a n d t h en a s u sta in ed r e n ew al o r e x p an sio n f r o m t h e n in th c e n tu ry d ow n t o t h e e n d o f th e tw elf th . A s th e p o lit ic a l b ase o f a n e m pir e , h ow ev er, th e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f th e in te rn al m ark et t h at o ccu rre d f r o m t h e n in th t o t w elf th c e n tu rie s w as t r u e n ot j u st o f t h e m etr o po lis b u t t o s o m e d eg re e o f t h e w hole e m pir e i n clu din g i t s v ario us s e co ndary u rb an c e n te rs a s w ell a s t h e i s la n ds. 5 W hat w as in p la y h ere w as a h uge co m mon m ark et , th e b ig gest in th e w orld in th e tw elf th c e n tu ry (if w e e x ce p t C hin a, o f c o urse ), a n d i t w as b o und t o e x ert c o nsid era b le f o rc e a s a c o m merc ia l m ag net. C onsta n tin ople is s a n dw ic h ed b etw een t h e G old en H orn t o it s n orth a n d t h e S ea o f M arm ara t o t h e s o uth . I n t h e s ix th c e n tu ry , a s o ne s c h ola r h as a rg ued c o nvin cin gly , t h e p la g ue o f 5 42 t r ig gere d a m ajo r r e lo ca tio n o f b u sin ess an d re sid en ce to th e so uth ern (M arm ara ) co ast, b eca u se b o die s w ere b ein g d um ped in th e se a a n d a n y d um ped in th e G old en H orn w ould n ot h av e b een w ash ed a w ay . 6 T he G old en H orn h ad b een a b an doned w ell b efo re t h e l a te s e v en th c e n tu ry 7 a n d i t w as t h e s o uth c o ast t h at w as m ore a ctiv ely u se d in th e se v en th to te n th c e n tu rie s. 8 T he su sta in ed e x p an sio n o f th e n in th to t w elf th c e n tu rie s, h ow ev er, s a w a s u cce ssio n o f I ta lia n c it y -sta te s s ta rtin g t o t r a d e w it h t h e e m pir e i n a b ig w ay , a n d it w as e sse n tia lly t h eir p re se n ce in C onsta n tin ople t h at r e v it a liz e d t h e G old en H orn in to t h e m ajo r c o m merc ia l h ub t h at i t b eca m e f r o m t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry d ow n t o e arly O tto m an t im es 9 a n d t h en a g ain , w it h th e r e n ew ed c o lo niz a tio n o f P era ( G ala ta , o n th e E uro pean s id e o f I sta n bu l) , in th e m ain p art o f t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . A ll t h e m ajo r I ta lia n c o lo nie s ( A m alf i, P is a , G en oa, V en ic e ) w ere c lu ste re d in th e lo w er G old en H orn , w it h je ttie s o r la n din g-sta tio ns ( sk ala i ) w here s e ag oin g v esse ls c o uld lo ad a n d u nlo ad . T he c it y c e n te r a n d th e s e ash ore s w ere “ h eav ily b u ilt u p w it h th re e- o r e v en f iv e-sto ry h ouse s.” 10 I n t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry C onsta n tin ople w as a d en se ly p o pu la te d c o sm opo lit a n c it y , s h arp ly d iv id ed in s o cia l te rm s, a n d p ro ne to v io le n t, u nco ntr o lla b le fir e s. 11 J o hn T ze tz e s b o aste d h e c o uld s p eak to lo ca l r e sid en ts in n o fe w er th an s e v en la n guag es, in clu din g P ersia n , A ra b ic , R ussia n , a n d H eb re w . 12 E usta th io s o f T hessa lo nik i c o unte d six ty th ousa n d “ L atin s” in th e c it y , 13 a n d a k een obse rv er, t h e J e w is h t r a v ele r B en ja m in o f T udela t e lls u s, “ T hey s a y t h at t h e t r ib u te o f t h e c it y a lo ne am ounts e v ery d ay to tw en ty th ousa n d f lo rin s, a ris in g f r o m r e n ts o f h oste lr ie s a n d b aza ars, a n d f r o m th e d utie s p aid b y m erc h an ts w ho a rriv e b y s e a a n d b y l a n d.” 14 I t w as t h e g re ate st c o m merc ia l c e n te r o f th e e aste rn M ed it e rra n ean , 15 w it h a p o pu la tio n b y t h en n ot f a r s h ort o f h alf a m illio n. 16 F in ally , e v en a s la te a s 1 192 th e n ativ e, G re ek , m erc h an ts o f C onsta n tin ople w ere a “ la rg e, in flu en tia l, r ic h ” g ro up. 17 Oik onom id ès c it e s th e e x am ple o f K alo m odio s, a b an ker w ho a ccu m ula te d a v ast fo rtu ne th ro ugh su cce ssfu l o pera tio ns i n l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e, f in an cin g c o m merc ia l t r ip s u nderta k en b y o th ers. 18 Yet th e m ost e x tr a o rd in ary f a ct a b o ut B yza n tin e c o m merc e f r o m th e e n d o f th e e le v en th c e n tu ry to th e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d la te r w as t h e s e v ere d is c rim in atio n G re ek m erc h an ts w ere s u bje cte d t o v is – à-v is fo re ig n c o m petit o rs by th eir o w n s ta te . B y th e te rm s o f th e tr e aty o f 1 082, “ V en etia n m erc h an ts co uld b u y a n d s e ll i n e v ery p art o f t h e E m pir e , f r e e o f d uty o r c u sto m s e x am in atio n.” M an y p o rts w ere open ed a n d “ v ast te rrit o rie s m ad e a cce ssib le to th em f o r f r e e tr a d e.” 19 “ T hese p riv ile g es, r e n ew ed b y th e e m pero rs o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . . . r e n dere d t h e V en etia n s v ir tu al m aste rs o f t h e c o m merc ia l lif e of t h e e m pir e .” 20 B y t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry , w hen t h e G en oese c a m e in to B yza n tin e e co nom ic lif e in a big w ay a n d s im il a r w id e-ra n gin g c o nce ssio ns w ere g ra n te d , “ Ita lia n m erc h an ts , w heth er G en oese o r Ven etia n s, b eca m e s o e n tr e n ch ed in C onsta n tin ople th at th ey c o ntr o lle d th e e co nom y o f th at c it y .” 21 And b y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry , th e is la n ds o f th e A eg ean (th e A rc h ip ela g o) w ere b ein g div id ed b etw een G en oese an d V en etia n co ntr o l, 22 th e A eg ean ’s east co ast b eco m in g th e h eart o f Gen oa’s m arit im e d om ain . G re ek m erc h an ts , m ean w hile , c o ntin ued to p ay a d uty o f 1 0 p erc e n t a n d Byza n tin e a cce ss to m ark ets in th e w est re m ain ed se v ere ly lim it e d . G re ek m erc h an ts ra re ly g ain ed acce ss t o I ta lia n m ark ets . 23 T he I ta lia n s d is c o ura g ed B yza n tin e e x p an sio n w est o f t h e P elo po nnese , 24 s o th at G re ek c a p it a l w as e ffe ctiv ely s h ut o ut o f t h e l o ng-d is ta n ce t r a d e. 25 A m ajo r u psh ot o f e n tr e n ch ed I ta lia n e co nom ic d om in an ce w as th e e n dem ic h ostilit y th at g re w u p betw een th e Ita lia n s a n d la rg e se cto rs o f th e lo ca l p o pu la tio n. 26 T he v io le n t c ru sa d er o ccu patio n o f Consta n tin ople i n 1 204 a n d t h e l o ng-sta n din g d iv is io n b etw een t h e c h urc h es d id n oth in g t o a b ate t h at, of c o urse . E very a tte m pt to b rin g th e tw o c h urc h es to geth er w as se en a s a “ n atio nal b etr a y al” a n d sp ark ed rio ts . 27 G re ek s liv in g in te rrit o rie s under L atin co ntr o l w ere lo oked dow n upo n as a “co nqu ere d p eo ple ” a n d s u ffe re d th e e co nom ic a n d s o cia l c o nse q u en ce s o f th at e v en to th e p o in t o f bein g d en ie d th e rig ht to h av e th eir o w n b is h ops. 28 “ T hey tr e ate d c it iz e n s lik e sla v es,” w ro te o ne tw elf th -c e n tu ry c h ro nic le r. “ T heir b o ld ness a n d im pu den ce in cre ase d w it h t h eir w ealt h u ntil t h ey n ot only d ete ste d t h e R om an s [ G re ek -sp eak in g B yza n tin es] b u t e v en d efie d t h e t h re ats a n d c o m man ds o f th e E m pero r.” 29 O n t h e o th er h an d, a s t h e le ft- w in g h is to ria n N ic o la s O ik onom id ès e m ph asiz e d , n one of t h is p re v en te d G re ek b u sin ess c ir c le s f r o m e n te rin g i n to p artn ersh ip s w it h I ta lia n c a p it a l. T here w as ex te n siv e c o lla b o ra tio n, a n d G re ek m erc h an ts e v en s o ught G en oese o r V en etia n n atio nalit y to e n jo y th e s a m e b en efit s . The e m erg en ce o f a B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l “ m id dle c la ss” w as a r e m ark ab le f e atu re o f t h e e le v en th – ce n tu ry b o om in th e e co nom ic a n d c u lt u ra l lif e o f th e e m pir e , a n d it s m ost s tr ik in g p o lit ic a l o utc o m e was th e th re e d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e c e n tu ry w hen a s tr ic tly a ris to cra tic m odel o f g overn m en t sp lit w id e o pen to a llo w th e p o pu la r c la sse s a n d c o m merc ia lly a ctiv e str a ta (lit e ra lly , “ th ose o f th e mark et p la ce ” ) acce ss, fo r th e fir st tim e ev er, to th e se n ate an d h ig her ad m in is tr a tio n. 30 N o le ss in te re stin gly , t h e s a m e r u le rs w ho b ro ught a b o ut t h is r e v olu tio nary c h an ge r e sp o nded t o t h e eco n om ic need s o f th e m id dle c la ss ( meso i ) b y a llo w in g fo r a c o ntr o lle d d ev alu atio n o f th e g old c o in ag e— a measu re not o f c ris is b u t o f t h e e co nom ic b o om r e fle cte d b y a g ro w in g d em an d f o r m ean s o f c ir c u la tio n an d p ay m en t as B yza n tiu m ’s m ark ets w ere b eco m in g m ore d eep ly in te g ra te d in to th e ex p an sio n occu rrin g in t h e w est. 31 W hat e m erg ed b rie fly in t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry w as a f a sc in atin g a llia n ce o f t h e ab so lu tis t p o w er w it h a m id dle c la ss h ostile to th e a ris to cra cy . It w as th is “ ca p it a lis t” d re am o f th e ele v en th c e n tu ry th at w as sh atte re d in 1 081/ 2 in th e v io le n t re actio n o f a str o ngly p ro -a ris to cra tic dynasty (th e K om nen oi) th at se t ab o ut cu rb in g th e g ro w in g afflu en ce an d p o w er o f th e G re ek merc a n tile c la ss b y a b o lis h in g “ all th e p riv ile g es th e b u sin essm en h ad ju st a cq u ir e d ” 32 a n d (ju st a s im po rta n t!) gra n tin g ex te n siv e co nce ssio ns to V en etia n ca p it a l, effe ctiv ely allo w in g a w hole sa le ta k eo ver o f B yza n tin e m ark ets b y I ta lia n m erc h an t c a p it a lis ts , w it h th e m ajo r e x ce p tio n o f th e B la ck Sea w hic h in a n y c a se fa ile d to a ttr a ct m uch a tte n tio n till th e la te r th ir te en th c e n tu ry . T he F re n ch Byza n tin is t L em erle d esc rib ed A le x io s I K om nen os’s ch ry so b u ll o f 1082 as a “m assiv e eco nom ic ca p it u la tio n,” th e p o in t b ein g th at th ough a B yza n tin e m erc h an t c la ss s u rv iv ed a n d c o ntin ued to b e activ e d ow n to th e e n d o f th e tw elf th c e n tu ry , it h ad lo st c o ntr o l o f th e e m pir e ’s m ark ets . 33 G oin g b y la te r e x p erie n ce , it is p o ssib le th at th e v ast m ajo rit y o f lo ca l m erc h an ts w ork ed a s b ro kers fo r th e Ita lia n f ir m s. 34 The la st tw o a n d a h alf c e n tu rie s o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e (1 204– 1453) w ere c h ara cte riz e d b y th e ca ta str o ph e o f th e V en etia n o ccu patio n o f C onsta n tin ople , w hic h perm an en tly d is m em bere d th e em pir e a n d le ft t h e c it y it s e lf d ep le te d a n d im po veris h ed ; 35 b y f e ro cio us s tr u ggle s b etw een V en ic e a n d Gen oa f o r c o ntr o l o f t h e le ad in g t r a d e s e cto rs, o nce B yza n tin e r u le w as r e sto re d ( in 1 261) a n d G en oa esta b lis h ed a m ajo r p re se n ce th ro ugh it s allia n ce w it h M ic h ael V III P ala io lo gos (th ose str u ggle s eru pte d i n t h e l a st q u arte r o f t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d b eg an w it h t h e B la ck S ea); b y t h e c iv il w ars o f th e 1 340s w hic h s a w th e a ris to cra cy c o nte n din g w it h r e b ellio ns b ase d o n a lo ose c o alit io n o f u rb an cla sse s th at in clu ded sa ilo rs an d lo ngsh ore m en ; b y th e aris to cra cy ’s d ecis iv e tu rn to co m merc ia l in vestm en t a s la n ded a sse ts w ere p ro gre ssiv ely lo st to th e O tto m an a d van ce fr o m th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry ; a n d f in ally , b y t h e o verw helm in g g rip t h at G en oa e v en m ore t h an V en ic e h ad n ow esta b lis h ed o ver m uch o f t h e t r u nca te d e m pir e ’s t r a d e. I n deed , t h e G en oese h ad c lo se r e la tio ns w it h t h e Turk s t h ro ughout t h e f o urte en th c e n tu ry , a n d a v ery s u bsta n tia l p art o f t h eir b u sin ess w as d one i n t h e Otto m an t e rrit o rie s. 36 The id ea th at a n cie n t a n d m ed ie v al w rit e rs w ere o bliv io us to th e p la y o f e co nom ic fo rc e s in th e his to ry o f th eir re sp ectiv e so cie tie s an d civ iliz a tio ns d oes n ot sta n d u p to sc ru tin y. T o B yza n tin e writ e rs lik e G eo rg e P ach ym ere s an d N ik ep h oro s G re g ora s it w as fa ir ly obv io us th at G en oa’s ex p lo it a tio n o f B yza n tin e m ark ets w as th e b asis o f h er p ro sp erit y . 37 P ach ym ere s h im se lf h as so m e re m ark ab le p assa g es o n t h e k in d o f d om in an ce t h e G en oese h ad e sta b lis h ed o ver t h e e m pir e a n d a b o ut th e fie rc e s tr u ggle s b etw een th em a n d th e V en etia n s fo r th e d om in atio n o f G re ek m ark ets . I n o ne o f th ese h e w rit e s, “ th e V en etia n s a n d th eir c o m munit y ( in C onsta n tin ople ) fo rm erly g re atly s u rp asse d th e G en oese i n w ealt h . . . b eca u se t h ey m ad e g re ate r u se o f t h e [ n arro w ] w ate rs ( th e A eg ean ) t h an d id th e G en oese a n d b eca u se th ey s a ile d a cro ss th e h ig h s e a ( th e M ed it e rra n ean m ore w id ely ) w it h lo ng sh ip s ( g alle y s), a n d th ey s u cce ed ed in g ain in g m ore p ro fit th an d id th e G en oese in tr a n sp o rtin g a n d ca rry in g w are s. B ut o nce th e G en oese b eca m e m aste rs o f th e B la ck S ea b y g ra n t o f th e e m pero r (M ic h ael III) a n d w it h a ll lib erty a n d fr a n ch is e , th ey b ra v ed th at [s e a], a n d sa ilin g in th e m id st o f win te r i n s h ip s o f r e d uce d l e n gth . . . t h ey n ot o nly b arre d t h e R om an s ( B yza n tin es) f r o m t h e l a n es a n d ware s o f t h e s e a bu t a ls o e clip se d t h e V en etia ns i n w ea lt h a nd m ate ria l [ g ood s] . B eca u se o f t h is t h ey c a m e to lo ok d ow n n ot o nly u po n th ose o f th eir o w n k in (o th er Ita lia n s) b u t als o u po n th e R om an s th em se lv es.” 38 H ere P ach ym ere s d esc rib es t w o b ro ad p erio ds in t h e c o m merc ia l h is to ry o f t h e e m pir e , in th e f ir st o f w hic h , a cco rd in g to h im , th e V en etia n s e sta b lis h ed th eir p rim acy th ro ugh a s tr a te g y o f ca b o ta g e o r c o asta l tr a d in g in th e p u re ly G re ek p arts o f th e e m pir e ( a B yza n tin e v ersio n o f w hat in In dia th e B rit is h w ould la te r c a ll th e “ co untr y tr a d e” ). T he G en oese la te r s u rp asse d th em b y m ak in g th e B la ck S ea th e re n ew ed fo cu s o f th eir c o m merc ia l o pera tio ns. T his str ik es m e a s a re m ark ab ly co here n t s u m mary o f o ver t w o c e n tu rie s o f B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l h is to ry . In b o th c it ie s, V en ic e a s w ell a s G en oa, th e a ris to cra cy it s e lf w as v ery s u bsta n tia lly in volv ed in th e tr a d e w it h “ R om an ia .” 39 T he in vestm en ts a t s ta k e w ere th ose o f th e le ad in g fa m ilie s in b o th c e n te rs. But c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as s till w id ely d is p erse d a m ong th e alb erg hi . O n th e G en oese sid e, th e six le ad in g fa m ilie s acco unte d fo r 29 perc e n t of all in vestm en t, a deg re e of co nce n tr a tio n sc a rc e ly co m para b le w it h t h e m uch h ig her l e v els c h ara cte ris tic o f l a te r c e n tu rie s. 40 I n ca . 1170 t h e V en etia n s h ad vastly m ore c a p it a l tie d u p in B yza n tiu m th an a n y o f th eir c o m petit o rs. T hey h ad a s tr o nger h old o n th e i s la n ds, a n d t h is w as e x te n siv e b y t h e s e co nd q u arte r o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . 41 When th e G en oese fir st so ught to e sta b lis h th em se lv es in C onsta n tin ople , th eir n ew ly e sta b lis h ed qu arte rs w ere re p eate d ly atta ck ed an d ev en d em olis h ed — in 1 162 b y a m ob co nsis tin g m ain ly o f Pis a n s, th en a g ain in 1 170 b y th e V en etia n s th em se lv es, a n d a th ir d tim e, in A pril 1 182, in a d re ad fu l lo ca l p o gro m a g ain st a ll Ita lia n s (e x ce p t th at th e V en etia n q u arte r la y v aca n t a t th is tim e). 42 O n a ll th ese v ario us o cca sio ns, c la im s fo r c o m pen sa tio n w ere s u bm it te d b y th e m ain a g grie v ed p artie s, a n d fr o m th ese o ne g ets a t le ast a c ru de im pre ssio n o f th e s c a le o f th eir r e sp ectiv e in vestm en ts . G en oese estim ate s o f t h e l o sse s t h ey s u sta in ed i n 1 162 a n d 1 182 r e sp ectiv ely s u ggest t h at i n t h e p re v io us d eca d e or s o th ere h ad b een v ery r a p id e n ric h m en t o f G en oese m erc h an ts tr a d in g to B yza n tin e m ark ets . 43 I t se em s e n tir e ly lik ely th at th e d is ru ptio n o f V en etia n b u sin ess fo llo w in g th e r e p ris a ls a g ain st th em in 1171 w ork ed s tr o ngly i n G en oa’s f a v or. That t h e L atin c o nqu est o f C onsta n tin ople w as l a rg ely a f u nctio n o f t h e e n dem ic r iv alr y b etw een t h e tw o m ain co m merc ia l po w ers is sh ow n by th e fa ct th at G en oa w as not offic ia lly re p re se n te d in Con sta ntin op le d urin g t h e o ccu patio n. 44 V en ic e ’s t e rrit o ry in t h e c it y e x p an ded s u bsta n tia lly s o on a fte r th e c o nqu est. 45 T he re sto ra tio n o f B yza n tin e ru le in 1 261 tu rn ed th e ta b le s d ra m atic a lly a s G en oa beca m e t h e d om in an t e co nom ic p o w er i n C onsta n tin ople a n d s e cu re d a cce ss t o t h e B la ck S ea, w here a co lo ny w as e sta b lis h ed a t C affa t h at w as t h riv in g b y t h e 1 280s. 46 T he w hole p erio d f r o m 1 270 t o 1 3 40 sa w s u bsta n tia l G en oese i n vestm en t. I n 1 348, a cco rd in g t o t h e c h ro nic le r G re g ora s, r e v en ues f r o m t h e cu sto m s c o lle cte d a t G en oa’s c o lo ny a t P era w ere a lm ost se v en tim es b ig ger th an th e c o lle ctio ns a t Consta n tin ople . 47 T hese f e ll s h arp ly in th e la te r f o urte en th c e n tu ry , w hic h s a w a p ro lo nged r e ce ssio n th at o nly lif te d in th e e arly p art o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry . C om petit io n w as s h arp er th an e v er in th ese deca d es, s in ce t h ere w ere n o f e w er t h an t h re e “ co lo nia l w ars” b etw een V en ic e a n d G en oa f o r c o ntr o l of t h e A eg ean , t h e u psh ot o f w hic h w as a d iv is io n, a “ d e f a cto c a rv e-u p,” o f t h e s e a b etw een t h em . 48 Thus th e “ co lo niz a tio n” o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e p ro bab ly c o unts a s th e m ost s tr ik in g e x am ple o f a “co lo nia l- sty le ” eco nom y befo re co lo nia lis m . The para lle l has been dra w n re p eate d ly , an d Oik onom id ès h im se lf w ould s p eak o f t h e “ eco nom ic im peria lis m o f w este rn m erc h an ts .” 49 A n a tte m pt in th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry to r e esta b lis h g re ate r p arit y in th e d utie s p aid b y G re ek a n d Ita lia n m erc h an ts le d to a v io le n t re actio n w hic h fo rc e d th e em pero r Jo hn V I K an ta k ouze n os to re v erse h is d ecis io n. 50 ( T he G en oese r e acte d b y b u rn in g B yza n tin e m erc h an t s h ip s a n d w are h ouse s!) The t r e aty o f 1 352 i n clu ded a c la u se “ se v ere ly l im it in g t h e a cce ss o f B yza n tin e m erc h an ts t o T an a a n d th e S ea o f A zo v.” 51 T he meso i w ho w ere a ctiv e in t h e r e b ellio ns o f t h e 1 340s in clu ded a la y er o f G re ek ca p it a l t h at b o th r e se n te d i t s s u bo rd in atio n t o m ore p o w erfu l c o m petit o rs and d ep en ded o n t h em f o r i t s ow n s u rv iv al. I n T hessa lo nik i, th e m ost r a d ic a l fa ctio n, th ose k now n a s th e Z ealo ts , e v en c o ntr o lle d th e c it y ’s g overn m en t f o r s o m e s e v en o r e ig ht y ears a n d w ere le d , in p art a t le ast, b y t h e c it y ’s h arb o r work ers. 52 A ngelik i L aio u a rg ued th at th e c iv il w ar w as “ an a b o rtiv e e ffo rt to c re ate a sta te q u it e dif fe re n t f r o m w hat h ad e x is te d in B yza n tiu m , o ne w here t h e i n te re sts o f t h e c o m merc ia l e le m en t w ou ld b e pa ra m ou nt .” 53 In a n y c a se , b y th e la tte r h alf o f th e c e n tu ry a m ore su bsta n tia l k in d o f in volv em en t em erg ed a s m em bers o f th e G re ek a ris to cra cy c o m pen sa te d fo r fa llin g in co m es fr o m th eir e sta te s b y tu rn in g t o l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e a n d b an kin g. A s O ik onom id ès s h ow ed , t h e h ig hest l e v els o f t h e a ris to cra cy were in volv ed in th is , 54 w it h th e n um ber o f a ris to cra ts in volv ed in tr a d e g ro w in g d ra m atic a lly . “ T he urb an u pper c la ss o f B yza n tiu m w as a t la st u nit e d in p u re ly c a p it a lis t a sp ir a tio ns,” h e w ro te , 55 a n d t h e pre v io us d is tin ctio n b etw een t h e meso i a n d t h e a ris to cra cy e v en tu ally d is a p peare d . A f in al w ord . N one o f t h e le ad in g I ta lia n t r a d e c e n te rs t h at t r a d ed w it h B yza n tiu m s im ply r e p lic a te d th e p atte rn o f th eir c o m petit o rs. I n th e e le v en th c e n tu ry , A m alf i ( w here , a g ain , th e a ris to cra cy w ere key d riv ers o f e x te rn al in vestm en t, u nlik e th e o th er so uth ern n obili t ie s) 56 h ad sp ecia liz e d in lu xu ry im po rts f r o m C onsta n tin ople f o r m ark ets in R om e a n d N ap le s, in te g ra tin g it s t r a d e w it h t h e s o uth ern Med it e rra n ean b y u sin g th e g old fr o m th e S ah ara a cq u ir e d in th e M ag hre b p o rts a n d in E gypt (in ex ch an ge fo r g ra in , tim ber, lin en clo th , an d so o n) to fin an ce p u rc h ase s fr o m th e B yza n tin es. In Consta n tin ople th e A m alf it a n s w ere b u yers, n ot se lle rs. 57 In th e e le v en th a n d tw elf th c e n tu rie s, th e Ven etia n s h ad tr a d ed in th e lo ca l p ro duce o f th e G re ek m ain la n d a n d G re ek is la n ds a n d o f s o uth ern Ita ly , in it e m s s u ch a s o liv e o il, c h eese , w in e, w heat, r a w s ilk , a n d r a w c o tto n. A bo ut s ix ty p erc e n t o f Ven ic e ’s tr a d e w it h th e e m pir e is s a id to h av e b een tr a n sa cte d in G re ece . 58 S outh ern C ala b ria w as a majo r p ro duce r o f r a w s ilk 59 a n d t h is m ust a ls o h av e r e ach ed m an ufa ctu rin g c e n te rs s u ch a s T heb es in Ven etia n s h ip s. O liv e o il c a m e f r o m t h e P elo po nnese . 60 A V en etia n b y t h e n am e o f V it a le V olt a n i, w ho se ttle d in G re ece in th e 1 160s, w as sa id to h av e “ d om in ate d th e o il m ark et in C orin th , S parta a n d Theb es.” 61 F or t h eir p art, t h e G en oese c o m bin ed t h e b u lk t r a d es o f t h e B la ck S ea r e g io n, P hokaia , a n d Chio s ( g ra in , a lu m , le ath er, c o tto n, e tc .) w it h th e im po rta tio n o f e x p en siv e fa b ric s, “ m an y d if fe re n t ty pes o f E uro pean c lo th ,” 62 t h e e x p o rt o f A nato lia n c a rp ets , 63 R ussia n f u rs, 64 a n d s o o n. VEN IC E T O P O R TU GAL Unlik e t h e r u le rs o f B yza n tiu m , i t w as M am lu k p o lic y n ot t o i n te rv en e i n t h e c o nflic ts b etw een V en ic e an d G en oa. I n 1 294 t h e c o m merc ia l b attle b etw een t h em h ad s p ille d o ver i n to t h e f a r e n d o f t h e e aste rn Med it e rra n ean . T he S yria n ch ro nic le r al- J a za ri n ote s th at in 1294 “w it n esse s re p o rte d th at la rg e num bers o f F ra n ks c a m e b y s e a to A yas fo r p u rp o se s o f tr a d e a n d th at th ey b elo nged to tw o n atio ns ( ta if a ). O ne l o t w ere c a lle d V en etia n s, t h e o th er G en oese .” A s a cts o f h ostilit y e sc a la te d b etw een t h em , th ey g ot i n to a b it te r f ig ht a n d “ o n o ne d ay a lo ne o ver 6 000 p eo ple w ere k ille d .” “ T he G en oese g ot t h e bette r o f t h e V en etia n s.” 65 A l- J a za ri w as d esc rib in g a c ru cia l p art o f t h e p re lu de t o t h e m ajo r w ar t h at dev elo ped tw o y ears la te r, w hic h b eg an a n d e n ded w it h th e V en etia n s se ttin g fir e to P era a n d th e Gen oese r e ta lia tin g b y m assa crin g l a rg e n um bers o f t h em i n t h eir q u arte r o f t h e c it y . In th e tw elf th a n d th ir te en c e n tu rie s, th e e x p an sio n o f Ita lia n b u sin ess in te re sts in th e L ev an t ra n pa ra lle l to a r a p id g ro w th o f M uslim tr a d e a n d s e ttle m en t o n th e M ala b ar c o ast. 66 T he L ev an t c o tto n tr a d e w as d om in ate d b y t h e I ta lia n s, s o t h at b y t h e l a te f if te en th a n d s ix te en th c e n tu rie s “ in p eak y ears th e to ta l v olu m e o f V en etia n c o tto n im po rts fr o m a ll s o urc e s c o uld e x ce ed 4 ,0 00 to ns.” 67 T hey h ad su bsta n tia l in te re sts in th e L ev an tin e s u gar in dustr y , fo r e x am ple , in th e v illa g es a ro und T yre w here th e m ost im po rta n t s u gar p la n ta tio ns o f t h e S yro -P ale stin ia n c o ast p asse d in to V en etia n h an ds in 1 123 (b etw een t h e f ir st a n d s e co nd C ru sa d es). 68 W it h t h e f a ll o f A cre in 1 291, V en etia n s u gar in te re sts w ere re lo ca te d to th e is la n ds. In C ypru s in th e la te r fo urte en th an d fif te en th ce n tu rie s, th e C orn ers, a po w erfu l V en etia n f a m ily , b u ilt a t h riv in g e n te rp ris e i n s u gar. 69 I n 1 183 t h e S pan is h t r a v ele r I b n J u bay r sa w in num era b le lo ad s o f p ep per b ein g s h ip ped t o t h e S udan ese p o rt o f A ydhab a n d t r a n sp o rte d f r o m th ere in n um ero us ca ra v an s. 70 B are ly se v en y ears la te r, th e v alu e o f g oods e x p o rte d b y C hris tia n merc h an ts t r a d in g t h ro ugh t h e N ile p o rts w as e stim ate d t o b e “ w ell o ver 1 00,0 00 d in ars,” a n d t h is a t a tim e o f c o nsid era b le p o lit ic a l te n sio ns (S ala d in h ad c a p tu re d Je ru sa le m in 1 187). 71 T he n um ber o f merc h an ts f r o m t h e w est t r a d in g i n A le x an dria i n 1 216 w as ( a s I n ote d e arlie r) p u t a t t h re e t h ousa n d b y th e h is to ria n a l- M aq riz i. 72 I n ca . 1260 V en etia n s o urc e s in dic a te “ la rg e c o tto n s h ip m en ts fr o m A cre .” 73 Can dia i n V en etia n -c o ntr o lle d C re te b eca m e a m ajo r s p ic e m ark et i n t h e e arly f o urte en th c e n tu ry . T he su gar a n d c o tto n e x p o rte d t h ere f r o m A le x an dria w ere r e ex p o rte d t o I ta ly i n V en etia n g alle y s. 74 B y t h e mid dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e p ap ers o f t h e V en etia n n ota ry B re sc ia n o r e fle ct massiv e i m po rts o f I ta lia n a n d Fle m is h te x tile s in to C an dia , s o m eth in g th at w as d oubtle ss tr u e o f o th er V en etia n c o lo nie s. 75 B y th e en d o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e v olu m e o f I ta lia n b u sin ess h ad i n cre ase d d ra m atic a lly . I n vestm en ts c o uld r u n a s hig h a s 4 50,0 00 d in ars w it h t h e V en etia n s in t h e 1 390s, a n d b etw een 2 00,0 00 a n d 3 00,0 00 d in ars e v ery year b etw een 1394 an d 1400 in G en oa’s ca se . (T he C ata la n s ca m e th ir d w it h an an nual av era g e ca . 200,0 00.) 76 A nd b y th e fif te en th c e n tu ry w hen , a s B ra u del sa y s, “ V en ic e w as u nqu estio nab ly th e vig oro us h eart o f th e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 77 th an ks la rg ely to it s tr a d e w it h th e L ev an t, m erc h an t g alle y s wit h g oods w orth o ne m illio n d uca ts p lu s 4 00,0 00 i n c a sh w ere s a ilin g f r o m V en ic e f o r A le x an dria a n d Beir u t. 78 The L ev an t t r a d e w as t h e m id dle s e g m en t o f a c ir c u it t h at e x te n ded t o t h e p o rts o f M ala b ar in S outh In dia a n d b ey ond th em in to S outh east A sia . H ere th e g re at c o unte rp art to th e c ru sa d in g p erio d’s “cre atio n o f n um ero us L atin tr a d in g co lo nie s in th e N ear E ast w it h th eir o w n co nsu ls , h oste ls , ware h ouse s, m ark etp la ce s, a n d c h urc h es” 79 w as t h e e x p an sio n o f I sla m , w hic h , s im ila rly , b eg in s in t h e tw elf th c e n tu ry a n d r e ach es it s c o m merc ia l z e n it h in t h e f if te en th . T he o ld est r e lia b ly d ata b le m osq u e on th e M ala b ar c o ast w as fo unded in 1 124, a t M ad ay i. 80 B y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry M uslim se ttle m en ts w ere w ell e sta b lis h ed b o th th ere a n d o n th e C oro m an del c o ast, 81 r e fle ctin g a n e x p an sio n acro ss th e e n tir e w este rn h alf o f th e I n dia n O ce an . E ven in th e e arly th ir te en th c e n tu ry , it h as b een cla im ed , th e E ast A fr ic a n c o ast w as la rg ely Isla m ic , 82 a n d c e rta in ly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry th e ev id en ce fr o m K ilw a im plie s a “ v ery la rg e M uslim re sid en t p o pu la tio n.” 83 B y ca . 1331 Ib n B attu ta desc rib es a “ v ast n etw ork o f M uslim s a ll a ro und th e p erip h ery o f th e I n dia n O ce an .” 84 T hese w ere esse n tia lly c o m merc ia l n etw ork s d ra w n f r o m m an y d if fe re n t p arts o f t h e N ear E ast. C alic u t’s M uslim s who te n dere d th eir a lle g ia n ce to th e R asu lid su lt a n a l- A sh ra f II in 1 393 re fle cte d a m ult ip lic it y o f geo gra p h ic o rig in s, 85 a n d th e s a m e is s u ggeste d in B arb o sa ’s r e p o rt th at b y th e s e co nd d eca d e o f th e six te en th c e n tu ry t h ese c o sm opo lit a n m erc h an ts “ d ep arte d t o t h eir o w n l a n ds a b an donin g I n dia a n d i t s tr a d e,” 86 fo llo w in g th e d ra m atic a n d v io le n t w ay in w hic h th e P ortu guese m ad e th eir e n tr y in to th e In dia n O ce an tr a d e w it h V asc o d a G am a in sis tin g o n th e e x p u ls io n o f th e M uslim s fr o m C alic u t a n d bo m bard in g t h e t o w n w hen i t s r u le r r e fu se d . 87 That t h e c ru sh in g o f t h e V en etia n s p ic e m onopo ly w as t h e p re m ed it a te d g oal o f P ortu gal’s m arit im e ex p an sio n in th e fif te en th c e n tu ry c a n , o f c o urse , b e ru le d o ut. T he str a te g y o f A tla n tic e x p an sio n ev olv ed o nly g ra d ually . 88 T here w as, a s L uís F ilip e T hom az h as a rg ued , n o co h ere n t im peria l p ro je ct till th e la st tw o d eca d es o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry a n d w hat h e c a lls th e “ ca lc u la te d im peria lis m ” o f a model th at w as “ im peria l, g lo baliz in g, a n d s ta te -d riv en .” 89 F ro m th e r e ig n o f D om F erd in an d ( 1 367– 83), P ortu guese r o yal p o w er h ad f o und i t s s tr o ngest s u ppo rt i n t h e p o pu la tio n o f t h e p o rts , 90 w here t h e Portu guese m erc h an t c la ss g re w in s tr e n gth . 91 B ut in th e p artn ersh ip th at e v olv ed o ver th e fo llo w in g ce n tu ry b etw een th e m onarc h y a n d p riv ate c a p it a l, th e sta te c a n sc a rc e ly b e d esc rib ed a s a p assiv e ag en t o f th e la tte r. F in an cia lly , it d ep en ded o n th e re so urc e s o f b ig L is b o n m erc h an ts lik e F ern ão Gom es ca . 1469 a n d, la te r, o f p o w erfu l s y ndic a te s o f G erm an a n d I ta lia n b u sin essm en , b u t it w as th e cro w n t h at b o th d ro ve a n d m onit o re d t h e p ro ce ss, a n d ( ju st a s im po rta n t) t h ere w as n ev er a n y “ cle ar- cu t d em arc a tio n b etw een th e fin an ce s o f th e S ta te an d it s co m merc ia l ca p it a l.” 92 A ll co m merc ia l ca p it a lis m s o f th e six te en th to e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s w ould c o m e to b e in ex tr ic a bly b ou nd u p w it h th e sta te , b u t i n P ortu gal’s c a se t h e r e la tio nsh ip w as p o sit e d a s i m med ia te . I t w as t h e c ro w n t h at w ould a ct as a m erc h an t c o m pan y o n th e w est c o ast o f I n dia , “ se ttin g u p fe it o ria s (tr a d in g p o sts , fa cto rie s) in vario us k ey p o rts , b u yin g u p p ep per, s p ic e s a n d o th er p re cio us c o m modit ie s, w hic h t h ey w ould s h ip t o Euro pe a n d s e ll t h ere a t a h uge p ro fit .” 93 The P ortu guese , o f c o urse , w ere q u it e c le ar w ho th eir c o m petit o rs w ere . T ry in g to c o nvin ce th e mem bers o f h is c o uncil o f th e n eed to c a p tu re a n d re ta in M ala cca , A lb u qu erq u e w ro te , “ S in ce w e gain ed c o ntr o l o f t h e M ala b ar p ep per t r a d e, C air o h as n ot r e ce iv ed a n y e x ce p t w hat t h e M osle m s h av e been a b le t o t a k e f r o m t h is r e g io n ( th e S tr a it s ) . . . I a m v ery s u re t h at, i f t h is M ala cca t r a d e i s t a k en o ut of t h eir h an ds, C air o a n d M ecca w ill b e c o m ple te ly l o st a n d no s p ic e s w ill g o t o t h e V en etia ns e x ce p t t h ose th at th ey g o to P ortu gal to b u y .” 94 T he ta rg et h ere , in 1 511, w as th e e n tir e R ed S ea ro ute , a c ir c u it dom in ate d b y a so rt o f m assiv e jo in t v en tu re b etw een V en etia n c a p it a l, C air o m erc h an ts , a n d th e su pplie rs in C alic u t. B ut m ovin g b ack alo ng th e ch ain , th e m ajo rit y o f h is ca p ta in s ag re ed w it h Alb u qu erq u e, it w as e sse n tia l t o “ ta k e t h e c it y o f M ala cca , to e x pel t h e M osle m s , a n d t o b u ild a f o rtr e ss th ere .” 95 P ortu gal’s “ co m merc ia l a n d re lig io us w ar a g ain st Isla m ” 96 o ccu pie d th e g re ate r p art o f a ce n tu ry a n d w as n ev er c o m ple te ly s u cce ssfu l, b u t i n C alic u t t h e e ffe cts o f h er i n tr u sio n w ere f e lt a lm ost im med ia te ly . A lr e ad y b y 1 507 o ne tr a v ele r, th e I ta lia n L udovic o d i V arth em a, w as w rit in g, “ C alic u t was r u in ed b y t h e K in g o f P ortu gal, f o r t h e m erc h an ts w ho u se d t o c o m e t h ere w ere n ot t h ere , n eit h er did th ey c o m e.” 97 I t w as C och in th at b eca m e P ortu gal’s e co nom ic b ase in th e r e g io n a n d th e b u lk o f Portu guese p ep per fr o m M ala b ar w as e x p o rte d fr o m th ere . 98 B y 1 512 A lb u qu erq u e w as te llin g K in g Man uel th at th e net v alu e o f s h ip m en ts fr o m I n dia w as n ow “ w orth a m illio n cru za d os .” 99 I f s o , th ese le v els w ere nev er su bse q u en tly su sta in ed . T he m ajo rit y of actu al cu lt iv ato rs w ere St. T hom as Chris tia n s. 100 P ep per w as so ld to th e P ortu guese fa cto ry in C och in by m erc h an ts fr o m th eir co m munit y a n d b y C och in J e w s. 101 A ppare n tly , t h e k in g h ad a sk ed o ffic ia ls t o d eal w it h C hris tia n a n d Hin du tr a d ers (N air s w ere u se d as b ro kers) “ an d to keep th e M uslim m erc h ants aw ay fr o m tr a d e activ it ie s .” 102 D om M an uel’s “ro yal ca p it a lis m ” 103 w as a cu rio us m ix tu re of m erc a n tilis m an d messia n is m 104 w here h ard head ed b u sin ess d ecis io ns an d a M ed it e rra n ean -sty le eco nom ic w ar w ere clo ak ed i n r e lig io us z e al a n d a g re at d eal o f b o th i g nora n ce a n d b ig otr y . The habit u al u se o f f o rc e a s a n a cce p ta b le p art o f t h e c o m petit io n b etw een s u bsta n tia l blo cs o f c a p it a l was n ow , fo r th e fir st tim e in th e h is to ry o f eit h er se a, tr a n sp o se d fr o m a th eatr e w here it h ad flo uris h ed fo r c e n tu rie s (sin ce V en ic e ’s d ev asta tin g a tta ck o n C om acch io in 9 32, sa y ) to th e In dia n Oce an , w here it s m ajo r ta rg ets w ere th e p o w erfu l M uslim c o m merc ia l n etw ork s th at str a d dle d th e en tir e o ce an f r o m K ilw a a n d S ofa la in E ast A fr ic a t o S um atr a a n d t h e s o uth ern P hilip pin es. I n C och in it s e lf t h e p rin cip al m erc h an ts o f t h e p o rt ( M uslim c o nverts o f t h e M ara k kar f a m ily ) r e lo ca te d t o C alic u t by th e 1 520s, fo rc e d o ut b y w hat o ne h is to ria n c a lls a n “ atm osp h ere o f c o erc io n a n d v io le n ce .” 105 Ahm ad Z ay n a l- D in ’s la te s ix te en th -c e n tu ry h is to ry , Tuhfa t a l- m uja hid in , h as g ra p h ic d esc rip tio ns o f th e v io le n ce i n flic te d o n M ala b ar’s M uslim c o m munit ie s. H e w rit e s o f t h e b u rn in g o f t h e ja m i‘ m asji d i n Calic u t in 1 510, th e e arlie r d em olit io n o f th e C och in m osq u e, th e se iz u re o f sh ip s, d estr u ctio n o f pro perty , a n d s o o n. T here w as a ls o t h e r e p eate d p erso nal h um ilia tio n M uslim s w ere s u bje cte d t o , a n d of c o urse b lo odsh ed . Z ay n a l- D in h ad a n a cu te s e n se o f t h e h is to ry o f h is o w n lif e tim e, k now in g t h at th e a d ven t o f th e P ortu guese h ad b een r u in ous fo r th e p ro sp erit y o f M uslim c o m merc e in th e I n dia n Oce an . T he P ortu guese , h e w rit e s, h ad s o ught t o “ se cu re f o r t h em se lv es a mon op oly o f t h is t r a d e ” ( th e sp ic e t r a d e). 106 T hey h ad e sta b lis h ed t h em se lv es “ in t h e g re ate r p art o f t h e s e a p o rts o f t h is p art o f t h e world .” 107 T hey h ad ev en “ fo und th eir w ay to th e C hin ese em pir e , ca rry in g o n tr a d e in all th e in te rm ed ia te a n d o th er p o rts , in a ll o f w hic h th e c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th e M uslim s h av e b een in co nse q u en ce c o nsig ned t o r u in .” T he P ortu guese “ re n dere d i t im possib le t h at a ny o th ers s h ou ld c o m pete wit h t h em ” i n t h e t r a d es t h ey s o ught t o d om in ate . 108 T he M uslim s o f M ala b ar h ad s e en t h e b u lk o f t h eir in te rn atio nal c o m merc e m assiv ely d is ru pte d a n d w ere le ft o nly w it h t h e c o astin g t r a d e o f I n dia . T hey had b eco m e “ im po veris h ed a n d w eak a n d p o w erle ss.” 109 There i s a f a sc in atin g r e fe re n ce i n t h ese p assa g es t o a s e lf – fin an cin g m odel t h at b eca m e c h ara cte ris tic not o nly o f P ortu gal’s tr a d e in A sia n w ate rs b u t, e v en m ore c ru cia lly , o f th e b ette r-o rg an iz e d D utc h ex p an sio n th at w ould la te r re p la ce it in th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry . T he P ortu guese m onarc h y w as ch ro nic a lly s h ort o f c a sh a n d s o ught t o s u sta in t h e E uro pean s id e o f it s m onopo ly o f t h e s p ic e m ark et by in volv in g th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis ts a s in vesto rs a n d e n co ura g in g g overn ors lik e Alb u qu erq u e to fin an ce th e ro yal sh are o f p u rc h ase s fr o m p ro fit s g en era te d b y P ortu guese tr a d in g wit h in A sia n m ark ets . 110 A t th e M ala b ar e n d, th ere w as n ev er a n y re al m onopo ly , sin ce e x p o rts to Lis b o n n ev er s e em to h av e e x ce ed ed a b o ut 4 0 p erc e n t o f th e to ta l o utp u t o f p ep per e v en in th e e arly six te en th c e n tu ry a n d fe ll d ra m atic a lly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry , w hen F ra n cis c o d a C osta r e lia b ly estim ate d th at o f a to ta l p ro ductio n o f 2 58,0 00 q u in ta ls , e x p o rts to P ortu gal w ere a m eag re tw en ty th ousa n d to th ir ty th ousa n d q u in ta ls . 111 I n 1 587 F erd in an d C ro n, C och in a g en t o f th e F uggers, w ro te th at a lt h ough ca . th re e h undre d t h ousa n d q u in ta ls o f p ep per w ere p ro duce d a n nually i n s o uth ern I n dia , only a v ery lit tle o f th is c a m e in to th e h an ds o f th e c o ntr a cto rs to b e ta k en to E uro pe. 112 T hom az h as arg ued th at “ P ortu guese c o m merc e in th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry d ev elo ped p re d om in an tly in th e I n dia n Oce an , ov er a n etw ork o f s h ort a nd m ed iu m r a ng e r o u te s w hic h a ctu ally e n co m passe d a lm ost e v ery c o ast of A sia . . . T he m ain r e aso n w hic h d ro ve t h e P ortu guese t o a p ply t h em se lv es t o t h e lo ca l t r a d e s e em s to b e th at th e C ap e ro ute to P ortu gal w as o fte n a lo se r.” 113 In sh ort, P ortu gal’s A sia n tr a d e c ro ss- su bsid iz e d t h e t r a d e t o L is b o n, s in ce o verh ead s w ere s o h ig h i n t h e l a tte r. Pep per w as g ro w n o n lit e ra lly th ousa n ds o f g ard en s in M ala b ar. 114 T he P ortu guese s im ply d id n ot hav e th e lo gis tic a l s e t- u p to d eal w it h p ro duce rs d ir e ctly a n d c e rta in ly h ad n o w ay o f c o ntr o llin g th e pro duce rs. 115 T here fo re , p ric e d om in atio n h ad to b e e n fo rc e d th ro ugh a g re em en ts w it h th e ru le r o f Coch in a n d o th er l o ca l r u le rs. A l o w f ix ed p ric e w as v it a l t o t h e w hole e n te rp ris e a s k in g D om M an uel had c o nce iv ed t h is in it ia lly . I n 1 503 t h e p ric e o f a bh ar o f p ep per ( th at is , o f a b atc h o f ca . 166 k g) w as fix ed a t le ss t h an h alf t h e m ark et p ric e p re v ailin g in C alic u t t h re e y ears e arlie r. 116 P ric e s w ould r e m ain fix ed fo r d eca d es. B ut M ala b ar p ep per w as a h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark et w it h o ver a d oze n r e g io nal ce n te rs w here m erc h an ts b o ught th e p ro duce w hole sa le . C om petit io n w as fie rc e in th ose m ark ets . 117 This acco unts fo r th e p u re ly th eo re tic a l n atu re o f th e P ortu guese m onopo ly , sin ce , as C esa re d e Fed eric i n ote d , p ro bab ly in th e 1 570s, th e b u lk o f g ood-q u alit y p ep per w as b ein g s h ip ped to th e R ed Sea b eca u se m erc h an ts c o nnecte d w it h th at tr a d e pa id m ore a nd g ot a b ette r q u alit y o f p ro d uce , “ cle an e an d dry an d bette r co ndit io ned .” 118 T his is th e esse n tia l re aso n beh in d th e re silie n ce of th e Med it e rra n ean r o ute t h at B ra u del c o nsta n tly d re w a tte n tio n t o . 119 If th e “ ro yal ca p it a lis m ” o f th e early six te en th ce n tu ry w as ev en tu ally ab an doned fo r a “ m ore str a ig htf o rw ard s e m i- A bso lu tis t c o nce p tio n o f t h e s ta te ’s r e la tio nsh ip t o t r a d e,” 120 P ortu guese c o lo nia l en te rp ris e , o r th e A sia n th ala sso cra cy th at fo rm ed it s c o re , b eca m e e v en s tr o nger a s a m ag net fo r a n ag glo m era tio n o f ca p it a lis t in te re sts th at is p ro bab ly b est d esc rib ed in H en ry B ern ste in ’s id ea o f “cla sse s o f c a p it a l.” A t th e to p w ere th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis t h ouse s ( th e W els e rs, Fuggers, H öch ste tte rs, A ffa it a d i, B arto lo m eo M arc h io nni, G io van ni R ovela sc a ) w ho co m bin ed in po w erfu l s y ndic a te s to fin an ce th e a ctu al e x p ed it io ns to I n dia , s u ch a s th e o ne in 1 505 in w hic h th e Wels e rs h ad a v ery s u bsta n tia l in vestm en t o f tw en ty th ousa n d cru za d os , o r a g re ed to h an dle s a le s in Euro pe, w it h p le d ges to b u y a stip u la te d q u an tit y o f p ep per a t a n a g re ed p ric e . B oth a rra n gem en ts were f r a u ght w it h t e n sio ns b o und u p w it h t h e v ola tilit y o f t h is m ark et, w it h t h e c ro w n q u it e c a p ab le o f re n eg in g o n co ntr a cts . F lo re n tin e m erc h an ts w ere w ell- e n tr e n ch ed in L is b o n an d m an y o f th em “fin an ce d a n d j o in ed t h e P ortu guese o n t h e e arlie st v en tu re s t o t h e I n die s d urin g t h e f ir st q u arte r o f t h e six te en th c e n tu ry .” 121 T he S outh G erm an c o m merc ia l h ouse s h ad s tr o ng o rg an iz a tio nal s tr u ctu re s a n d work ed th ro ugh ca rte l arra n gem en ts w it h o ne an oth er. 122 T hey “am asse d ca p it a l fa r b ey ond th e ca p ab ilit y of an y F lo re n tin e m erc h an t- b an ker,” 123 so th at ev en at th is ra re fie d le v el th ere w ere in te re stin g d if fe re n ce s. C onsid era b ly b elo w th ese g ia n t c a p it a lis ts w ere th e r ic h er ca sa d os o f C och in , se ttle rs o f P ortu guese o rig in , w ho a t v ario us tim es a cte d a s fin an cie rs to th e Esta d o a n d d om in ate d Coch in ’s co asta l tr a d e. 124 B etw een 1 570 an d 1 600 th e ca sa d os , “ a p o w erfu l m erc a n tile g ro up w it h co nsid era b le c a p it a l r e so urc e s,” “ v ir tu ally t u rn ed C och in in to o ne o f t h e b ig gest e n tr e p ô ts o f A sia .” 125 Their in te re sts ex te n ded all o ver th e In dia n O ce an . 126 H ow ev er, fr o m th e se co nd d eca d e o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , th ere w as a m ass e x o dus o f ca sa d o tr a d ers f r o m C och in to th e o ppo sit e c o ast, a s th e la tte r p art o f th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry s a w d w in dlin g s u pplie s o f p ep per th an ks to m ass d is a ffe ctio n am ong S t. T hom as C hris tia n s w ho h ad s e en t h eir b is h op a rre ste d t w ic e ( a n d d ie i n R om e i n 1 569) a n d “b eg un t o c o opera te w it h t h e t r a d ers o f t h e g hat r o ute ” in r e ta lia tio n. 127 F in ally , M ala b ar’s o w n n ativ e Muslim s, th e M ap pila s, w ere a m ong th e “ la rg est fin an cie rs o f P ortu gal’s im peria l p ro je ct in A sia ” 128 an d w ere d oubtle ss a ctiv e in m uch o f th e tr a d e th at e sc a p ed P ortu guese c o ntr o l, th e v ast a m ounts o f pep per t h at c ro sse d t h e g hats t o m ak e i t s w ay t o t h e e ast c o ast, f r o m w here i t w as w id ely e x p o rte d . In e co nom ic t e rm s, t h e f r a g ile b asis o n w hic h P ortu gal’s a rm ed t h ala sso cra cy r e ste d w as o bv io us t o mem bers o f it s é lit e . I n 1 563 th e O tto m an s o ffe re d th e P ortu guese a fr e e tr a d e a g re em en t, w it h th e la tte r b ein g g iv en th e r ig ht to “ esta b lis h tr a d in g h ouse s in B asra , C air o , a n d A le x an dria a n d to tr a d e fr e ely in a ll th e O tto m an -c o ntr o lle d p o rts o f b o th th e P ersia n G ulf a n d th e R ed S ea,” in r e tu rn fo r sim ila r fr e ed om s fo r O tto m an m erc h an ts to tr a d e th ro ughout th e In dia n O ce an , w it h th e rig ht to esta b lis h c o m merc ia l a g en cie s o f t h eir o w n “ in S in d, C am bay , D ab u l, C alic u t, a n d a n y o th er p o rt t h ey desir e d .” 129 A gain st th is q u it e re m ark ab le p ro po sa l o ne fid alg o is su ppo se d to h av e a rg ued , “ if th e Turk s w ere a llo w ed t o t r a v el f r e ely t o I n dia , a n d e sta b lis h f a cto rs, a n d t r a d e in m erc h an dis e w here v er th ey w is h ed , n ot o nly w ould Y our M aje sty ’s o w n p ro fit s s u ffe r g re atly , b u t t h e r e st o f u s w ould b e l e ft co m ple te ly e m pty h an ded , b eca u se all o f t h e b u sin ess [ h and le d b y t h e P ortu guese ] w ou ld i m med ia te ly f a ll to t h e T urk s .” T here w as a c le ar r e fe re n ce h ere to P ortu guese priv a te c a p it a l. H e w en t o n to s a y , “ A s fo r [th e sta te m onopo ly in ] p ep per an d o th er co ntr o lle d sp ic e s, th is w ould als o b e th re ate n ed b y allo w in g th e T urk s to e sta b lis h fa cto rs in I n dia . Even n ow , w hen th ey h ave n ot b een a llo w ed to o p en ly co m pete a g ain st th e P ortu guese , it is k now n th at th ey co nduct a tr a d e in se cre t, ca rry in g sp ic e s to Horm uz, t o B asra , a n d t o B en gal, P eg u, C hin a, a n d o th er la n ds, a n d e sp ecia lly t o t h eir o w n m ark ets , desp it e th e g re at ris k s in volv ed . T hus, [if a llo w ed to o pera te fr e ely , th eir tie s w it h ] lo ca l M uslim s would le a ve th em e v en b ette r in fo rm ed a nd b ette r o rg aniz e d , su ch th at b y m ean s o f th e [R ed S ea a n d Persia n G ulf ] t h ey c o uld s e n d a s m uch [ p ep per] a s t h ey w an te d , and b eco m e m aste rs o f t h e l io n ’s s h are o f th e t r a d e in s p ic e s .” 130 H ere it w as a n e n tr e n ch ed n etw ork o f tr a d in g c o m munit ie s th at w as s e en a s th e big gest p o te n tia l “ co m petit iv e a d van ta g e” t h e O tto m an s w ould h av e i f c o m merc e w as c o m ple te ly f r e e, th at i s , n ot d ete rre d b y t h e p erm an en t t h re at a n d a ctu al u se o f v io le n ce f r o m t h e P ortu guese s id e. 131 In h is g re at His to ry o f I ta ly , F ra n ce sc o G uic cia rd in i s a w P ortu gal’s b re ak in g o f th e V en etia n s p ic e monopo ly a s “ th e m ost m em ora b le t h in g t h at h as h ap pen ed in t h e w orld f o r m an y c e n tu rie s.” 132 T his was w rit te n la te in t h e 1 530s a n d w as a r e m ark ab ly a ccu ra te a sse ssm en t, n ot o nly b eca u se c o m merc ia l po sit io ns th at V en ic e h ad b u ilt u p o ver ce n tu rie s w ere (m om en ta rily ) p lu nged in to d ep re ssio n a n d dra stic a lly a ffe cte d b y t h e n ew t r a d e r e g im e, 133 b u t m ore o bv io usly b eca u se P ortu gal’s o pen in g o f th e Atla n tic r e co nfig ure d t h e w hole s h ap e o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a lis m a s t h e w orld h ad k now n it t ill t h en . I t open ed th e w ay f o r a n ew c a p it a lis m w hic h w ould s o on b e r e fle cte d in th e c o m merc ia l d om in an ce o f th e D utc h in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry a s w ell a s E ngla n d’s e x p an sio n in t h e s a m e c e n tu ry . I n 1 519 t h e Ven etia n s w ere p erfe ctly a w are o f P ortu gal’s d ev asta tin g im pact o n th e L ev an t p ep per tr a d e, a n d f o r th e n ex t te n y ears th ey w ere to ta lly a t th e m erc y o f th e P ortu guese a s g lo bal s u pplie s o f p ep per w ere co rn ere d b y th e la tte r. 134 B ut B ra u del rig htly in sis te d th at V en ic e re m ain ed a fo rm id ab le e co nom ic fo rc e th ro ughout th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry . A s la te a s 1 585 th ere w ere s till s o m e fo ur th ousa n d V en etia n fa m ilie s “ sc a tte re d th ro ughout th e c it ie s a n d la n ds o f I sla m ” a s fa r a w ay a s H orm uz. 135 N or w as th e Red S ea r o ute e v er c o m ple te ly s tif le d . I n 1 560 th e P ortu guese a m bassa d or a t R om e r e ce iv ed r e p o rts th at e n orm ous q u an tit ie s o f p ep per a n d s p ic e w ere a rriv in g a t A le x an dria . 136 I n 1 593 t h e F uggers w ere sim ila rly to ld th at A le x an dria w as su pply in g V en ic e w it h as m uch p ep per as L is b o n re ce iv ed . 137 How ev er, b y t h e s e co nd d eca d e o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry V en ic e ’s p rim acy i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean w as fin ally o ver. 138 T he Ita lia n cris is o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry h as b een ch ara cte riz e d as a “ g ra d ual in tr o versio n o f t h e n orth ern I ta lia n b o urg eo is ie ,” a “ p ro gre ssiv e c lo su re t o t h e w orld b ey ond I ta ly .” 139 If s o , G uic cia rd in i’s j u dgem en t w as e v en m ore p ro ph etic . DUTC H P R IM ACY The f a ll o f A ntw erp i n A ugust 1 585 t r ig gere d a v ast e x o dus o f r e fu gees f r o m t h e s o uth ern p ro vin ce s o f th e N eth erla n ds to th e N orth , w it h m ajo r co nse q u en ce s fo r A m ste rd am an d D utc h co m merc e . Am ste rd am ’s p ro sp erit y a fte r 1 600 w as b u ilt b y ém ig ré s fr o m A ntw erp . 140 O ver h alf th e D utc h E ast In dia C om pan y/ V ere en ig de O ostin dis c h e C om pag nie or V O C’s sta rtin g ca p it a l of 6.4 2 m illio n guild ers w as su bsc rib ed in A m ste rd am , bu t am ong A m ste rd am in vesto rs th e big gest in div id ual in vestm en ts w ere m ad e by m en lik e Isa ac le M air e an d B alt h asa r C oym an s, all ém ig ré s fr o m Antw erp . 141 T hey w ere W allo on o r F le m is h e x ile s a n d p ro vid ed c lo se t o 4 0 p erc e n t o f t h e C om pan y’s to ta l c a p it a l. 142 I t w as t h eir “ v ast w ealt h a n d in te rn atio nal c o nnectio ns” 143 t h at e n ab le d H olla n d’s r a p id bre ak th ro ugh i n to t h e r ic h t r a d es o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean a n d A sia . The s e v en te en th c e n tu ry w as d om in ate d b y t h e c o m petit io n b etw een E nglis h a n d D utc h c a p it a l. T he tr a je cto ry o f D utc h c a p it a lis m ru ns fr o m it s ra p id e x p an sio n in th e e arly se v en te en th c e n tu ry to it s declin e in th e s e co nd q u arte r o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , w it h a p eak in th e d eca d es a ro und 1 647– 72, desc rib ed b y J o nath an I sra el a s t h e z e n it h o f t h e R ep u blic ’s “ w orld -tr a d e p rim acy .” 144 D utc h t r a d e w it h Asia h ad f a r o uts tr ip ped t h at o f t h e P ortu guese p o ssib ly a s e arly a s 1 601. 145 T he c la sh w it h E ngla n d f o r maste ry of th e M ed it e rra n ean tr a d e ex p lo ded in th e la te 1640s, pro m ptin g th e fir st of se v era l “N av ig atio n A cts ” b y w hic h E nglis h ca p it a l so ught to cu rb D utc h d om in an ce . In 1661 C olb ert assu m ed t h e d ir e ctio n o f c o m merc ia l a ffa ir s in F ra n ce , a n d b y t h e la te s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h e F re n ch had e m erg ed a s a m ajo r c o m merc ia l p o w er, 146 w it h th e la st q u arte r o f th e c e n tu ry d om in ate d b y a co nfr o nta tio n b etw een t h em a n d t h e D utc h . 147 T he 1 680s w as a ls o w hen t h e V O C w as a t t h e p eak o f i t s su cce ss a s a n A sia n p o w er. 148 The c ru sh in g I ta lia n s u pre m acy o f t h e t w elf th t o f if te en th c e n tu rie s h ad e n ca p su la te d a c a p it a lis m o f netw ork s , t h e o nly k in d in dig en ous t o t h e M ed it e rra n ean c o untr ie s a n d t h e w id er w orld o f I sla m . T he new ca p it a lis m o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry w as d riv en , in co ntr a st, by jo in t- sto ck co m pa nie s th at em erg ed f r o m t h e m arit im e f r in ge o f n orth w este rn E uro pe a n d e n jo yed t h e s tr o ng b ack in g o f t h e s ta te (a s, in deed , V en etia n ca p it a l h ad ). T hey w ere ca p it a lis t en te rp ris e s o f a h ig her po w er th an th e im perfe ct “ ro yal c a p it a lis m s” o f I b eria , b u t lik e th em th ey r e ta in ed a p u blic o r se m i- p u blic c h ara cte r th at e m bo die d a q u asi- fo rm al d ele g atio n o f s o vere ig nty t h at m ad e t h em f o rm id ab le c o m petit o rs. 149 T he main E ast I n dia C om pan ie s ( E nglis h , D utc h , a n d F re n ch ) w ere th e m ost p o w erfu l o f th e jo in t- sto ck co m pan ie s in th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s, a n d th e c o m petit io n b etw een th em w as s u ch th at D av id H um e, in a n e ssa y p u blis h ed in 1 742, c o uld f a m ously s a y , “ T ra d e w as n ev er e ste em ed a n affa ir o f s ta te t ill t h e la st c e n tu ry .” 150 T he h ead -o n c la sh b etw een t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h g en era te d th e d octr in e th at c a m e to b e c a lle d “ je alo usy o f tr a d e.” 151 T ow ard th e e n d o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry Adam S m it h a g re ed w it h H um e t h at t r a d e h ad c h an ged E uro pean p o lit ic s in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . In Wea lt h o f N atio n s h e r e fe rs to “ m erc a n tile je alo usy ” w hic h “ in fla m es, a n d is it s e lf in fla m ed b y th e vio le n ce o f n atio n al a nim osit y .” 152 S ta te a n d c a p it a l n ow h ad a u nif y in g “ n atio nal” i n te re st i n s e cu rin g o r re ta in in g c o m merc ia l d om in an ce . I n “ O f t h e J e alo usy o f T ra d e” ( 1 752) H um e w ro te “ N oth in g i s m ore usu al, a m ong s ta te s w hic h h av e m ad e s o m e a d van ce s i n c o m merc e , th an . . . t o c o n sid er a ll t r a d in g s ta te s as t h eir r iv a ls .” 153 I n t h e la te n in ete en th c e n tu ry G usta v v on S ch m olle r e x p re sse d t h is m ore f o rc e fu lly . “C om merc ia l c o m petit io n, e v en in tim es n om in ally o f p eace , d eg en era te d in to a s ta te o f u ndecla re d hostilit y : it p lu nged n atio ns in to o ne w ar a fte r a n oth er, a n d g av e a ll w ars a tu rn in th e d ir e ctio n o f tr a d e, i n dustr y , a n d c o lo nia l g ain . . . . ” 154 To J o sia h C hild w ho b eca m e g overn or o f th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y in 1 681, th e e sse n tia l ch ara cte ris tic o f t h e D utc h m odel w as i t s p ecu lia r i n te g ra tio n o f s ta te a n d c a p it a l. A t t h e t o p o f C hild ’s lis t o f r e aso ns f o r D utc h e co nom ic s u cce ss “ w as t h e f a ct t h at D utc h C ouncils o f S ta te , t h e l a w -m ak in g bo die s, w ere c o m po se d o f tr a d in g m erc h an ts w ho h ad liv ed a b ro ad m ost o f th eir liv es a n d w ho h ad gre at p ra ctic a l a n d th eo re tic a l k now le d ge o f c o m merc ia l m atte rs.” 155 I n Obse rv a tio n s u pon th e U nit e d Pro v in ce s o f th e N eth erla nd s ( 1 673), S ir W illia m T em ple w ould lik ew is e n ote th is p artic u la r f e atu re o f th e D utc h R ep u blic ; a m ong i t s s tr e n gth s, h e c la im s, w as “ [a ] G overn m en t m an ag ’d e it h er b y m en t h at tr a d e, o r w hose F am ilie s h av e r is e n b y it , o r w ho h av e t h em se lv es s o m e I n te re st g oin g in o th er m en ’s Tra ffiq u e, o r w ho a re b o rn a n d b re d in T ow ns, T he so ul a n d b eein g w here o f c o nsis ts w holly in tr a d e.” 156 In oth er w ord s, th e V O C an d it s pre d ece sso r co m pan ie s “ty pif ie d th e hig h deg re e of in te ra ctio n o f ru lin g o lig arc h y w it h p riv a te e n te rp ris e w hic h c h ara cte riz e d m uch , if n ot m ost, o f D utc h overse as c o m merc e .” 157 T he V O C w as “ th e c re atio n o f th e D utc h s ta te a s m uch a s o f th e m erc h an ts who h ad a ctu ally o pen ed u p t h e E ast I n dia t r a ffic ,” 158 a n d, l ik e i t s l a te r, A tla n tic , c o unte rp art, t h e W est In dia C om pan y, “ in tim ate ly e n tw in ed ” w it h th e c o untr y ’s “ re g en t o lig arc h y.” 159 I n s h ort, th e n ex u s betw een s ta te a n d c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as a lt o geth er m ore d ir e ct h ere th an a n yth in g r e fle cte d in th e “str o ng s o cia l a n d c o m merc ia l t ie s b etw een t h e m erc h an ts a n d f in an cie rs o f t h e C it y o f L ondon a n d t h e Brit is h s ta te a n d a ris to cra cy ” 160 t h at w ere c o ev al w it h i t . The sh eer effic ie n cy of D utc h ca p it a l ste m med fr o m th e re m ark ab le effic ie n cy of it s sh ip pin g in dustr y , t h e m assiv e c o nce n tr a tio n o f c a p it a l i n A m ste rd am ’s e x ch an ge-b an k, e sta b lis h ed i n 1 609 ( o ne early e ig hte en th -c e n tu ry e stim ate p u t t h e b an k’s h old in gs a t a ro und t h re e h undre d m illio n g uild ers), 161 th e t e ch nic a l s o ph is tic a tio n a n d f le x ib ilit y o f t h e D utc h f in e-c lo th i n dustr y , 162 a n d t h e “ so ph is tic a tio n o f Dutc h m eth ods an d te ch nolo gy” 163 m ore g en era lly . B ut b ey ond th ese fa cto rs, all esse n tia l, w as a co m merc ia l s tr a te g y d efin ed b y it s s in gle -m in ded c o nce n tr a tio n o n t h e r ic h t r a d es o f E uro pe a n d A sia , by f a r-re ach in g v ertic a l in te g ra tio n in to s o urc e -m ark ets a n d, m ost s tr ik in gly , b y th e s h eer s c a le o f it s Asia n tr a d e n etw ork 164 ( u nm atc h ed b y th e E nglis h ) 165 a n d th e w ay th e V O C w as a b le to in te g ra te it s lo ca l, in te r-A sia n t r a d e in to a la rg ely s e lf – c o nta in ed if e x p an din g c ir c u la tio n o f c a p it a l t h at m in im iz e d th e n eed f o r p ay m en ts i n s ilv er. 166 I n m ost w ay s, it w as t h e A sia n p art o f t h is s tr a te g y t h at s h ow ed ju st how m uch t h e D utc h e n tr e p ô t w as h arn esse d t o t h e a ctu al m ach in ery o f t h e D utc h s ta te , 167 s in ce D utc h co m merc e in A sia w as “ h eav ily a rm ed ” f r o m t h e o uts e t. 168 B y 1 623, t h e D utc h h ad n in ety s h ip s in t h e East I n die s a n d t w o t h ousa n d r e g ula r t r o ops p o ste d i n t w en ty f o rts ! 169 Ralp h D av is ex p la in ed w hy D utc h sh ip pin g w as m ore effic ie n t. B efo re th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry Dutc h s h ip bu ild ers d id n ot h av e to lo ok o ut fo r th e d efe n sib ilit y o f th eir s h ip s b u t s im ply c a rry in g ca p acit y a n d c o st o f o pera tio n. “ T hey e v olv ed h ull fo rm s th at m ax im is e d c a rg o s p ace in r e la tio n to overa ll d im en sio ns.” B eca u se th ey w ere fla t- b o tto m ed , “ th ey d ra w e n ot s o e m uch w ate r a s o ur s h ip s do,” w ro te t h e E nglis h e x p lo re r G eo rg e W ay m outh i n 1 609, “ . . . a n d t h ere fo re m ust h av e le ss M asts , Say le s, T ack lin g a n d A nch ors, t h an o urs h av e; and a re th ere fo re a ble to s a yle w it h o n e th ir d p a rt o f m en le ss th an o u rs , o r th er a bou ts .” “ T hus, b y th e a d van ta g e th ey g ay n o f u s in b u rd en , a n d b y th e c h arg e th ey sa v e in m arrin ers w ag es, an d v ic tu als , th ey are ab le to ca rry th eir fr a ig ht b ette r ch eap th an wee.” 170 Wit h in E uro pe a n d l a rg e p arts o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean , b arte r w as w id ely u se d a s a m erc a n tile s tr a te g y beca u se it w as alw ays “ m ore p ro fit a b le t o t r a d ers t o e x p o rt g oods r a th er t h an m oney .” 171 H ow ev er, in Asia th e c ru cia l c o nstr a in t o n E uro pean tr a d e, a s th e P ortu guese ra p id ly d is c o vere d , w as E uro pe’s “in ab ilit y t o s u pply w este rn p ro ducts a t p ric e s t h at w ould g en era te a l a rg e e n ough d em an d” t o p ro vid e th e n ece ssa ry r e v en ue fo r th e p u rc h ase o f A sia n g oods. “ T he o nly m ajo r it e m th at E uro pe w as in a po sit io n to p ro vid e A sia [w it h ] w as p re cio us m eta ls .” 172 (E ven d ow n to th e e n d o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry , “tr e asu re ” acco unte d fo r 70 to 90 perc e n t of th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y’s to ta l ex p o rts .) 173 T he re su rg en ce o f eco nom ic co nflic t b etw een S pain an d th e D utc h in 1621 an d th e em barg o o n D utc h sh ip pin g in Ib eria n p o rts 174 w ere th ere fo re p o te n tia lly d is a str o us to co ntin ued Dutc h ex p an sio n in A sia , b eca u se th ey ch oked th e tr a n sfe r o f S pan is h A m eric a n b u llio n to th e Neth erla n ds a n d c re ate d a n e n dem ic sh orta g e o f sp ecie th ere ; th e V O C in p artic u la r re q u ir e d “ an im men se re g ula r in pu t o f b u llio n to se ttle it s b ala n ce s in th e E ast In die s.” 175 In ste ad o f se ek in g in fu sio ns o f c a p it a l f r o m A m ste rd am , t h e V O C’s g overn or-g en era l a t B ata v ia , J a n P ie te rsz o on C oen , ev olv ed a c o m merc ia l s tr a te g y o r “ m aste r p la n ” t h at e n co ura g ed t h e D utc h t o p artic ip ate ex te n siv ely i n th e t r a d e o f t h e I n dia n O ce an . 176 N o o th er E uro pean c o m merc ia l p o w er d id t h is o n q u it e t h e s a m e s c a le or w it h th e so ph is tic a tio n an d ru th le ssn ess dem onstr a te d by th e D utc h th ro ugh m ost of th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry . W it h th eir p re co cio us b ase in T aiw an , th ey c o m man ded a m ajo r sh are o f th e Nag asa k i tr a d e ( b asic a lly , a n e x ch an ge o f C hin ese s ilk y arn fo r J a p an ese s ilv er), w hic h m ean t th at a la rg e p art o f th eir A sia n o pera tio ns c o uld b e fin an ce d w it h J a p an ese silv er a n d, to a le sse r d eg re e, Chin ese g old . “ In 1 652, f o r e x am ple , t h e V O C e x p o rte d f r o m N ag asa k i 1 ,5 55,8 50 g uild ers ( e q u iv ale n t to 1 7,0 22 k gs.) o f J a p an ese s ilv er” o f w hic h l e ss t h an 9 p erc e n t a rriv ed a t t h e C om pan y’s h ead qu arte rs in B ata v ia , t h e r e m ain der e n din g u p i n C hin a. 177 Yet b u llio n s to ck s w ere n ev er e n ough t o r e so lv e t h e p ro ble m o f f in an cin g c o m merc ia l a ccu m ula tio n in A sia n m ark ets , a n d th e V O C w ould e v en tu ally c re ate a v ast c o ntin en ta l s y ste m o f b arte r w hic h , re d uce d to it s s im ple st e le m en ts , e m bo die d a n e x ch an ge o f I n donesia n s p ic e s f o r I n dia n te x tile s. T his is th e s e n se i n w hic h “ th e s a le s o f s p ic e s f o rm ed t h e b asis o f C om pan y e x p an sio n i n o th er s p h ere s o f t r a d e in A sia ” 178 a n d t h e r e aso n w hy t h e d ir e cto rs c o uld s ta te i n 1 648, “ T he c o untr y t r a d e a n d t h e p ro fit f r o m it are th e s o u l o f th e C om pa ny w hic h m ust b e lo ok ed a fte r c a re fu lly .” 179 T he C om pan y b eca m e a n A sia n tr a d er o n a l a rg e s c a le , 180 w it h m ajo r p o sit io ns a t o ne t im e o r a n oth er i n e v ery th in g f r o m C hin ese s u gar an d J a p an ese s ilv er t o J a p an ese c o pper, s p ic e s f r o m t h e A rc h ip ela g o, i n dig o f r o m B ay an a a n d G uja ra t, co tto n c lo th fr o m th e C oro m an del, p ep per fr o m M ala b ar, c in nam on fr o m C ey lo n, ra w silk , D acca muslin s a n d o piu m f r o m B en gal, s ilk f r o m P ersia , c o ffe e f r o m M och a, a n d s o o n. I n 1 619 w hen C oen se n t h is b lu ep rin t o f th e A sia n tr a d e to th e d ir e cto rs in A m ste rd am , th e C om pan y alr e ad y h ad a “p erm an en tly c ir c u la tin g c a p it a l” o f b etw een ƒ 2.5 a n d ƒ 3.5 m illio n i n t h e E ast I n die s a n d C oen w an te d more . 181 A fte r 1 647 th e r e su m ed f lo w o f S pan is h s ilv er to A m ste rd am r e v erse d th e d eclin e o f b u llio n re m it ta n ce s t o t h e e ast, 182 a n d b y t h e m id dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e E ast I n dia f le et w as r e tu rn in g h om e w it h ca rg oes w orth b etw een f if te en a n d t w en ty m illio n g uild ers, r o ughly e q u iv ale n t t o t h e c o m bin ed v alu e of th e C ad iz a n d S m yrn a fle ets ! 183 B y 1 673 S ir W illia m T em ple w ould r e fe r to th e “ v astn ess o f th e Sto ck tu rn ’d w holly to th at T ra d e” a n d to th e V O C “ en gro ssin g th e w hole C om merc e o f th e E ast- In die s.” 184 Ren ew ed a cce ss t o S pan is h s ilv er in t h e la te 1 640s a n d a b o om in L eid en ’s t e x tile in dustr y t r ig gere d by c o nversio n t o t h e e x p en siv e f a b ric s k now n a s c a m le ts a n d la ken m ean t r a p id D utc h d om in atio n o f Med it e rra n ean m ark ets , 185 w it h T urk ey n ow a b so rb in g a t h ir d o f L eid en ’s o utp u t. F or t h e E nglis h t h is sp elle d a s u dden c ris is a s “ m assiv e q u an tit ie s o f f in e g oods b eg an t o b e lo ad ed o n t o D utc h v esse ls a t Liv orn o f o r th e E nglis h a s w ell a s f o r th e D utc h m ark et.” 186 I t w as th is “ su dden m arit im e c ris is ” th at fo rm ed th e “ b ack gro und o f th e f ir st th oro ughly w ork ed o ut p ie ce o f E nglis h p ro te ctiv e le g is la tio n— th e N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 651— an d o f t h e F ir st A nglo -D utc h W ar.” 187 T he o rd in an ce o f 1 651 e sta b lis h ed a m odel fo r th e tig hte r N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 660, w hic h “ re m ain ed a t th e h eart o f E nglis h m arit im e po lic y f o r n early t w o c e n tu rie s,” p ro vid in g t h at “ all g oods im po rte d t o E ngla n d s h ould c o m e d ir e ctly fr o m t h eir p la ce o f p ro ductio n ( th us e lim in atin g t h e D utc h e n tr e p o t) ” a n d t h at “ n o f o re ig n ( i.e . D utc h ) sh ip s s h ould t r a d e w it h E nglis h c o lo nie s.” 188 T he y ears f r o m 1 651 t o 1 672 h av e b een d esc rib ed a s “ th e peak o f A nglo -D utc h c o m merc ia l riv alr y .” 189 H ow ev er, fr o m th e m id -1 660s C olb ert’s m erc a n tilis m beca m e th e p iv ot o f a n ew str u ggle fo r M ed it e rra n ean d om in an ce , th is tim e b etw een F ra n ce an d Holla n d, w it h th e F re n ch ta rif fs o f 1667 u nle ash in g a co m merc ia l w ar in w hic h C olb ert’s “ cle ar obje ctiv e w as t o c a p tu re t h e r ic h t r a d es,” w re stin g c o ntr o l f r o m t h e D utc h . 190 B y t h e 1 690s t h e F re n ch co uld m ak e r a p id in ro ad s in to th e O tto m an m ark et, a n d b y 1 701 w ere s e llin g m ore fin e c lo th th ere th an t h e D utc h . 191 T he D utc h h ad d om in ate d S m yrn a f o r m ost o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . 192 A s la te a s 1680 s ilv er r e m it ta n ce s t o t h e L ev an t w ere r u nnin g a t w ell o ver t w o m illio n g uild ers a y ear. 193 I n 1 675 th e m ajo rit y o f E uro pean s in S m yrn a w ere r e p o rte d t o b e D utc h . 194 H ow ev er, b etw een 1 688 a n d 1 719 th e n um ber o f D utc h m erc h an t h ouse s t h ere f e ll d ra stic a lly f r o m ca . tw en ty -fiv e t o o nly s ix , 195 c le arin g th e w ay f o r t h e o verw helm in g F re n ch d om in atio n t h at c h ara cte riz e d t h e L ev an t f o r t h e g re ate r p art o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry . R ic h elie u an d C olb ert re fle cte d id eas th at o vertly alig ned th e in te re sts o f co m merc ia l ca p it a l to th ose o f th e sta te . In th e w ord s o f th e F re n ch d ip lo m at N ic o la s M esn ag er, Ric h elie u “ d id n ot f in d a n y m ean s m ore e ffe ctiv e t o in cre ase t h e p o w er o f t h e k in g a n d t h e w ealt h o f th e s ta te t h an t o i n cre ase n av ig atio n a n d c o m merc e .” 196 Much of th e pré cis ab o ve is base d on Jo nath an Isra el’s tig htly -a rg ued his to ry of th e D utc h co m merc ia l s y ste m , w hic h e n ds b y s u ggestin g th at “ th e b asic r e aso n fo r th e d ecis iv e d eclin e o f th e Dutc h w orld -tr a d in g s y ste m in t h e 1 720s a n d 1 730s w as t h e w av e o f n ew -sty le in dustr ia l m erc a n tilis m whic h s w ep t p ra ctic a lly t h e e n tir e c o ntin en t f r o m a ro und 1 720.” 197 A “ co m pre h en siv e i n te rv en tio nis m ” to ok h old o f n orth ern E uro pe, w it h fa ta l c o nse q u en ce s fo r D utc h e x p o rt m ark ets a n d in dustr ie s. 198 Wit h in E uro pe, th e D utc h ric h tr a d es w ere “ d ev asta te d ” d urin g th ose d eca d es, an d in In dia th e Englis h E ast I n dia C om pan y “ h ad d ecis iv ely o verta k en t h e D utc h ” i n m ost p arts o f t h e c o untr y w here th ey w ere p re se n t b y 1 740. 199 T he esse n tia l v it a lit y o f th e se v en te en th -c e n tu ry en tr e p ô t h ad b een la rg ely d estr o yed b y t h e m id dle o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 200 EN GLA N D’S R IS E T O D OM IN AN CE In E ngla n d th e “ co nsc io us u se o f sta te p o w er fo r c o m merc ia l e n ds” 201 fir st c a m e to th e fo re in th e re v olu tio nary d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , ro ughly a w hole c e n tu ry afte r th e Eliz a b eth an c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n b eg an . T hat e x p an sio n, a s B re n ner s h ow ed , w as d riv en b y t h e r a p id gro w th o f th e im po rt tr a d es a n d h ad n oth in g to d o w it h E nglis h c lo th m erc h an ts lo okin g fo r n ew mark ets . 202 T he re m ark ab le fe atu re of th e im po rt tr a d es of th e la te six te en th ce n tu ry is th eir in te rlo ck in g str u ctu re , w it h th e sa m e g ro ups o f en tr e p re n eu rs d om in atin g th e v ario us co m pan ie s flo ate d b etw een 1 573 a n d 1 592. 203 E nglis h o verse as c o m merc e w as th us h ig hly c o nce n tr a te d a n d o f co urse re m ain ed so a s lo ng a s it w as o rg an iz e d a s a c lu ste r o f c o m merc ia l m onopo lie s ru le d b y a han dfu l of big L ondon m erc h an ts . A “clo se -k nit gro up of V en ic e C om pan y m erc h an ts w it h wid esp re ad o pera tio ns” h elp ed o rg an iz e t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 592, a n d t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y i n tu rn , w hen i t w as f o unded i n 1 599, “ w as d om in ate d b y t h e L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts .” S ev en o f t h e orig in al fif te en d ir e cto rs w ere L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts . 204 “ L ev an t C om pan y m em bers p ro vid ed betw een o ne-fo urth a n d o ne-th ir d o f t h e t o ta l f u nd in veste d in t h e f ir st, t h ir d , a n d f o urth jo in t s to ck s” of t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y. 205 B y 1 630 t h e t o ta l c o m bin ed v alu e o f I ta lia n , L ev an tin e, a n d E ast I n dia n im po rts w as £ 527,0 00, in 1 634 £ 689,0 00, a n d in 1 669 £ 1,2 08,0 00, sh ow in g w here th e d ynam is m o f Engla n d’s tr a d e la y fo r m uch o f th e fir st h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry in to th e e arly y ears o f th e Resto ra tio n. N oth in g b ette r d em onstr a te s t h e d om in an ce o f t h e i m po rt t r a d es ( in b o th E ngla n d a n d t h e Neth erla n ds) t h ro ughout t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h an t h e f a ct t h at ex ports w ere v ery l a rg ely a f u nctio n of th e n eed to fin an ce th ese s u bsta n tia l a n d r is in g le v els o f im po rts ; fo r e x am ple , E nglis h m erc h an t im po rte rs “ in cre ase d t h eir c lo th e x p o rts in o rd er t o p a y f o r in cre a se d im ports , a n d t h ey g en era lly f e ll f a r beh in d.” 206 I t w as t h is t h at c a u se d m ajo r c o nce rn a b o ut t h e b ala n ce o f t r a d e i n E ngla n d. The im po rt b o om o f th e se co nd q u arte r o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry 207 fu ele d a ste ad y in cre ase in re ex ports f r o m t h e 1 630s o nw ard s. 208 I n f a ct, t h e g ro w th o f a r e ex p o rt t r a d e w as t h e c h ie f in novatio n o f th e l a te r S tu art p erio d 209 a n d b o und u p b o th w it h t h e m onopo ly c re ate d b y t h e N av ig atio n A cts a s w ell as th e n ew m ass p ro ductio n in dustr ie s lin ked to th e c o lo nia l tr a d es in p la n ta tio n p ro duce . 210 B etw een th em i m po rts a n d r e ex p o rts s u sta in ed a n ew , g ig an tic w av e o f e x p an sio n o f E nglis h m erc h an t s h ip pin g, esp ecia lly i n t h e y ears 1 660– 89. 211 N ot o nly d id t h e L ev an t t r a d e r a n k h ig h i n t h e o verse as c o m merc e o f Resto ra tio n L ondon, 212 b u t th e s a m e y ears s a w a n ear-d oublin g o f E ngla n d’s p la n ta tio n to nnag e ( th e dead w eig ht to nnag e o f th is sh ip pin g se cto r). 213 T obacco im po rts h ad re g is te re d a fiv efo ld in cre ase betw een 1 620 a n d 1 640, l e ad in g t h e w ay t o s u gar. 214 L ondon’s s u gar i m po rts t r e b le d b etw een t h e 1 660s an d 1 680s, w it h s ix h undre d im po rte rs a ctiv e in t h e t r a d e in 1 686. 215 I n t h e s a m e y ear t h ere w ere 1 ,2 83 merc h an ts tr a d in g to th e W est In die s, o f w hom tw en ty -e ig ht, w it h tu rn over ex ce ed in g £ 10,0 00, acco unte d f o r ju st o ver 5 0 p erc e n t o f t o ta l im po rts b y v alu e. 216 T hey w ere am on g th e b ig gest c o lo nia l merc h an ts a n d c o uld “ accu m ula te s u ffic ie n t c a p it a l t o d iv ersif y in vestm en t a ro und t h eir c o re b u sin ess in to sh ip -o w nin g, jo in t- sto ck s, in su ra n ce , w harf- le ase s, a n d in dustr y .” 217 L ondon a cco unte d fo r 8 0 perc e n t o f c o lo nia l im po rts a n d 8 5 p erc e n t o f a ll re ex p o rts ca . 1700, a n d in th e la st d eca d es o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry “ E ngla n d e sta b lis h ed a la rg er sta k e in th e A tla n tic th an a n y o th er c o untr y in North ern E uro pe.” 218 T obacco , su gar, an d In dia n ca lic o es acco unte d fo r th e bu lk of E ngla n d’s re ex p o rts a n d p re fig ure d t h e m ass m ark ets o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 219 B y 1 700 t h e E nglis h p la n te rs i n Barb ad os, J a m aic a , a n d th e L eew ard s w ere su pply in g c lo se to h alf th e su gar c o nsu m ed in W este rn Euro pe. 220 Of t h e 1 70 L ondon m erc h an ts c la ssif ie d b y Z ah ed ie h a s “ b ig c o lo nia l m erc h an ts ,” t w o-th ir d s a re s a id to h av e h ad a “ su bsta n tia l tr a d e in th e C arib bean .” 221 T hat w ould m ak e a ro und 1 10 m erc h an ts w it h su bsta n tia l s ta k es, w hic h m ak es t h e A tla n tic t r a d es v astly m ore a cce ssib le t h an a n y o f t h e t r a d es t o t h e east, L ev an tin e, o r E ast I n dia n . B y it s c h arte r o f 1 592, th e L ev an t C om pan y w as r e str ic te d to fif ty – th re e p erso ns, a n d r e cru it m en t t o t h e L ev an tin e t r a d e r e q u ir e d b o th w ealt h a n d f a m ily c o nnectio ns. 222 The ric h est an d m ost activ e tr a d ers w ere , in B re n ner’s w ord s, “ jo in ed in a ra m if ie d n etw ork o f in te rlo ck in g fa m ily r e la tio nsh ip s, th e m em bers o f w hic h c o ntr o lle d a m ajo r s h are o f th e tr a d e.” 223 I n th e E ast I n dia C om pan y, th e la rg est o f th e jo in t- sto ck v en tu re s, tw en ty -fo ur d ir e cto rs “ cla im ed th at th ey h eld m ore sto ck th an fo ur h undre d o f th e g en era lit y .” 224 A gain , it is u se fu l to co nce p tu aliz e London’s c o m merc ia l c a p it a l in te rm s o f “ cla sse s o f c a p it a l,” w it h th e e astw ard -tr a d in g c o m bin e th at fo rm ed t h e h eart o f L ondon’s c o m merc ia l e sta b lis h m en t 225 f o rm in g a s u bsta n tia lly m ore p o w erfu l l a y er th an th e “ m id dlin g s tr a tu m ” fr o m w hic h th e v ast m ajo rit y o f c o lo nia l m erc h an ts d eriv ed . 226 O n th e oth er h an d, in te rm s o f c o m merc ia l c o nce n tr a tio n, th e tw o tr a d e se cto rs w ere n ot v astly d if fe re n t. Durin g 1 627– 1635, w hen th e tr a d e to th e L ev an t ra n b etw een £ 200,0 00 a n d £ 300,0 00 a y ear, so m e tw en ty -fo ur Lev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts co ntr o lle d 54 perc e n t of th e tr a d e, 227 w hic h is not dra m atic a lly h ig her t h an t h e 5 0 p erc e n t s h are c o ntr o lle d b y t h e b ig gest t w en ty -e ig ht m erc h an ts t r a d in g to th e W est I n die s w ho w ere m en tio ned p re v io usly . R eg ard le ss o f w heth er tr a d es w ere r e se rv ed o r open , e co nom ic c o nce n tr a tio n w ork ed i n t h e s a m e w ay . In t h e M ed it e rra n ean in t h e e arly p art o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry E ngla n d’s m ain c o m merc ia l r iv als , th e V en etia n s a n d t h e F re n ch , b o th l o st g ro und r a p id ly . T he V en etia n s w ere “ u nderso ld a n d d riv en o ff th e s ta g e,” th eir a g en ts c o m pla in in g o f th e lo w p ric e o f th e c lo th s e n t o ut b y th e E nglis h . 228 B y th e 1620s L iv orn o h ad e m erg ed a s t h e p rim e c o m merc ia l b ase f o r E ngla n d’s t r a d e w it h s o uth ern I ta ly a n d th e L ev an t. “ In 1 629,” W ood re p o rts , “ th ere w as sa id to b e fo ur m illio n c ro w ns w orth o f E nglis h goods l y in g o n t h e q u ay s o f L eg horn ( L iv orn o).” 229 I n The T re a su re o f T ra ffic k e ( 1 641) L ew is R oberts note d th at a m illio n d uca ts in c a sh w ere e x p o rte d fr o m L iv orn o a n nu ally . 230 T he “ m ost m odern a n d fu lly e q u ip ped p o rt i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 231 i t p la y ed a c ru cia lly im po rta n t p art in t h e L ev an t t r a d e a s a c e n te r w here E nglis h e x p o rts a n d re ex p o rts c o uld b e c o nverte d in to c u rre n cy . 232 T hat th e L ev an t Com pan y c o uld r e p eate d ly a tta ck th e E ast I n dia C om pan y fo r it s e x p o rt o f b u llio n to I n dia s u ggests th at th e L ev an t tr a d e it s e lf w as la rg ely a b arte r tr a d e, th at is , o ne w here th e b u lk o f im po rts w as fin an ce d b y t h e e x p o rt o f c lo th , t in , s p ic e s, a n d s o o n. T hom as M un c la im ed , “ O f a ll E uro pe t h is n atio n dro ve th e m ost p ro fit a b le tr a d e to T urk ey b y r e aso n o f th e v ast q u an tit ie s o f b ro ad c lo th , tin , & c., whic h w e e x p o rte d th it h er; en ou gh to p u rc h ase a ll th e w are s w e w ante d in T urk ey — where a s a b a la nce in mon ey is p a id b y th e o th er n atio n s tr a d in g th it h er .” 233 O n t h e o th er h an d, in t h e “ cu rra n t is la n ds” w here th e E nglis h p u rc h ase d a b o ut t w o-th ir d s o f t h e c ro p, t h ere w as “ p ra ctic a lly n o m ark et f o r E nglis h g oods an d p ay m en t h ad to b e m ad e in r e ad y m oney .” 234 I n 1 629 th e V en etia n a m bassa d or r e p o rte d th at th e Lev an t C om pan y, “ h av in g a c o nsid era b le c a p it a l, bu y u p b efo re h and th e p ro duce o f th e p o ore st o f th e in hab it a n ts o f th ese is la n ds . . . so th at fo r th em th e p ric e s a re a lm ost a lw ays th e sa m e .” 235 A dvan ce pay m en ts w ere u se d t o e n su re l o w s ta b le p ric e s. I n I ta ly , E nglis h m erc h an ts r a n a d efic it o n t h e t r a d e i n goods w it h a ll I ta lia n s ta te s th ro ugh m ost o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , w hic h th ey c o uld s u cce ssfu lly tr a n sfo rm in to a tr a d e su rp lu s th an ks to th e su rp lu s on “in vis ib le s,” th at is , net earn in gs fr o m sh ip pin g, 236 in su ra n ce , a n d th e c o m mis sio ns c h arg ed o n E nglis h e x p o rts . 237 It w as th is co m merc ia l str a te g y t h at w ould l a te r f o rm t h e h eart o f t h e C it y ’s e co nom ic d om in an ce i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . The L ev an t C om pan y w as n ot a j o in t- sto ck , m em bers t r a d ed i n dep en den tly o n a “ re g ula te d ” b asis . 238 Facto rs w ere r e cru it e d a s a p pre n tic e s o n s e v en -y ear t e rm s, a fte r w hic h t h ey w ere p aid a c o m mis sio n o n all g oods th ey h an dle d th at v arie d fr o m 2 to 4 p erc e n t. O f c o urse , a s w it h th e E ast I n dia C om pan y’s se rv an ts in In dia , “ fa cto rs m ad e a g ood d eal o f p ro fit fr o m th eir o w n p erso nal tr a d in g.” 239 W ood’s His to ry o f t h e L ev a nt C om pa ny s u ggests t h at t h e t h re e f a cto rie s a t C onsta n tin ople , S m yrn a, a n d A le p po “re ach ed th eir g re ate st p ro sp erit y a n d s iz e in th e la tte r h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry .” 240 H ow ev er, th e b u lk o f t h e c o m merc e w as c o nce n tr a te d o nly in t h ose f a cto rie s a n d t h ere w as a s tr o ng t e n den cy t o dis c o ura g e e x p an sio n a t o th er tr a d in g s ta tio ns. 241 B y th e 1 680s b o th th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a n d th e Fre n ch h ad b eco m e m ajo r so urc e s o f c o m petit io n. T he L ev an t m erc h an ts w ould c o m pla in b it te rly ab o ut t h e im po rt o f I n dia n r a w s ilk a n d s ilk g oods b y t h e f o rm er, b u t “ th e c ro w n c o nsis te n tly b ack ed th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a g ain st it s c rit ic s.” 242 M ean w hile , C olb ert’s r e v iv al o f th e L an gued oc c lo th in dustr y m ad e t h e F re n ch e v en m ore f o rm id ab le r iv als , a s t h ey p ro ved t o b e f o r t h e D utc h a s w ell. B y th e e n d o f t h e c e n tu ry , F re n ch i m po rts f r o m t h e L ev an t w ere s o arin g, a n d b y t h e 1 720s s ig ns o f a r a p id declin e b eca m e v is ib le i n t h e f o rtu nes o f t h e E nglis h c o m pan y. 243 The eig hte en th ce n tu ry sa w th e decim atio n o f E nglis h tr a d e in th e L ev an t, 244 th e re su lt b o th o f Fra n ce ’s d om in atio n o f t h e t e x tile m ark et a n d o f t h e C om pan y’s o w n f a ta l p o lic y “ to c u rb a tte m pts a t ex p an sio n a n d t o d is c o ura g e t h e o pen in g o f n ew m ark ets .” 245 I t w as le ft t o t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y t o note , in 1 696, “ it h as a lw ay s b een o bse rv ed t h at t h e p artic u la r t r a d ers in a r e g ula te d c o m pan y c o nte n t th em se lv es t o g o t o a c e rta in k now n p la ce i n t r a d e, e v er t a k in g a m easu re o f t h eir p ro fit a n d l o ss b efo re th ey g o o ut . . . .” 246 I n a d dit io n t o w hic h , t h ro ughout t h e la te e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t r a d e w as h am pere d by a C om pan y r e g ula tio n f o rc in g m erc h an ts t o m ak e a ll p u rc h ase s i n t h e L ev an t b y t h e b arte r o f g oods ex p o rte d fr o m E ngla n d a n d fo rb id din g th e e x p o rt o f c o in o r b u llio n to T urk ey , w here as F re n ch a n d Dutc h m erc h an ts “ca rrie d la rg e q u an tit ie s o f co in to th e L ev an t,” w here lo ca l tr a d ers p re fe rre d outr ig ht s a le s t o b arte r. 247 B y t h e 1 730s o nly s o m e f if ty o r s ix ty L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts r e m ain ed activ e t r a d ers, “ an d i t w as w id ely b elie v ed t h is h an dfu l o f m onopo lis ts d elib era te ly c u rb ed a ll i n it ia tiv e, en te rp ris e , a n d e x p an sio n in p u rsu it o f h ig h p ro fit s o n a lim it e d b u sin ess.” 248 A gain , th e C om pan y’s fa cto rs w ere c ru cia lly d ep en den t o n J e w is h b ro kers in th e O tto m an m ark ets , b u t th e f e ar o f p o te n tia l co m petit io n fr o m th em s u sta in ed s tr o ng r e sis ta n ce to th e a d m is sio n o f J e w s to th e C om pan y. W hen th ey fin ally w ere ad m it te d (in th e 1750s) Je w is h m em bers o f th e C om pan y w ere ban ned fr o m em plo yin g f e llo w J e w s a s f a cto rs i n t h e L ev an t! 249 In th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry w ell o ver h alf th e se ab o rn e tr a d e b etw een E uro pe a n d th e M id dle E ast ca m e to b e c o ntr o lle d b y th e F re n ch m erc h an ts o f M arse ille s, 250 a n d F re n ch c o m petit io n w as w id ely ack now le d ged t o b e t h e m ain c a u se b eh in d t h e c o lla p se o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y. I f t h e M ed it e rra n ean had b een t h e s e m in al g ro und o f E ngla n d’s c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n i n t h e l a tte r p art o f E liz a b eth ’s r e ig n, by t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t h e d ecis iv e c e n te rs o f g ra v it y h ad f ir m ly s h if te d t o t h e A tla n tic a n d t h e E ast In die s. B y 1 750 a lm ost h alf o f E ngla n d’s m erc h an t f le et w as e n gag ed i n t h e t r a n sa tla n tic t r a d e. 251 F ro m th e 1 730s th ere w as a h uge in cre ase in th e v olu m e o f c a p it a l a d van ce d to th e c o lo nie s b y sp ecia lis t gro ups o f c o m mis sio n a g en ts . 252 J a m aic a n e sta te s tr ip le d in v alu e a n d p la n te rs lik e P ete r B eck fo rd co uld d ie le av in g fo rtu nes w orth £ 300,0 00. 253 S ugar b eg an to b e fin an ce d b y lo nger-te rm le n din g o n mortg ag e, a n d w hen H en ry L asc e lle s d ie d i n 1 753, h e h ad ca . £194,0 00 ( ste rlin g) o ut o n lo an t o c lie n ts in B arb ad os a n d Ja m aic a . 254 L asc e lle s h ad fin an ce d h is lo an s b y b o rro w in g fr o m L ondon b an k ers, whic h s h ow s u s th at N ew W orld s la v ery w as tig htly in te g ra te d in to fin an cia l a n d c o m merc ia l w eb s ce n te re d in L ondon. 255 B y a ro und 1 770 th e to ta l su m o w in g to L ondon m erc h an ts b y W est In dia n su gar p la n te rs w as i n t h e r e g io n o f s e v era l m illio n p o unds. 256 D oubtle ss t h e s a m e w as t r u e o f A m eric a n pla n te rs. I n 1 784 T hom as J e ffe rso n d esc rib ed t h em a s “ a sp ecie s o f p ro p erty a nnex ed t o c e rta in m erc a ntile hou se s in L on d on ”! 257 B y th e 1 770s th e A m eric a n c o lo nie s p ro vid ed 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit is h im po rts a n d to ok o ver 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit a in ’s d om estic e x p o rts . 258 The tr a n sfo rm atio n o f th e E ast In dia C om pan y fr o m a p u re ly co m merc ia l o rg an iz a tio n in to a “p o lit ic a l p o w er” 259 w as o f c o urse it s m ost d is tin ctiv e fe atu re h is to ric a lly . H ow ev er, a n in ord in ate str e ss o n w hat J o hn B re w er h as c a lle d t h e “ p riv atiz e d i m peria lis m o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y” 260 r u ns a double r is k , b o th o f d is tr a ctin g a tte n tio n f r o m t h e f a ct t h at t h e C om pan y w as a lw ay s r u n “ b y a g ro up of e x tr e m ely r ic h c a p it a lis ts ” 261 and o f fa ilin g to s e e, o r n ot s e ein g s u ffic ie n tly , th at it s tr a n sfo rm atio n fr o m a p u re ly c o m merc ia l e n tit y in to a n im peria lis t o ne r e d efin ed th e fr a m ew ork w it h in w hic h n ew fo rm s o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a l p ro lif e ra te d f r o m t h e e n d o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t o s p aw n t h e p o w erfu l co m merc ia l lo bbie s o f th e n in ete en th , s u ch a s th ose w hic h la y b eh in d th e O piu m W ars. I n th e p ag es th at f o llo w t h e f o cu s i s t h us o n t h e p u re ly c o m merc ia l o r c a p it a lis t a sp ects o f t h e C om pan y’s o pera tio ns sim ila r t o t h ose t h at K . N . C hau dh uri f o re g ro unded in h is s u bsta n tia l m onogra p h The T ra d in g W orld of A sia a nd t h e E ng lis h E ast I n d ia C om pa ny . The E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y w as a tig htly ce n tr a liz e d bu sin ess org an iz a tio n w here th e in vestm en t d ecis io ns w ere m ad e b y th e C ourt o f D ir e cto rs w ork in g th ro ugh th e c e n tr a l m an ag eria l co m mit te es in L ondon. C ap it a l su m s w ere assig ned to in div id ual “ fa cto rie s” fr o m L on d on . 262 T he bu sin ess m odel w as o f c o urse im po rt- d riv en , w hic h in tu rn im plie d ( a ) a m assiv e e x p o rt o f c a p it a l to fin an ce im po rts a n d ( b ) th e v it a l p art p la y ed b y th e r e -e x p o rt tr a d es “ in c lo sin g th e g ap th at w ould oth erw is e h av e o pen ed u p in B rit a in ’s v is ib le t r a d e b ala n ce .” 263 I n t h e E IC ’s c a se , c a p it a l e x p o rts t o ok th e fo rm , o verw helm in gly , o f p re cio us m eta ls , w hic h w ere p u rc h ase d in it ia lly in L ondon fr o m th e gold sm it h -b an kers an d la te r, fr o m th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , on th e co ntin en t (in C ad iz an d Am ste rd am ). 264 T he C om pan y’s A sia n im po rt p o rtf o lio w as “ so f in ely d if fe re n tia te d t h at it t o ok m ore th an t w o h undre d p ag es i n t h e L ed ger B ooks t o l is t t h em ,” 265 b u t b y a n d l a rg e i m po rts w ere d om in ate d by a fe w k ey c o m modit ie s su ch a s c o tto n a n d silk p ie ce g oods, ra w silk , p ep per, te a, a n d so o n. Dis tr ib u tio n a t t h e L ondon e n d t o ok t h e f o rm o f q u arte rly s a le s a tte n ded b y i n div id ual m em bers o f t h e Com pan y w ho w ere th em se lv es s u bsta n tia l e x p o rte rs a s w ell a s b y w hole sa le d eale rs fr o m H olla n d, Germ an y, a n d e ls e w here , 266 w it h o rd ers fo r fu tu re s u pplie s b ein g a d ju ste d o n th e b asis o f th e a ctu al pric e s r e ce iv ed a t t h ose a u ctio ns. At th e In dia n e n d, th e a d van ce c o ntr a cts h ad to b e m ad e in a n tic ip atio n o f th e e x act o rd ers a n d fin an cia l r e so urc e s t h at w ere t o c o m e f r o m E ngla n d. T he p o st- R esto ra tio n p erio d s a w c a lic o es r a p id ly gain in g in p o pu la rit y , a n d b y th e 1 680s th e C om pan y w as im po rtin g m ore th an a m illio n a n d a h alf pie ce s, w it h th e te x tile sh are o f to ta l im po rts e x ce ed in g 8 0 p erc e n t b y v alu e. 267 T o se cu re th is v ast su pply t h e C om pan y r e lie d o n s u bsta n tia l lo ca l m erc h an ts a ctin g a s b ro kers w it h t h e p o w er t o e n su re th at o rd ers w ould b e f u lf ille d o n t im e. “ [T ]h e C om pan y’s s e rv an ts a d voca te d t h e u se o f m id dle m en o n th e g ro und th at if th ey d ealt d ir e ctly w it h th e w eav ers, ‘a tt th e y eare s e n d, w hen w e e x p ecte d to b e in veste d o f o ur g oods, w e s h ould u ndoubte d ly c o m e s h orte o f h alf o ur q u an tit y e.’” 268 I n o th er w ord s, th e r is k o f d efa u lt b y t h e w eav ers w as s h if te d t o t h e s h ould ers o f t h e m erc h an ts . C hau dhuri n ote s, “ A ll co m merc ia l ris k s w ere to b e b o rn e b y th e In dia n m erc h an ts , a n d if th e la tte r m ad e a lo ss o n th e Com pan y’s b u sin ess t h ey w ere s till e x p ecte d t o c a rry o n c o ntr a ctin g f o r g oods a s b efo re .” 269 W eav ers, of co urse , re fu se d to w ork w it h out su bsta n tia l ad van ce s w hic h C hau dhuri co nfu sin gly ca lls th eir “w ork in g c a p it a l,” 270 w hen t h e a d van ce s, t h e ca pit a l l a id o ut o n l a b o r a n d o n r a w m ate ria ls , c a m e f r o m th e C om pan y. T he “ w ork in g c a p it a l” w as s tr ic tly th at o f th e C om pan y, s in ce th e d is b u rse m en ts o f ca sh m ad e th ro ugh th eir b ro kers (a n d la te r, m ore d ir e ctly th ro ugh th e ag en ts ca lle d gum ash ta s ) in volv ed a c ir c u la tio n o f t h at p art o f t h e C om pan y’s c a p it a l w hic h w en t i n to e n ab lin g t h e l a b o r p ro ce ss, in clu din g r e p ro ductio n o f w eav ers’ l a b o r p o w er. In th e 1 720s A le x an der H um e n ote d , “ T he E nglis h a n d D utc h , w ho a re th e g re ate st T ra d ers in th is co untr y (B en gal) , d o th eir b u sin ess w holly b y th eir B ro kers, w ho a re th eir p rin cip al M erc h an ts .” 271 Forw ard co ntr a cts w it h la rg e w hole sa le m erc h an ts w ere th e ru le b o th in th e C oro m an del an d in Ben gal, 272 w it h m erc h an ts w ho c o ntr a cte d fo r th e in vestm en t fr e q u en tly b o rro w in g “ la rg e su m s o f money to c a rry it o n” a n d w ealt h y b an kers a ctin g a s th eir g uara n to rs. 273 T he C om pan y w ould n’t alw ay s se cu re su ch g uara n te es. “ T he w ealt h y m erc h an ts liv in g in H ugli o r K asim baza r h ab it u ally re fu se d th e C om pan y’s dem an d fo r fin an cia l se cu rit y as th eir cre d it an d bu sin ess sta tu s w ere unim peach ab le .” 274 H um e s ta te s in t h e s a m e m em oir t h at t h e g re ate r t h e a d van ce t h e m ore c e rta in t h e Com pan y w as o f r e ce iv in g th e g oods o n tim e, w hic h is p ro bab ly w hy in B en gal th e g ro up k now n a s dad ni o r dad an m erc h an ts w ere u su ally p aid a s m uch a s 5 0 to 7 5 p erc e n t o f th e c o ntr a ct v alu e in ad van ce . 275 F ro m t h e 1 750s, w it h l a rg e p arts o f I n dia r e elin g u nder t h e i m pact o f t h e M ara th a i n cu rsio ns an d t h e d am ag e i n flic te d o n m erc a n tile f o rtu nes, t h e s u bsta n tia l m erc h an ts w ho a cte d a s b ro kers f o r t h e Com pan y f o und it le ss a n d le ss p o ssib le t o g uara n te e d eliv ery a n d t h e s y ste m b ro ke d ow n. T he dad an merc h an ts w it h dre w fr o m th e C om pan y’s tr a d e, th us fo rc in g it to e sta b lis h m ore d ir e ct c o ntr o l o ver pro duce rs, a d riv e th at c u lm in ate d in a s e rie s o f r e g ula tio ns ( b etw een 1 773 a n d 1 793) th at s o ught to re d uce w eav ers to th e sta tu s o f C om pan y em plo yees, w it h re str ic tio ns o n th eir m obilit y , tig hte r su perv is io n o f l o om s, a n d a m ore o vertly c o erc iv e u se o f d eb t. 276 I n deb te d ness b eca m e a n “ in te g ra l p art of p ro ductio n fo r th e C om pan y” in th e fin al d eca d es o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , an d ab sc o ndin g work ers w ere p u rsu ed r e m orse le ssly . 277 Dutc h e x p o rts fr o m th e C oro m an del r a n a t a lm ost tw o m illio n g uild ers b y th e la te 1 660s, 278 w hile to ta l E IC e x p o rts w ere o fte n i n e x ce ss o f £ 1 m illio n a y ear a c e n tu ry l a te r. 279 V olu m e p ro ductio n m ean t th at th e E uro pean c o m pan ie s d ealt w it h w hole c lu ste rs o f w eav in g v illa g es, e it h er o n th eir o w n o r more u su ally t h ro ugh t h eir b ro kers ( “ p rin cip al m erc h an ts ” ), o n a m odel b ro ad ly s im ila r t o t h e w id ely dis p erse d Verla g n etw ork s th at S outh G erm an co m merc ia l fir m s lik e th e F uggers h ad b u ilt th eir pro sp erit y o n in th e th ir te en th to s ix te en th c e n tu rie s. 280 F or m ost o f th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th ce n tu rie s th e C om pan ie s w ere cru cia lly dep en den t on lo ca l m erc h an t ca p it a lis ts 281 w ho had th e re so urc e s to ru n th eir o w n co m merc ia l n etw ork s an d ev en fin an ce p ro ductio n o n b eh alf o f th e Com pan y. B oth t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h u se d t h e b ig m erc h an ts o f K asim baza r f o r t h eir s ilk b u yin g in N orth B en gal. 282 B en gal silk , C oro m an del c a lic o es, A gra a n d B ay an a in dig o, e tc . w ere a ll, lik e Mala b ar p ep per, h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark ets ; f o r e x am ple , “ th e c o ntr a ct p ric e f o r s ilk w as a n o bje ct o f in te n se barg ain in g betw een th e (B en gal) m erc h an ts an d th e Euro pean tr a d in g co m pan ie s.” 283 How ev er, b y th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry th e c o m petit io n o f priv a te , m ostly E nglis h , m erc h an ts in je cte d a new d im en sio n in to th e c o m merc ia l d ynam ic s o f th e E ast I n dia C om pan y. B rit is h p riv ate c a p it a l a n d it s in volv em en t in th e c o m merc e o f I n dia s a w a s te ad y e x p an sio n in th e e arly p art o f th e e ig hte en th ce n tu ry an d th en a b ig ger an d m ore ra p id ex p an sio n in th e la te r eig hte en th ce n tu ry , fo llo w in g dev elo pm en ts th at qu ic k ly open ed th e in la n d tr a d e of B en gal to priv ate ca p it a l an d sa w th e co nte m po ra n eo us c a p tu re o f S ura t i n 1 759. Alr e ad y b y t h e l a te r s e v en te en th c e n tu ry ( th e 1 660s, i n f a ct) t h e C om pan y e x te n ded a “ w id e m easu re of o ffic ia l to le ra tio n” to th e p riv ate sh ip pin g th at e m erg ed in In dia n p o rts w it h siz e ab le E uro pean tr a d in g co m munit ie s over w hic h th e B rit is h had so m e co ntr o l. 284 M asu lip atn am (n ot a B rit is h se ttle m en t b u t a c o sm opo lit a n p o rt) , 285 M ad ra s a n d C alc u tta b eca m e, in tu rn , th e m ajo r h ubs o f a bu rg eo nin g “ co untr y tr a d e” th at w as p ro gre ssiv ely d om in ate d b y p riv ate c a p it a l. In th e c o nte x t o f Com pan y d om in an ce , t h e t e rm “ p riv ate c a p it a l” is o f c o urse a m biv ale n t, s in ce it w ould h av e t o c o ver th e p riv ate tr a d in g a ctiv it ie s o f o ffic ia ls lik e th e G overn ors o f M ad ra s w ho w ere b ig -tim e p riv ate tr a d ers a t th e s ta rt o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , o th er C om pan y s e rv an ts w it h c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th eir o w n, as w ell as th e g re ate r m ass o f so -c a lle d fr e e m erc h an ts w ho w ere en tir e ly o uts id e th e Com pan y. I n 1 681 c a m e th e C om pan y’s “ d ra m atic a n d s u dden d ecis io n to w it h dra w fr o m th e lo ca l tr a d e o f th e In dia n O ce an ,” 286 an d a p o te n tia lly v ast fie ld o pen ed u p fo r th e ex p an sio n o f n on- Com pan y c o m merc ia l c a p it a l, w here t h e m ain c o m petit io n s te m med n ot f r o m t h e C om pan y it s e lf b u t fr o m in dig en ous A sia n c a p it a ls t r a d in g t o t h e R ed S ea a n d t o m ark ets lik e A ch eh a n d t r a d in g b etw een th e m ain c o asta l re g io ns o f In dia . In th e tr a d e b etw een S ura t a n d B en gal, th e fr e e m erc h an ts w ho ev en tu ally gain ed co ntr o l of C alc u tta ’s sh ip pin g fa ce d “fo rm id ab le co m petit io n fr o m A sia n sh ip o w ners.” 287 Y et B rit is h d om in an ce o f In dia ’s c a rry in g tr a d e w as sw if t, a n d b y th e 1 730s A sia n – ow ned s h ip s h ad la rg ely c e ase d to tr a d e b etw een B en gal a n d S ura t. 288 B y th e 1 780s fr e e m erc h an ts were g ro w in g r a p id ly i n n um bers a n d w ealt h , 289 b eg an t o s u pply a l a rg e p art o f t h e C om pan y’s e x p o rts of t e x tile s ( in t h e D hak a ara ng s v astly m ore t h an e it h er t h e C om pan y o r it s C om merc ia l R esid en t) , 290 an d t o ok t h e le ad in o pen in g u p n ew a re as f o r t r a d e. 291 O ne u psh ot o f t h is s u rg e o f p riv ate c o m merc e was th at a s m uch a s ca . £15 m illio n c o uld b e s e n t h om e in r e m it ta n ce s o ver th e tw en ty -se v en y ears betw een 1 757 a n d 1 784. 292 B y t h e 1 790s t h e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f B en gal in dig o, m uch o f w hic h c a m e fr o m A wad h a n d f u rth er a fie ld , w as d om in ate d b y p riv ate m erc h an ts . 293 T heir c h ie f c o ntr ib u tio n t o t h e co m merc ia l h is to ry o f b o th B rit a in a n d I n dia w ere th e “ h ouse s o f a g en cy ” w hic h C alc u tta -b ase d f r e e merc h an ts w ere la rg ely r e sp o nsib le f o r e sta b lis h in g. I t w as th is la y er o f c a p it a l th at h elp ed to d estr o y th e m onopo ly o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y e arly i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . 294 The tr a n sa tla n tic tr a d es w ere ro ughly a ce n tu ry ah ead o f B rit is h p riv ate en te rp ris e in A sia in in novatin g t h e c o m mis sio n s y ste m a s t h e c h ie f m eth od o f t r a d in g t y pic a l o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a ls i n t h at se cto r. T he r e aso n s h ould b e o bv io us: p riv ate c a p it a l w as d om in an t in t h e c o lo nia l t r a d es b y t h e m ain part o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , in deed it n ev er f a ce d t h e c h alle n ge o f t h e b ig “ C om pan y m erc h an ts ” ex ce p t fo r th e R oyal A fr ic a n C om pan y’s sh ort- liv ed m onopo ly o f th e sla v e tr a d e. T his p re co cio us dev elo pm en t o f n on-m onopo ly , p riv ate e n te rp ris e w as sig nif ic a n t b eca u se a lr e ad y b y th e 1 660s th e co lo nia l tr a d es w ere “ am ong th e g re ate st o f E nglis h tr a d es.” 295 In In dia , H ouse s o f A gen cy o nly ev olv ed f r o m t h e 1 770s a n d t h en m ore r a p id ly f r o m t h e 1 790s, f o llo w in g C orn w allis ’s b an o n s e rv an ts of th e E ast In dia C om pan y e n gag in g in p riv ate c o m merc ia l e n te rp ris e . 296 B ut th e C alc u tta a g en cy house s a re th e m ost p alp ab le lin k b etw een th e tw o m ain p erio ds o r “ ep o ch s” o f B rit is h c o m merc ia l ca p it a lis m , w hose d iv id in g lin e lie s a t th e s ta rt o f th e “ lo ng n in ete en th c e n tu ry ” ( 1 784– 1914), in th e years afte r 1784 w hic h sa w th e en din g o f th e A m eric a n W ar o f In dep en den ce , a b o om in n ew co m mis sio n h ouse s, 297 a n d a r a d ic a lly n ew e co nom ic c o nju nctu re t h at s a w b an kin g r e v olu tio ns o n b o th sid es of th e A tla n tic , a dra m atic ex p an sio n of th e co tto n in dustr y in B rit a in , an d a su rg e in man ufa ctu re d ex p o rts to th e U S an d o th er in te rn atio nal m ark ets . M ean w hile , th e E IC ’s tr a d in g monopo ly w as f o rm ally t e rm in ate d i n 1 813, t h at o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 825.
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Schooling in Capitalist America Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis with a new introduction by th e authors t.’Nearly forty years after its original publication, Schooling in Capitalist America remains one of the most trenchant and relevant explorations of the class character of the A m erican educational system.” ■ EEIK OLIN WRIGHT, president. , A m erican Sociological A ssociationt . * * « F tlpa meritpRhf tA ‘”01 rn 8optE 8CC2p tA ch5 OCl2 © Samuel Bowles and H e rb e rt Gintis B e rto lt B re c h t’s “A W orker Reads H istory,” from his volum e Selected Poem s, is rep rin ted by per m ission o f H a rc o u rt B ra ce Jovan o vich , In c ., © 1 947 by B erto lt B rech t and H . R. Hays. E x ce rp t from W illiam Butler Yeats’s Collected Poem s is rep rin ted by perm ission o f the M acm il­ lan Publishing C o ., In c. © 1 9 2 4 by the M acm illan Publishing C o ., In c ., renewed in 1 9 5 2 by B erth a G eorgie Yeats. Also reprin ted by p erm ission o f M . B. Yeats, Miss A nne Yeats, and the M acm illan C o m p any o f Lon don and Basingstoke. C at Stevens lyric from “ F ath er and Son,” © 1 9 7 0 , Freshw ater M usic L td ., con trolled in the West ern H em isphere by Irvin g M usic, Inc. (B M I). All rights reserved. Used by perm ission. This edition published in 2011 by H aym ark et Books PO B o x 1 8 0 1 6 5 C h icago, Illinois 6 0 6 1 8 7 7 3 – 5 8 3 – 7 8 8 4 in [email protected] h ay m ark etb o o k s.o rg w w w .haym arketbooks.org Trade distribution in the United States by C o n so rtiu m B oo k Sales and D istrib u tion , www.cbsd.com ISBN : 9 7 8 – 1 – 6 0 8 4 6 – 1 3 1 – 8 C over design by E ric Ruder. Published with the generous su p p o rt o f Lan n an F ou n d atio n and the W allace Global Fund. P rin ted in C an ad a by union labor on recycled paper contain ing 100 p ercent postcon su m er waste in ac c o rd a n c e with the Green Press Initiative, w w w .greenpressinitiative.org. Lib rary o f C ongress C ataloging in Publication D ata is available. 10 987654321 t/3 F S C w w w .l sc .o rgMIX Paper from responsible sources FSC'” C 011825© 100% CONTENTS Preface to the 2011 Edition: Schooling in Capitalist Am erica Revisited Preface Part I T H E C O N T R A D IC T IO N S O F L IB E R A L ED U C A T IO N R E F O R M 1. B eyon d the E du cation al Frontier: The G reat A m erican D ream Freeze 2. Broken Promises: School R eform in Retrospect Part II E D U C A T IO N AND T H E S T R U C T U R E O F E C O N O M IC L IF E 3. At the R oot o f the P roblem : The C apitalist Econom y 4. Education, Inequality, an d the M eritocracy 5. E ducation a n d Personal D evelopm ent: The Long Shadow o f Work Part III T H E D YN A M ICS O F E D U C A T IO N A L C H A N G E 6. The Origins o f Mass Public Education 7. C orporate C apital a n d Progressive Education 8. The Transform ation o f H igher Education an d the Emerging W hite-C ollar Proletariat 9. C apital Accumulation, Class Conflict, an d E du cation al Changeeff eee3 18 53 102 125 151 180 201aa2 Scho li G E T T IN G T H E R E 10. E du cation al Alternatives 245 11. Education, Socialism, an d R evolution 264 Appendices 289 Notes 304 In dex 333 CHAPTER 6 T h e O rigins of M a s s Public Education Most of you, indeed, cannot but have been part and parcel of one of those huge, mechanical, educational machines, or mills, as they might more properly be called. They are, I be­ lieve, peculiar to our own time and country, and are so or­ ganized as to combine as nearly as possible the principal characteristics of the cotton mill and the railroad with those of the model state’s prison. Ch a r l e s Fr a n c i s Ad a m s, addressing the National Education Association, 1880 T h e evidence presented in the previous two chapters leaves little doubt that the U .S. educational system works to justify econom ic inequality and to produce a labor fo rce whose capacities, credentials, and consciousness are dictated in substantial measure by the requirements of profitable employ­ ment in the capitalist economy. N or will there be much dissent from the proposition that an essential structural characteristic of U .S . education is what we have called the correspondence between the social organization of schooling and that of work. An understanding of U .S . education, however, requires that wc know more than the dominant econom ic effects of school­ ing and the structural mechanisms which produce these effects. We must discover how the school system changes. An analysis of the dynamics of U .S . education may be helpful in two respects. F irst, it will enrich our understanding of the correspondence between educational structure and econom ic life. The fit between schooling and work described in the previ­ ous chapters is, in one sense, too neat. T h e ensuing study of historical change in the U .S. school system reveals not a sm ooth adjustment of educational structure to the evolution of econom ic life, but rather a jarring and conflict-ridden course of struggle and accom m odation. In this course, the school system has, fo r substantial periods, been organized along lines which, far from corresponding to the developing organization of econom ic life, appear as bizarre or anachronistic throwbacks to earlier times. We Bwpllihna h n w G yhtG ihBt G H cChw GPin2′ P0rther’ that the process oP change’ as e9hiUite2 in the histor” oP e20cational rePorm mo5ements’ contriU0tes signiPicantl” to the impact oP schooling on conscio0sness’ i2eolog”‘ an2 the class str0ct0re itselPd H artic0 3 larl” important in this respect is the 2iscrepanc” UetDeen the rhetoric an2 realit” o P e20cational rePormd The pop0lar oUvecti5es’ slogans’ an2 perspec3 ti5es oP rePorm mo5ements ha5e oPten imparte2 to the e20cational s”stem an en20ring 5eneer oP egalitarian an2 h0manistic i2eolog”‘ Dhile the highl” selecti5e implementation oP rePorms has ten2e2 to preser5e the role oP schooling in the perpet0ation oP econom ic or2erd %0r secon2 reason Por st02″ing the 2″namics oP the school s”stem is rather more politicald The apparentl” smoothl” P0nctioning con5e”or Uelt Dhich carries “o0ng people Prom Uirth to a20lt DorqM the Pamil”‘ school’ Dorqplace machineM has Paltere2 an2 then Ueen rea2v0ste2 in the pastd As De Datch the present st0mUling perPormance oP 6 dS d e20cation’ De Ditness the opport0nit” Por ra2ical changed An 0n2erstan2ing oP the 2″namics oP 2e5elopment in 6 dS d e20cation’ partic0larl” oP the sometimes harmonio0s an2 sometimes straine2 relationships UetDeen e20cational str0ct0re an2 econom ic Porces’ pro5i2es the in2ispensaUle Po0n2ations Po r a mo2ern strateg” Po r changed Fe m0st qnoD hoD De arri5e2 here so De ma” 2is3 co5er hoD De ma” mo5e ond Stepping U acq Prom the historical m aterial’ De are str0cq’ Pirst’ U” the sheer magnit02e oP e20cational change since the Am erican Far o P bn2e3 pen2enced 6 ntil =0ite recentl”‘ in no societ” 2i2 more than a tin” minorit” oP chil2ren spen2 m ore than a small part oP their “o0th in Porm al e20ca3 tional instit0tionsd k5en to2a”‘ there are relati5el” PeD co0ntries in Dhich the m avorit” oP “o0ng people spen2 most oP their “o0th in schoolsd bn most societies thro0gho0t recor2e2 histor”‘ schools ha5e not pla”e2 a m avor role in preparing chil2ren Por a20lthoo2d Am erican colonial societ” Das no e9ceptiond TD o cent0ries ago’ the str0ct0re an2 scope oP American e20cation Uore little resem Ulance to o0r c0rrent school s”stemd Along the Da”‘ man” an2 2i5erse alternati5es Dere consi2ere2 an2 trie2d Vooqing UacqD ar2′ one mightM an2 man” e20cational historians 2oM see an ine9oraUle march along a single line oP ascentd 40t to e20cators’ politicians’ an2 others li5ing in each historical perio2′ the Da” PorDar2 2i2 not seem so cle a rX e20cation has reache2 an2 passe2 man” crossroa2sd Hrior to the nineteenth cent0r”‘ the main vo U oP 0pUringing an2 training oP “o0th Das carrie2 U” the Pamil”‘ occasionall” s0pplemente2 U” appren3 ticeship or the ch 0 rch dE T h e school pla”e2 a rather marginal role in theEf: process oP chil2Irearingd Atten2ance’ school rePormers lamente2′ Das sparsed k5en Por those atten2ing’ the school “ear Das shortd As recentl” as E B K w ‘ less than halP oP the chil2ren oP age Pi5e to se5enteen atten2e2 sch oolX among those enrolle2′ the school “ear a5erage2 se5ent”Ieight 2a”s’ or less than a =0arter oP a “eard: To2a”‘ 5irt0all” all chil2ren in that age gro0p atten2 school Por an a5erage oP halP oP the 2a”s in the “eard T h e str0ct0re oP schooling an2 not merel” its e9tent has change2 ra2i3 call” in the past tDo cent0riesd k arl” elementar” schools in the 6nite2 States Dere’ not s0rprisingl”‘ e9tension oP the homed These G 2ame schools’8 con20cte2 more oPten than not in the qitchen oP a literate Doman’ pro3 5i2e2 most oP the Uasic Porm al e20cation a5ailaUle in the original thirteen coloniesd Coe9isting Dith the 2ame schools Dere the soIcalle2 GDriting schoolsd8 These Dere or2inaril” con20cte2 o0tsi2e the home U0t’ liqe the 2ame schools’ stresse2 Uasic literac” an2 comp0tational sqillsd V iq e the 2ame schools’ too’ the internal str0ct0re oP the Driting schools Das inPor3 mal’ Uor2ering sometimes on the chaoticd A t the other e9treme’ militar” 2iscipline an2 2rill pre5aile2 in most oP the charit” schools Por the poord _iPPering metho2s oP instr0ction an2 st02ent control’ an2 the 5ariet” oP str0ct0res oP schooling 2o not e9ha0st the range oP alternati5es Pacing Am erican e20cators a cent0r” an2 a halP agod W ost seeme2 to accept the Pact that 2iPPerent races an2 classes’ an2 Uo”s an2 girls’ Do0l2 atten2 =0ite 2iPPerent t”pes oP instit0tionsd 40t e5en then’ a s0Ustantial minorit” opinion in e20cational circles arg0e2 Por the 0niPication oP all gro0ps Dithin the same school str0ct0red ) a2icall” 2iPPerent proposals Por the control an2 Pinancing oP e20cation Dere also 2eUate2d Some Do0l2 ha5e lePt schooling in pri5ate han2s’ tr0sting to philanthrop” to cater to the e20cational nee2s oP the poord %thers promote2 p0Ulic schooling’ U0t so0ght an e9tension oP the pre5alent G2istrict s”stem8 Dhich ass0re2 strict neighUorhoo2 controld %thers’ as De shall soon see’ promote2 a then thoro0ghl” no5el U0t noD Pam iliar e20cational str0ct0red H0Ulic nonsectarian comp0lsor” an2 ta9I s0pporte2 schooling Das Par Prom a Poregone concl0sion in the earl” “ears oP the nineteenth cent0r”du 4 0 t as the 6nite2 States entere2 the last =0arter oP the nineteenth cen3 t0r”‘ the mo2ern school s”stem’ more or less as De qnoD it’ ha2 taqen Porm most completel” in the 0rUan -ortheastd 4″ E B B w ‘ asserts the e20ca3 tional historian W ichael * at.N . . . A m e r i c a n e d u ca tio n h ad acq u ired its f u n d a m e n ta l s tr u c tu r a l c h a r a c t e r is ti c s , th ey h a v e n o t a lte re d sin ce. P u b lic e d u c a tio n w as un iversal, ta x -s u p p o rte d , f re e , c o m p u ls o ry , b u re a u c r a tic a lly a rra n g e d , class b ased, and r a c i s t .4mta Ecp2py1 l6 P n11 FiRupg sfignoply? F 6 Bwp ll ihna h n w G yht G i hBt GH cC hw G) ap i2 groDth in atten2ance parallele2 these 2ramatic changes in the legal’ Pinancial an2 social str0ct0re oP 6 dS d e20cationd TDent” “ears UePore the Ci5il F ar’ v0st 0n2er u B percent o P Dhite chil2ren age2 Pi5eInineteen Dere atten2ing schoolsdf 4″ E B L w ‘ the Pig0re ha2 risen to fZ percentd Th0s the PeD 2eca2es oP e20cational change’ Dhich ma” U e 2ate2 Prom O orace W annzs ascen2enc” to the neDl” create2 Wassach0setts State 4oar2 oP k20cation in E B u K ‘ marqe2 a m avor t0rning point in 6 dS d social histor”d ( o r a perio2 oP com paraUle importance’ De m0st aDait the e5ol0tion oP corporate capitalist pro20ction an2 the closel” associate2 Hrogressi5e k20 3 cation mo5ement aro0n2 the t0rn oP the present cent0r”d bn this chapter’ De propose to ansDer the =0estionN OoD 2i2 the present str0ct0re oP 6 dS d e20cation arise o0t oP the political an2 econom ic conPlicts oP the mi2Inineteenth cent0r”Y bn Chapters K an2 B’ De Dill e9ten2 o0r anal”sis to co5er tDo other t0rning points in 6 dS d e20cational histor”N the “ears E B Z w I E Z u w an2 the perio2 e9ten2ing Prom ro0ghl” E Z L w to the presentd bn Chapter Z ‘ De Dill present an o5er5ieD an2 interpretation oP the res0lts oP o0r historical researchd bn the secon2 part oP this chapter De treat’ in rather Uroa2 terms’ the voin t e5ol0tion oP econom ic str0ct0re an2 schooling in the anteUell0m pe3 rio2d Tho0gh essential’ a Uroa2 s0r5e” o P this t”pe har2l” 2oes v0stice to the comple9it” oP the materiald -or’ De s0spect’ Dill it satisP” the critical rea2erd T h e a5ailaUle primar” historical materials alloD a consi2eraUl” more searching in5estigation oP o0r interpretationsd F e Dill 2raD 0pon these materials in three Da”sd ( irst De Dill st02″ the e5ol0tion oP economic liPe an2 schooling in a partic0lar toDnd Secon2 De Dill e9amine the mi2I nineteenthIcent0r” rePorm mo5ement thro0gh the Dorq oP its greatest e9ponent’ Oorace Wannd Vastl”‘ De Dill 0se 2etaile2 statistical e5i2ence Prom toDnIU”ItoDn an2 stateIU”Istate recor2s to present o0r anal”sis oP the economic Uases Por the rise o P mass e20cationd %0r three t”pes o P e5i2ence M 2etaile2 st02ies oP a single toDn’ a m avor rePormer’ an2 the a5ailaUle =0antitati5e 2ataM cannot’ oP co0rse’ 2emonstrate Ue”on2 a sha2oD oP 2o0Ut the 5ali2it” oP o0r interpretationd The most De claim is that o0r 2etaile2 st02ies pro5i2e compelling s0pport Por o0r 5ieD an2 are’ in im3 portant respects’ contra2ictor” to alternati5e e9planationsd A Dor2 m0st Ue sai2 aUo0t Dhat ma” seem to the rea2er to Ue a pec0liar geographic narroDImin2e2ness on o0r partd W ost oP o0r e5i2ence in this chapter comes Prom Wassach0settsd T h e emphasis on W assach0setts is no acci2entd T h e e20cational rePorm mo5ement Dhich marqe2 the Pirst t0rning point in 6 dS d e20cational histor” originate2 in the U0rgeoning in20strial cities an2 toDns oP this state an2 Das 2ominate2 thro0gho0t its co0rse U”GDc the e9ample oP Wassach0setts an2 its e20cational lea2ersdL -ee2less to sa”‘ the e9perience oP Wassach0setts Das not perPectl” replicate2 else3 Dhere’ U0t De Uelie5e +an2 present some e5i2ence> that the co0rse oP e20cational change in this state is not at”pical oP the rest oP the co0ntr”duao qEm%mn’ i1 9A” FtMems pgtsACminH C h s v 8 l e u mg e g o 5 l 8 mn l B l e A nC h k cmIme u g o S L 2 Bmi s A L i l n mg e Whereas our employers have robbed us of certain rights . . . we feel bound to rise unitedly in our strength and burst asunder as Freemen ought the shackles and fetters with which they have long been chaining and binding us, by an unjust and unchristian use of power . . . which the possession of capital and superior knowledge furnishes. “Declaration of Independence” Beverly, Massachusetts shoe workers, 1844 On M arch 6, 1 8 2 4 , K irk B oott, manager of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company in Lowell, Massachusetts, drove his carriage to South Boston to pick up T heod ore Edson, a young Episcopal minister. Edson had accepted B o o tt’s offer to move to the booming mill town fifteen miles north of B o ston to preach and establish a school. “Conversation,” Ed son later re­ called, “ was easy, various and unconstrained as we drove on together.” They arrived in time for Edson to tour the cotton mills before they closed down for the night.7 Edson was to becom e the leading educator of the soon- to-be-flourishing city. His zeal to establish a modern and well-financed system of public education brought him into conflict, at one time or an­ other, with just about every m ajor political group in town, including his old friend K irk Boott and the other employers. At the M arch 1 8 6 0 Town Meeting of Beverly, just a few miles from Low ell, the shoemakers, farmers, sailors, and laborers of the town out­ voted the professional and business people and closed down the town’s brand new public high school. Few of them had or were likely to have children in the school; the high school tax seemed to be little more than a gift to the w ell-to-do. Beverly ’s artisans were just about evenly split on the vote. B u t the professional and business groups voted to retain the school by a two to one margin; more than three-quarters of the working people of the town voted against it.8 Th e shoe workers played a particularly important part in the defeat of255 Bwp ll ihna h n w G yhtG ihBt GH cChwGthe school’ casting o5er halP oP the G no8 5otesd 40t to man” oP them’ the school m0st ha5e Ueen a rather minor co n cern N T h a t 5er” Deeq’ aPter months oP angr” 2isc0ssion an2 protest at the loss oP in2epen2ence to the capitalist emplo”ers Dho ha2 come to 2ominate the shoe tra2e’ most oP them Dent o0t on striqed The striqe’ Dhich sprea2 to s0rro0n2ing toDns’ Das to Uecom e the largest in the 6 dS d prior to the Ci5il Fard The 2e5elopment oP mass p0Ulic e20cation in the 6nite2 States Das the Dorq oP people liqe * irq 4 o o tt’ Theo2ore k2 son’ an2 ironicall”‘ the shoe Dorqers oP 4e5erl”d As De shall soon see’ it Das Ueca0se oPM iP not on UehalP oPM gro0ps s0ch as the striqing shoe Dorqers oP 4e5erl” that k2son’ 4 o o tt’ an2 others ha2 Porge2 an 0ne=0al an2 oPten 0neas” alliance oP rePormers an2 capitalists Por the p0rpose oP estaUlishing mass p0Ulic e20cationd bn colonial Am erica’ the U asic pro20cti5e 0nit Das the Pamil”d Wost Pamilies oDne2 the tools oP their tra2e an2 Dorqe2 their oDn lan2d T ran s3 mitting the necessar” pro20cti5e sqills to the chil2ren as the” greD 0p pro5e2 to Ue a simple tasq’ not Ueca0se the Dorq Das 2e5oi2 oP sqill’ U0t Ueca0se the =0ite s0Ustantial sqills re=0ire2 Dere 5irt0all” 0nchanging Prom generation to generation’ an2 Ueca0se the transition to the Dorq Dorl2 2i2 not re=0ire that the chil2 a2apt to a Dholl” neD set oP social relationshipsd T h e chil2 learne2 the concrete sqills an2 a2apte2 to the social relations oP pro20ction Dithin the Pamil”d T o p0t the point more technicall”N Hro20ction an2 repro20ction Dere 0niPie2 in a single instit0tionM the Pamil”d Hrepara3 tion Por liPe in the larger comm0nit” Das Pacilitate2 U” the chil2zs e9peri3 ence Dith the Pamil”d Fhile the n0clear’ rather than the e9ten2e2′ Pamil” Das the norm’ people 2i2 not mo5e aro0n2 m 0chdZ )elati5es ten2e2 to li5e Pairl” close to one anotherX chil2ren ha2 ample opport0nit” to learn to 2eal Dith com ple9 relationships among a20lts other than their parents an2 Dith chil2ren other than their Urothers an2 sistersdEw bt Das not re=0ire2 that chil2ren learn a comple9 set oP political prin3 ciples or i2eologies’ as political participation Das limite2d The onl” m avor c0lt0ral instit0tion o0tsi2e the Pamil” Das the ch0rch’ Dhich so0ght to inc0lcate the accepte2 spirit0al 5al0es an2 attit02esd bn a22ition’ a small n0mUer oP chil2ren learne2 craPt sqills o0tsi2e the Pamil” as apprenticesd klem entar” schools Poc0se2 on literac” training to Pacilitate a Pamiliarit” Dith the Script0resd AUo5e this le5el’ e20cation ten2e2 to Ue narroDl” 5ocational’ restricte2 to preparation oP chil2ren Por a career in the ch0rch’ the G learne2 proPessions’8 or the still inconse=0ential state U0rea0crac”dEE T h e c0rric0l0m oP the PeD 0ni5ersities rePlecte2 the aristocratic penchant Po r conspic0o0s intellect0al cons0mptiond, F Z uao qEm%mn’ i1 9 A” FtMems pgtsACmin) api2 econom ic change PolloDing the F ar Por bn2epen2ence set into motion Porces Dhich Do0l2 ra2icall” alter the relationship UetDeen the Pamil” an2 the s”stem oP pro20ctiond Com merce e9pan2e2 2ram aticall”N bn the PiPteen “ears UePore E B w K ‘ the 5al0e oP Poreign tra2e increase2 Po0r3 Po l2 dE: Varger com mercial interests proPite2 Prom the e9pansion oP tra2e’ amasse2 s0Ustantial concentrations oP capital’ an2 so0ght neD arenas Po r proPitaUle in5estmentd bncreasingl”‘ capital Das 0se2 Por the 2irect emplo”3 ment oP laUor in pro20ction rather than remaining conPine2 to the U0″ing an2 selling oP commo2ities an2 relate2 com mercial acti5itiesd T h e e9pan3 sion oP capitalist pro20ction’ partic0larl” the Pactor” s”stem as Dell as the contin0ing concentration oP com m ercial capital’ 0n2ermine2 the role oP the Pamil” as the m avor 0nit oP Uoth chil2Irearing an2 pro20ctiond Small shop3 qeepers an2 Parmers Dere compete2 o0t oP U0sinessd Cottage in20str” an2 artisan pro20ction Dere gra20all” 2estro”e2d %Dnership oP the means oP pro20ction Uecam e hea5il” concentrate2 in the han2s oP lan2lor2s an2 capitalistsd ( ace2 Dith 2eclining opport0nities Po r an in2epen2ent li5eli3 hoo2′ Dorqers Dere Porce2 to relin=0ish control o5er their laUor in ret0rn Por Dages’ or piece ratesd The pa” Dorqers recei5e2 increasingl” tooq the Porm oP a GDage8 rather than a Gp riced8EU T h e statistics Po r -eD 7 o r q Cit” Por the “ears E K Z f to EBff ill0strate these tren2sN A Po0rPol2 increase in the relati5e n0mUer oP Dage Dorqers an2 a re20ction U” tDoIthir2s in the relati5e n0mUer oP in2epen2ent m er3 chants an2 proprietorsdER bn the co0ntr” as a Dhole’ agric0lt0ral p0rs0its M the stronghol2 oP in2epen2ent pro20ctionM lost gro0n2 to man0Pact0r3 ingd bn E B : w ‘ Po r e5er” person Dorqing in man0Pact0ring an2 2istriU0tion’ there Dere si9 people engage2 in agric0lt0reX U” E B L w ‘ this Pig0re ha2 Pallen to th reedEf 4 ” the Ci5il Far’ the Pamil” no longer constit0te2 the 2ominant 0nit oP pro20ctiond bncreasingl”‘ pro20ction Das carrie2 on in large organi3 .ations in Dhich an emplo”er 2irecte2 the acti5ities oP the entire Dorq Po rce an2 oDne2 the pro20cts oP their laUord T h e social relations oP pro20ction Uecam e increasingl” 2istinct Prom the social relations oP repro20ctiond T h e emerging class str0ct0re e5ol5e2 in accor2 Dith these neD social relations oP pro20ctionN An ascen2ant an2 selPIconscio0s capitalist class cam e to 2ominate the political’ legal’ an2 c0lt0ral s0perstr0ct0re oP societ”d T h e nee2s oP this class Dere to proPo0n2l” shape the e5ol0tion oP the e20cational s”stemd The e9pansion an2 contin0ing transPormation oP the s”stem o P capitalist pro20ction le2 to 0nprece2ente2 shiPts in the occ0pational 2istriU0tion oP the laU or Porce an2 constant changes in the sqills re=0irement Po r voUsd Training Dithin the Pamil” Uecame increasingl” ina2e=0ateX the pro20cti5e] F ‘ sqills oP the parents Dere no longer a2e=0ate Por the nee2s oP the chil2ren 20ring their liPetimed T h e apprentice s”stem oP training’ Dhich’ U” c0stom’ committe2 masters Po r a perio2 oP as m0ch as se5en “ears to s0ppl” ap3 prentices Dith room an2 Uoar2 as Dell as +som etim es> minimal le5els oP training in ret0rn Po r laUor ser5ices’ Uecam e a costl” liaUilit” as the groDing se5erit” oP 2epressions ma2e the 2eman2 Po r the pro20cts oP the appren3 ticesz laUor more 0ncertaind T h e P0rther e9pansion oP capital increasingl” re=0ire2 a s”stem oP laUor training Dhich Do0l2 alloD the costs oP training to Ue Uorne U” the p0Ulicd k =0 all” important’ the 2″namism oP the capital3 ist groDth process re=0ire2 a training s”stem Dhich Do0l2 Pacilitate a more rapi2 a2v0stment oP emplo”ment to the U0siness c”cle an2 alloD the con3 stantl” changing 2ictates oP proPitaUilit” to go5ern the allocation oP laUord Fhile 0n2ermining the econom ic role oP the Pam il” an2 the a2e=0ac” oP the apprenticeship s”stem’ the e9pansion oP capital create2′ at the same time’ an en5ironmentM Uoth social an2 intellect0alM Dhich Do0l2 0lti3 matel” challenge the political or2erd F orqers Dere throDn together in large Pactoriesd T h e isolation’ Dhich ha2 helpe2 to maintain =0iescence in ear3 lier’ Di2el” 2isperse2 Parming pop0lations’ Das Uroqen 2oDnd F ith an increasing n0mUer o P Pamilies 0proote2 Prom the lan2′ the Dorqersz search Po r a li5ing res0lte2 in largeIscale laUor migrationsd V a U o r scarcit” in20ce2 U” an aU0n2ance oP lan2 an2 rapi2 capital acc0m0lation le2 emplo”ers in the e9pan2ing sectors oP the econom ” to rel” increasingl” on an inPl09 oP Poreigners to staPP the loDestIpa”ing voU sd bn the tenI”ear perio2 Ueginning in E B R L ‘ the 6nite2 States aUsorUe2 udE million immigrantsM a n0mUer e=0al to an eighth oP the entire pop0lation at that 2ated + T h e UetterIqnoDn massi5e immigration oP the preIF orl2 IF arIb 2eca2e constit0te2 a some3 Dhat lesser Praction oP the total pop0lationd> W ost immigrants’ arri5ing Dith PeD reso0rces other than their laU or poDer’ Uecam e part oP the groD3 ing 0rUan proletariatd %thers’ less Port0nate’ sDelle2 the ranqs oP the G re3 ser5e arm”8 oP the 0nemplo”e2′ rea2″ to taqe 0p voU s at near s0Usistence Dagesd The” Dere a constant threat to the vo U sec0rit” an2 li5elihoo2 oP the emplo”e2 Dorqersd TransientM oPten PoreignM elements came to constit0te a m avor segment oP the 0rUan pop0lation an2 Uegan to pose seemingl” ins0rmo0ntaUle proUlems oP assimilation’ integration’ an2 controldEL C0l3 t0ral 2i5ersit” cam e to Ue seen as a social proUlemd k th n ic conPlicts shat3 tere2 the calm an2 threatene2 the political staUilit” oP man” toDnsd Fith the rapi2 e9pansion oP Uoth in20strial an2 com m ercial capital’ ine=0alities in Dealth increase2d 6sing 2ata Prom -eD 7 o r q Cit”‘ 4 ro o q 3 l”n’ an2 4 o sto n ‘ De estimate that’ earl” in the nineteenth cent0r”‘ the Dealthiest E percent oP 0rUan resi2ents in the -ortheast oDne2 somethingBwpllihna hn w G yht G i hBt G H cC hw G] F + liqe a =0arter oP all tangiUle Dealthd 4″ mi2cent0r”‘ the Pig0re ha2 risen to aUo0t tDoIPiPthsd W oreo5er’ Pragmentar” e5i2ence s0ggests a 2rastic re20c3 tion oP general moUilit” into the ranqs oP the 5er” Dealth”dEK SigniPicantl”‘ onl” the econom icall” stagnant toDns appear to Ue e9ceptions to this tren2 toDar2 Dealth co n cen tration dEB bne=0alit” Das increasingl” 2iPPic0lt to v0stiP” an2 Das less rea2il” ac3 cepte2d T h e simple legitimi.ing i2eologies oP the earlier perio2sM the 2i5ine origin o P social ranq’ Por e9ampleM ha2 Pallen 0n2er the capitalist attacq on ro”alt”‘ ro”al monopol”‘ an2 the tra2itional lan2e2 interestsd The Uroa2ening oP the electorate an2 oP political participation generall”M Pirst so0ght U” the propertie2 an2 com mercial classes in their str0ggle against the 4ritish CroDnM threatene2 soon to Uecom e a poDerP0l instr0ment in the han2s oP Parmers an2 Dorqersd Common people 2i2 not limit their political ePPorts to the Uallot Uo9 aloned Since the en2 oP the F ar oP bn2e3 pen2ence’ Sha”sz ) eU ellion’ the Fhisqe” ) eUellion ‘ the _ orr Far’ an2 a host oP minor ins0rrections ha2 er0pte2′ oPten le2 U” )e5ol0tionar” F ar heroes an2 s0pporte2 U” tho0san2s oP poor an2 2eUtIri22en Parm ers an2 Dorqersd These reUellions seeme2 to porten2 an era oP social 0phea5ald The process oP capital acc0m0lation 2rasticall” change2 the str0ct0re oP societ”N T h e role oP the Pamil” in pro20ction Das greatl” re20ce2X its role in repro20ction Das increasingl” o0t oP to0ch Dith econom ic realit”d A permanent proletariat an2 an impo5erishe2 an2′ Po r the most part’ ethni3 call” 2istinct’ reser5e arm” oP the 0nemplo”e2 ha2 Ueen create2d k con om ic ine=0alit” ha2 increase2d Sm all man0Pact0ring toDns ha2 Uecom e 0rUan areas almost o5ernightd The e9pansion oP capitalist pro20ction ha2 at once greatl” enhance2 the poDer oP the capitalist class an2 ha2 ine9oraUl” gen3 erate2 a con2ition Dhich challenge2 their contin0e2 2ominationd Fith in3 creasing 0rgenc”‘ econom ic lea2ers so0ght a mechanism to ins0re political staUilit” an2 the contin0e2 proPitaUilit” oP their enterprisesd ConPronte2 Dith no5el an2 rapi2l” changing econom ic con2itions’ Dorq3 ing people’ too’ so0ght neD sol0tions to the ageIol2 proUlems oP sec0rit”‘ in2epen2ence’ an2 m aterial DelPared The staqes oP the econom ic game ha2 greatl” increase2d As Parmers an2 artisans Uecame Dage Dorqers’ the” so0ght a means U” Dhich the” or their chil2ren might reco0p their lost stat0sd Som eM s0rel” a small minorit”M propose2 to attacq the DageIlaUor s”stemd W an” sa5e2 Dhat meager amo0nts the” co0l2 aPPor2 in hopes oP e5ent0all” getting U acq into U0siness on their oDnd %thers PolloDe2 the l0re oP in2epen2ence an2 cheap lan2 an2 mo5e2 Festd 4 0 t Por man”‘ e20cation seeme2 to promise the respectaUilit” an2 sec0rit” Dhich the” so0ghtd A similar response to the e9pansion oP capitalist pro20ctionM tho0ghuao qEm%mn’ i1 9 A” FtMems pgtsACminUfZ Bwp ll ihna h n w G y ht G i hBt GH cChw GDith important 5ariations rePlecting 2iPPering econom ic’ political’ an2 c0l3 t0ral con2itionsM occ0rre2 in other co0ntriesd bn knglan2′ Uoth Dorqing people an2 emplo”ers s0pporte2 some qin2 oP e20cational e9pansion’ al3 tho0gh their oUvecti5es Dere ra2icall” 2iPPerentd A n ePPecti5e stalemate among the proe20cational strategies oP capitalist emplo”ers’ the poDerP0l an2 more conser5ati5e Ch0rch oP knglan2′ an2 lan2IoDning interests post3 pone2 the implementation oP p0Ulic e20cation on a national scale 0ntil the E B K w s dEZ bn a PeD areasM s0ch as Hr0ssia an2 Scotlan2M Dhere militar” or religio0s p0rposes 2ominate2 e20cational polic”‘ mass instr0ction Das im3 plemente2 consi2eraUl” UePore the impact oP capitalist e9pansion Das Pe ltd:w bn the remain2er oP this chapter’ De ill0strate hoD this process oP econom ic e9pansion an2 e20cational change cam e aUo0t in the 6nite2 Statesd T h e S c h o o l S ystem o f L o w e ll , M a ssa c h u setts, 1 8 2 4 – 1 8 6 0 . . . I.et then the influence of our Com m on Schools be­ com e universal, for they are the main pillars of the perma­ nency of our free institutions; a protection from our enemies abroad, and our surest safety against internal commotions. Lowell Massachusetts School Committee Report, 1846 T h e growing pressure fo r public education which marked the early nine­ teenth century reflected an increasing concern with production and with the conditions of labor. Th is concern took a variety of form s. In B oston, the cessation of overseas trade during the embargo of 1 8 0 7 and the closing of the port during the W ar of 1 8 1 2 shifted the interests of the propertied classes from a preoccupation with mercantile trade to a consideration of the opportunities of profit through direct employment of labor. T h e eco­ nom ic distress o f this period intensified econom ic concerns among artisans and other workers. B o th concerns were reflected in a petition which was presented in 1817 to the Boston Town M eeting calling for, among other things, the establishment of a system of free public primary schools. As this petition is something of a landmark, it may be worth investigating who signed it. Fortunately, W illiam W eber has carefully analyzed the occupa­ tions and classes of these petitioners.21 While the vast m ajority of the townspeople fall within W eber’s category, “lab orers,” only 21 percent of the petitioners cam e from this class. T h e bulk of support ( 5 6 percen t) ishia uao qEm%mn’ i1 9A” FtMems pgtsACminPo0n2 among the DellItoI2o artisans an2 shopqeepersd Varge merchants an2 entreprene0rs’ a min0te percent oP the pop0lace’ pro5i2e2 :u percent oP the signat0res an2 o5er halP oP Dhat FeUer has classe2 as the e20ca3 tional lea2ership oP the perio2d The 2eman2 Por elementar” schooling in 4 oston apparentl” originate2 Dith the large propertie2 class an2 Dhat might to2a” Ue calle2 the mi22le classd -ot too m0ch sho0l2 Ue rea2 into these 2ata’ hoDe5er’ Por 4oston Das clearl” an at”pical case’ representing as it 2i2 one oP the m avor mer3 cantile centers oP the “o0ng nationd 4oston Do0l2 escape m0ch oP the social 2istress an2 t0rmoil Dhich Do0l2 accompan” the bn20strial )e5ol03 tion soon to sDeep o5er the -ortheastd The Dealth oP the 4oston rich’ hoDe5er’ Das intimatel” in5ol5e2 in Uoth in20striali.ation an2 e20cational G m o2erni.ationd8 Fe ma” learn more aUo0t this comple9 stor” U” looqing into the e20cational an2 econom ic histor” oP the Uooming in20strial com 3 m0nit” oP VoDell’ Wassach0setts’ 20ring the Pirst Po0r 2eca2es oP its e9istenced Fhen the representati5es oP the 4 oston Wan0Pact0ring Compan” Uegan U0″ing 0p Parmlan2 along the W errim acq ) i5 er in k ast ChelmsPor2 in E B : E ‘ the 2istrict ha2 a pop0lation oP aUo0t : w w d:: Tho0gh accor2ing to school Uoar2 recor2s’ the toDnM soon to Uecome VoDellM ha2 Uoaste2 at least one G)ighting S c h o o l8 Por o5er a cent0r”‘ most oP the chil2ren Dere not in atten2anced Fithin tDo 2eca2es’ VoDell Das to Uecom e the thir2 largest cit” in the state’ a center oP the te9tile tra2e’ an2 a lea2er in estaUlishing one oP the Pirst mo2ern school s”stems in the co0ntr”d The oDners oP the neD mills Dhich spr0ng 0p in VoDell so0ght to 0sher in a neD era oP in20striali.ation’ one Dhich Do0l2 ens0re the proPitaUilit” o P their enterprise Ditho0t spaDning the po5ert” an2 h0man 2egra2ation Dhich t”piPie2 the knglish man0Pact0ring centersd ( o r the Domen recr0ite2 Prom the s0rro0n2ing Parms’ Dorq in the mills Do0l2 Ue DellIpa”ing an2 their leis0re ho0rs Do0l2 Ue spent in c0lt0ral acti5ities an2 other moral recreationd A literar” maga.ine Do0l2 soon Ue Porme2 Por the mill Domend A s a more permanent Dorq Porce Das recr0ite2′ partic0larl” Prom the ranqs oP brish immigrants’ schooling Do0l2 pla” an increasing role in the o5erall social strateg” oP the mill oDnersd _0ring the perio2 oP groDth oP the VoDell econom”‘ the G respectaUle8 memUers oP the comm0nit” artic0late2 the arg0ments Por a 0ni5ersal p0Ulic school s”stem Dhich Dere later to Uecom e common thro0gho0t the 6nite2 Statesd k20cate2 Dorqers’ the” note2′ Do0l2 Ue Uetter Dorqersd Oom er 4 artlett’ agent oP the Wassach0setts Cotton W ills’ Drote in E B R E Nh i h Bwpllihna h n w G yhtG ihBt G H cC hw GF l C u u n C r ph lL o atC A p oA f h B m h l th A E h d ) o u m h l g h E ain poatpgthf aR o a aRh C 5 A hlp o f m a n u f a c tu r in g p r o p e rty h av e a deep p e c u n ia ry in te re st in th e e d u c a tio n and m o ra ls o f th e ir help ; and I believe th e tim e is n o t distan t w hen th e tru th o f this will a p p e a r m o r e and m o r e c le a r. A n d as c o m p e titio n b e c o m e s m o re close, and sm all c ir c u m s ta n c e s o f m o re im p o rta n c e in tu rn in g the s c a le in f a v o r o f o n e estab lish m en t o v e r a n o th e r , I believe it will be seen th a t the e stab lish m en t, o t h e r things being eq u al, w h ich has the b est e d u cated and m ost m o ra l help will give the g re a te s t p r o d u c tio n at the least c o s t per p o u n d .23 George Boutw ell, who succeeded H orace M ann as Secretary of the M assachusetts B oard of E d ucation, summarizing the views of employers interviewed during his visit in 1 8 5 9 , wrote: In L o w ell, and in m a n y o t h e r p la ce s , th e p ro p rie to rs find the tra in in g o f the sch o o ls a d m ira b ly ad ap ted to p re p a re the ch ild ren f o r the lab ors o f the m ills.24 Upbringing in the family, evidently, was not adequate training fo r work in the rising industrial sector. Particularly after the mass influx of Irish workers in the late 1 8 4 0 s, the school committee saw the schools as a partial substitute fo r the home. Many of the city’s children, lamented the com mittee in 1 8 5 1 : . . . H a v e t o re c e iv e th e ir first lessons o f su b o rd in atio n an d o b ed ien ce in the sch o o l r o o m . A t h o m e , th ey a r e e ith e r le ft w holly to th eir own c o n t r o l, o r , w h at is a lm o s t eq u ally b ad , th e discipline to w h ich th e y are su b jected a lte r ­ n ates betw een foolish in d u lgen ce, and e x a s p e r a te d ty ra n n y . . . .25 T h e mill owners echoed these concerns. Boutw ell’s summary reflects the writings of numerous employers: T h e o w n ers o f f a c t o r i e s a re m o re c o n c e r n e d th an o th e r classes an d in terests in th e in telligence o f th eir la b o re rs . W h en the la t te r a re w ell-ed u cated and the f o r m e r a r e disposed to deal ju stly, c o n tro v e rs ie s and strik e s c a n n e v e r o c c u r , n o r c a n th e m inds o f the m asses be p reju d iced b y d em ag o g u es a n d c o n tro lle d by te m p o r a r y and fa ctio u s c o n s id e ra tio n s .26 T h ese and other salutory effects of schooling could hardly have been fully appreciated by either Theodore Edson or Kirk B o o tt— textile capital­ ist and soon-to-be schoolm aster— as they rode together in 1 8 2 4 from South B oston to Lowell. But E d so n ’s arrival in Low ell signaled a new departure fo r the educational system o f the city. T h e changes in the struc­ ture and scope of schooling over the next generation were to becom e a pattern fo r the rest of the state. T h e numerous and scattered district schools were consolidated and brought under the control of the central school board. T h is centralized body, unlike the decentralized district boards, articulated the concerns of teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals, and through them thehio large propert”IoDning elite oP the toDnd Ale9an2er ( ie l2 zs st02″ oP the social composition o P the school Uoar2 re5eals that’ o5er the Pirst three 2eca2es oP the VoD ell school com m itteezs e9istence’ Bf percent oP the memUership Das 2raDn Prom U0siness an2 the proPessionsX less than f percent Dere Dorqersd T h e remain2er’ those Dith 0nqnoDn occ0pations’ Dere pres0maUl” Parm ers an2 perhaps Dorqers Dhose occ0pation ha2 not Ueen tho0ght important eno0gh to recor2 d:K 6n2er the lea2ership oP the centrali.e2 school Uoar2′ the Praction oP chil2ren atten2ing school greDd T h e term Das s0Ustantiall” lengthene2d The larger n0mUers oP chil2ren in school alloDe2 the school committee’ Po r the Pirst time’ to place st02ents in separate classrooms gra2e2 accor2ing to age an2 scholastic proPicienc”d T h e c0rric0l0m Das Uroa2ene2d T h e Ghi22en c0rric0l0m 8 oP the school cam e increasingl” to stress Gheart c0lt0re o5er Urain c0lt0re’8 as the school s0perinten2ent oP neighUoring VaD rence p0t itd -ot all oP the citi.ens oP VoD ell en2orse2 these changesd T h e Pirst m avor so0rce oP opposition came Prom the Parming Pamilies in the o0tl”ing 2is3 tricts Dho resente2 the groDing elite 2omination oP school polic” thro0gh the toDn school Uoar2 an2 the increasing restriction oP the poDers oP the 2istrict school Uoar2sd The conPlict o5er centrali.ation came to a hea2 at the E B u : Ann0al ToDn Weetingd T h at night’ the citi.ens oP VoDell re3 5erse2 the 2ecision oP the central school Uoar2 to 2is=0aliP” a pop0lar 2istrict teacher an2 later 5ote2 o0t the entire school committeed As pro20ction e9pan2e2 in the m i2 IEBuws’ the prices oP te9tile goo2s Uegan to Pa lld:B 4″ the m i2 IEBRws’ prices ha2 Pallen U” UetDeen a thir2 an2 a halPd ) ea l Dages oP te9tile Dorqers Dere ro0ghl” constant o5er the “ears EBuf to E B f f ‘ so compan” proPits co0l2 Ue maintaine2 onl” U” 2rasticall” increasing the amo0nt oP Dorq e9tracte2 Prom the operati5esd _espite the lacq oP signiPicant impro5ement in the technolog” oP pro20c3 tion’ o0tp0t per Dorqer rose’ proUaUl” U” something liqe f w percent o5er the tDo 2eca2es Ueginning in E B u f d:Z T h e increase2 press0re on laUor coinci2e2 Dith’ an2 Das partl” responsiUle Por’ the gra20al replacement oP G 7 a n q e e 8 Dorqers U” immigrant laUor 20ring the EBR w s an2 EBfwsd -oD e5en the pretentions oP a h0mane paternalistic in20strial s”stem Dere 2is3 car2e2d T h e antagonistic relations UetDeen capital an2 laUor Dere re5eale2 in 0n2isg0ise2 Porm as the piecerates Dhich pai2 Dorqers Dere loDere2 “ear aPter “eard _0ring the Pirst tDo 2eca2es oP V oD ellzs histor” Dhen mill han2s Dere recr0ite2 on a temporar” Uasis Prom the s0rro0n2ing r0ral toDns’ the m avor capitalists remaine2 2i5i2e2 on the =0estion oP e20cational e9pen2it0red %n Ualance’ e5en in these earl” 2a”s’ the corporations place2 their Deightuao qEm%mn’ i1 9 A” FtMems pgtsACminhi C Bw p l l ihn a h n w G yhtG ihBt G H cC hw Gon the si2e oP p0Ulic e20cationd T h e tDo schools most highl” regar2e2 U” the school committee Dere locate2 on corporation propert” an2 ser5e2 2irectl” the chil2ren an2 Dorqers in the a2vacent millsd OoDe5er’ man” man0Pact0rers oppose2 ta9ation oP their properties Por e9pensi5e school constr0ctiond * irq 4 o o tt himselP oppose2 one oP k2sonzs plans Por a neD constr0ction on the gro0n2s that it Das too la5ishd 4 0 t as the proUlem oP creating’ controlling’ an2 e9tracting e5erIincreasing amo0nts oP Dorq Prom a permanent laUor Porce Uecam e more pressing’ the s0pport Por p0Ulic e20caton among emplo”ers Uecam e 5irt0all” 0nanimo0sd SigniPicantl”‘ it Das in the 2epression “ears oP the earl” E B R w s that O orace Wann’ too’ Uecam e con5ince2 o P the econom ic 5al0e oP e20cationduw brish parents an2 chil2ren e5i2entl” 2i2 not share the emplo”ersz enth03 siasm Po r schoolingd Tho0gh the precise ca0ses are oUsc0re’ the VoDell School 4oar2 reports 2oc0ment a s0staine2 school Uo”cott U” the brish comm0nit” an2 a n0mUer oP attempts to U0rn 2oDn the school in the brish neighUorhoo2duE 4 ” the o0tUreaq oP the Ci5il F ar’ the o0tlines oP a m o2em s”stem oP elementar” e20cation ha2 taqen shape in VoDelld Tr0ant oPPicers Dere emplo”e2 to enPorce comp0lsor” schoolingd Wost schoolIage chil2ren’ in Pact’ atten2e2 school Por a goo2 part oP the “eard T h e c0rric0l0m an2 classroom str0ct0re’ noD Uarel” recogni.aUle as 2escen2ant Prom the cha3 otic r0ral GDriting schools’8 ha2 Ueg0n to ass0me a Porm all too Pamiliar to most schoolchil2ren in the present cent0r”d These 2e5elopments in VoDell Dere har2l” 0ni=0ed The” Dere’ in2ee2′ repeate2 all o5er the stated W oreo5er’ the changing position oP the state go5ernment on the =0estion o P schooling ha2 a m avor Uearing on the t0rn oP e5ents in VoDell an2 elseDhered F e t0rn noD to in5estigate the school rePorm mo5ement at the state le5eld H o r a c e M a n n s “B a l a n c e W h e e l o f th e S o c i a l M a c h in e r y ” . . . Education is not only a moral renovator and a multiplier of intellectual power, but . . . also the most prolific parent of material riches. . . . It is not only the most honest and honor­ able, but the surest means of amassing property. Ho r a c e Ma n n, Fifth Annual Report o f the Secretary of State Board of Education, 1842elr %ne e5ening in Wa” E B u K ‘ k2m0n2 _Dight tooq O orace Wann asi2e at a social gathering an2 0rge2 that he consi2er accepting the Secretar”ship oP the neDl” Porme2 State 4oar2 oP k 2 0 catio n dU _Dight’ a mavor in20strial3 ist Prom SpringPiel2′ ha2 pers0a2e2 y o5ernor k 5 erett that the post Das too important to Ue gi5en to an e20catord W ann seeme2 an i2eal choiced As Secretar” oP the Wassach0setts Senate’ he ha2 a s0Ustantial stateDi2e rep03 tation X his ePPecti5eness as a politician ha2 Ueen ampl” 2emonstrate2 in his a25ocac” oP railDa” constr0ction’ insane as”l0ms’ 2eUtor laD rePorms’ an2 n0mero0s other h0manitarian rePormsd T h e Porm ation oP the 4 oar2 itselP rePlecte2 a groDing recognition among in20strialists s0ch as _Dight an2 other respectaUle memUers oP the societ” that the proUlems oP laUor an2 0rUani.ation re=0ire2 strong action at the state le5eld (eD persons’ _Dight tol2 W ann’ co0l2 m atch his =0aliPication’ to meet s0ch a challenged Sho0l2 Wann accept’ _Dight Das prepare2 to pri5atel” s0pplement W annzs salar” in the neD postd T h e 4 oar2 Do0l2 ha5e no a2ministrati5e a0thorit”X its responsiUilities Dere to Ue conPine2 to gathering statistics an2 Driting occasional reports on the stat0s oP e20cationd T o lea5e the Senate Po r this post m0st’ initiall”‘ ha5e seeme2 to W ann a political errord The 5er” limite2 poDers oP the 4oar2 Dere har2l” 0p to the tasq oP 2ealing ePPecti5el” Dith the rapi2 transPorm ation oP the Wassach0setts econom” an2 the groDth oP 0rUan po5ert” an2 0nrestd T h e str0ct0re oP emplo”ment Das changing 2rasticall”N 4etDeen E B : w an2 E B R w ‘ the percentage oP the Dorq Porce engage2 in agric0lt0re Pell Prom fB to R w percentX U” E B f w ‘ the percentage Do0l2 Pall to Ef percentdu: km plo”m ent in man0Pact0ring Das groDing correspon2ingl”d Cities Dere springing 0p in the onceIr0ral stated Hop0lation greD Prom less than halP a million in E B : w to o5er a million an2 a =0arter in E B L f d Wan” oP the neD W assach0setts resi2ents Dere Poreign Uornd Ve2 U” the te9tiles an2 shoe in20stries’ Wassach0setts Das e9periencing its in20strial re5ol0tiond bncreasingl”‘ the Pactor” replace2 the home pro3 20ction oP the p0ttingIo0t s”stem or the small artisan shopsd Oo0se2 in 2ormitories or 0rUan sl0m 2Dellings’ the neD in20strial laUor Porce consti3 t0te2 a neD an2′ to man” oP the DellItoI2o’ a threatening element in the * We have relied heavily on Jonathan Messerli, Horace M ann: A Biography (New Y o r k : Alfred A. Knopf, 1 9 7 2 ) , and Mann’s Annual State Board of Education Reports which are found in both Horace Mann, and Life and Works o f Horace Mann (B oston : W alker and Fuller C o ., 1 8 6 5 – 1 8 6 8 ) ; and Alexander J. Field, “Skill Requirements in Early Industrialization: The Case of Massachusetts,” working paper in Econom ics, University of California at Berkeley, December 1973.mta Ecp2py1 l6 P n11 FiRupg sfignoply Bw p l l ihn a h n w G y ht G i hBt G H cC hw Gsocial str0ct0red Alrea2″ Pearing the thr0st oP ’acq sonian 2emocrac”‘ the respectaUle memUers oP societ” Dere Ueginning to reali.e that in20striali.a3 tion Das 0n2ermining the onceIstaUle an2 2ePerential comm0nities oP the state’ an2 rapi2l” 0shering in an era oP conPlict’ contention’ an2 possiUle social 2isr0ptiond O orace W ann 5ieDe2 these 2e5elopments Dith 2isma”d Some “ears ear3 lier’ he ha2 Ueen pers0a2e2 to reenter the political sphere aPter a long aUsence PolloDing the 2eath oP his Pirst DiPed Ois mission Das to co0nter the political aspirations oP Dhat a Fhig e2itor rePerre2 to as G d d d a coalition consisting oP ’acq so n men’ A ntiIW asons’ Dorqe”s —Forqingmenzs Hart” people]’ (ann” Fright men an2 inPi2els oP all 2escriptiond8 uu T h e 2estr0c3 tion an2 2esecration oP a con5ent U” an antiIC atholic moU in CharlestoDn in E B u R Das’ O orace W ann note2′ G a horriUle o0traged8 F hile W ann Das consi2ering _Dightzs s0ggestion’ a riot’ sparqe2 U” a collision oP a 7 an q e e PireIengine creD an2 brish P0neral procession’ 2estro”e2 m0ch oP 4 roa2 Street in 4 oston d )ePlecting on the 4roa2 Street riot’ Wann Peare2 that the social PaUric Das Deaqening an2 that chaos Do0l2 ens0e 0nless strong state action Das taqend A Pter almost a month oP 2eliUeration’ he tol2 _Dight that he Das rea2″ to accept the postd W ann Das a s0pporter o P the in20strial s”stemd Ois a25ocac” oP rail3 roa2s in the state Das Uase2 on a con5iction that the e9pansion oP Dealth thro0gh in20striali.ation co0l2 pro5i2e the Uasis Por a P0ller an2 more aU0n2ant liPe Po r all citi.ensd OoDe5er’ W ann Das 2istresse2 U” the groD3 ing d d 2omination oP capital an2 the ser5ilit” oP laUor d d d8 Dhich ren2ers the d d latter d d d the ser5ile 2epen2ents an2 s0Uvects oP the Po rm erd8 T h e str0ct0re oP the societ” an2 econom” Do0l2 not long Uear 0p 0n2er the straind T h e proUlem Pacing Wann’ as he ass0me2 oPPice’ Das hoD to amen2 the e9isting str0ct0res to ins0re their permanenced Ois oUvecti5e’ he Drote a Prien2′ Das G d d d the remo5al oP 5ile an2 rotten parts Prom the str0ct0re oP societ” as Past as sal0tor” an2 so0n2 ones can Ue prepare2 to taqe their p la ce d8uR 40t hoD to prepare these neD partsY Oe Platl” revecte2 the notion that there Das an” necessar” antagonism UetDeen classesX class conPlict Do0l2 ha5e no place in his programd 6nliqe man” rePormers oP his 2a”‘ he 2i2 not s0pport the rights oP Dorqers to organi.ed T h e i2ea oP G some re5ol0tioni.ers8 that G some people are poor Ueca0se others are rich ‘8 he laUele2 as 2angero0sduf A n earl” s0pporter oP tem perance’ he estimate2 that P0ll” Po0rIPiPths o P the pa0perism in the state co0l2 Ue at3 triU0te2 to li=0 orduL bt Das e20cation’ he Drote’ that Do0l2 Uecom e Gthe U alan ce Dheel oP the social m achiner”d8 Hroperl” rePorme2 an2 a2minis3 tere2 schools co0l2 pro5i2e a generation o PNhii AtAs oAf 5 hoLtAs rh E o l l th f C e a tA aRh pou h l C C u d oAf rn aRh p ou h RoA fpd as insist th a t ch ild ren o f different ages and a ttain m en ts should go to the s a m e s ch o o l, and be in stru cted by the sam e te a c h e r . . . . W h a t a sch o o l system req u ires is th a t it be s y s te m a tic ; th a t e a c h g ra d e , fro m the low est to the high ­ est, be distin ctly m a rk e d , and afford a th o ro u g h p r e p a ra tio n f o r e a c h a d ­ v a n ce d g r a d e .40 M oreover, they noted after a number of years, experimentation with the system: T h e exp en se o f in stru ctio n has been m a te ria lly lessened . . . a g re a t deal o f dis­ o r d e r h as been c h e c k e d ; punishm ents are alm ost ab o lish ed ; and a m a rk e d p ro g ress in stu d y has been m a d e . T h e ch a n g e thus m ad e is n o th in g less th an a public b e n e f a c tio n .41 T h e curriculum was to be broadened; the three R ’s— bread and butter of the writing schools’ offerings— were not sufficient intellectual training for the modern era. An understanding of political economy would surely make better citizens.42 Not surprisingly, the other new subjects introduced often had an ostensible bearing on the world of industry or commerce. Foreign languages, geography, and even surveying were introduced. But one is struck more by the irrelevance of the material than by its utilitarian value. Consider the entrance examination for the Lowell High School in 1 8 5 0 . Applicants were expected to be able to nam e: . . . T h e c a p ita l o f A b b yssin ia, tw o lakes in the Su dan , the riv e r th a t runs th ro u g h the c o u n tr y o f the H o tte n to ts , and o f the d e s e rt lying betw een the N ile and the R ed Sea, as well as to lo c a te B o m b e to k B a y , the G u lf o f S id ra, and the L u p a ta M o u n ta in s .43 E ven such evidently useful training as sewing was introduced less for its vocational value than for its moral effect. The Boston School Committee reported: T h e in dustrious habits w hich sewing ten ds to f o r m and the c o n s e q u e n t high m o ra l influence w h ich it e x e r ts upon s o c ie ty at large m a y ca u s e its in tr o d u c ­ tion m o r e exten sively in all the s c h o o ls .44 T h at those involved in education were more interested in the high moral influence of the school than in the intellectual product of education seems quite true. Although we have no direct evidence on this point, it appears likely that employers shared the educators’ viewpoint. Intellectual skills were not re­ quired for most workers on the jo b . L u ft’s study of piece-rate productivity records of thousands of mid-nineteenth-century Low ell millworkers indi­ cated no statistical relationship between individual worker productivity and literacy.45 T h e elementary educational system was already much larger80p ll ihna h n 0 “ Ght“ ih8t “P cCh0 “hin than necessar” to train the minorit” oP clerical an2 proPessional Dorqers Dho Do0l2 nee2 literac” in their Dorqd bn E B R w ‘ ro0ghl” threeI=0arters oP the a20lt 6 dSd pop0lation +incl02ing sla5es> co0l2 rea2 an2 DriteX the literac” rate in Wassach0setts Das s0Ustantiall” higherd T h e Praction oP voU s re=0iring literac” co0l2 not possiUl” ha5e e9cee2e2 : w percentdRL Concerning cogniti5e sqills more a25ance2 than literac”‘ De 2o0Ut that an” emplo”er Pamiliar Dith the 2ail” Dorqings oP their te9tile mills or other similar Pactories Do0l2 serio0sl” entertain the notion that the c0rric0l0m ta0ght in the schools oP the 2a” ha2 m0ch connection to the pro20cti5e capacities oP the Dorqersd T h e reasons Dh” most larger emplo”ers s0p3 porte2 p0Ulic e20cation apparentl” relate2 to the noncogniti5e ePPects oP schoolingM in more mo2ern terms’ to the hi22en c0rric0l0md %n this’ De ha5e ample testimon” Prom the mill oDners themsel5esdRK Some school committees Dere =0ite e9plicit aUo0t Dhat the” terme2 their moral o U ve c3 ti5esd bn E B f R ‘ Por e9ample’ the SpringPiel2 School Committee DroteX T h e o b je ct o f e d u c a tio n is by n o m ean s acco m p lish ed by m e re intellectual in­ s tr u c tio n . It has o th e r aim s o f equ al if not h igher im p o rta n c e . T h e c h a r a c t e r and habits are to be f o r m e d f o r life. . . .4S They go on to designate a few of the prominent points that a teacher should inculcate in the form ation of ch aracter; . . the habit of attention, self- reliance, habits of order and neatness, politeness and courtesy . . . habits of punctuality.” Th e connections between moral training in school and the needs of the business world were not missed by educators. A writer in the proreform M assachusetts T ea ch er wrote: T h a t the h ab it o f p ro m p t a ctio n in the p e r f o r m a n c e o f the duty req u ired o f the b oy, by the te a c h e r a t s ch o o l, b e co m e s in the m an o f business co n firm e d ; thus system and o r d e r c h a r a c t e r iz e the e m p lo y m en t o f the day la b o re r. H e m u st begin e a c h h alf day w ith as m u c h p rom ptness as he d rop s his tools at th e close o f it; an d he m u st m e e t e v e ry ap p o in tm en t and o r d e r d u rin g the h o u rs o f th e d ay with no less p recision . It is in this w ay th a t re g u la rity and e c o n o m y o f tim e hav e b e c o m e c h a r a c t e r is ti c o f o u r c o m m u n ity , as ap p ears in the r u n ­ ning “ on tim e ” o f long train s on o u r g r e a t netw ork o f railw ay s; the s tr ic t re g u ­ lation s o f all large m a n u f a c tu r in g estab lish m en ts; as well as the daily a r r a n g e ­ m en ts o f o u r sch o o l duties. . . . T h u s, w h at has been instilled in the m ind o f the pupil, as a p rin cip le, b e co m e s th o ro u g h ly reco g n ized by the m a n as o f the first im p o rta n c e in the tr a n s a c tio n o f business.49 In Low ell, Theodore Edson designed a special clock fo r classroom use which divided the school day neatly into thirty-two ten-minute recitation periods. But neither M ann nor most of the school committees or manufacturers3ao k1mOmn, i! xA,, Wt—ems pgtsACminhis hif hlpd aRh m ihope lhp C g o E + e tltA s 2A C5 ihf shd aRh fe an C g fCtAs op 5h 5 Ceif be done by, the c o n n e c t io n betw een p re s e n t c o n d u c t and su ccess, es tim a tio n , e m in e n ce in f u tu re life, the p re s e n c e o f an unseen ey e— n o t a syllable o f all these is set f o r th w ith an y earn estn ess o r insisted up on as th e true s o u rc e and spring o f h u m a n a c tio n s .53 Through his newly formed normal schools for teacher training, M ann strongly urged a modification of classroom methods to tap the affection, loyalty, and other higher motives of students. T h e replacem ent of male by fem ale elementary school teachers during this period constituted a step in the right direction. T h e fact that fem ale teachers were much cheaper to hire than males may have provided the main impetus fo r the feminization of the teaching staff. B u t the shift in hiring policy was probably at least as much a reflection of the view that schools should increasingly becom e an extension o f the family or, when necessary, even its substitute. N ot surprisingly, reforms of this magnitude generated opposition. T h e rural population, not yet awakened to the social distress, explosive poten­ tial, and commercial needs o f the new industrial order, found the State B o ard of Education meddlesome and a likely source of increased taxation. M ann never looked forward to his speaking tours in the rural Berkshires. T h ose associated with private schools found the common school a threat to their eminent positions. Many of the unincorporated private academies did close down during this period, though the more prestigious incorporated academies prospered. A few critics could not swallow M an n ’s rigid insis­ tence on the separation of church and school. T h e B oston masters and other old school pedagogues felt that permissiveness in the classroom was an invitation to anarchy in the streets. Abolitionists’ attacks were spurred by M an n ’s acceptance of racially segregated education, as well, perhaps, as his attempts to curb abolitionist-minded schoolm asters from speaking pub- lically on the su b ject.54 (L a te r, as a member of the U .S . House of R ep re ­ sentatives, Mann would himself adopt the antislavery c a u se .) M ann did everything possible to portray himself as an embattled cru­ sader. “ When I took my circuit last year,” Mann reported to Barnard, “I mounted on top of a horse, and went Paul Prying along the way, and diverging off to the right or left, wherever I scented any improvement. I believe that was substantially the way that P eter the Hermit got up the Crusades.”55 B u t the history of the period reveals more M ann’s overwhelming politi­ cal power stemming from enthusiastic support from virtually all influential quarters. T h e one serious challenge to his position reflects the political clim ate of the day, and deserves brief mention. In 1 8 3 8 , the Tem perance reformers succeeded in gaining passage of a3ao k1mOmn, i! x A,, Wt—ems pgtsACminh g h the present cent0r”d 40t a st02″ oP the impact oP W ann an2 the other rePormers on the schools oP nineteenthIcent0r” W assach0setts is also in3 str0cti5ed As it t0rns o0t’ the rePormers 2i2 not maqe progress toDar2 all oP their oUvecti5esd Consi2ering W assach0setts as a Dhole’ the percentage oP people 0n2er the age oP tDent” enrolle2 in school +U o th p0Ulic an2 pri3 5ate> Pell slightl” Prom R L percent in E B u K to R u percent in E B L w d k 5en taqing into acco0nt the gra20al increase in the length oP the school session’ the amo0nt oP schooling aPPor2e2 to “o0ng people 2i2 not increase o5er this perio2dfK As De shall see shortl”‘ in this respect Wassach0setts Das at”picald F hat 2i2 changeY Fe are in2eUte2 to W an n zs passion Por n0mUers Por o0r aUilit” to ansDer this =0estion Dith some conPi2enced The rePormers 2i2 accomplish a signiPicant increase in the percentage oP schoolIage chil2ren enrolle2 in p0Ulic as oppose2 to pri5ate schoolsd Atten2ance at pri5ate instit0tions Pell Uoth aUsol0tel” an2 relati5el”d T h e com mon school Das coming to Ue a realit”d T h e amo0nt oP reso0rces 2e5ote2 to p0Ulic school3 ing increase2 2ramaticall”‘ not onl” 20e to the e9pan2ing n0mUers oP chil2ren in p0Ulic school’ U0t thro0gh a marqe2 increase in perIp0pil e93 pen2it0resd Taqing acco0nt oP changes in the le5el oP prices o5er this perio2′ the rate oP increase oP perIp0pil e9pen2it0re amo0nts to Dell o5er : percent per ann0md T h e consoli2ation oP 2istrict schools is rePlecte2 in a mo2est increase in the a5erage si.e oP schoolsN Prom tDent”Ise5en in E B u Z to thirt” in E B f Z d W oreo5er’ U” the en2 oP this perio2′ Domen teachers ha2 come to pre2ominate in primar” schoolsd The” constit0te2 ro0ghl” se5enI eighths oP all p0Ulic school teachersdfB OoD are De to assess the impact oP W annzs rePormsY T h at some oP W an n zs contemporaries pict0re2 him a ra2ical is’ perhaps’ not s0rprisingX his rePorms Dere at once progressi5e an2 conser5ati5ed Sensing its pro20c3 ti5e potential’ he emUrace2 the neD capitalist or2er an2 so0ght thro0gh social amelioration an2 str0ct0ral change to a2v0st the social instit0tions an2 the people oP Wassach0setts to its nee2sd A t the same time’ W annzs rePorms ha2 the intent +an2 most liqel” the ePPect as D ell> oP Porestalling the 2e5elopment oP class conscio0sness among the Dorqing people oP the state an2 preser5ing the legal an2 econom ic Po0n2ations oP the societ” in Dhich he ha2 Ueen raise2d T h e rePorme2 school s”stem oP Wassach0setts Das W annzs croDning achie5ementd bt Das tr0l” an inno5ati5e sol0tion to the proUlem oP conser5ati5e a2aption to changed bt Das soon to Ue 20pli3 cate2 aro0n2 the co0ntr”duao qEm%mn’ i1 9 A” FtMems pgtsACminG z S Bw p ll ihna h n w G yht G i hBt G H cC hw Gv h a nCel ECuuCA pERCCi pnpahu sC RoAf tA RoAf 5taR aRh employment of your people; you may be quite certain that the adaption of these systems at once will aid each other. Letter from Abbott Lawrence of Massachusetts to William Rives of Virginia, 1846 We have argued that the expansion of the industrial capitalist system was a m ajor force promoting educational reform and expansion in the antebellum period. Our evidence from the town of Lowell and from the study of H orace M ann’s reforms certainly point in this direction. Y e t, the reader may ob ject that these are exceptional cases. Would a detailed study of another industrial town or another reformer support these conclusions? We suspect that as more detailed case studies are conducted, our interpretation will be supported. In the meantime, we must content ourselves with the less detailed, but quite comprehensive, statistical evidence available in state educational reports and in the U .S. Census. A number o f excellent studies are at our disposal. We will consider first a statewide study of M assachu­ setts before considering national data. Th e argument that there was an intimate connection between economic and educational change is supported by the recent research of Alexander Field on mid-nineteenth-century M assachusetts.59 Drawing upon town-by- town statistics and on both schooling and econom ic and demographic structure, and using the technique of multiple regression, his work supports the view that the impetus behind the implementation of school reforms was not from urbanization itself, not the introduction of capital intensive ma­ chinery, but rather the rise of the factory as the dominant production unit. He found that school boards were most likely to press for educational expansion in those towns characterized by a large percentage of workers employed in large establishments and a low level of capital per worker. A more detailed consideration of F ie ld ’s results reveals that it was crowded conditions (measured by inhabitants per dwelling) and the relative size of the Irish community, not the size of the town itself, which was associated with school-board attempts to lengthen the school year. F ield ’s study is unusual in that it allows us to distinguish between the intent of the town school boards and the response of parents and students. The school board determined the length of the school session; its attempts to expand education are perhaps best measured by this variable. B u t the levels of actual attendance were, for the most part, out of their hands. TheAme r1.e34 p5 680PSI “48I3GSpWCmr percentage oP schoolIage chil2ren atten2ing school rePlecte2 the comple9 interpla” oP Pactors in5ol5ing parents’ chil2ren’ social press0res’ an2 the emplo”ment sit0ationd 6sing ( ie l2 zs res0lts’ De can 2e5elop a =0antitati5e pict0re oP the conPlicting interests at Dorq in the process oP e20cational rePormd SigniPicantl”‘ 2espite the 2emonstrate2 positi5e relationship U e3 tDeen the length oP the school session an2 the presence oP a large brish comm0nit”‘ school atten2ance Das no higher in toDns Dith large brish pop0lationsd This e5i2ence is consistent Dith the interpretations that the brish inPl09 pro5oqe2 school Uoar2s to e9pan2 the school s”stem’ U0t their attempts’ at least prior to the Ci5il F ar’ Dere ePPecti5el” oPPset U” the in2iPPerence or resistance oP brish parents an2 chil2rend -0mero0s =0antitati5e st02ies s0pport the 5ieD that resistance to p0Ulic schooling among the PoreignIUorn Das Di2esprea2d bn their m0ltiple regres3 sion st02″ oP atten2ance le5els in -eD 7 o rq State co0nties in E B R f ‘ * aesI tle an2 Rano5sqis Po0n2 a strong negati5e relationship UetDeen school atten2ance an2 the percentage oP the pop0lation Uorn o0tsi2e the 6nite2 Statesd Also negati5el” relate2 to school atten2ance Das a 5ariaUle meas0r3 ing the e9tent oP po5ert” in the co0nt”dLw *aestle an2 Rano5sqis Po0n2 a positi5e U0t statisticall” insigniPicant relationship UetDeen atten2ance on the one han2 an2 2egree oP 0rUani.ation an2 per capita ta9 5al0ation on the otherd % P E ‘w L L tr0ants in 4oston in E B R Z ‘ Z L u + o r Z w percent> ha2 PoreignIUorn parentsdLE Thernstrom zs st02″ oP -eDUerr”port’ W assach03 setts’ shoDs that nati5eIUorn Dorqers ten2e2 to sen2 their chil2ren to school Dhile brishIUorn Dorqers resiste2 schoolingd brishIUorn prePerre2′ iP possiUle’ to 0se Dhate5er sa5ings Do0l2 res0lt Prom their chil2renzs laUor to U0″ propert”dL: Tho0gh 0seP0l in i2entiP”ing gross relationships’ the aUo5e =0antitati5e 2ata are not a2e=0atel” comple9 to capt0re the ethnic 2imension oP the conPlict o5er school e9pansiond The PoreignIUorn 2i2 not oppose e20cation itselP’ U0t rather p0Ulic schooling controlle2 U” othersd bn -eD 7 o rq an2 elseDhere’ the brish comm0nit” Po0ght har2 Por its oDn schoolsd The pro3 Pessional an2 U0siness elite 2i2 not attempt to Porce the chil2ren oP all PoreignIUorn Pamilies into schoold T h eir Gtarget pop0lations8 Dere the Por3 eignIUorn in the potentiall” e9plosi5e 0rUan proletariat an2 reser5e arm”d The” Dere concerne2 not so m0ch Dith c0lt0ral 2i5ersit” as Dith the threat oP social 0nrestd T h e e5i2ent c0lt0ral 2i5ersit” in late eighteenthIcent0r” -eD 7 o r q Cit”‘ Dhich incl02e2 signiPicant n0mUers oP economicall” in2e3 pen2ent _0tch’ O0g0enot’ an2 other nonIenglishIspeaqing people’ 2i2 not concern the DellItoI2o nearl” as m0ch as the groDth oP the knglish3uao qEm%mn’ i1 9A” FtMems pgtsACminUKf Bwp ll ihna h n w G yhtG ihBt G H cChw Gspeaqing U0t impo5erishe2 brish comm0nit” in the earl” nineteenth cent0r”dBu Th e econom ic transPormation oP Wassach0setts 20ring this perio2 Das more thoro0ghgoing an2 2ramatic than that e9perience2 in most states’ U0t the con2itions e9isting in neighUoring Connectic0t’ -eD 7 o rq ‘ Henns”l3 5ania’ an2 Dhere5er the DageIlaUor s”stem Das coming to 2ominate the social relations oP pro20ction Dere not so 2iPPerent Prom those Dhich ha2 pro22e2 the capitalist an2 proPessional classes oP Wassach0setts to actiond T h e sprea2 oP p0Ulic e20cation o0tsi2e Wassach0setts Das har2l” 0niPorm’ or 0ni5ersalX Uoth UePore an2 aPter the Ci5il F ar’ the states e9hiUite2 2ramatic 2iPPerences in the pace at Dhich p0Ulic elementar” e20cation Das e9pan2e2d – or Dere the partic0larl” 0rUan or Dealth” states in the lea2d A lUert (ishloD has 2emonstrate2 that school atten2ance in the mi2I an2 late nineteenth cent0r” appears to Ue 0nrelate2 to the le5el oP income or the 2egree oP 0rUani.ation in the statedLR bn the So0th’ prior to the Ci5il Far’ the DellItoI2o saD little 5al0e in p0Ulic schooling’ partic0larl” in those states Dith large sla5e pop0lations an2 relati5el” PeD Dage Dorqersd Fhere man0Pact0ring 2i2 emplo” an” signiPicant n0mUers oP people’ p0Ulic schools PolloDe2d A st02″ oP stateIU”I state e20cation an2 emplo”ment statistics Por the perio2 oP E B R w I E B L w ‘ con20cte2 U” one oP 0s in conv0nction Dith ’a n ice Feiss’ re5eale2′ Por e9ample’ that atten2ance at p0Ulic schools Das positi5el” relate2 to the percentage oP the laUor Porce emplo”e2 in man0Pact0ring an2 negati5el” relate2 to the importance oP sla5es in the statezs econom”d k9ten2ing o0r st02″ to co5er the “ears E B L w I E B B w ‘ De Po0n2 that the 2emise oP sla5er” an2 the )econstr0ction Herio2 Uro0ght Dith it an e9pansion oP schooling’ again PolloDing closel” the e5ol0tion oP the laUor Porce in man0Pact0r3 ingdLf At least as important in this perio2′ De s0spect’ Das the 5igoro0s str0g3 gle oP Ulacqs Por more e20cation in the postsla5e So0thd OoDe5er’ the e20cational 2e5elopment oP the So0thern states Das not’ as these res0lts might s0ggest’ 2etermine2 solel”M or e5en primaril”M U” Porces internal to the statesd The rest oP the co0ntr”‘ an2 partic0larl” the -ortheast’ ha2 a m avor inPl0ence on the So0thern school s”stemN The carpetUagger an2 the -orthern capitalist Dere =0icql” PolloDe2 U” the schoolmasterd Starting in E B L L ‘ -orthern capitalists e9erte2 their inPl0ences 2irectl” thro0gh earl” e20cational Po0n2ations s0ch as the HeaUo2″ (0n2 an2 the Slater (0n 2 dLL 4 ” the t0rn oP the cent0r”‘ ’ohn _d ) ocqePeller an2 other m avor Pinancial Pig0res ha2 Ueg0n to sense the importance o P So0thern agric0lt0ral pro20c3 ti5it” an2 oP Ulacq laUor in the contin0e2 proPitaUilit” oP capitalist enter39 ‘ Z prisesd T h e earl” tricqle oP capitalist philanthrop” to So0thern e20cation greD to a Ploo2d %5er its Pirst 2eca2e oP e9istence + E Z w E I E Z E E > ‘ the neDl” Porme2 yeneral k 20cation 4 oar2 M a pri5ate Uo2″ channeling corporate P0n2s into school rePorm M Do0l2 recei5e / f w million Prom ) ocqePeller aloned This ga5e the 4oar2 an ann0al operating income Par in e9cess oP the e20cation U02gets o P most So0thern statesd’ET AlDa”s Dorqing Dithin the PrameDorq oP So0thern poDer an2 race relations’ these -orthern philan3 thropists so0ght to era2icate the e20cational UacqDar2ness oP the So0th Dith the s0pport oP the Ulacqs themsel5esd The” met Dith onl” mi9e2 s0ccessd 4etDeen the Ci5il F ar an2 Forl2 F ar b’ enrollments an2 e9pen2i3 t0res in So0thern e20cation e9pan2e2 2ramaticall”‘ an2 the 20al s”stem oP school Dith its separate’ an2 increasingl” 0ne=0al’ Pacilities Por Ulacqs an2 Dhites Das Pirml” estaUlishe2d bn the Parming areas oP the Fest’ the sprea2 oP p0Ulic e20cation appears to ha5e Ueen associate2 not’ as some Do0l2 ha5e it’ Dith the strength o P an in2epen2ent Parming class’ U0t Dith its opposite’ the 2e5elopment oP a DageIlaUor Porce in agric0lt0red The st02″ U” We2oPP an2 40chele in2icates that p0Ulic e20cational e9pen2it0res Dere signiPicantl” an2 positi5el” re3 late2 to the mechani.ation an2 increasing 0se oP Dage laUor in agric0lt0red -o relationship Dhate5er Das Po0n2 UetDeen e20cational e9pansion an2 perIcapita income or 0rUani.ationdww bnterestingl”‘ 40chele an2 We2oPi Po0n2 that’ taqing acco0nt oP the apparentl” rele5ant 2imensions oP the econom ic str0ct0re oP each state’ those Dhich Dere the centers oP the Hop0list re5olt +W innesota’ the _aI qotas’ -eUrasqa’ *ansas’ -orth Carolina’ an2 A laU am a> 2e5ote2 signiPi3 cantl” less reso0rces to p0Ulic e20cation 20ring this perio2d This Pin2ing’ oP co0rse’ in5ites a 5ariet” oP interpretationsd 40t it is har2l” s0rprising in 5ieD oP the Pact that’ 0nliqe Oorace Wann an2 the other rePormers’ the Hop0lists i2entiPie2 the str0ct0re oP the econom” an2 not the lacq oP schooling as the so0rce oP po5ert”‘ econom ic insec0rit”‘ an2 ine=0alit”d Fhile s0pporting p0Ulic e20cation’ Hop0list lea2ers ha2 emphasi.e2 a more imme2iate an2 more 2irect economic oUvecti5ed GFith the collapse oP political Hop0lism’8 oUser5e2 VaDrence Cremin’ one oP the Poremost e203 cational historians oP this perio2′ Ge20cational rePorm seeme2 to gain neD 5igord8 Kw 7 e t Hop0lism Do0l2′ in the en2′ maqe a m avor’ iP 0ne9pecte2′ contriU0tion to the groDth oP e20cation in the Fest an2 So0th’ Por it Das precisel” the Pear oP Hop0list re5i5al that le2 man” m avor capitalist o r3 gani.ationsM the )ocqePellerIen2oDe2 yeneral k20cation 4oar2′ the Am erican 4anqers Association’ at least Po0r m avor railroa2 companies’ the -ational bmplement an2 Rehicle Association among themM to len2 theiruao qEm%mn’ i1 9A” FtMems pgtsACminy F F Bw p ll ihna h n w G yht G i hBt GH cC hw Gpolitical an2 Pinancial s0pport to the Ple2gling agric0lt0ral e20cation an2 e9tension mo5ementdKE k20cation Das not an oUvecti5e oP Hop0list agitationd 4 0 t it Das certainl” one res0ltd bncreasingl”‘ U0siness lea2ers came to see schooling an2 e9tension Dorq as a saPe alternati5e to the G agrarianism8 an2 econom ic transPormation espo0se2 U” so man” late nineteenthIcent0r” Parmersd C o n c lu s io n Education universally extended throughout the community will tend to disabuse the working class of people in respect of a notion that has crept into the minds of our mechanics and is gradually prevailing, that manual labor is at present very inadequately rewarded, owing to combinations of the rich against the poor; that mere mental labor is comparatively worthless; that property or wealth ought not be accumulated or transmitted; that to take interest on money lent or profit on capital employed is unjust. . . . The mistaken and igno­ rant people who entertain these fallacies as truths will learn, when they have the opportunity of learning, that the insti­ tution of political society originated in the protection of property. Th o m a s Co o p e r. Elements of Political Economy, 1828 T h e statistical studies reviewed in the previous section are not, of course, all that we would like to evaluate critically in our interpretation of educa­ tional history. In our attempt to get a broader picture, we have lost much of the detail of our earlier case studies. Measures such as capital per worker, or workers per farm, or slaves as a percentage of the working population do not adequately capture the relevant data on the class struc­ ture and mode of production. Statistics on the growth o f enrollments or school expenditures fail to capture much of what was important in the nineteenth-century educational reform movements. Despite these drawbacks, however, these large-scale statistical studies, in conjunction with our earlier evidence, present a dramatic if sketchy picture of educational change. T h ere can be little doubt that educational reform and expansion in the nineteenth century was associated with the growing ascendancy of the capitalist mode of production. Particularly striking is the recurring pattern of capital accumulation in the dynamic advanced sectors o f the economy, the resulting integration of new workers into the wage-x , ( laUor s”stem’ the e9pansion oP the proletariat an2 the reser5e arm”‘ social 0nrest an2 the emergence oP political protest mo5ements’ an2 the 2e5el3 opment oP mo5ements Por e20cational e9pansion an2 rePormd Fe Pin2 also a rec0rring pattern oP political an2 Pinancial s0pport Por e20cational changeN Fhile the impet0s Por e20cational rePorm sometimes cam e Prom 2isgr0n3 tle2 Parmers or Dorqers’ the lea2ership o P the mo5ementsM Dhich s0c3 cee2e2 in stamping its 0nmistaqaUle imprint on the Porm an2 2irection oP e20cational inno5ationM Das Ditho0t e9ception in the han2s oP a coalition oP proPessionals an2 capitalists Prom the lea2ing sectors oP the econom”d Fe note in closing’ hoDe5er’ that no 5er” simple or mechanistic rela3 tionship UetDeen econom ic str0ct0re an2 e20cational 2e5elopment is liqel” to Pit the a5ailaUle historical e5i2enced As De saD in o0r st02″ oP VoDell’ Wassach0setts’ an2 oP O orace W annzs Dorq’ political Pactors ha5e inter3 5ene2 UetDeen econom ic str0ct0res an2 e20cational o0tcomes in comple9 an2 sometimes’ apparentl”‘ contra2ictor”‘ Da”sd bn the ne9t chapter’ De e9pan2 o0r anal”sis to co5er the Hrogressi5e rePorms oP the Pirst part oP the tDentieth cent0r”duao qEm%mn’ i1 9A” FtMems pgtsACmin3Yq
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Global Political Economy This page intentionally left blank GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY EVOLUTION & DYNAMICS ROBERT O’BRIEN & MARC WILLIAMS EDITION 5 TH © Robert O’Brien and Marc Williams 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First edition 2004 Second edition 2007 Third edition 2010 Fourth edition 2013 Fifth edition 2016 Published by PALGRAVE Palgrave in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of 4 Crinan Street, London, N1 9XW. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Palgrave is a global imprint of the above companies and is represented throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN 978–1–137–52312–9 hardback ISBN 978–1–137–52311–2 paperback This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. To our daughters Isabella and Louisa The world is yours to explore and improve This page intentionally left blank List of Boxes, Tables, Figures and Maps x Preface to the Fifth Edition xiii List of Abbreviations xiv Introduction 1 Part 1 Theoretical Perspectives 5 1 Theories of Global Political Economy 6 Understanding the Global Political Economy 6 The Economic Nationalist Perspective 8 Key actors 8 Key dynamics 9 Conflict and cooperation 10 Economic nationalism today 10 The Liberal Perspective 12 Key actors 13 Key dynamics 13 Conflict and cooperation 13 Liberalism today 14 The Critical Perspective 16 Key actors 17 Key dynamics 17 Conflict and cooperation 18 Critical theory today 18 Contending Perspectives: A Summary 19 Further Reading 21 2 International Political Economy and its Methods 22 Locating the Field 22 Economics 23 Political science 24 Political economy 24 International relations 25 Methodological Issues 26 Case studies and large n studies 26 Rational choice 27 Institutionalism 28 Constructivism 30 Contents Trends in Contemporary GPE Theory 32 Consolidation 32 Integration 33 Expansion 34 Approach of the Book 36 Further Reading 38 Part 2 Evolution 39 3 Forging a World Economy: 1400–1800 40 Regions of the World Economy 41 The Middle East 42 China 43 India 44 Africa 45 The Americas 45 Europe 46 European Expansion 51 Into the Americas 51 Along Africa: the triangular trade 54 On the peripheries of Asia 56 Conclusion 58 Further Reading 62 4 Industry, Empire and War: 1800–1945 63 The Industrial Revolution 64 What was the Industrial Revolution? 64 Why Britain? Why then? 66 What did the others do? 67 Pax Britannica 68 The gold standard and capital flows 68 Free trade 71 Balance of power 71 Renewed Imperialism 74 War and Economic Disorder 77 The world wars 77 Interwar economic failure 79 Conclusion 82 Further Reading 85 viii Contents 5 Growing a Global Economy: 1945–2015 86 The Cold War Era: 1945–89 86 The US-led Western political economy 86 The communist political economy 89 The southern political economy 89 The Post-Cold War Era: 1990–2015 91 Competing capitalisms and state transformation 91 The information revolution 93 International organizations and governance 95 Conclusion 97 Further Reading 100 Part 3 Dynamics 101 6 International Trade 102 Definitions 102 Theoretical Perspectives: Free Trade and Protectionism 103 Proponents of free trade 104 Critics of free trade 105 Major Developments 108 Growth and protectionism 108 Changing institutional arrangements 112 Key Issues 115 Developing country interests 115 Regional trade agreements 120 Legitimacy 122 Conclusion 124 Further Reading 124 7 Transnational Production 125 Definitions 127 Theoretical Perspectives: Explaining the Growth of TNCs 128 Major Developments 131 The globalization of production 131 Changing organizational principles 135 Key Issues 138 Re-evaluating the benefits of FDI 138 State–firm interactions 142 Regulating capital 145 Conclusion 146 Further Reading 147 8 The Global Financial System 148 Definitions and Background 148 Theoretical Perspectives: The Mundell- Fleming Model 151 Major Developments 153 IMS: from fixed to floating and regional currencies 153 Credit: financial innovation and repeated crises 157 Key Issues 166 Global credit crisis 166 Future of the US dollar 168 The European sovereign debt and euro crisis 170 Corporate and individual tax abuse 173 Conclusion 177 Further Reading 178 9 Global Division of Labour 179 Definitions 179 Theoretical Perspectives: Adam Smith and his Critics 181 Major Developments 184 Changes in the production process 185 From the new international to the global division of labour 186 Key Issues 187 Global restructuring: the rise of China and India 188 The struggle for workers’ rights in a global economy 191 The division of labour and global stability 193 Conclusion 196 Further Reading 197 10 Gender 198 Definitions and Background 198 Theoretical Perspectives: GPE as if Gender Mattered 200 Major Developments 203 Women in the world economy: employment trends and prospects 203 Gender and global public policy 205 Key Issues 210 The feminization of poverty 210 Globalization of reproductive work 211 Gender and global restructuring 214 Conclusion 216 Further Reading 216 11 Economic Development 217 Definitions 218 Contents ix Theoretical Perspectives on Growth and Development 222 Major Developments 226 Development and national capitalism, 1947–81 227 Development, neoliberalism and beyond, 1982–2015 229 Key Issues 232 The organization of development 232 Debt and debt relief 235 North–South conflict 237 Conclusion 239 Further Reading 240 12 Global Environmental Change 241 Definitions and Background 242 Theoretical Perspectives: IPE and Environmental Studies 244 IPE debates 244 Environmental studies’ debates 246 Major Developments 249 Bringing the environment in 249 Mainstreaming environmentalism 251 Key Issues 253 Sustainable development 253 Climate change 256 Transnational land acquisitions 259 Conclusion 260 Further Reading 261 13 Ideas 262 Definitions 262 Theoretical Perspectives: Ideas about Ideas 263 Major Developments 266 The information revolution and the information society 266 The rise and stall of the Washington Consensus 268 Key Issues 271 Technological diffusion 271 Property rights and life (HIV/AIDS) 272 Ideas, interests and the global financial crisis 274 Conclusion 277 Further Reading 278 14 Security 279 Definitions: Three Views of Security 279 The traditional state-centric approach 279 New security studies 280 Human security 281 Theoretical Perspectives: Integrating Security and Political Economy 282 Major Developments 285 The Cold War security structure 285 The post-Cold War security structure 286 Key Issues 290 Economic statecraft and security 290 Transnational crime and corporate espionage 293 Disease, pandemics and security 296 Conclusion 298 Further Reading 298 15 Governing the Global Political Economy 299 Definitions 299 Theoretical Perspectives: Whither the State? 300 Major Developments 301 Proliferation of governance levels 302 Proliferation of actors 305 Rise of the BRICS 307 Twenty-First-Century Challenges 310 Development and growth 310 Equality and justice 311 Democracy and regulation 313 Conclusion 316 Further Reading 316 Bibliography 317 Index 342 W hy do we inhabit a world where there are such great inequalities of wealth and life chances between regions? Why do some countries seem to be caught in a trap of producing products whose value declines over time, such as sugar or coffee? What accounts for the racial hierar – chies in countries such as the US and South Africa? Why do some societies and countries seem suspicious of the foreign and economic policies of Western states, corporations and civic associations? The answers to these questions are partially rooted in the origins of the global economy. Indeed, a full understanding of today’s global economy requires a familiarity with patterns that were initiated hundreds of years ago. Croce’s argument that ‘however remote in time events there recounted may seem to be, the history in reality refers to present needs and present situations wherein those events vibrate’ (Croce, 1941, p. 19) implies that history is constantly rewritten in light of existing debates and sensibilities. New histories often tell us as much about the times in which they were written as they do about the historical events themselves. An interesting example of this can be seen in the last decade of the 20th century when several prominent scholars engaged in a debate about the ‘rise of the West’. They tried to explain why political and economic power was concentrated in the hands of several Western states (western Europe and the US). On one side of the debate were those who congratulated today’s winners in the global economy by arguing that the rich were wealthy because they had the most virtuous social, economic and political institutions. We can call this the ‘cultural approach’. The rich are rich because they have a culture that supports success. A prominent exponent of this view is Harvard historian David Landes in his book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998). The other side of the debate argued that Western success was accidental and temporary, built on force and expropriation as much as any positive cultural attributes. We can call this the ‘global historical approach’, because it stresses the role of other civilizations and refutes the histori – cal claims of the culturalists. Such an approach challenges the notion that history has ended because Western states have discovered the ultimate model for struc – turing economic, social and political relations. A prominent illustration of this approach is Hobson’s The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization (2004). The debate between cultural and global historical explanations about the ‘rise of the West’ became heated because it concerned the present and the future as much as it did the past. Participants claimed that they had discovered the secrets to why some are rich and others are poor. Such knowledge can be used by others to restructure their societies in the hope of similar success. The practical implica – tions are immense. The culturalists see the cause of poverty as the behaviour of the poor, while the global historicist side sees it as a result of the relationship between the poor and the rich. The policy implications of the first view are that Chapter 3 Forging a World Economy: 1400–1800 Regions of the World Economy 41 European Expansion 51 Conclusion 58 Further Reading 62 Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 41 the poor are themselves primarily responsible for improving their position, while the implication of the second view is that the system of political and eco – nomic relations must be changed to create greater equity. The first message offers comfort to those already enjoying economic success, while the second urges mobilization and change. How far back in history should we go to gain a better understanding of today’s patterns of inequalities and wealth generation? In his bestselling book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies , Diamond (1997) argued that we need to go back 11,000 years to find the ultimate causes of differences in economic development between people and regions. In his view, environmental and geographic factors such as differ – ences in plant and animal species, rates of migration and diffusion within and between continents and total area/population size of continents privileged the peo – ples of Europe and Asia over people in other parts of the world. The ability to produce food and domesticate animals allowed for the creation of civilizations that overwhelmed societies with less complicated divisions of labour. Our investigation will begin in the late 1400s when Spanish adventurers forcefully integrated sections of the Americas into an intercontinental economy that already linked parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. This chapter focuses on the period when the major regional economies in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas were brought into increased contact through the persis – tence of European expansionism. It is the beginning of the first truly worldwide or global economy. This will be accomplished in two steps. First, we will provide a brief overview of the major economic areas before the Spanish conquest of the 1500s. This will give us an understanding of the diversity of political economy arrangements around the world and will lay the groundwork for understanding the varying pattern of European–non-European interaction in subsequent centuries. Second, we will look at the pattern of Euro – pean engagement with other parts of the world from the 1490s until the early 1800s. The conclusion analyses the historical record in terms of the key frameworks used in Part 3 – trade, production, finance, labour, gender, devel – opment, environment, ideas, security and governance. The chapter has two major arguments. First, the regional political economies that were connecting dur – ing this period varied greatly in terms of social, political and economic organization. Second, this heterogeneity created a variety of interactions from free exchange to open warfare and slavery. A third point, explored in fol – lowing chapters, is that these interactions would have long-lasting effects. Regions of the Wo Rld economy This section provides a snapshot of several areas of the world prior to European contact with the Americas, which created the first truly worldwide political econ – omy. In the year 1400, there was little hint that the resi – dents of Europe would have such an influence on the majority of people who lived in other regions. As the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English and French stead – ily moved outwards from their own continent, they encountered a variety of people and social organiza – tions. Rather than expanding into a vacuum, the Euro – peans interacted with established civilizations, economic systems and military forces. There are several points to keep in mind. First, with few exceptions, economic activity was on a local level. Agricultural production was the norm and this was usually centred on a market town with an agricultural hinterland of about 30 kilometres (Schwartz, 1994, p.  13). Second, despite the predominance of this local activity, intercontinental trade routes moving luxury goods had existed for thousands of years. Third, at the heart of these trade routes lay very different civiliza – tions with distinct political economies. Indeed, some approaches to international relations and global history take different civilizations as their starting point (Brau – del, 1994; Cox, 1996). Janet Abu-Lughod (1989) has provided an interest – ing account of the world system before Europeans began their transatlantic voyages. Her research reveals a system of trade and economic exchange reaching from China to Europe. The system was composed of eight overlapping regions. Economic activity was concen – trated within these regions, but they were linked to neighbouring regions, allowing products to move from eastern Asia to western Europe. Map 3.1 reproduces Abu-Lughod’s diagram showing the regions, but it also adds four additional regions that will be discussed below under ‘Africa’ and ‘the Americas’. Moving from west to east on the Eurasian continent, the first area is the region that brought together northern and southern 42 Part 2 EVol UT ion Europe. The second region sits above the Mediterra – nean, crossing the divide between Christian southern Europe and the Islamic centres of Egypt. This Mediter – ranean region overlapped with three central regions. Region 3 covered the overland trade routes that stretched across central Asia to China and were main – tained by the Mongols. Region 4 included the territory around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (modern-day Iraq) down to the Persian Gulf. Region 5 also joined the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, but through Egypt and the Red Sea. Products making their way into the Indian Ocean were then transported across Region 6, which covered the Arabian Sea, linking Ara – bia with the western coast of India. Region 7 linked India with South-east Asia, while Region 8 finished the route by taking in China and South-east Asia. This meant that there were three routes for products to move from China to Europe. The northern route moved goods overland from China via central Asia through the Mediterranean into the European region. Alterna – tively, products could move by sea through South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean and then into the Mediterra – nean either through the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Abu-Lughod’s work omits African trading regions, so we have added two regions that cover certain areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Region 9 brought goods from sub-Saharan Africa into northern Africa and the Medi – terranean/European world. Region 10 brought African goods into the Middle East and Asia via the Indian Ocean. Our map also includes two regions in the Amer – icas that were not joined to the African-European- Asian system. These are Region 11, which belonged to the Aztec Empire, and Region 12, ruled by the Incas. Although it would have taken years to travel around this circuit of trade in the 1400s and the volumes of trade were minuscule by today’s standards, economic activity was increasing across the system. Let’s turn our attention to each of these regions to get a brief idea of their nature. We are particularly interested in the types of economic activity and political relations that charac – terized each region. The Middle East In Abu-Lughod’s diagram of 14th-century regions, the Middle East acts as the key gateway between the Medi – terranean/European and the Eastern worlds. Indeed, the desire to get around this gateway was one of the key motivations driving European merchants into the Atlantic Ocean, around Africa and across to the Amer – icas. By the time of Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic, there had already been a 700-year history of bloody and lucrative interchange between European Christendom and Middle Eastern Islam. Islamic and Christian clashes took place from the south 11 12 9 1 2 4 5 3 6 10 7 8 Map 3.1 Regions of the 15th-century world economy Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 43 of France, through modern-day Egypt, Israel and Tur – key, to the gates of Vienna. Yet, this rivalry was balanced by many instances of cooperation, with alliances and economic interchange between Europeans and Middle Easterners. For example, the Genovese sold Christian and pagan slaves to the Mamlukes in Egypt who then trained them as soldiers to be used against the Crusaders, while the Venetians financed an Ottoman fleet to battle the Portuguese in the Red Sea. For almost 1,000 years Islamic warriors waged suc – cessful military campaigns against European forces. Behind those Middle Eastern armies stood a dynamic economy, extensive trade networks, bustling cities and great centres of learning. In retrospect, we can see that the 15th century was a period of transition in the Middle East. While the religion of Islam was dominant, forms of political authority were the objects of intense rivalry. Although ultimate political authority eventu – ally came to rest in the hands of the sultan of the Otto – man Empire, this occurred only after a period of conflict with and between Turkish tribes, Mongols, Persians and Mamlukes. The competition between rival sources of political power characteristic of Europe was not absent in the Middle East. However, by the early 1500s, the Ottoman Empire held the upper hand. It proceeded to extend its rule eastwards and westwards towards Europe. On land and at sea the Europeans had great difficulty matching the might of Islamic forces. It would not be until the second siege of Vienna in 1683 that European militaries would start to win consistent victories. The Mamlukes, followed by the Ottomans, presided over a thriving trading economy. In the 14th century, Cairo had a population of approximately half a million, which was only exceeded by one or two cities in China (Abu-Lughod, 1989, p. 212). The Mamlukes developed a structured and prosperous trading relationship with the Venetians. Through force of arms they prevented Europeans from seizing Egyptian territory that would have granted direct access to the wealth of India and China via the Red Sea. Venetians docked in Alexandria to wait for access to spices, dyes, pepper, silk, cotton and porcelains from Malaysia, India and China. Outside the Mediterranean, Arab traders pursued economic activity along the coast of eastern Africa, the western coast of India and into South-east Asia. Zanzi – bar, off the coast of eastern Africa, was occupied by Arab traders as early as the eighth century. The cultural remnants of this early commercial activity can be seen in the Muslim populations of countries such as Malay – sia and Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world). China Of all the great civilizations of the 15th century, China was the largest and most powerful. It produced prod – ucts that were greatly desired by the elite in other regions of the world, chief among these being ceramics and silk. China contained the world’s largest cities, advanced technology and impressive military forces. Indeed, the wonders of China were so great that when the Italian Marco Polo returned from his travels to that land in 1295, his observations were often dismissed as being fanciful. Some of his tales were exaggerated, but there is no doubt that China was a world leader in tech – nology and inventions many years before the European Renaissance (see Box 3.1). During the 14th and 15th centuries China was also undergoing dramatic changes. In 1370, the Chinese had finally succeeded in driving out Mongol rulers and re- established a Chinese emperor. This line of rulers was called the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Initially, the Mings launched several long-range trading voyages as far as the eastern coast of Africa. Their ships were five times as large as later Portuguese ships and they con – tained far more cargo space and cannons. They would have been capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean if they had attempted the task (McNeill, 1982, pp. 44–5). Indeed, had the voyages continued, it is possible that the Chinese might have sailed around Africa and reached Portugal, as well as ‘discovered’ the Americas. However, expeditions to the west (1405–33) were eventually halted by the Ming emperors and the seagoing fleet decommissioned. For the next several hundred years, the Chinese were less engaged with the outside world and fell behind, relative to the expanding Europeans. There are several possible explanations for why the naval excursions were ended. One has to do with court politics. The leader of the expeditions (Zheng He) was both a Muslim and a eunuch and eventually lost the support of the emperors. Another explanation is that although the voyages brought back interesting goods, there was little the Chinese found that they actually needed. Unlike the Europeans, who were desperate for spices and silks, the Chinese did not find anything so attractive that it would justify the expense of further 44 Part 2 EVol UT ion exploration. Finally, the centre of gravity in China shifted towards the north and internal development. The Mings moved the capital from Nanjing northwards to Beijing and became more concerned with land rather than sea threats. In addition, new locks on the Grand Canal joined the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, securing year-round rice transport in internal waters. This greatly reduced the importance of any maritime threats to Chinese stability and hence the need for a powerful navy (McNeill, 1982, p. 47). In terms of political structures, the Ming emperor was the sole source of law. His views might be restrained by appeal to precedent and scholarly discussions or debates, but his power was absolute (Mote, 1999, p. 637). China was governed by a single political authority, unlike the rival states that fought continuously in Europe. The court sat in Beijing and governors of prov – inces reported to the bureaucracy and the court in the capital city. The emperor was supported by a well- trained bureaucracy that was selected through a pro – cess of examination. Confucian scholar-officials played the major role in running the bureaucracy and advising the emperor. Increasingly during the Ming Dynasty, eunuchs played a key role in running the court and pro – viding services to the emperor. In some cases, they advanced their interests over that of the empire and cut the emperor off from developments in his realm. India Like China, India also possessed an ancient civilization, considerable economic wealth and military might. However, India was a more diverse and decentralized political economy than China. The northern section of India had experienced a series of invasions from Per – sian, Mongol, Turkish and Afghan tribes. In the 15th century, the northern region, known as the Delhi Sul – tanate, was ruled by descendants of invading Islamic forces, but they were constantly under attack from new waves of invaders. The sultanate was ravaged by the Mongol descendant Timur (Tamerlane) in 1388 and Delhi was sacked in 1398. Internal cohesion was diffi – cult to maintain. In 1526, Barbur, a descendant of Timur, invaded India and founded the Mughal (Mon – gol) dynasty. Many of India’s architectural wonders, such as the Taj Mahal, date from the Mughal era. Other parts of India were ruled by independent king – doms. The southern region was dominated by the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar from 1336 to 1565. It was often engaged in conflict with its neighbour, the Bahmani Sul – tanate. The eastern province of Bengal was usually con – trolled by independent rulers and the western coastal area of Gujarat also enjoyed independence. There were numerous other smaller kingdoms during this period. Ports in coastal areas of India enjoyed a great deal of autonomy from the inland empires and economic activity was conducted by a wide range of social and economic groups. In Kerala, external trade was con – ducted by Jews and Christians who had been resident since the sixth century. In other parts of India, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus were involved in trade (Bouchon and Lombard, 1987). On the western coast of India, the state of Gujarat dominated trade moving from the Middle East to the east coast of India. On the east coast, Bengal played a major part in moving goods on to South-east Asia. However, these coastal areas were relatively peripheral to the land-based empire. For Box 3.1 Ancient Chinese technology Archaeological discoveries point to the origins of Chinese civilization as early as 7,000–8,000 years ago. Traditionally, the Chinese view the greatest technological contributions of ancient China to the world as the Four Great Inventions: the compass ( ad 104 44), gunpowder ( ad 80 900), papermaking ( ad 105) and printing ( ad 868). Not only have the four discoveries had an enormous impact on the development of chinese civilization, but also a far-reaching global impact as other peoples adopted these innovations. a closer examination of china reveals a whole series of inventions that had their origins in that civilization (Needham, 195 1995). These include: ◗Metal casting (1800 bc) ◗Decimal system (1200 bc) ◗Row planting ( c. 500 bc) ◗Seed drill ( c. 202 bc ad 220) ◗Iron ploughs (202 bc ad 220) ◗Deep drilling (202 bc ad 220) ◗Ship’s rudder (202 bc ad 220) ◗Abacus (200 bc) ◗Paper money (140–87 bc) ◗Harness for horses ( ad 22 581) ◗Porcelain ( ad 58 618) ◗Mechanical clock ( ad 732). Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 45 example, it is reported that when the Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the recently conquered Indian ports of Cambay and Surat in the late 1500s, it was the first time he had ever seen the ocean (Risso, 1995). Reflecting on the experiences of the Middle East, China and India, it is noteworthy that while these civili – zations engaged in maritime activity, it was difficult for maritime interests to influence political power. The large land-based empires engaged in seaborne trade and established wide-ranging activity crossing the Mediter – ranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and around the seas to China. However, the Ottomans, Chinese and Mughals were primarily concerned with events within their existing empires and concentrated most of their effort in land-based expansion and defence. This was a very different pattern from the maritime-dependent Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and British Empires. Africa To Abu-Lughod’s diagram of trading networks we added two regions to cover interaction with sub-Saharan Africa (see Map 3.1). Region 9 covers land on either side of the Sahara Desert and the difficult trade across that arid territory. In western Africa, gold mines sup – plied European demand for currency while pepper was shipped north for consumption in food seasoning. This trade eventually encouraged the Portuguese to sail around the desert to establish direct trading contacts. Region 10 integrates the trade of eastern Africa with that of the Indian Ocean. In eastern Africa, trading posts exported slaves, ivory, iron, rhinoceros horn, tur – tle shell, amber and leopard skins to India and beyond. Both networks had existed for thousands of years. Africa contained a large variety of political groups (Shillington, 1995). Northern African states were integrated into the Islamic empire. In Ethiopia, a Chris – tian kingdom was founded in the fourth century and maintained its independence until the late 1930s. In the Shona state of Great Zimbabwe, 10-metre-high stone enclosures surrounded the king’s residence. Around the great lakes area of central Africa, the Luba and Lunda Empires concentrated on fishing and hunting. They purchased iron and salt from the north and copper from the south, which was made into rings, bracelets and necklaces. In summary, the large continent con – tained a number of different political economies linked together through trade. It is important that Africa is not viewed as static or stagnant in this period. Briefly we can note three main characteristics of the African political economy at that time. First, as noted above there was significant variation among different regions. Different ecological regions gave rise to differing factor endowments and thus the production of different goods and services. Second, over the period covered, commercial activity shifted as new commercial centres rose and old ones declined. For example, control over the gold trade made Hausaland a major commercial centre in the 16th century. But as gold declined in importance and the trade in people increased, Dahomey (modern day Benin) became the new hub of activity in the 17th century. Third, African economic activity was frequently disrupted by drought and fam – ine. These ‘limits to growth’ both spurred technical inno – vation and also limited consistent development. The Americas Although the existence of the Americas came as a sur – prise to Europeans, many areas were marked by advanced civilizations. Advanced civilization, in terms of intensive agricultural activity and large cities with complicated architecture, took place in two regions of the Americas. One region was the Inca Empire in the Andes in Peru and Bolivia, which stretched from Ecua – dor to Chile. The other was in Mesoamerica – Mexico and Guatemala. This was the home of the Maya who were starting to decline and the Aztecs who were in the process of creating a large empire. The Spanish encountered a well-developed empire when they began contact with the population of Mexico in 1519. The Aztecs ruled Mexico and were the successor to a series of civilizations, which included the Olmec, Teotihuacan and Toltecs. Although there were differ – ences between these civilizations, some continuities are noticeable (Davies, 1982). Similar to Old World civiliza – tions, the native Americans demonstrated an ability to build and maintain cities, erect large monuments and support sophisticated forms of art. Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, dazzled the Spanish invaders because of its large population and elaborate beauty. Its population was more than ten times that of leading Spanish cities of the same era. Unlike the Europeans and Asians, the native Americans faced greater transportation difficulties. They lacked beasts of burden, so most goods were carried on foot. Water transport was also limited due to the presence
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© 2022 John Patrick Leary Published in 2022 by Haymarket Books P.O. Box 180165 Chicago, IL 60618 773-583-7884 www .haymarketbooks.or g [email protected] g ISBN: 978-1-64259-728-8 Distributed to the trad e in the US through Consortium Book Sales and Distribution ( www.cbsd.com ) and internationally through Ingram Publisher Services International ( www.ingramcontent.com ). This book was published with the generous support of Lannan Foundation and W allace Action Fund. Special discounts are available for bulk purchases by organizations and institutions. Please call 773- 583-7884 or email [email protected] g for more information. Cover design by Josh MacPhee. Illustrations by Felecia W olff. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data is available. This e B ook i s l ic en se d t o J o nath an J e n ner, j o nath an .d onald .j e n [email protected] gm ail.c o m o n 0 6/3 0/2 022 CO NTEN TS So You’re Interested in Politics? PAR T 1: THE HORSE RACE CENTER ( N .); CENTRIST ( ADJ ., N .) DEMOCRACY ( N .) FILIBUSTER ( N .) FOLKS ( N .) ( PL .) KITCHEN T ABLE ( N .) PAR TISAN ( ADJ .); PAR TISANSHIP ( N .) POLICY ( N .) PROGRESSIVE ( ADJ ., N .) PUNDIT ( N .) PAR T 2: STRUCTURES CLASS ( N .) CONSER VA TIVE ( ADJ ., N .) ECONOMY ( N .) IDEOLOGY ( N .) INCLUSION ( N .) INTERSECTIONALITY ( N .); INTERSECTIONAL ( ADJ .) LIBERAL ( ADJ ., N .) MA TERIALIST ( ADJ ., N .) NEOLIBERALISM ( N .); NEOLIBERAL ( ADJ .) RACISM ( N .); RACIST ( ADJ .); SYSTEMIC RACISM ( N .) SCIENCE ( N .) PAR T 3: MOVEMENTS ACTIVISM ( N .) ALLY ( N .) EQUITY ( N .) GREEN ( ADJ .) NONVIOLENCE ( N .); NONVIOLENT ( ADJ .) PA TRIOT ( N .) PEOPLE ( N .); POPULISM ( N .) RADICAL ( ADJ .) SOCIALISM ( N .) SOCIAL JUSTICE ( N .) Notes This e B ook i s l ic en se d t o J o nath an J e n ner, j o nath an .d onald .j e n [email protected] gm ail.c o m o n 0 6/3 0/2 022 ECONOMY (N.) In 1992, a politi cal consultant named James Carville scrawled a slogan on a whiteboard in Bill Clinton’ s presidential campaign headquarters. “It’s the economy , stupid ” has since become famous as a piece of blunt, homespun political wisdom. But the phrase always confused me. Carville meant it as a rebuke to any members of the Arkansas governor’s staf f stupid enough to forget the campaign’ s outward focus on “rebuilding our economy .” But what exactly is the economy? What makes it “ours”—and just who are “we” here? A century ago, most voters, and plenty of economic thinkers, would have shared my perplexity , but for different reasons. “Economy” once referred to something rather simple: frugality and prudence in using one’s own resources, usually at the level of the individual or the household. The verb “economize,” and the disappearing school subject of “home economics” are lonely survivors of this once dominant usage. The addition of the indefinite article “the” to the word changed everything. Today “the economy” (and the related phrase “this economy”) refers to the systems of work, exchange, and consumption in some defined place—a city, a nation, or the globe. There’s the Akron economy , the Ohio economy , the US economy , and the world econom y; there’ s a health care econom y and an oil economy . “Econ omy” is a dif ficult word to define, since we use it so broadly: to describe how we work, what we buy, government policies we vote for or against, and the means by which we live, eat, study , get sick, and die—in other words, we use it for almost everything. Exactly when this great expansi on took place is a question of scholarly debate. The anthropologist Timothy Mitchell argued that “the economy” as we now use it is a creation of the 1930s, and particularly of the Keynesian economic doctrines that imagined a system of exchange that could be managed by experts. The invention of metrics like the gross domestic product helped create the novel concept of the national economy, a concept governments could see, measur e, and manipulate. But language is hard to pin dow n neatly . The “national economy,” writes historian Timothy Shenk, also named the relationships between “race, law, land, culture, psyche, and so much more.” And as Quinn Slobodian writes, in the nineteenth century Europe’s empire builders routinely talked about the “world economy” they were making. It would have looked quite different from a bank in London, the docks of Liv erpool, or a rub ber plantation in Malaysia, but the slippery versatility of the phrase cloaked those differences. This is still the power of “the economy ,” unmodified: to conjure a host of political, racial, religious, and class meanin gs, the things otherwise named by words like work, unemployment, wages, purchasing power, job creation , an d much more. “The economy ,” though, tends to harmonize these things. As Clinton recognized, everyone imagines that they benefit one way or another from “a strong economy .” 15 This is the incantatory power of “the economy”: it’s a con vincing phantasm of something closely felt that, on its own, has very little substance. We know , at some level, that there is really no “national economy ,” at least nothing neatly separable from all the other national economies out there. We also know that a small farmer, a DoorDash delivery driver, and a venture capitalist don’t have especially similar interests, and that capitalism’ s global power and complexity limit what any individual, even a powerful one, can do to manipulate it. We kn ow this, but “the economy” lets us for get it: a sprawling monstrosity becomes a machine we can tinker with. We “fix it,” we “pump dollars” into it, and we “rebuild” it. It’s a faceless specter, a humm ing or rickety machine, and a living thing, which we routinely describe as “ailing,” “ jittery ,” or “stagnant, ” waiting to be “nur sed back to health.” So when politicians style themselves as stewards of the economy , the y perform a sleight of hand: as anyone with a job can tell you, your economy and your boss’s aren’ t the same . When the US pres idential candidate Beto O’Rourke said, in 2019, that we should all get to “p articipate in this economy ,” he described the economy almost like a baseball team where everybody gets a chance to hit. He seems not to realize that if you work a dangerous, insecure, low-paying job, your problem is precisely that you are participating in “this economy .” 16
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BORN IN BLACKNESS Afr ic a , A fr ic a ns, a n d t h e M akin g o f t h e M odern W orld , 1 471 t o t h e S eco nd W orld W ar H ow ard W . F re n ch For my sisters and brothers. And for Tania, too . All these words from the seller, but not one word fr om the sold. The Kings and Captains whose words moved ships. But not one word fr om the cargo. —ZO RA N EA LE H URST O N, Barracoon Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder . —TO NI M ORRIS O N, Beloved CONTENTS Introduction PAR T I THE “DISCOVER Y” OF AFRICA 1 The Crackling Surface 2 Black King, Golden Scepter 3 Rethinking Exploration 4 Enter the Aviz 5 Islands in the Of fing 6 The African Main PAR T II THE ESSENTIAL PIV OT 7 The Mine 8 Asia Suspended 9 Wealth in People V ersus Wealth in Things 10 Circuits Old and New 11 Unto the End of the W orld 12 Pathways of Resistance 13 Becoming Creole PAR T III THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICANS 14 For a Few Acres of Snow 15 Fighting for Africans 16 Endless Death in Lands with No End 17 The Perpetual Oven 18 The Cockpit of Europe 19 Dung for Every Hole 20 Capitalism’s Big Jolt 21 Masters of Slaves, Masters of the Sea PAR T IV THE W AGES OF THE PYTHON GOD 22 Shatter Zones 23 Negros Segur os 24 The Slave Rush 25 Bargains Sharp and Sinful 26 The Spread of the W est African Slave Trade 27 The Wages of Resistance 28 Seized by the Spirit 29 Dark Hearts 30 War for the Black Atlantic 31 People Scattered, a Continent Drained PAR T V THE BLACK A TLANTIC AND A WORLD MADE NEW 32 The Scent of Freedom 33 The Black Jacobins 34 Gilded Negroes 35 Blues and the American T ruth 36 The Gifts of Black Folk 37 How the West Was Made and “W on” 38 Toward a New V ision of Our Origins Afterword Acknowledgments Notes Index About the Author BORN IN BL ACK NESS 20 CAPIT A LI SM ’S BI G J O LT F OR EUROPE, THE WEST INDIAN takeof f of plantation sugar , initially centered in Barbados in the mid-seventeenth century , was a matter of strongly fortuitous timing. Spain’s boom in New World silver had already begun to flag by around 1620. Coincident with this was a downturn in the Baltic grain trade, in the woolens that were the mainstay of northern European commerce, and in the French wine trade. As a result, in the British historian of slavery Robin Blackburn’ s words, as slave plantations gathered economic momentum, they “ not only swam against the stream of the seventeenth century crisis; they became a dynamic pole of the Atlantic economy in period 1700–1815.” Sugar thereafter quickly became that rare kind of product whose supply could rarely match its demand, and yet for which prices nonetheless declined dramatically over time. This came about mostly as a result of the ever larger acreages of planted cane as the plantation-complex took over bigger and bigger islands. England seized Jamaica in 1655 and eventually re-created the Barbados experience on that much lar ger island, importing about 1.2 million kidnapped Africans there over time, more than it would anywhere else in the Caribbean. But after an initial lag, France, determined not to be left out of this boom, began to catch up with British production on the islands it controlled. Between 1651 and 1725, slave departures from Africa bound for the French Caribbean increased from around 5500 to roughly 77,000 per annum. And in the quarter century that followed, with the rapid emergence of Saint Domingue as the lar gest sugar producer of all, the volume of French slave shipments doubled again . We will return to the story of sugar and to slavery’ s spread throughout the Caribbean shortly, culminating with the liberation of Haiti via the determined uprising of that society’ s slaves. But first one must contemplate the profound nature of global change that slave sugar had already begun to wreak during its first big Caribbean wave. During the forty years after James Drax founded his plantation, consumption of sugar increased fourfold in England, overwhelmingly on the back of Barbados’ s production. By the 1620s, Brazil’s combined trade in sugar and slaves had eclipsed Portugal’s Asia trade in overall value, and had equaled the value of Spain’ s haul of American silver. In 1600 Brazil had supplied nearly all the sugar consumed in Western Europe. But in a striking measure of just how the sugar revolution progressed in the W est Indies, by 1700, Barbados alone was producing more of the commodity than the Bahia region of Brazil, supplying nearly half of Europe’s consumption—despite its later start and vastly smaller size. By 1660 it is estimated that tiny Barbados’ s sugar production alone was worth more than the combined exports of all of Spain’s New W orld colonies . And this was just for starters. From 1650 to 1800, as major new sugar islands came on line in the Caribbean, sugar consumption in Britain would increase 2500 percent , and over this time, the market value of sugar would consistently exceed the value of all other commodities combined. It stands to reason that a boom so lar ge and so sustained would have been enormously stimulative, in ways both direct and indirect. In London the number of refineries shot up from five in 1615, to thirty in 1670, and perhaps to seventy-five by 1700; many other sugar refineries set up operations in smaller port cities and provincial centers. And these were not, by a long measure, the only commercial and growth-inducing ef fects of the sugar and slave complex. In fact, the sugar boom created a long succession of strong, systemic economic waves that were felt throughout the Atlantic world. We have spoken already about how the early Portuguese trade with West Africa strengthened circuits of trade in Europe and beyond, with African gold being used to buy manilhas and other metalwares from northern Europe, usually via Dutch markets. As Holland temporarily usurped Portugal’ s imperial outposts in Africa and Brazil, and even as it later largely abandoned territorial empire in the Atlantic world in order to specialize in the shipping of goods and slaves, it managed to outcompete its Iberian rivals through not only superior firepower but lower costs. The Dutch produced the goods Africans prized most and could supply them more cheaply than the Portuguese. This included textiles, which were about to become the most important product of the industrial age. West Africans loved India’s high-quality lightweight dyed cloths, so the Dutch busied themselves making passable knockof fs, which they sold in large quantities along the African coast. In its early empire, England assiduously followed the Dutch commercial example, even as it set about expanding its power at sea in order to muscle out its close neighbor and rival. African markets would play a vital role in the growth of English manufacturing in general, albeit mostly indirectly . This included everything from guns to ships and from rope to sails, among many items required for long-distance maritime trade. But as their fledgling Caribbean empire grew based on the expropriation of African labor, the English found especially important new markets for the next big industry of the future, textiles, in the form of clothing for slaves. The importance of slaves in the rise of English textiles was not limited to the sale of cloth at England’ s African slaving outposts, like Cape Coast, or on its own sugar islands, either . As part of its contest with Holland in the mid-seventeenth century, England provided support to Portuguese efforts to throw off Dutch rule in Brazil. This came at the price of opening Brazil’ s markets to English manufactures. By the mid- eighteenth century, this turn of affairs had brought the Marquis of Pombal, the Portuguese king’ s chief minister, to rue that “ [g]old and silver are fictitious riches ; the negroes that work in the mines of Brazil must be clothed by England, by which the value of their produce become relative to the price of cloth.” Barbados and the other Caribbean sugar colonies that followed in its wake not only provided a direct boost to the European economy in the seventeenth century , but perhaps even more critically , they threw a lifeline to the struggling colonies of British America, which were restricted from selling many types of manufactures into the protected English market. T o the Americans’ good fortune, they found avid buyers on Barbados for products both rough and finished. As we have seen, these included furniture, livestock (both for its meat and manure, which was highly prized as fertilizer), and lumber. Barbados imported such things and many more because once sugar monoculture had taken over on that booming island, productive land was deemed simply too valuable to farm for food or put to any other use and so, like a modern petro state, pretty much everything required for local consumption was imported. In time, this even came to include New England rum. As Eric Williams wrote in Capitalism and Slavery of a time just a few decades later: In 1770 the continental colonies sent to the West Indies nearly one- third of their exports of dried fish and almost all their pickled fish, seven-eighths of their oats, seven-tenths of their corn, almost all their peas and beans, half of their flour , all their butter and cheese, over one-quarter of their rice, almost all their onions; five-sixths of their pine, oak and cedar boards, over half of their staves, nearly all their hoops; all their horses, sheep, hogs and poultry; almost all their soap and candles. As [an earlier historian] has told us, “It was the wealth accumulated fr om West Indian trade which mor e than anything else underlay the pr osperity and civilization of New England and the Middle Colonies.” To better understand North America’ s dependence on trade with the sugar islands, it helps to put a figure on the kind of wealth disparities that existed within the British Empire. T aking Jamaica as an example, one historian has estimated that annual per capita income among whites on that island in the decade that Williams wrote of was more than thirty-five times higher than in Britain’s mainland colonies, £2201, compared with £60.2. UNDOING THE GROSS UNDERST ATEMENT of the contributions that Africa and Africans made to the creation of the modern world and restoring them to their proper place requires multiple approaches, or lines of ar gumentation, drawing in evidence from many directions. So far, we have emphasized the direct impact of the labor of slaves taken from Africa (as well as that of their offspring). In the sixteenth century , when the American slave trade took off in earnest, 370,000 Africans were brought in chains across the Atlantic. This number would increase fivefold in the century that followed, which saw the launching of Caribbean sugar . And in the eighteenth century, the slave traffic increased another threefold, landing a further 6.1 million into New World slavery. In addition to the vast output—not just of sugar , but of many other commodities—created by this labor, in the immediate prior chapter and elsewhere, we have spoken about the lar ge new markets, or demand, created by the need to clothe, feed, and transport slaves. As we have already seen, these were responsible not just for boosting business, but for integrating markets, first between northern and southern Europe, and later elsewhere. Most important, perhaps, was the effect on New England and others among Britain’s American colonies, whose economies were made viable in lar ge part by demand from the slave societies of the Caribbean. This, in turn, made them “ the key of the Indies ,” in the phrase of the historian Wendy Warren. T o give an indication of the degree of complementarity that was struck up between these two regions of the British Empire, a scholar has estimated that “ of colonial shipping trading to Barbados in 1686, 80 percent of tonnage was registered in New England, more than a third of it in Boston.” Two decades ago, Kenneth Pomeranz, an economic historian who specializes in China, made a powerful contribution to our understanding of Europe’ s transcendent rise in the nineteenth century by investigating how Britain in particular managed to surpass the longtime previous incumbent as the world’ s richest nation, China. Pomeranz’ s landmark study, The Great Divergence: Eur ope, China, and the Making of the Modern W orld Economy , opens the door for deepening our understanding of the contribution of Africa and Africans to the modernity we share. It credits two main factors for Europe’s sharp, British-led ascent. The first of these, he said, was the “ecological dividend,” the windfall that Europe reaped by completely taking over the Americas in an astoundingly brief period of time, effectively integrating many millions of square miles of agriculturally productive land into the European economic sphere. Pomeranz’ s second factor was Europe’s expropriation of African labor on an immense scale through slavery, or what he rather delicately called “ the fruits of overseas coercion .” * Pomeranz’s joining of these two factors, land and labor , greatly improves our picture of slavery’s central role in the emergence of a new global capitalist economy centered on the Atlantic. The Great Diver gence argued that Britain received a tremendous dietary boost from the takeof f of commoditized sugar , which injected dramatically more calories into the daily fare of its population. Just as critically, it managed to do so remarkably cheaply, especially once Barbados and the follow-on English sugar islands of the Caribbean hit their strides as producers. The caloric boost furnished by cheap sugar , Pomeranz postulated, fueled the long, intense workdays of England’ s early industrial mill laborers. Without it, the country would have been required to devote vastly more of its own land and labor to the provision of these new caloric sources. Fifteen years before Pomeranz, in Sweetness and Power , the anthropologist Sidney Mintz emphasized the huge impact of cane and its by-products on eating habits in England. Mintz estimated that sugar accounted for a mere 2 percent of Britain’ s caloric intake in 1800. But by the end of that century, the very century of Britain’ s historic ascension, this number had risen to 14 percent —far more than any of its European rivals. Measured another way, the takeoff of sugar consumption may seem even more impressive: Per capita consumption of sugar in England r ose from about 2 pounds per person in the 1660s to 4 pounds per person by the 1690s and continued to expand in the eighteenth century . By the time of the American Revolution, every man, woman and child in England on average consumed 23 pounds of sugar a year . . . . British colonists on the North American mainland imported less than half as much sugar, about 14 pounds per person in 1770, but made up for it with a much higher consumption of sugar ’s by- pr oducts, rum and molasses . Dietitians today may frown, but as Pomeranz reasoned, these caloric developments helped boost domestic productivity in critical ways. The entry of cheap sugar into the English diet did far more than produce an onslaught of cakes, tarts, and other confectionary goods. It paved the way for caf feine-containing beverages like cof fee, which was also slave grown in the Americas (as well as cocoa, another stimulant), and tea, which followed the coffee craze to become the national drink a century later . Because water supplies were often unhygienic, many English had hitherto favored ale, consuming it even during daytime work hours, which inevitably produced lethargic if not disorderly behavior . The era of Big Sugar therefore ushered in a new age of alertness based on drinks that had the additional benefit of being hygienic, because their preparation required boiling water. And at roughly the same moment, with these new stimulants came yet another , tobacco, which had the additional merit for the workplace, if not for long-term health, of suppressing appetite. As the historian of the Caribbean Randy Brown told me in summing up the shift that underpinned the Industrial Revolution, “they switched from downers to uppers.” There is yet another crucial and surprising dimension of sugar ’s impact, however—one that Pomeranz leaves unexplored. In speaking of the modern, we must consider much more than just economics, and sugar and its stimulant companions played a role of outsized importance in developments in another sphere altogether: the nature of society itself. The era of Barbados’ s takeoff and of the sugar revolution that it produced was one of fundamental change in the development in Britain of what we now call civil society . The availability of hot, sweetened, stimulating drinks gave birth to the first coffee shop , which opened its doors in Oxford in 1650. From there, cof fee shops quickly spread to London, where they proliferated, and this in turn helped rapidly establish a medium only recently invented in Germany: the newspaper . Gathering places like cof fee shops and the availability of regularly printed political news in this format are what gave birth to a modern public sphere, to employ the terminology of the German philosopher and sociologist Jür gen Habermas. This is a fancy way of referring to the emergence of a richly enhanced shared sense of public affairs and citizen participation that emer ged during the Enlightenment. For Habermas, conversations over caffeinated drink and newspapers in places like the coffee shop marked “ the first time in history [that people] came together as equals to reason critically about public af fairs.” Describing the London of the mid- and late seventeenth century , the historian of early modern Europe Brian William Cowan wrote, “ The numerous coffeehouses of the metropolis were greater than the sum of their parts; they formed an interactive system in which information was socialized and made sense of by the various constituencies of the city .” The coffeehouse, in other words, became “the primary social space in which ‘news’ was both produced and consumed,” and “no cof feehouse worth its name could refuse to supply its customers with a selection of newspapers.” This transformation in the social life of England was pithily captured in a couplet from a satire called “The Student,” published in 1751. Dinner over, to Tom’s or to Clapham’ s I go . The news of the T own so impatient to know . Through major historic social transformations like these, we come finally to the understanding that the Enlightenment itself had vital roots in the toil and sweat of African captives, traf ficked and put to work in gangs on the integrated plantations that were becoming the dominant model of sugar production in the Caribbean by the mid- to late seventeenth century . Anticipating the objection that Britain could have eventually acquired its calories from alternative sources, Pomeranz carefully demonstrates just how extraordinary a boon in metabolic and, just as critically, environmental terms New World sugar amounted to for Britain: [A]n acre of tropical sugar land yields as many calories as mor e than 4 acres of potatoes (which most eighteenth-century Eur opeans scorned), or 9–12 acres of wheat. The calories fr om the sugar consumed in the United Kingdom cir ca 1800 (using figures from Mintz) would have r equired at least 1,300,000 acr es of average- yielding English farms and conceivably over 1,900,000; in 1831, 1,900,000 to 2,600,000 acr es would have been needed. And since the land that remained uncultivated in Eur ope (and especially in Britain) by this time was har dly the continent’s best, we could plausibly make these numbers still lar ger . Pomeranz employs the same kind of logic involving opportunity cost to demonstrate that without its millions of square miles of fertile newly appropriated farmland in mainland North America and the slave labor that made its cotton the dominant global commodity in the nineteenth century , Britain would have been hard-pressed to sustain the kind of textile boom that lay at the heart of the Industrial Revolution: By 1815, Britain imported 100,000,000 pounds of New World cotton; by 1830, 263,000,000 pounds. If one r eplaced this fiber with an equivalent weight of hemp or flax, the extra acr eage needed would be comparatively modest: 200,000 acres in 1815, 500,000 in 1830. But hemp and flax—especially hemp—wer e both considered inferior fibers for most purposes and wer e much more difficult to work with, and processes for spinning them mechanically emer ged later than that for cotton. More important, both hemp and flax wer e extremely labor -intensive and manur e-intensive crops: so much so that most people only gr ew them as garden crops. Even thr ee centuries of government schemes and subsidies had failed to promote lar ger-scale pr oduction in either England or North America . This leaves wool, long Eur ope’s main clothing fiber . But raising enough sheep to replace the yarn made with Britain’ s New World cotton imports would have r equired staggering quantities of land: almost 9,000,000 acr es in 1815, using ratios fr om model farms, and over 23,000,000 acres in 1830. This figur e surpasses Britain’s total crop and pastur e land combined . Even if one grants that such a replacement in quantitative terms could somehow have been arranged, which is unlikely , one encounters yet other problems. Ever since the thirteenth or fourteenth century , England’s leading export had been woolen textiles, which it had always sold to Europe. European markets for English woolens grew more restricted with the rise of mercantilism in the seventeenth century and with competition from French production in the late eighteenth century . Tropical markets, whether in Africa or the New W orld, could not replace European demand, because wool was so unsuited to hot climates. England’ s economic takeoff and industrialization prior to its neighbors was contingent upon overcoming the limitations bound up in dependence on wool-led growth. This it was able to achieve via the new Atlantic markets, which only slavery and sugar had made possible. This Atlantic world was one of economic diversity and wealth-producing opportunities based on division of labor and trade. English manufactures found their way to markets so rich in mainland North America that they quickly matched and then exceeded the value of trade with Europe. As we have seen, England’ s American colonies financed their trade with the mother country by selling a wide range of their own goods first to Barbados and then to England’s other commodity-producing plantation-economy islands, such as Jamaica. Despite the nominal mercantilism of the era, opportunities for trade with others were numerous, whether between English slavers and the Spanish in the New W orld, or American colonies selling their wares in the Caribbean to the French and others. This triangular boom is what relieved England of the need to devote so much of its land for the sheep pasturage needed to produce wool, and it was all built on the solid foundation of African slavery. The belated but growing historical consensus about the importance of trade in goods that were grounded in or financed by slave plantation labor to Europe’s ascension has also received important support not just from historians but also from historically minded economists and political scientists. In an important paper issued five years after Pomeranz’ s Great Diver gence , three prominent MIT scholars, Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson, placed the roots of this diver gence, or of Europe’s economic “miracle,” further back in the past, while also complicating the story substantially . Their study, “ The Rise of Europe : Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth,” establishes a robust statistical connection between accelerated urbanization and economic growth in Europe and Pomeranz’ s “fruits of overseas coercion” in the New World between 1500 and 1850. What clearly emer ges through their data is that the differential in growth between W estern Europe compared with other regions during this time period is almost entirely accounted for by the growth of nations with access to the Atlantic Ocean, or what the authors call “Atlantic traders.” Strikingly , this differential already begins to show up almost immediately after Columbus’ s breakthrough to the New World (hence their use of as early a date as 1500). The data deployed by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson sets apart economic growth in Atlantic port cities in western Europe not only from Mediterranean cities and landlocked eastern European cities, but also from Asian cities. † It is in the early seventeenth century , however , when the most dramatic diver gence begins, which seems unlikely to be a matter of happenstance. This was the precise moment when the Dutch and, right on their heels, the English became active in the pursuit of the wealth of Africa. This they did, of course, through trade in gold and slaves: for the Dutch, in Brazilian plantation agriculture and slave trading and related commerce in the W est Indies; for the British, in Barbados and subsequently in other emerging sugar islands in the Caribbean, which resulted in Britain’s becoming the Atlantic’s dominant slave-trading power . By situating the beginnings of this European diver gence as far back as 1500, the authors compel us to briefly return to our story of the emer gence of gold-rich kingdoms in Africa’s Sahel region in the medieval era, including the visit to Cairo and pilgrimage to Mecca of the Malian emperor Mansā Mūsā. That voyage caused the existence of abundant sources of African gold to be highlighted on European maps, prompting Portugal’s long quest down the coast of West Africa in search of the source of this great wealth. This is yet another way of demonstrating how Portugal’ s breakthrough in discovering gold at Elmina became a critical milestone in European history—one that has been widely overlooked in standard narratives of this period, which fast-forward to the discovery of sea routes to Asia, treating Africa as if it were of no intrinsic interest or benefit. For the post-sugar period of the eras they examine, Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson make no claim that, whether taken alone or together, the value of new trade with Africa (textiles and other goods for slaves) or with the Caribbean (for sugar and other plantation products) or with the North American mainland (British manufactures) constituted enough of a windfall to provide a one-stop explanation for a further acceleration in the economic rise of Europe’s major Atlantic powers beginning in the seventeenth century. The idea they advance instead provides a dif ferent theory of modernizing change, at once more subtle and complex. Early in this period, they say, Madrid and Lisbon garnered important new sources of wealth from mining (especially Spain) and plantation agriculture and slave trading (especially Portugal). These spurred meaningful increases in intra-European trade, as well as greatly increased imperial competition between these Iberian neighbors, and subsequently among a broadening array of European powers. The nations that benefited most from their bur geoning connections to the New World, however , were Holland, England (later Britain), and, subsequently, France. This ar gument is especially nuanced because it goes far beyond narrow measurements of income from trade in its assessment of the benefits and ef fects of empire. The authors postulate that the fact that the Dutch and English were far less absolutist in their political structures compared with the Iberian powers put them in a better position to seek out and develop wealth, and to profit more deeply as the Atlantic economy became more and more integrated. By the same token, they ar gue, the growth of new private fortunes, especially those bound up in the slave trade and in its plantation agriculture of fshoot, helped limit the power of monarchs, thus curtailing royal monopolies, strengthening political pluralism, and encouraging the emergence of stronger, more business-friendly institutions. Nowhere was this truer than in England. There, the slave trade became the central issue in the seventeenth- century debate over whether, in the words of the British historian W illiam A. Pettigrew, “ the legitimacy of the English state [ought] to derive from the crown or from the subjects of the crown.” The opponents of the royal monopoly over African slavery became highly adept at lobbying Parliament and giving vent to their views in a free press. So much so that Pettigrew has called these struggles “ not the relics of a traditional , precapitalist society [but] the distillate expressions of modern society’ s dynamic founding moments.” This, however, was just the beginning. As this lobby helped propel Britain to the status of a slaving superpower in the century that followed, it would crystallize into something more formal known as the West India Interest , which fought to defend slave plantation agriculture well beyond abolition in Britain in 1807. The role of new business elites whose prosperity was bound up in slavery became important features of the English Civil W ar of 1642–1649 and of the Glorious Revolution of 1688–1689. Ironically, both of these events, when viewed from the narrow perspective of the English themselves, were fundamentally struggles aimed at expanding “freedom” by restricting the power of the monarchy . Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson draw upon this history to make a broader point about Europe’ s ascension: “ The evidence weighs against the most popular theories for the rise of Europe, which emphasize the continuity between pre-1500 and post- 1500 growth and the importance of certain distinctive European characteristics, such as culture, religion, geography and features of the European state system. Instead, it is consistent with theories that emphasize the importance of profits made in Atlantic trade, colonialism and slavery .” The authors go on to add, however, that the rise of Europe reflects not only the dir ect effects of Atlantic trade and colonialism but also a major social transformation induced by these opportunities. . . . Atlantic trade in Britain and the Netherlands (or, more appr opriately , in England and the Duchy of Burgundy) alter ed the balance of political power by enriching and strengthening commer cial interests outside the r oyal circle, including various overseas mer chants, slave traders, and various colonial planters. Through this channel, it contributed to the emergence of political institutions pr otecting merchants against royal power . In ar guments like these we thus see a corollary to the picture of how European societies were changed through the arrival of mass-consumed sugar and its accompanying stimulants, cof fee and tea. In that example, the major change brought about to Europe as a by-product of African sweat and productivity was to civil society and the emer gence of a modern public sphere. Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson’s insights offer a better understanding of how Europe’ s connections with Africa and, via African labor, to the plantation economies of the New W orld also helped impel modernizing political change in Europe at more elite levels in crucial yet seldom recognized ways. This brings us back to T illy’s theory that the more the fiscal-military state developed its powers of extraction in this era, the more it had to respond to the claims of its own citizens via political reforms and new notions of accountability . Much work remains for economically minded historians, as well as for historically minded economists and others in order to fill in this story and further consolidate an emerging picture that highlights the pivotal role that Africa and Africans played in launching Europe on its path to modernity and an economic divergence compared to other regions of the world that has only now begun to close. One of the most remarkable features of this history, however , is how slowly and reluctantly the academy has come to considering the crucial African contribution in the first place. In the decades that followed Britain’ s abolition of the slave trade in 1807 and for nearly the next century and a half, W estern attention toward Africa was broadly consumed with what Europe claimed to be its civilizing mission on the continent, of the “white man’ s burden.” It took a non-European, and a Black man from the West Indies at that, Eric W illiams, to turn traditional debates on their head, belatedly shifting them from a focus on the supposed great good that Europe has done for Africa to advancing the proposition that it was in fact the so-called Dark Continent, via Atlantic slavery , that provided the critical boost that had made Europe’s takeoff possible. Relatedly , and equally worthy of note, is the curious fact that in the half century that followed the 1944 publication of W illiams’s Capitalism and Slavery , Western scholars poured vastly more ener gy into attempts to find fault with or outright debunk his arguments than they had ever previously invested in considering the possibility that Africa and Africans had played an important role in the story of Europe in the first place. It is a credit to the fertility of Williams’ s ideas, though, that in the decades that followed scholars in fields as varied as dependency theory , Marxist history, British cultural studies, and postcolonial studies have continued to draw on his writings. One should also cite the ongoing Legacies of British Slave-Ownership project at University College London, which, drawing inspiration from W illiams, has identified the 47,000 Britons who claimed and received £20 million in compensation from their government after slave ownership in the British Caribbean was ended in 1833. This payout amounted to 40 percent of the government’s budget at the time, or the equivalent of roughly £17 billion today. In broadly dismissing W illiams’s critics, Pomeranz summarized some of their key objections to his ideas: Some deny that coer cion (i.e., slavery) allowed above-average profits in the first place. Others concede at least the possibility of above-normal pr ofits but argue that the accumulation of these profits was trivial compar ed to the accumulation of pr ofits from economic activity within Eur ope itself. And others point to . . . the relatively small capital r equirements of the early Industrial Revolution and ar gue that this makes whatever above-normal profits ther e might have been lar gely irrelevant to industrialization . Frames like these, however , miss what is most vital to understanding this history. The most important contribution of African slavery to the W est was not whatever fillip it may or may not have provided for industrialization, which even most sympathetic scholars today feel W illiams fundamentally miscast and overstated. ‡ Rather, it was something far lar ger and yet hiding in plain sight, something in fact that is indisputable: Africa, and the human resources drained from that continent via the greatest forced migration in human history , had provided the most essential input of all by far to making the New World economically viable. Africans, in other words, became the ingredient sine qua non in this vast project. Doubters must ask themselves, What would the European newcomers have done without them? But we needn’t await an answer. To a degree that has never been recognized, it was upon the bedrock of their strength and their will to endure and survive the horrors of slavery that much of the wealth and power of subsequent centuries of predominant Western capitalism was founded. The Atlantic world was not just made viable through their labor . Yes, as we have claimed here, it was this appropriated toil that generated nearly all of the commodities and much of the gold and silver that helped fuel the ascension of the W est. But that is not all. Far from it. More important still, it was the very founding of this Atlantic world, an unprecedentedly large geographic sphere spanning four continents, that created what we now think of and understand as the W est, and this is what made the very greatness that we associate with this geographical notion possible. Without the Americas and their long and deep connections to Africa, what would Europe have weighed in the historical balance of the last half millennium? T o answer the question is to not only challenge our understanding of modern history , but to fundamentally reconsider W estern identity itself. What has most distinguished modern Europe from other regions of the world is not so much any qualities intrinsic to it, as cultural chauvinists and those who fixate on race profess, but rather the fact that its peoples spanned the Atlantic at a particularly opportune moment in time, utterly transforming life on every shore, thanks to the indispensable contribution of Africans. And in doing so, Europe was itself transformed as well, and not merely the agent of transformation as is often imagined. Later , we will further explore Africa’s essential hand in the invention and construction of this new creation we call the W est, paying particular attention to the American colonies that became the United States and to Haiti, the former plantation colony that—after the only successful lar ge slave revolt in world history—became the second republic in the Americas. Before we arrive there, though, in the pages that follow we must first turn to the story of how these interactions impacted Africa, the overlooked cornerstone of our Atlantic world. * One historian has gamely sought to affix numbers to this, estimating that by 1800 Britain was acquiring the output of a million slaves working in sugar , tobacco, and cotton alone, thereby effectively stealing 2.5 billion hours of labor from them. † The patterns noted by the MIT scholars would also hold up on the American mainland, where the greatest centers of economic growth and new wealth were precisely the places most directly connected to the slave-production-driven economic centers of the Atlantic world. ‡ W illiams has also been strongly refuted for his so-called decline theory , a thesis that held that Britain conceded an end to the slave trade and to slavery only because its empire in the Caribbean had ceased to be profitable. Historians like Seymour Drescher have convincingly shown this not to have been the case. Indeed, abolition in Britain followed on the heels of a particularly intensive period of slave trading, as well as the opening of ambitious new plantation sugar domains in Guyana.
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3 Eduardo Galeano OPEN VEINS of LATIN AMERICA FIVE CENTURIES OF THE PILLAGE 0F A CONTINENTTranslated by Cedric Belfrage 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION FOREWARD by Isabel Allende LATIN AMERICA BUREAU London 4 Copyright © 1973,1997 by Monthly Review Press All Rights Reserved Originally published as Las venas abiertas de America Latina by Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico, copyright © 1971 by Siglo XXI Editores Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publishing Data Galeano, Eduardo H., 1940- [Venas abiertas de America Latina, English] Open veins of Latin America : five centuries or the pillage of a continent / Eduardo Galeano ; translated by Cedric Belfrage. — 25th anniversary ed. / foreword by Isabel Allende. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-85345-991-6 (pbk.:alk.paper).— ISBN 0-85345-990-8 (cloth) 1. Latin America— Economic conditions. 1. Title. HC125.G25313 1997 330.98— dc21 97-44750 CIP Monthly Review Press 122 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001 Manufactured in the United States of America 5 “We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity”. –From the Revolutionary Proclamation of the Junta Tuitiva, La Paz, July 16, 1809 6 Contents FOREWORD BY ISABEL ALLENDE ………………………………………………….IX FROM IN DEFENSE OF THE WORD ………………………………………………..XIV ACKNOWLEDGEMENT… … ………………………………………………………………..X INTRODUCTION: 120 MILLION CHILDRENIN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE ……………………………………………..… ………..1 PART I :MANKIND’S POVERTY AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE WEALTH OF THE LAND 1. LUST FOR GOLD, LUST FOR SILVER … … … … … … … … … … … … … 2 2. KING SUGAR AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL MONARCHS … … … ..59 3. THE INVISIBLE SOURCES OF POWER … … … … … … ..… .… … … … .134 PART II :DEVELOPMENT IS A VOYAGE WITH MORE SHIPWRECKS THAN NAVIGATORS 4. TALES OF PREMATURE DEATH … … … … … … … … … … … .… … … .173 5. THE CONTEMPORARY STRUCTURE OF PLUNDER… … …… … … ..205 PART III: SEVEN YEARS AFTER ………………………… … … … ……………….263 REFERENCES … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …… … … … … … … 287 INDEX… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … .307 11 1.Lust for Gold, Lust for Silver ~ THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON THE HILT OF THE SWORD When Christopher Columbus headed across the great emptiness west of Christendom, he had accepted the challenge of legend. Terrible storms would play with his ships as if they were nutshells and hurl them into the jaws of monsters; the sea serpent, hungry for human flesh, would be lying in wait in the murky depths. According to fifteenth-century man, only 1,000 years remained before the purifying flames of the Last Judgment would destroy the world, and the world was then the Mediterranean Sea with its uncertain horizons: Europe, Africa, Asia. Portuguese navigators spoke of strange corpses and curiously carved pieces of wood that floated in on the west wind, but no one suspected that the world was about to be startlingly extended by a great new land. America not only lacked a name. The Norwegians did not know they had discovered it long ago, and Columbus himself died convinced that he had reached Asia by the western route. In 1492, when Spanish boats first trod the beaches of the Bahamas, the Admiral thought these islands were an outpost of the fabulous isle of Zipango— Japan. Columbus took along a copy of Marco Polo’s book, and covered its margins with notes. The inhabitants of Zipango, said Marco Polo, “have gold in the greatest abundance, its sources being inexhaustible. . . In this island there are pearls also, in large quantities, of a red color, round in shape, and of 12 great size, equal in value to, or even exceeding that of white pearls.” The wealth of Zipango had become known to the Great Kubla Khan, stirring a desire to conquer it, but he had failed. Out of Marco Polo’s sparkling pages leaped all the good things of creation: there were nearly 13,000 islands in the Indian seas, with mountains of gold and pearls and twelve kinds of spices in enormous quantities, in addition to an abundance of white and black pepper. Pepper, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon were as prized as salt in preserving meat against putrefaction and loss of flavor in winter. Spain’s Catholic rulers decided to finance the adventure to get direct access to the sources and to free themselves from the burdensome chain of intermediaries and speculators who monopolized the trade in spices and tropical plants, muslins and sidearms, from the mysterious East. The desire for precious metals, the medium of payment in commercial dealings, also sparked the crossing of the sinister seas. All of Europe needed silver; the seams in Bohemia, Saxony, and the Tyrol were almost exhausted. For Spain it was an era of reconquest: 1492 was not only the year of the discovery of America, the new world born of that error which had such momentous consequences, but also of the recovery of Granada. Early that year Ferdinand of Aragón and Isabella of Castile, whose marriage had linked their dominions, stormed the last Arab redoubt on Spanish soil. It had taken nearly eight centuries to win back what was lost in seven years, and the war of reconquest had drained the royal treasury. But this was a holy war, a Christian war against Islam; and it was no accident that, in that same year of 1492, 150,000 Jews were expelled from the country. Spain achieved unity and reality as a nation wielding swords with the Sign of the Cross on their hilts. Queen Isabella became the patroness of the Holy Inquisition. The feat of discovering America can only be understood in the context of the tradition of crusading wars that prevailed in medieval Castile; the Church needed no prompting to provide a halo for the conquest of unknown lands across the ocean. Pope Alexander VI, who was Spanish, ordained Queen Isabella as proprietor and master of the New World. The expansion of the kingdom of Castile extended God’s reign over the earth. Three years after the discovery Columbus personally directed the military campaign against the natives of Haiti, which he called Española. 13 A handful of cavalry, 200 foot soldiers, and a few specially trained dogs decimated the Indians. More than 500, shipped to Spain, were sold as slaves in Seville and died miserably. Some theologians protested and the enslavement of Indians was formally banned at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Actually it was not banned but blessed: before each military action the captains of the conquest were required to read to the Indians, without an interpreter but before a notary public, a long and rhetorical Requerimiento exhorting them to adopt the holy Catholic faith: f you do not, or if you maliciously delay in so doing, I certify that with God’s help I will advance powerfully against you and make war on you wherever and however I am able, and will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their majesties and take your women and children to be slaves, and as such I will sell and dispose of them as their majesties may order, and I will take your possessions and do you all the harm and damage that I can. 2 America was the vast kingdom of the Devil, its redemption impossible or doubtful; but the fanatical mission against the natives’ heresy was mixed with the fever that New World treasures stirred in the conquering hosts. Bernal Diaz del Castillo, faithful comrade of Hernán Cortes in the conquest of Mexico, wrote that they had arrived in America “to serve God and His Majesty and also to get riches.” At his first landing on San Salvador atoll, Columbus was dazzled by the transparent hues of the Caribbean, the green landscape, the soft clean air, the magnificent birds, and the youths “with size and with good faces and well made” who lived there. He gave the natives “some red caps and strings of beads, and many other trifles of small value, which gave them great pleasure. Wherewith they were much delighted, and this made them so much our friends that it was a marvel to see.” They knew nothing of swords, and when these were shown to them they grasped the sharp edges and cut themselves. Meanwhile, as the Admiral relates in his logbook, “1 was very attentive to them, and strove to learn if they had any gold. Seeing some of them with little bits of metal hanging at their noses, I gathered from them by signs, that by going southward or steering round the island in that direction, there would be found a king who possessed great cups full of gold, and in large quantities.” 3 For “of gold is treasure made, and with it he who has it does as he wills in the world and it even sends souls to Paradise.” 14 On his third voyage, Columbus still believed he was in the China Sea when he was off the coast of Venezuela. This did not prevent him from reporting that an endless land which was earthly paradise extended from there. Later Amerigo Vespucci, an early sixteenth-century explorer of the Brazilian coast, reported to Lorenzo de Mëdicis: “The trees are of such beauty and sweetness that we felt we were in earthly Paradise.” 4(The lawyer Antonio de Leon Pinelo devoted two entire volumes to demonstrating that the Garden of Eden was in America. In El Paraiso en el Nuevo Mundo (1656) he had a map of South America showing, in the center, the Garden of Eden watered by the Amazon, the Rio de la Plata, the and the Magdalena. The forbidden fruit was the banana. The map showed the exact spot from which Noah’s Ark took off at the time of the Flood.) In 1503 Columbus wrote to his monarchs from Jamaica: “When I discovered the Indies, I said they were the greatest rich domain in the world. I spoke of the gold, pearls, precious stones, spices In the Middle Ages a small bag of pepper was worth more than a man’s life, but gold and silver were the keys used by the Renaissance to open the doors of paradise in heaven and of capitalist mercantilism on earth. The epic of the Spaniards and Portuguese in America combined propagation of the Christian faith with usurpation and plunder of native wealth. European power stretched out to embrace the world. The virgin lands, bristling with jungles and dangers, fanned the flames of avarice among the captains, the hidalgos on horseback, and the ragged soldiers who went out after the spectacular booty of war: they believed in glory, in “the sun of the dead,” and in the key to achieving it, which Cortés defined thus: “Fortune favors the daring.” Cortés himself had mortgaged everything he owned to equip his Mexican expedition. With a few exceptions— Columbus, Pedrarias Dávila, Magellan— the expeditions of conquest were not financed by the state but by the conquistadors themselves, or by businessmen who put up money for their ventures The myth of El Dorado, the golden king, was born: golden were the streets and houses of his kingdom’s cities. In search of El Dorado a century after Columbus, Sir Walter Raleigh sailed up the Orinoco and was defeated by its cataracts. The will-o’-the-wisp of the “mountain that gushed silver” became a reality in 1545 with the discovery of Potosi, but before this many adventurers who sailed up the Rio Paraná in a vain 15 search for the silver spring had died of hunger or disease or pierced by native arrows. There was indeed gold and silver in large quantities, accumulated in the Mexican plateau and the Andean altiplano. In 1519 Cortés told Spain of the fabulous magnitude of Montezuma’s Aztec treasure, and fifteen years later there arrived in Seville the gigantic ransom— a roomful of gold and two of silver— which Francisco Pizarro had made the Inca Atahualpa pay before strangling him. Years earlier the Crown had paid the sailors on Columbus’s first voyage with gold carried off from the Antilles. The Caribbean island populations finally stopped paying tribute because they had disappeared: they were totally exterminated in the gold mines, in the deadly task of sifting auriferous sands with their bodies half submerged in water, or in breaking up the ground beyond the point of exhaustion, doubled up over the heavy cultivating tools brought from Spain. Many natives of Haiti anticipated the fate imposed by their white oppressors: they killed their children and committed mass suicide. The mid-sixteenth-century historian Fernández de Oviedo interpreted the Antillean holocaust thus: “Many of them, by way of diversion, took poison rather than work, and others hanged themselves with their own hands.” 5(His interpretation founded a school I am amazed to read, in the latest (1970) book by the French technician René Dumont, Cuba : Is It Socia1ist? “The Indians were not totally exterminated. Their genes subsist in Cuban chromosomes. They felt such an aversion for the tension which continuous work demands that some killed themselves rather than accept forced labor..”) THE GODS RETURN WITH SECRET WEAPONS While passing Tenerife on his first voyage, Columbus had witnessed a great volcanic eruption. It seemed an omen of all that would come later in the immense new lands which, surprisingly, stood athwart the western route to Asia. America was there— at first the subject of conjecture from its endless coasts, then conquered in successive waves like a furious tide beating in. Admirals gave place to governors, ships’ crews were converted into invading hosts. Papal bulls had apostolically granted Africa to the Portuguese Crown, and the lands “unknown like those already discovered by your envoys and those to be discovered in the 16 future” to the Crown of Castile America had been given to Queen Isabella In 1508 another bull granted the Spanish Crown, in perpetuity, all tithes collected in America. The coveted patronage of the New World Church included a royal prerogative over all ecclesiastical benefices. The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed in 1494, allowed Portugal to occupy Latin America territories below a dividing line traced by the Pope, and in 1530 Martim Affonso de Sousa founded the first Portuguese communities in Brazil, expelling French intruders By then the Spaniards, crossing an infinity of hellish jungles and hostile deserts, had advanced far in the process of exploration and conquest In 1513 the South Pacific glittered before the eyes of Vasco Nunez de Balboa In the fall of 1522 the eighteen survivors of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition returned to Spain: they had for the first time united both oceans and confirmed that the world was round by circling it. Three years earlier Hernan Corres’s ten ships had sailed from Cuba toward Mexico, and in 1523 Pedro de Alvarado launched the conquest of Central America Francisco Pizarro, an illiterate pig-breeder, triumphantly entered Cuzco in 1533 and seized the heart of Inca empire In 1540 Pedro de Valdivia crossed the Atacama desert and founded Santiago de Chile The conquistadors penetrated the Chaco and laid bare the New World from Peru to the mouth of the mightiest river on our planet. There was something of everything among the natives of Latin America: astronomers and cannibals, engineers and Stone Age savages But none of the native cultures knew iron or the plow, or glass or gun powder, or used the wheel except on their votive carts The civilization from across the ocean that descended upon these lands was undergoing the creative explosion of the Renaissance; Latin America seemed like another invention to be incorporated, along with gun powder, printing, paper, and the compass, in the bubbling birth of the Modern Age The unequal development of the two world explains the relative ease with which native civilizations succumbed Cortes landed at Veracruz with no more than 100 sailors and 508 soldiers; he had 16 horses, 32 crossbows, 10 bronze cannon, and a few harquebuses, muskets, and pistols Pizarro entered Cajamarca with 180 soldiers and 37 horses That was enough Yet the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was then five times larger that Madrid and had double the population of Seville, Spain’s largest city, and in Peru Pizarro met an army of 100,000 Indians 17 The Indians were also defeated by terror. The emperor Montezuma received the first news in his palace: a large hill was moving over the sea. More messengers arrived: “He was very alarmed by the report of how the cannon exploded, how its thunder reverberated, and how it filled one with awe and stunned one’s ears. And when it went off, a sort of stone hail came from its entrails and it rained fire.” The strangers sat on “deer as high as the rooftops.” Their bodies were completely covered, “only their faces can be seen. They are white, as if made of lime. They have yellow hair, although some have black. Long are their beards.” 6Montezuma thought it was the god Quetzalcoatl returning: there had been eight prophesies of this not long before. Hunters had brought him a bird with a round mirror-like crest on its head in which the sunset was reflected; in this mirror Montezuma saw squadrons of warriors marching on Mexico, Quetzalcoatl had come from the east and gone to the east: he was white and bearded. Also white and bearded was Viracocha, the bisexual god of the Incas. And the east was the cradle of the Mayas’ hero- ancestors.( These remarkable coincidences have given rise to the hypothesis that the gods of the native religions were really Europeans our shores long before Columbus. 7) The avenging gods who were now returning to settle accounts with their peoples had armor and coats of mail, lustrous caparisons that deflected arrows and stones; their weapons emitted deadly rays and darkened the air with suffocating smoke. The conquistadors also practiced the arts of treachery and intrigue with refined expertise. They sagely allied themselves with the Tlaxcalans against Montezuma and effectively exploited the split in the Inca empire between the brothers Huáscar and Atahualpa. They knew how to win accomplices for their crimes among the intermediate ruling classes, priests, officials, and defeated soldiers and high Indian chiefs. But they also used other weapons— or, if you prefer, other factors operated objectively for the victory of the invaders. Horses and bacteria, for example. Horses, like camels, had once been indigenous to Latin America but had become extinct. In Europe, where they were introduced by Arab horsemen, they had proved to be of enormous military and economic value. When they reappeared in Latin America during the conquest, they lent magic powers to the invaders in the natives’ astonished eyes. 18 Atahualpa saw the first Spanish soldiers arriving on spirited steeds adorned with plumes and little bells, making thunder and clouds of dust with their swift hooves: panic-stricken, the Inca fell down on his back. The chief Tecum, leading the descendants of the Mayas, beheaded the horse of Pedro de Alvarado with his lance, convinced that it was part of the conquistador: Alvarado stood up and killed him. A few horses in medieval war trappings scattered the mass of Indians, sowing terror and death. During the colonizing process, priests and missionaries spread for the superstitious Indians’ benefit the tale that horses were of sacred origin, for Santiago, Spain’s patron saint, rode a white horse which had won valiant victories against the Moors and the Jews with the aid of Divine Providence. Bacteria and viruses were the most effective allies, The Europeans brought with them, like biblical plagues, smallpox and tetanus, various lung, intestinal, and venereal diseases, trachoma, typhus, leprosy, yellow fever, and teeth- rotting caries. Smallpox was the first to appear. Must not this unknown and horrible epidemic, which produced burning fever and decomposed the flesh, be a chastisement from the gods? The invaders “moved into Tlaxcala,” one native eyewitness reported, “and then the epidemic spread: cough, burning hot pustules.” Reported another: “The contagious, oppressive, cruel pustule sickness brought death to many.” 8The Indians died like flies; their organisms had no defense against the new diseases. Those who survived were feeble and useless. The Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro estimates that more than half the aboriginal population of America, Australia, and Oceania died from the contamination of first contact with white men. “THEY CRAVE GOLD LIKE HUNGRY SWINE” Firing their harquebuses, hacking with their swords, and breathing pestilence, the little band of implacable conquistadors advanced into America. The conquered tell us what it was like. After the Cholula massacre Montezuma sent new envoys to Cortës, who was advancing on the Valley of Mexico. They brought gifts of golden collars and quetzal-bird feather banners. The Spaniards “were in seventh heaven,” says the Nahuati text preserved in the Florentine Codex. “They lifted 19 up the gold as if they were monkeys, with expressions of joy, as if it put new life into them and lit up their hearts. As if it were certainly something for which they yearn with a great thirst. Their bodies fatten on it and they hunger violently for it. They crave gold like hungry swine.” Later, when Cortés reached Tenochtitlán, the resplendent Aztec capital with 300,000 inhabitants, the Spaniards entered the treasure house, “and then they made a great ball of the gold and set a fire, putting to the flames all that remained no matter how valuable, so that everything burned. As for the gold, the Spaniards reduced it and made bars.” War followed. Finally Cortés, who had lost Tenochtitlán, reconquered it in 1521: “And by then we had no shields left, no clubs, and nothing to eat, we weren’t eating anymore.” Montezuma, harried by the priests who accused him of treason, had killed himself. Devastated, burned, and littered with corpses, the city fell: “Shields were its defense, but they were not enough Cones had expressed horror at the sacrifices of the Veracruz Indians, who burned children’s entrails for a smoke offering to the gods, but there were no limits to his own cruelty in the reconquered city: “And all night long it rained on us.” The gallows and torture were not enough, however: the captured treasure never measured up to the Spaniards’ imagination, and for years they dug in the lake bottom searching for gold and precious objects presumably hidden by the Indians. Pedro de Alvarado and his men fell upon Guatemala and “killed so many Indians that it made a river of blood which is called the Olimtepeque,” and “the day became red because of all the blood there was on that day.” Before the decisive battle, “and seeing Indians tortured, they told the Spaniards not to torture them anymore, that the captains Nehaib and IxquIn— Nehaib in the guise of an eagle and of a lion— had much gold, silver, diamonds, and emeralds for them. Then they gave them to the Spaniards and the Spaniards kept them.” 9 Before Pizarro strangled and decapitated Atahualpa, he got from him a ransom of “gold and silver weighing more than 20,000 marks in fine silver and 1,326,000 escudos in the finest gold.” Then Pizarro advanced on Cuzco. His soldiers thought they were entering the city of the Caesars, so dazzling was the capital of the empire, but they proceeded without delay to sack the Temple of the Sun. “Struggling and fighting among each other, each trying to get his hands on the lion’s share, the 20 soldiers in their coats of mail trampled on jewels and images and pounded the gold utensils with hammers to reduce them to a more portable size. . . They tossed all the temple’s gold into a melting pot to turn it into bars: the laminae that covered the walls, the marvelous representations of trees, birds, and other objects in the garden.” 10 Today in the enormous bare plaza at the center of Mexico City the Catholic cathedral rises on the ruins of Tenochtitlán’s greatest temple and the government palace occupies the site where Cuauhtémoc, the Aztec chief martyred by Cortés, had his residence. Tenochtitlán was razed. In Peru, Cuzco suffered the same fate, but the conquistadors could not completely destroy its massive walls and this testimony in stone to the Inca’s colossal architecture can still be seen in the bases of the colonial buildings. THE SILVER CYCLE: THE SPLENDORS OF POTOSI They say that even the horses were shod with silver in the great days of the city of Potosi, The church altars and the wings of cherubim in processions for the Corpus Christi celebration in 1658, were made of silver: the streets from the cathedral to the church of Recoletos were completely resurfaced with silver bars. In Potosi, silver built temples and palaces, monasteries and gambling dens; it prompted tragedies and fiestas, led to the spilling of blood and wine, fired avarice, and unleashed extravagance and adventure. The sword and the cross marched together in the conquest and plunder of Latin America, and captains and ascetics, knights and evangelists, soldiers and monks came together in Potosi to help themselves to its silver. Molded into cones and ingots, the viscera of the Cerro Rico— the rich hill— substantially fed the development of Europe. “Worth a Peru” was the highest possible praise of a person or a thing after Pizarro took Cuzco, but once the Cerro had been discovered Don Quixote de la Mancha changed the words: “Worth a Potosi,” he says to Sancho. This jugular vein of the viceroyalty, America’s fountain of silver, had 120,000 inhabitants by the census of 1573. Only twenty-eight years had passed since the city sprouted out of the Andean wilderness and already, as if by magic, it had the same population as London and more than Seville, Madrid, Rome, or Paris. A new census 21 in 1650 gave Potosi a population of 160,000. It was one of the world’s biggest and richest cities, ten times bigger than Boston— at a time when New York had not even begun to call itself by that name. Potosi’s history did not begin with the Spaniards. Before the conquest the Inca Huayna Cápaj had heard his vassals talk of the Sumaj Orko, the beautiful hill, and he was finally able to see it when, having fallen ill, he had himself taken to the thermal springs of Tarapaya. From the straw-hut village of Cantumarca the Inca’s eyes contemplated for the first time that perfect cone which rises proud1y between the mountain peaks. He was awestruck by its reddish hues, slender form, and giant size, as people have continued to be through ensuing centuries. But the Inca suspected that it must conceal precious stones and rich metals in its bowels, and he wanted to add new decorations to the Temple of the Sun in Cuzco. The gold and silver that the Incas took from the mines of Colque Porco and Andacaba did not leave the kingdom: they were not used commercially but for the adoration of the gods. Indian miners had hardly dug their flints into the beautiful Cerro’s veins of silver when a deep, hollow voice struck them to the ground. Emerging as loud as thunder from the depths of the wilderness, the voice said in Quechua: “This is not for you; God is keeping these riches for those who come from afar.” The Indians fled in terror and the Inca, before departing from the Cerro, changed its name. It became “Potojsi,” which means to thunder, burst, explode. “Those who come from afar” took little time in coming, although Huayna Cápaj was dead by the time the captains of the conquest made their way in. In 1545 the Indian Huallpa, running in pursuit of an escaped llama, had to pass the night on the Cerro, It was intensely cold and he lit a fire. By its light he saw a white and shining vein— pure silver. The Spanish avalanche was unleashed. Wealth flowed like water. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, showed his gratitude by bestowing on Potosi the title of Imperial City and a shield with the inscription: “I am rich Potosi, treasure of the world, king of the mountains, envy of kings.” Only eleven years after Hualipa’s discovery the new-born Imperial City celebrated the coronation of Philip II with twenty-four days of festivities costing 8 million pesos duros. The Cerro was the most potent of magnets. Hard as life was at its base, at an altitude of nearly 14,000 feet the place was flooded with treasure 22 hunters who took the bitter cold as if it were a tax on living there. Suddenly a rich and disorderly society burst forth beside the silver, and Potosi became “the nerve center of the kingdom,” in the words of Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. By the beginning of the seventeenth century it had thirty-six magnificently decorated churches, thirty-six gambling houses, and fourteen dance academies. Salons, theaters, and fiesta stage-settings had the finest tapestries, curtains, heraldic emblazonry, and wrought gold and silver; multicolored damasks and cloths of gold and silver hung from the balconies of houses. Silks and fabrics came from Granada, Flanders, and Calabria; hats from Paris and London; diamonds from Ceylon; precious stones from India; pearls from Panama; stockings from Naples; crystal from Venice; carpets from Persia; perfumes from Arabia; porcelain from China. The ladies sparkled with diamonds, rubies, and pearls; the gentlemen sported the finest embroidered fabrics from Holland. Bullfights were followed by tilting contests, and love and pride inspired frequent medieval-style duels with emerald-studded, gaudily plumed helmets, gold filigree saddles and stirrups, Toledo swords, and richly caparisoned Chilean ponies. In 1579 the royal judge Matienzo complained: “There is never a shortage of novelty, scandal, and wantonness.” Potosi had at the time 800 professional gamblers and 120 famous prostitutes, whose resplendent salons were thronged with wealthy miners. In 1608 Potosi celebrated the feast of the Holy Sacrament with six days of plays and six nights of masked balls, eight days of bullfights and three of fiestas, two of tournaments and other dissipations. SPAIN OWNED THE COW, OTHERS DRANK THE MILK Between 1545 and 1558 the prolific silver mines of Potosi, in what is now Bolivia, and of Zacatecas and Guanajuato in Mexico, were discovered, and the mercury amalgam process, which made possible the exploitation of the lowest- grade silver, began to be used. The “silver rush” quickly eclipsed gold mining. In the mid-seventeenth century silver constituted more than 99 percent of mineral exports from Spanish America. Latin America was a huge mine, with Potosi as its chief center. Some excessively enthusiastic Bolivian writers insist that in three 23 centuries Spain got enough metal from Potosi to make a silver bridge from the tip of the Cerro to the door of the royal palace across the ocean. This is certainly fanciful, but even the reality stretches one’s imagination to the limit: the flow of silver achieved gigantic dimensions. The large-scale clandestine export of Latin American silver as contraband to the Philippines, to China, and to Spain itself is not taken into account by Earl Hamilton, who nevertheless cites, in his well-known work on the subject, astounding figures based on data from the Casa de Contratacion in Seville. 11 Between 1503 and 1660, 185,000 kilograms of gold and 16,000,000 of silver arrived at the Spanish port of Sanlukar de Barrameda, Silver shipped to Spain in little more than a century and a half exceeded three times the total European reserves— and it must be remembered that these official figures are not complete. The metals taken from the new colonial dominions not only stimulated Europe’s economic development; one may say that they made it possible. Even the effect of the Persian treasure seized and poured into the Hellenic world by Alexander the Great cannot be compared with Latin America’s formidable contribution to the progress of other regions. Not, however, to that of Spain, although Spain owned the sources of Latin American silver. As it used to be said in the seventeenth century, “Spain is like a mouth that receives the food, chews it, and passes it on to the other organs, retaining no more than a fleeting taste of the particles that happen to stick in its teeth.” 12 The Spaniards owned the cow, but others drank the milk. The kingdom’s creditors, mostly foreigners, systematically emptied the “Green Strongroom” of Seville’s Casa de Contratación, which was supposed to guard, under three keys in three different hands, the treasure flowing from Latin America. The Crown was mortgaged. It owed nearly all of the silver shipments, before they arrived, to German, Genoese, Flemish, and Spanish bankers. The same fate befell most of the duty collected in Spain itself: in 1543, 65 percent of all the royal revenues went to paying annuities on debts. Only in a minimal way did Latin American silver enter the Spanish economy; although formally registered in Seville, it ended in the hands of the Fuggers, the powerful bankers who had advanced to the Pope the funds needed to finish St. Peter’s, and of other big moneylenders of the period, such as the Welsers, the Shetzes, and the Grimaldis. The silver 24 also went to paying for the export of non-Spanish merchandise to the New World. The rich empire had a poor metropolis, although the illusion of prosperity blew increasingly large bubbles into the air. The Crown kept opening up new war fronts, while on Spanish soil the aristocracy devoted itself to extravagance, and priests and warriors, nobles and beggars, multiplied as dizzily as living costs and interest rates. Industry died with the birth of great sterile latifundia, and Spain’s sick economy could not stand up to the impact of the rising demand for food and merchandise that was the inevitable result of colonial expansion. The big rise in public expenditures and the choking pressure of the overseas possessions’ consumer needs accelerated trade deficits and set off galloping inflation. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, French minister of marine under Louis XIV, wrote, “The more business a state does with the Spaniards, the more silver it has.” There was a sharp European struggle for the Spanish trade, which brought with it the market and the silver of Latin America. A late- seventeenth-century French document tells us that Spain controlled only 5 percent of the trade with “its” overseas colonial possessions, despite the juridical mirage of its monopoly: almost a third of the total was in Dutch and Flemish hands, a quarter belonged to the French, the Genoese controlled over one-fifth, the English one-tenth, and the Germans somewhat less. Latin America was a European business. Charles V, heir to the Holy Roman emperors by purchased election, man of jutting chin and idiot gaze, spent only sixteen of his reign’s forty years in Spain. Having áccupied the throne without knowing a word of Spanish, he governed with a retinue of rapacious Flemings whom he authorized to take out of Spain muletrain-loads of gold and jewels, and whom he showered with bishoprics, bureaucratic titles, and even the first license to ship slaves to the Latin American colonies. Intent on hounding Satan all across Europe, he drained Latin America of its treasure for his religious wars. The Hapsburg dynasty did not collapse with his death; Spain had to suffer them for nearly two centuries. The great leader of the Counter-Reformation was his son, Philip II. From his huge palace-monastery, Escorial, on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama, Philip spread the grim operations of the Inquisition across the world and launched his armies against the centers of heresy. Calvinism had taken hold in Holland, England, and France, and the Turks 25 embodied the peril of a return to the faith of Allah. Spreading the true faith was a costly business: the few gold and silver objects, marvels of Latin American art, that arrived unmelted-down from Mexico and Peru were quickly taken from the Casa de Contratación in Seville and thrown into the crucibles. At the same time heretics, or those suspected of heresy, were roasted in the Inquisition’s purifying flames, Torquemada burned books, and the Devil’s tail peeped out from every crevice. The war against Protestantism was also the war against ascendant capitalism in Europe. The “perpetuation of the Crusades,” writes J.H. Elliott, “meant the perpetuation of the archaic social organization of a nation of Crusaders.” The metals of Latin America— the delirium and downfall of Spain— provided a means to fight against the nascent forces of the modern economy. Charles V had already defeated the Castilian bourgeoisie in the uprisings of the Comuneros, which had become a social revolution against the nobility, its property and privileges. The uprisings were crushed following the betrayal of the city of Burgos, which would be Francisco Franco’s capital four centuries later. With the last rebel fires extinguished, Charles returned to Spain accompanied by 4,000 German soldiers. At the same time, the highly radical insurrection of weavers, spinners, and artisans, who had taken power in the city of Valencia and had extended it through the whole district, was drowned in blood. Defense of the Catholic faith turned out to be a mask for the struggle against history. The expulsion of the Jews in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella had deprived Spain of many able artisans and of indispensable capital. The expulsion of the Arabs in 1609 is considered less important, although no fewer than 275,000 Moors were put over the border, disastrously effecting the economy of Valencia and ruining the fertile Aragonese lands south of the Ebro. Previously, Philip II had thrown out thousands of Flemish artisans guilty or suspected of Protestantism. England welcomed them and they made a solid contribution to that country’s manufactures. It is clear that the enormous distances and the difficulty of communication .were not the main obstacles to Spain’s industrial progress. Spanish capitalists became no more than rentiers through the purchase of titles to Crown debts, and did not invest their capital in industrial development. The economic surplus went into unproductive channels: 26 the old wealthy class, the señores of gallows and knife, the owners of land and titles of nobility, built palaces and accumulated jewels; the new rich, speculators and merchants, bought land and titles. Neither the one nor the other paid taxes worth mentioning, nor could they be imprisoned for debt. Anyone devoting himself to industrial activity automatically lost his membership in the gentleman’s club. Successive commercial treaties, signed after Spain’s military defeats in Europe, gave concessions that stimulated maritime trade between the port of Cádiz, where Latin America’s metals were landed, and French, English, Dutch, and Hanseatic ports. Every year from 800 to 1,000 ships unloaded in Spain the products of other countries’ industries. They reloaded with Latin American silver and Spanish wool that went to foreign looms, whence it would be returned already woven by the expanding European industry. The Cádiz monopolists merely forwarded foreign industrial products, which were then shipped to the New World: if Spanish manufactures could not even supply the home market, how could they satisfy the needs of the colonies? The laces of Lille and Arras, Dutch fabrics, Brussels tapestries, Florentine brocades, Venetian crystal, Milanese arms, and French wines and cloths swamped the Spanish market, at the expense of local production, to satisfy the ostentation and consumer demands of ever more numerous and powerful parasites in ever poorer countries. Industry died in the egg, and the Hapsburgs did their best to speed its demise. The process reached its height in the mid- sixteenth century when importation of foreign textiles was authorized and all export of Castilian fabrics was banned except to Latin America. In contrast, as Jorge Abelardo Ramos has noted, were the policies of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in England, when in that ascendant nation they banned the export of gold and silver, monopolized letters of credit, stopped wool exports, and ousted the North Sea merchants of the Hanseatic League from British ports. Meanwhile, the Italian republics were protecting their industry and external commerce through tariffs, privileges, and rigorous prohibitions: craftsmen could not leave the country under pain of death. Everything went to rack and ruin, Of 16,000 looms in Seville on Charles V’s death in 1558, only 400 remained when Philip II died forty years later. The 7 million sheep in Andalusian flocks were reduced to 2 million. In Don Quixote de Ia Mancha— which was banned for a long 27 time in Latin America— Cervantes drew a portrait of the society of his time. A mid-sixteenth-century decree stopped the importation of foreign books and barred students from taking courses outside Spain; the Salamanca student body was reduced by half in a few decades; there were 9,000 convents and the clergy multiplied almost as fast as the cloak-and-sword nobility; 160,000 foreigners monopolized foreign trade; and the squanderings of the aristocracy condemned Spain to economic impotence. Around 1630, 150-odd dukes, marquises, counts, and viscounts garnered 5 million ducats in annual rents, adding ever more frills to their fancy titles. The Duke of Medinaceli had 700 servants and the Duke of Osuna, to score off the Tsar of Russia, dressed his 300 in leather cloaks.( The species is not yet extinct, I opened a Madrid magazine at the end of 1969 and read of the death of Doña Teresa Beltrán de Lis y Pidal Gorouaki y Chico, Duchess of Albuquerque and Marchionesa of the Atcañices and Balbases. She is mourned by the widower Duke of de Guzmán Albuquerque, Don Beltrán Alonso Osorio y Diez de Rivera Martos y Figueroa, Marquis of the Alcañices, of the Balbases, of Cadreita, of Cuéllar, of Cullera, of Montaos, Count of Fuensaldana, of Grajal, of Huelma, of Ledesma, of La Torre, of Villanueva de Canedo, of Villahumbrosa, thrice Grandee of Spain.) The seventeenth century was the time of the picaro, the rogue, and of hunger and epidemics. Spain had countless beggars, but this did not discourage an influx of foreign beggars from every corner of Europe. By 1700 there were 625,000 hidalgos, knights of the battlefield, although the country was emptying: its population had dwindled by half in somewhat more than two centuries, and was equal to that of England, which had doubled in the same period. The Hapsburg regime finally ended in 1700 amid total bankruptcy. Chronic unemployment, idle latifundios, chaotic currency, ruined industry, lost war, empty coffers, central authority ignored in the provinces: the Spain that Philip V faced was “hardly less defunct than its dead master.” 13 The Bourbons gave Spain a more modern look, but at the end of the eighteenth century there were 200,000 clergymen and the unproductive population continued to proliferate at the expense of the country’s underdevelopment. More than 10,000 towns and cities were still subject to the seignorial jurisdiction of the nobility and thus outside the king’s direct control. The latifundia and the institution of entailed estates remained intact, along with obscurantism and fatalism. Nothing had improved since the era of Philip IV when a group of theologians, 28 examining a project for a canal between the Manzanares and the Tagus, had ended their deliberations by declaring that if God had wanted the rivers to be navigable, He himself would have so arranged it. THE DISTRIBUTION OF FUNCTIONS BETWEEN HORSEMAN AND HORSE Marx wrote in Chapter 3 of the first volume of Capital. “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. Plunder, internal and external, was the most important means of primitive accumulation of capital, an accumulation which, after the Middle Ages, made possible a new historical stage in world economic evolution. As the money economy extended, more and more social strata and regions of the world became involved in unequal exchange. Ernest Mandel has added up the value of the gold and silver torn from Latin America up to 1660, the booty extracted from Indonesia by the Dutch East India Company from 1650 to 1780, the harvest reaped by French capital in the eighteenth-century slave trade, the profits from slave labor in the British Antilles and from a half-century of British looting in India. The total exceeds the capital invested in all European industrial enterprises operated by steam in about 1800. 14 This enormous mass of capital, Mandel notes, created a favorable climate for investment in Europe, stimulated the “spirit of enterprise,” and directly financed the establishment of manufactures, which in turn gave a strong thrust to the Industrial Revolution. But at the same time the formidable international concentration of wealth for Europe’s benefit prevented the jump into the accumulation of industrial capital in the plundered areas: “The double tragedy of the developing countries consists in the fact that they were not only victims of that process of international concentration, but that subsequently they have had to try and compensate for their industrial backwardness— that is, realize the primitive accumulation of 29 industrial capital— in a world flooded with articles manufactured by an already mature industry, that of the West.” 15 The Latin American colonies were discovered, conquered, and colonized within the process of the expansion of commercial capital. Europe stretched out its arms to clasp the whole world. Neither Spain nor Portugal received the benefits of the sweeping advance of capitalist mercantilism, although it was their colonies that substantially supplied the gold and silver feeding this expansion. As we have seen, while Latin America’s precious metals made deceptive fortunes for a Spanish nobility living in a belated and contra- historical Middle Age, they simultaneously sealed the ruin of Spain in centuries to come. It was in other parts of Europe that modern capitalism could be incubated, taking decisive advantage of the expropriation of primitive American peoples. The rape of accumulated treasure was followed by the systematic exploitation of the forced labor of Indians and abducted Africans in the mines. Europe needed gold and silver. The money in circulation kept multiplying and it was necessary to stimulate the movement of capitalism in the hour of birth: the bourgeoisie took control of the cities and founded banks, produced and exchanged merchandise, conquered new markets. Gold, silver, sugar: the colonial economy, supplying rather than consuming, was built in terms of— and at the service of— the European market. During long periods of the sixteenth century the value of Latin American precious metal exports was four times greater than the value of the slaves, salt, and luxury goods it imported. The resources flowed out so that emergent European nations across the ocean could accumulate them. This was the basic mission of the pioneers, although they applied the Bible almost as often as the whip to the dying Indians. The Spanish colonies’ economic structure was born subordinated to the external market and was thus centralized around the export sector, where profit and power were concentrated. During the process, from the metals stage to that of supplying foodstuffs, each region became identified with what it produced, and each produced what Europe wanted of it: each product, loaded in the holds of galleons plowing the ocean, became a vocation and a destiny. The international division of labor, as it emerged along with capitalism, resembled the distribution of function between a horseman and a horse, 30 as Paul Baran put it. The markets of the colonial world grew as mere appendices to the internal market of invading capitalism. Celso Furtado notes that while most of Europe’s feudal seigneurs obtained an economic surplus from the people they dominated and used it in one way or another in the same areas, the chief aim of those Spaniards who received Latin American mines, lands, and Indians from the king was to extract a surplus to send to Europe 16 This observation helps explain the ultimate goal of the Latin American colonial economy from its inception: although it showed some feudal characteristics, it functioned at the service of capitalism developing elsewhere. Nor, indeed, can the existence of wealthy capitalist centers in our own time be explained without the existence of poor and subjected outskirts: the one and the other make up the same system. But not all of the surplus went to Europe. The colonial economy was run by merchants, by owners of mines and of big estates, who divided up the usufruct of Indian and black labor under the jealous and omnipotent eye of the Crown and its chief associate, the Church. Power was concentrated in the hands of a few, who sent metals and foodstuffs to Europe and received back the luxury goods to the enjoyment of which they dedicated their mushrooming fortunes. The dominant classes took no interest whatever in diversifying the internal economies or in raising technical and cultural levels in the population: they had a different function within the international complex they were acting for, and the grinding poverty of the people— so profitable from the standpoint of the reigning interests— prevented the development of an internal consumer market. One French economist argues that Latin America’s worst colonial legacy, which explains its backwardness today, is lack of capital. 17 But all the historical evidence shows that the colonial economy produced bountiful wealth for the classes connected internally with the colonial system of domination. The labor that was abundantly available for nothing or practically nothing, and the great European demand for Latin American products, made possible “a precocious and abundant accumulation of capital in the Iberian colonies. The hard core of beneficiaries, far from growing, became smaller in proportion to the mass of the population, as may be seen from the well-known fact that unemployed Europeans and Creoles constantly increased.” 18The capital that stayed 31 in Latin America, after the lion’s share went into the primitive accumulation process of European capitalism, did not generate a process similar to that which took place in Europe, where the foundations of industrial development were laid. It was diverted instead into the construction of great palaces and showy churches, into the purchase of jewels and luxurious clothing and furniture, into the maintenance of flocks of servants, and into the extravagance of fiestas. To an important extent this surplus was also immobilized in the purchase of new lands, or continued to revolve around speculative commercial activities. In the twilight of the colonial era Alexander von Humboldt found in Mexico an enormous amount of capital in the hands of mine owners and merchants, while no less than half of Mexican real estate and capital belonged to the Church, which also controlled much of the remaining land through mortgages. 19 Mexican mine operators invested their surpluses in the purchase of great latifundia and in mortgage loans, as did the big exporters of Veracruz and Acapulco; the Church hierarchy multiplied its possessions in similar fashion. Palatial residences sprang up in the capital, and sumptuous churches appeared like mushrooms after rain; Indian servants catered to the golden luxuries of the powerful. In mid-seventeenth-century Peru, capital amassed by encomenderos,( An encomienda was an estate granted by the Crown to the Spanish conquistadors and colonists for their services to Spain. It included the services of the Indians living on it. The encomendero was thus the owner. (Trans.) ) mine operators, inquisitors, and officials of the imperial government was poured into commercial projects. The fortunes made in Venezuela from growing cacao— begun at the end of the sixteenth century and produced by applying whips to the backs of black slaves— were invested in new plantations, other commercial crops, in mines, urban real estate, slaves, and herds of cattle. THE SILVER CYCLE: THE RUIN OF POTOSI Andre Gunder Frank, in analyzing “metropolis-satellite” relations through Latin American history as a chain of successive subjections, has highlighted the fact that the regions now most underdeveloped and 32 poverty-stricken are those which in the past had had the closest links with the metropolis and had enjoyed periods of boom .20 Having once been the biggest producers of goods exported to Europe, or later to the United States, and the richest sources of capital, they were abandoned by the metropolis when for this or that reason business sagged. Potosi is the outstanding example of this descent into the vacuum. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the Cerro Rico of Potosi (Mexico’s Guanajuato and Zacatecas silver mines had their boom much later) was the hub of Latin American colonial life: around it, in one way or another, revolved the Chilean economy, which sent it wheat, dried meat, hides, and wines; the cattle-raising and crafts of Córdoba and Tucumán in Argentina, which supplied it with draft animals and textiles; the mercury mines of Huancavélica; and the Arica region whence the silver was shipped to Lima, chief administrative center of the period. In the independence period the area, now a part of Bolivia, still had a larger population than what is now Argentina. A century and a half later Bolivia’s population is almost six times smaller than Argentina’s. Potosian society, sick with ostentation and extravagance, left Bolivia with only a vague memory of its splendors, of the ruins of its churches and palaces, and of 8 million Indian corpses. Any one of the diamonds encrusted in a rich caballero’s shield was worth more than what an Indian could earn in his whole life under the mitayo,( A mitayo is an Indian who pays a mita. or tribute, usually in the form of forced labor in public works, especially the mines, (Trans.) ) but the caballero took off with the diamonds. If it were not a futile exercise, Bolivia— now one of the world’s most poverty-stricken countries— could boast of having nourished the wealth of the wealthiest. In our time Potosi is a poor city in a poor Bolivia: “The city which has given most to the world and has the least,” as an old Potosian lady, enveloped in a mile of alpaca shawl, told me when we talked on the Andalusian patio of her two-century-old house. Condemned to nostalgia, tortured by poverty and cold, Potosi remains an open wound of the colonial system in America: a still audible “J’accuse.” The people live off the refuse. In 1640 the priest Alvaro Alonso-Barba published in Madrid’s royal printshop his excellent work on the art of 33 metals. 21 Tin, he wrote, “is poison.” He mentioned the Cerro, where “there is much tin, although few recognize it, and people throw it aside looking for the silver everyone seeks.” Today the tin the Spaniards discarded like garbage is exploited in Potosi. Walls of ancient houses are sold as high-grade tin. Through the centuries the wealth has been drained from the 5,000 tunnels the Spaniards bored into the Cerro Rico. As dynamite charges have hollowed it out, its color has changed and the height of its summit has been lowered. The mountains of rock heaped around the many tunnel openings are of all colors: pink, lilac, purple, ochre, gray, gold, brown. A crazy quilt of garbage. Llamperos break the rocks and Indian palliris in search of tin pick like birds, with hands skilled in weighing and separating, at the mineral debris. Miners still enter old mines that are not flooded, carbide lamps in hind, bodies crouching, to bring out whatever there is. Of silver there is none. Not a glint of it: the Spaniards even swept out the seams with brooms. The pallacos use pick and shovel to dig any metal out of the leavings. “The Cerro is still rich,” I was blandly told by an unemployed man who was scratching through the dirt with his hands. “There must be a God, you know: the metal grows just like a plant.” Opposite the Cerro Rico rises a witness to the devastation: a mountain called Huakajchi, meaning in Quechua “the cerro that has wept.” From its sides gush many springs of pure water, the “water eyes” that quench the miners’ thirst. In its mid-seventeenth-century days of glory the city attracted many painters and artisans, Spanish and Indian, European and Creole masters and Indian image-carvers who left their mark on Latin American colonial art. Melchor Perez de Holguin, Latin America’s El Greco, left an enormous religious work which betrays both its creator’s talent and the pagan breath of these lands: his splendid Virgin, arms open, gives one breast to the infant Jesus and the other to Saint Joseph; she is hauntingly memorable. Goldsmiths, silversmiths, and engravers, cabinetmakers and masters of repoussé, craftsmen in metals, fine woods, plaster, and noble ivory adorned Potosi’s many churches and monasteries with works of the imaginative colonial school, altars sparkling with silver filigree, and priceless pulpits and reredoses. The baroque church façades carved in stone have resisted the ravages of time, but not so the paintings, many of them irreparably damaged by damp, or the smaller figures and objects. Tourists and parishioners have emptied the churches 34 of whatever they could carry, from chalices and bells to carvings in beech and ash of Saint Francis and Christ. These untended churches, now mostly closed, are collapsing under the weight of years. It is a pity, for pillaged as they have been they are still formidable treasures of a colonial art that fuses all styles and glows with heretical imagination: the escalonado emblem of the ancient civilization of Tiahuanacu instead of the cross of Christ, the cross joined with the sacred sun and moon, virgins and saints with “natural” hair, grapes and ears of corn twining to the tops of columns along with the kantuta, the imperial flower of the Incas; sirens, Bacchus, and the festival of life alternating with romantic asceticism, the dark faces of some divinities, caryatids with Indian features. Some churches have been renovated to perform other services now that they lack congregations. San Ambrosio is the Cine Omiste; in February 1970 the forthcoming attraction was advertised across the baroque bas-reliefs of the façade: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The Jesuit church became a movie house, then a Grace Company warehouse, and finally a storehouse for public charity food. A few other churches still function as best they can: it is at least a century and a half since Potosians had the money to burn candles. It is said of the San Francisco church, for example, that its cross grows several centimeters every year, as does the beard of the Señor de Ia Vera Cruz, an imposing silver-and- silk Christ who appeared in Potosi, brought by nobody, four centuries ago. The priests do not deny that they shave him every so often, and they attribute to him— even in writing— every kind of miracle: incantations, down the centuries, against droughts, plagues, and wars in defense of the beleaguered city. The Señor de la Vera Cruz was powerless to stop the decline of Potosi, The depletion of the silver was interpreted as divine judgment on the miners’ wickedness and sin. Spectacular masses became a thing of the past: like the banquets, bullfights, balls, and fireworks, luxury religion had, after all, been a subproduct of Indian slave labor. In the era of splendor the miners made princely donations to churches and monasteries and sponsored sumptuous funerals, all solid silver keys to the gates of heaven. In 1559 the merchant Alvaro Bejarano directed in his will that “all the priests in Potosi” accompany his corpse. Quack medicine and witchcraft were mixed with authorized religion in the delirious 35 fervors and panics of colonial society. Extreme unction with bell and canopy could, like Communion, succor the dying; but a juicy will that provided for building a church or for a silver altar could prove much more effective. Fevers were combated with the gospels. In certain convents prayers cooled the body, in others they warmed it: “The Credo was cool as tamarind or sweet spirit of nitre, the Salve warm as orange blossoms or cornsilk.” 22 In the Calle Chuquisaca one can admire the time-corroded façade of the palace of the counts of Carma y Cayara, but it is now a dentist’s office; the coat-of-arms of Maestro de Campo Don Antonio Lopez de Quiroga, in the Calle Lanza, now adorns a little school; that of the Marques de Otavi, with its rampant lions, tops the doorway of the Banco Nacional. “Where can they be living now? They must have gone far. The Potosian old lady, attached to her city, tells me that the rich left first and then the poor: in four centuries the population has decreased threefold. I gaze at the Cerro from a roof in the Calle Uyuni, a narrow, twisting colonial lane with wooden-balconied houses so close together that residents can kiss or hit each other without having to go down to the street. Here, as in all of the city, survive the old street lamps under whose feeble light, as Jaime Molins relates, “lovers’ quarrels were resolved, and muffled caballeros, elegant ladies, and gamblers flitted by like ghosts.” The city now has electric light but one barely notices it . In the dim plazas raffle parties are conducted at night under the ancient lamps: I saw a piece of cake being raffled in the middle of a crowd. Sucre decayed along with Potosi. This valley city of pleasant climate, successively known as Charcas, La Plata, and Chuquisaca, enjoyed a good share of the wealth flowing from Potosi’s Cerro Rico. Here Francisco Pizarro’s brother Gonzalo installed his court, as sumptuous as any king’s; churches and spacious residences, parks and recreation centers sprouted continuously, together with the lawyers, mystics, and pretentious poets who put their stamp on the city from century to century. “Silence, that is Sucre— just silence. But before… ” Before, this was the cultural capital of two viceroyalties, seat of Latin America’s chief archdiocese and of the colony’s highest court of justice— the most magnificent and cultured city in South America. Doña Cecilia Contreras de Torres and Doña Maria de las Mercedes Torralba de Gramajo, senoras of Ubina and Colquechaca, gave Lucullan banquets in a contest 36 to squander the income from their Potosi mines. When their lavish fiestas ended they threw the silver service and even golden vessels from their balconies to be picked up by lucky passersby. Sucre still has an Eiffel Tower and its own Arcs de Triomphe, and they say that the jewels of its Virgin would pay off the whole of Bolivia’s huge external debt. But the famous church bells, which in 1809 rang out joyfully for Latin America’s emancipation, play a funereal tune today. The harsh chimes of San Francisco, which so often announced uprisings and rebellions, toll a death knell over torpid Sucre. It matters little that Sucre is Bolivia’s legal capital, still the seat of its highest court. Through its streets pass countless pettifogging lawyers, shriveled and yellow of skin, surviving testimonies to its decadence: learned doctors of the type who wear pince-nez complete with black ribbon. From the great empty palaces Sucre’s illustrious patriarchs send out their servants to sell baked tidbits down at the railroad station. In happier times there were people here who could buy anything up to the title of prince. Only ghosts of the old wealth haunt Potosi and Sucre. In Huanchaca, another Bolivian tragedy, Anglo-Chilean capitalists in the past century stripped veins of highest-grade silver more than two yards wide; all that remains is dusty ruin. Huanchaca is still on the map as if it continued to exist— identified by crossed pick and shovel as a live mining center. Did the Mexican mines of Guanajuato and Zacatecas enjoy a better fate On the basis of Alexander von Humboldt’s figures in his already cited Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain, the economic surplus drained from Mexico between 1760 and 1809— barely half a century— through silver and gold exports has been estimated at some 5 billion present-day dollars. 23 In Humboldt’s time there were no more important mines in Latin America. The great German scholar compared Guanajuato’s Valenciana mine with the Himmelsfurst in Saxony, then the richest in Europe; the Valenciana was producing thirty-six times more silver at the turn of the century and its profits were thirty-three times as great for its investors. Count Santiago de la Laguna trembled with emotion in describing, in 1732, the Zacatecas mining district and “the precious treasures concealed in its deep womb,” in mountains “graced with more than 4,000 shafts, the better to serve both of Their Majesties,” God and the King, “with the fruit of its entrails,” and that “all might come to drink and participate of the great, the rich, the 37 learned, the urban and the noble” because it was a “fount of wisdom, order, arms, and nobility.” 24 The priest Marmolejo would later describe the city of Guanajuato, crisscrossed by rivers and bridges, with its gardens recalling those of Semiramis in Babylon and its ornate churches, theater, bullring, cockfight arenas, and towers and cupolas rising against the green mountainsides. But this was “the country of inequality,” about which Humboldt could write: “Perhaps nowhere is inequality more shocking. . . . The architecture of public and private buildings, the women’s elegant wardrobes, the high-society atmosphere: all testify to an extreme social polish which is in extraordinary contrast to the nakedness, ignorance, and coarseness of the populace.” The new veins of silver gobbled up men and mules in the cordillera foothills; the Indians, who “lived from day to day,” suffered chronic hunger and epidemics killed them off like flies. In only one year, 1784, more than 8,000 died in Guanajuato when a lack of food, the result of a bad cold spell, set off a wave of disease. Capital, far from accumulating, was squandered. There was a saying: “Father a merchant, son a gentleman, grandson a beggar.” In a plea to the government in 1843 Mexican politician Lucas Alamán gave a somber warning and insisted on the need to defend national industry by banning or imposing heavy duties on foreign imports. “We must proceed to develop industry as the only source of general prosperity,” he wrote. “The riches of Zacatecas would bring no benefits to Puebla but for the former’s consumption of the latter’s manufactures, and if these decline again, as has happened before, that presently flourishing area will be ruined and the riches of the mines will not be able to save it from poverty.” The prophesy proved true. In our time Zacatecas and Guanajuato are not even the most important cities in their own regions. Both languish amid the skeletons of the camps of the mining boom. Zacatecas, high and arid, lives from agriculture and exports labor to other states; its gold and silver are low in quality compared to former days. Of the fifty mines once exploited in the Guanajuato district, only two remain today. The population of the beautiful city does not grow, but tourists flock there to view the exuberant splendor of olden times. San Diego, La Valenciana, La Compania, the cemetery in whose catacombs more than a hundred mummies, preserved intact by the salinity of the soil, are on show. Half the families in Guanajuato state average more than five members and live today in one-room hovels. 38 A FLOOD OF TEARS AND BLOOD: AND YET THE POPE SAID INDIANS HAD SOULS In 1581 Philip II told the audiencia( An audiencia was a judicial district as well as a judicial, administrative, and advisory body. In Mexico, it was the supreme court of administration and judgment. (Trans.) ) of Guadalajara that a third of Latin America’s Indians had already been wiped out, and that those who survived were compelled to pay the tributes for the dead. The monarch added that Indians were bought and sold; that they slept in the open air; and that mothers killed their children to save them from the torture of the mines. 25 Yet the Crown’s hypocrisy had smaller limits than the empire: it received a fifth of the value of the metals extracted by its subjects in all of the Spanish New World, as well as other taxes, and the Portuguese Crown was to have the same arrangement in eighteenth- century Brazil. Latin American silver and gold— as Engels put it— .penetrated like a corrosive acid through all the pores of Europe’s moribund feudal society, and, for the benefit of nascent mercantilist capitalism, the mining entrepreneurs turned Indians and black slaves into a teeming “external proletariat” of the European economy. Greco-Roman slavery was revived in a different world; to the plight of the Indians of the exterminated Latin American civilizations was added the ghastly fate of the blacks seized from African villages to toil in Brazil and the Antilles. The colonial Latin American economy enjoyed the most highly concentrated labor fore known until that time, making possible the greatest concentration of wealth ever enjoyed by any civilization in world history. The price of the tide of avarice, terror, and ferocity bearing down on these regions was Indian genocide: the best recent investigations credit pre- Columbian Mexico with a population between 30 and 37.5 million, and the Andean region is estimated to have possessed a similar number; Central America had between 10 and 13 million. The Indians of the Americas totaled no less than 70 million when the foreign conquerors appeared on the horizon; a century and a half later they had been reduced to 3.5 million. In 1685 only 4,000 Indian families remained of the more than 2 million that had once lived between Lima and Paita, according to the Marquis of Barinas. Archbishop Liñán y Cisneros 39 denied that the Indians had been annihilated: “The truth is that they are hiding out,” he said, “to avoid paying tribute, abusing the liberty which they enjoy and which they never had under the Incas.” 26 While metals flowed unceasingly from Latin American mines, equally unceasing were the orders from the Spanish Court granting paper protection and dignity to the Indians whose killing labor sustained the kingdom. The fiction of legality protected the Indian; the reality of exploitation drained the blood from his body. From slavery to the encomienda of service, and from this to the encomienda of tribute and the regime of wages, variants in the Indian labor force’s juridical condition made only superficial changes in the real situation. The Crown regarded the inhuman exploitation of Indian labor as so necessary that in 1601 Philip III, banning forced labor in the mines by decree, at the same time sent secret instructions ordering its continuation “in case that measure should reduce production.” 27 Similarly, between 1616 and 1619, Governor Juan de Solórzano carried out a survey of work conditions in the Huancavelica mercury mines (directly exploited by the Crown, in distinction to the silver mines, which were in private hands): “The poison penetrated to the very marrow, debilitating all the members and causing a constant shaking, and the workers usually died within four years,” he reported to the Council of the Indies and to the king. But in 1631 Philip IV ordered that the same system be continued, and his successor Charles II later reaffirmed the decree. In three centuries Potosi’s Cerro Rico consumed 8 million lives. The Indians, including women and children, were torn from their agricultural communities and driven to the Cerro. Of every ten who went up into the freezing wilderness, seven never returned. Luis Capoche, an owner of mines and mills, wrote that “the roads were so covered with people that the whole kingdom seemed on the move.” In their communities the Indians saw “many afflicted women returning without husbands and with many orphaned children” and they knew that “a thousand deaths and disasters” awaited them in the mines. The Spaniards scoured the countryside for hundreds of miles for labor. Many died on the way, before reaching Potosi, but it was the terrible work conditions in the mine that killed the most people. Soon after the mine began operating, in 1550, the Dominican monk Domingo de Santo Tomás told the Council of the Indies that Potosi was a “mouth of hell” which 40 swallowed Indians by the thousands every year, and that rapacious mine owners treated them “like stray animals.” Later Fray Rodrigo de Loaysa said: “These poor Indians are like sardines in the sea. Just as other fish pursue the sardines to seize and devour them, so everyone in these lands pursues the wretched Indians.” Chiefs of Indian communities had to replace the constantly dying mitayos with new men between eighteen and fifty years old. The huge stone-walled corral where Indians were assigned to mine and mill owners is now used by workers as a football ground. The mitayos’jail— a shapeless mass of ruins— can still be seen at the entrance to Potosi. The Compilation of the Laws of the Indies abounds with decrees establishing the equal right of Indians and Spaniards to exploit the mines, and expressly forbidding any infringement of Indian rights. Thus formal history— the dead letter of today which perpetuates the dead letter of the past— has nothing to complain about, but while Indian labor legislation was debated in endless documents and Spanish jurists displayed their talents in an explosion of ink, in Latin America the law “was respected but not carried out.” In practice “the poor Indian is a coin with which one can get whatever one needs, as with gold and silver, and get it better,” as Luis Capoche put it. Many people claimed mestizo status before the courts to avoid being sent to the mines and sold and resold in the market. At the end of the eighteenth century, Concolorcorvo, who had Indian blood, denied his own people: “We do not dispute that the mines consume a considerable number of Indians, but this is not due to the work they do in the silver and mercury mines but to their dissolute way of life.” The testimony of Capoche, who had many Indians in his service, is more enlightening. Freezing outdoor temperatures alternated with the infernal heat inside the Cerro. The Indians went into the depths “and it is common to bring them out dead or with broken heads and legs, and in the mills they are injured every day.” The mitayos hacked out the metal with picks and then carried it up on their shoulders by the light of a candle. Outside the mine they propelled the heavy wooden shafts in the mill or melted the silver on a fire after grinding and washing it. The mita labor system was a machine for crushing Indians. The process of using mercury to extract silver poisoned as many or more than 41 did the toxic gases in the bowels of the earth. It made hair and teeth fall out and brought on uncontrollable trembling. The victims ended up dragging themselves through the streets pleading for alms. At night 6,000 fires burned on the slopes of the Cerro and in these the silver was worked, taking advantage of the wind that the “glorious Saint Augustine” sent from the sky. Because of the smoke from the ovens there were no pastures or crops for a radius of twenty miles around Potosi and the fumes attacked men’s bodies no less relentlessly. Ideological justifications were never in short supply. The bleeding of the New World became an act of charity, an argument for the faith. With the guilt, a whole system of rationalizations for guilty consciences was devised. The Indians were used as beasts of burden because they could carry a greater weight than the delicate Ilama, and this proved that they were in fact beasts of burden. The viceroy of Mexico felt that there was no better remedy for their “natural wickedness” than work in the mines. Juan Ginés de Sepülveda, a renowned Spanish theologian, argued that they deserved the treatment they got because their sins and idolatries were an offense to God. The Count de Buffon, a French naturalist, noted that Indians were cold and weak creatures in whom “no activity of the soul” could be observed. The Abbé De Paw invented a Latin Arnerica where degenerate Indians lived side by side with dogs that couldn’t bark, cows that couldn’t be eaten, and impotent camels. Voltaire’s Latin America was inhabited by Indians who were lazy and stupid, pigs with navels on their backs, and bald and cowardly lions. Bacon, De Maistre, Montesquieu, Hume, and Bodin declined to recognize the “degraded men” of the New World as fellow humans. Hegel spoke of Latin America’s physical and spiritual impotence and said the Indians died when Europe merely breathed on them. In the seventeenth century Father Gregorio Garcia detected Semitic blood in the Indians because, like the Jews, “they are lazy, they do not believe in the miracles of Jesus Christ, and they are ungrateful to the Spaniards for all the good they have done them.” At least this holy man did not deny that the Indians were descended from Adam and Eve: many theologians and thinkers had never been convinced by Pope Paul III’s bull of 1537 declaring the Indians to be “true men.” When Bartolomé de las Casas upset the Spanish Court with his heated denunciations of the conquistadors’ cruelty in 1557, a member of the Royal 42 Council replied that Indians were too low in the human scale to be capable of receiving the faith. Las Casas dedicated his zealous life to defending the Indians against the excesses of the mine owners and encomenderos. He once remarked that the Indians preferred to go to hell to avoid meeting Christians. Indians were assigned or given in encomienda to conquistadors and colonizers so that they could teach them the gospel. But since the Indians owed personal services and economic tribute to the encomenderos, there was little time for setting them on the Christian path to salvation. Indians were divided up along with lands given as royal grants, or were obtained by direct plunder: in reward for his services, Cortés received 23,000 vassals. After 1536 Indians were given in encomienda along with their descendants for the span of two lifetimes, those of the encomendero and of his immediate heir; after 1629 this was extended to three lifetimes and, after 1704, to four. In the eighteenth century the surviving Indians still assured many generations to come of a cozy life. Since their defeated gods persisted in Spanish memory, there were saintly rationalizations aplenty for the victors’ profits from their toil; the Indians were pagans and deserved nothing better. The past? Four hundred years after the papal bull, in September 1957, the highest court in Paraguay published a notice informing all the judges of the country that “the Indians, like other inhabitants of the republic, are human beings.” And the Center for Anthropological Studies of the Catholic University of Asunción later carried out a revealing survey, both in the capital and in the countryside: eight out of ten Paraguayans think that “Indians are animals.” In Caaguazü, Alta Paraná, and the Chaco, Indians are hunted down like wild beasts, sold at bargain prices, and exploited by a system of virtual slavery— yet almost all Paraguayans have Indian blood, and Paraguayans tirelessly compose poems, songs, and speeches in homage to the “Guarani soul.” THE MILITAQNAT MEMORY OF TUPAC AMARU When the Spaniards invaded Latin America, the theocratic Inca empire was at its height, spreading over what we now call Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, taking in part of Colombia and Chile, and reaching 43 northern Argentina and the Brazilian jungle. The Aztec confederation had achieved a high level of efficiency in the Valley of Mexico, and in Yucatan and Central America the remarkable civilization of the Mayas, organized for work and war, persisted among the peoples who succeeded them. These societies have left many testimonies to their greatness despite the long period of devastation: religious monuments built with more skill than the Egyptian pyramids, technically efficient constructions for the battle against nature, art works showing indomitable talent. In the Lima museum there are hundreds of skulls which have undergone trepanning and the insertion of gold and silver plates by Inca surgeons. The Mayas were great astronomers, measuring time and space with. astonishing precision, and discovered the value of the figure zero before any other people in history. The Aztecs’ irrigation works and artificial islands dazzled Cortes— even though they were not made of gold. The conquest shattered the foundations of these civilizations. The installation of a mining economy had direr consequences than the fire and sword of war. The mines required a great displacement of people and dislocated agricultural communities; they not only took countless lives through forced labor, but also indirectly destroyed the collective farming system. The Indians were taken to the mines, were forced to submit to the service of the encomenderos, and were made to surrender for nothing the lands which they had to leave or neglect. On the Pacific coast the Spaniards destroyed or let die out the enormous plantations of corn, yucca, kidney and white beans, peanuts, and sweet potato; the desert quickly devoured great tracts of land which the Inca irrigation network had made abundant. Four and a half centuries after the Conquest only rocks and briars remain where roads had once united an empire. Although the Incas’ great public works were for the most part destroyed by time or the usurper’s hand, one may still see across the Andean cordillera traces of the endless terraces which permitted, and still permit, cultivation of the mountainsides. A U.S. technician estimated in 1936 that if the Inca terraces had been built by modern methods at 1936 wage rates they would have cost some $30,000 per acre. 28 In that empire which did not know the wheel, the horse, or iron, the terraces and aqueducts were made possible by prodigious organization and technical perfection achieved through wise distribution of 44 labor, as well as by the religious force that ruled man’s relation with the soil— which was sacred and thus always alive. The Aztecs also responded in a remarkable way to nature’s challenges. The surviving islands in the dried-up lake where Mexico City now rises on native ruins are known to tourists today as “floating gardens.” The Aztecs created these because of the shortage of land in the place chosen for establishing Tenochtitlán. They moved large quantities of mud from the banks and shored up the new mud-islands between narrow walls of reeds until tree roots gave them firmness. Between these exceptionally fertile islands flowed the canals, and on them arose the great Aztec capital, with its broad avenues, its austerely beautiful palaces, and its stepped pyramids: rising magically out of the lake, it was condemned to disappear under the assaults of foreign conquest. Mexico took four centuries to regain the population of those times. As Darcy Ribeiro puts it, the Indians were the fuel of the colonial productive system. “It is almost certain,” writes Sergio Bagü, “that hundreds of Indian sculptors, architects, engineers, and astronomers were sent into the mines along with the mass of slaves for the killing task of getting out the ore. The technical ability of these people was of no interest to the colonial economy. They were treated as so many skilled workers.” Yet all traces of those broken cultures were not lost: hope of the rebirth of a lost dignity sparked many Indian risings. In 1781 Tupac Amaru laid siege to Cuzco. This mestizo chief, a direct descendant of the Inca emperors, headed the broadest of messianic revolutionary movements. The rebellion broke out in Tinta province, which had been almost depopulated by enforced service in the Cerro Rico mines. Mounted on his white horse, Tupac Amaru entered the plaza of Tungasuca and announced to the sound of drums and pututus that he had condemned the royal Corregidor Antonio Juan de Arriaga to the gallows and put an end to the Potosi mita. A few days later Tupac issued a decree liberating the slaves. He abolished all taxes and forced labor in all forms. The Indians rallied by the thousands to the forces of the “father of all the poor and all the wretched and helpless.” He moved against Cuzco at the head of his guerilleros, promising them that all who died while under his orders in this war would return to life to enjoy the happiness and wealth the invaders had wrested from them. Victories and defeats followed; in the end, betrayed and captured by one of his 45 own chiefs, Tupac was handed over in chains to the royalists. The Examiner Areche entered his cell to demand, in exchange for promises, the names of his rebel accomplices. Tupac Amaru replied scornfully, “There are no accomplices here other than you and I. You as oppressor, I as liberator’deserve to die.” 29 Tupac was tortured, along with his wife, his children, and his chief aides, in Cuzco’s Plaza del Wacaypata. His tongue was cut out; his arms and legs were tied to four horses with the intention of quartering him, but his body would not break; he was finally beheaded at the foot of the gallows. His head was sent to Tinta, one arm to Tungasuca and the other to Carabaya, one leg to Santa Rosa and the other to Livitaca. The torso was burned and the ashes thrown in the Rio Watanay. It was proposed that all his descendants be obliterated up to the fourth generation. In 1802 a chief named Astorpilco, also a descendant of the Incas, was visited by Humboldt in Cajamarca, on the exact spot where his ancestor Atahualpa had first seen the conquistador Pizarro. The chief’s son took the German scholar on a tour of the ruins of the town and the rubble of the old Inca palace, and spoke as they walked of the fabulous treasures hidden beneath the dust and ashes. “Don’t you sometimes feel like digging for the treasure to satisfy your needs?” Humboldt asked him. The youth replied: “No, we never feel like doing that. My father says it would be sinful. If we were to find the golden branches and fruits, the white people would hate us and do us harm.” 3° The chief himself raised wheat in a small field, but that was not enough to save him from white covetousness. The usurpers, hungry for gold and silver and for slaves to work the mines, never hesitated to seize lands when their crops offered a tempting profit. The plunder continued down the years and in 1969, when agrarian reform was announced in Peru, reports still appeared in the press of Indians from the broken mountain communities coming with flags unfurled to invade lands that had been robbed from them or their ancestors, and of the army driving them away with bullets. Nearly two centuries had to pass after Tupac Amaru’s death before the nationalist general Juan Velasco Alvarado would take up and apply Tupac’s resounding, never forgotten words: “ Campesino! Your poverty shall no longer feed the master!” 46 Other heroes whose defeat was reversed by time were the Mexicans Miguel Hidalgo and José Maria Morelos. Hidalgo, who till the age of fifty was a peaceable rural priest, pealed the bells of the church of Dolores one fine day to summon the Indians to fight for their freedom: “Will you stir yourselves to the task of recovering from the hated Spaniards the lands robbed from your ancestors 300 years ago?” He raised the standard of the Indian Virgin of Guadalupe and before six weeks were out 80,000 men were following him, armed with machetes, pikes, slings, and bows and arrows. The revolutionary priest put an end to tribute and divided up the lands of Guadalajara; he decreed freedom for the slaves and led his forces toward Mexico City. He was finally executed after a military defeat and is said to have left a testament of passionate repentance. The revolution soon found another leader, however, the priest José Maria Morelos: “You must regard as enemies all the rich, the nobles, and high-ranking officials . . .“ His movement— combining Indian insurgency and social revolution— came to control a large part of Mexico before he too was defeated and shot. As one U.S. senator wrote, the independence of Mexico, six years later, “turned out to be a typically Hispanic family affair between European and American-born members… a political fight within the dominating social class.” 31 The encomienda serf became a peon and the encomendero a hacienda owner. FOR THE INDIANS, NO RESURRECTION AT THE END OF HOLY WEEK Masters of Indian pongos— domestic servants— were still offering them for hire in La Paz newspapers at the beginning of our century. Until the revolution of 1952 restored the forgotten right of dignity to Bolivian Indians, the pongo slept beside the dog, ate the leftovers of his dinner, and knelt when speaking to anyone with a white skin. Fourlegged beasts of burden were scarce in the conquistadors’ time and they used Indian backs to transport their baggage; even to this day Aymara and Quechua porters can be seen all over the Andean altiplano carrying loads for a crust of bread. Pneumoconiosis was Latin America’s first occupational disease, and the lungs of today’s Polivian miner refuse to continue functioning at the age of thirty-five: the implacable silica dust 47 impregnates his skin, cracks his face and hands, destroys his sense of smell and taste, hardens and kills his lungs. Tourists love to photograph altiplano natives in their native costumes, unaware that these were imposed by Charles III at the end of the eighteenth century. The dresses that the Spaniards made Indian females wear were copied from the regional costumes of Estremaduran, Andalusian, and Basque peasant women, and the center-part hair style was imposed by Viceroy Toledo. The same was not true of the consumption of coca, which already existed in Inca times. But coca was then distributed in moderation; the Inca government had a monopoly on it and only permitted its use for ritual purposes or for those who worked in the mines. The Spaniards energetically stimulated its consumption. It was good business. In Potosi in the sixteenth century as much was spent on European clothes for the oppressors as on coca for the oppressed. In Cuzco 400 Spanish merchants lived off the coca traffic; every year 100,000 baskets with a million kilos of coca-leaf entered the Potosi silver mines. The Church took a tax from the drug. The Inca historian Garcilaso de la Vega tells us in his Comentarios Reales Que Tratan del Origen de los Incas that the bishop, canons, and other Cuzco church dignitaries got most of their income from tithes on coca, and that the transport and sale of the product enriched many Spaniards. For the few coins they received for their work the Indians bought coca-leaf instead of food: chewing it , they could— at the price of shortening their lives— better endure the deadly tasks imposed on them. In addition to coca the Indians drank potent aguardiente, and their owners complained of the propagation of “maleficent vices.” In twentieth-century Potosi the Indians still chew coca to kill hunger and themselves, and still burn their guts with pure alcohol— sterile forms of revenge for the condemned. Bolivian miners still call their wages mita as in olden days. Exiled in their own land, condemned to an eternal exodus, Latin America’s native peoples were pushed into the poorest areas— arid mountains, the middle of deserts— as the dominant civilization extended its frontiers. The Indians have suffered, and continue to suffer, the curse of their own wealth, that is the drama of all Latin America. When placer gold was discovered in Nicaragua’s Rio Bluefields, the Carca Indians were quickly expelled far from their riparian lands, and the same happened with the Indians in all the fertile valleys and rich-subsoil lands 48 south of the Rio Grande. The massacres of Indians that began with Columbus never stopped. In Uruguay and Argentine Patagonia they were exterminated during the last century by troops that hunted them down and penned them in forests or in the desert so that they might not disturb the organized advance of cattle latifundia. (The last of the Charruas, who lived by raising bulls in the wild pampas of northern Uruguay, were betrayed in 1832 by President José Fructuoso Rivera. Removed from the bush that gave them protection, deprived of horses and arms by false promises of friendship, they were overwhelmed at a place called Boca del Tigre. “The bugles sounded the attack,” wrote Eduardo Acevedo Diaz in La Epoca (August 19, 1890). “The horde churned about desperately, one after the other of its young braves falling like bulls pierced in the neck.” Many chiefs were killed. The few Indians who could break through the circle of fire took vengeance soon afterward. Pursued by Rivera’s brother, they laid an ambush and riddled him and his soldiers with spears. The chief Sepe “had the tip of his spear adorned with some tendons from the corpse.” In Argentine Patagonia soldiers drew pay for each pair of testicles they brought in. David Vinas’s novel Los dueños de la tierra (1959) opens with an Indian hunt: “For killing was like raping someone. Something good And it gave a man pleasure: you had to move fast, you could yell, you sweated and afterward you felt hungry… The intervals got longer between shots. Undoubtedly some straddled body remained in one of these coverts— — an Indian body on its back with a blackish stain between its thighs… ”) The Yaqui Indians of the Mexican state of Sonora were drowned in blood so that their lands, fertile and rich in minerals, could be sold without any unpleasantness to various U.S. capitalists. Survivors were deported to plantations in Yucatan, and the Yucatan peninsula became not only the cemetery of the Mayas who had been its owners, but also of the Yaquis who came from afar: at the beginning of our century the fifty kings of henequen had more than 100,000 Indian slaves on their plantations. Despite the exceptional physical endurance of the strapping, handsome Yaquis, two-thirds of them died during the first year of slave labor. In our day henequen can compete with synthetic fiber substitutes only because of the workers’ abysmally low standard of living. Things have certainly changed, but not as much— at least for the natives of Yucatán— as some believe: “The living conditions of these workers are much like slave labor,” says one contemporary authority. 32On the Andean slopes near Bogota the Indian peon still must give a day’s work without pay to get the hacendado’s permission to farm his own plot on moonlit nights. As René Dumont says, “This Indian’s ancestors, answering to no man, used once to cultivate the rich soil of the ownerless 49 plain. Now he works for nothing to gain the right to cultivate the poor slopes of the mountain.” 33 Not even Indians isolated in the depths of forests are safe in our day. At the beginning of this century 230 tribes survived in Brazil; since then ninety have disappeared, erased from the planet by firearms and microbes. Violence and disease, the advance guard of civilization: for the Indian, contact with the white man continues to be contact with death. Every legal dispensation since 1537 meant to protect Brazil’s Indians has been turned against them. Under every Brazilian constitution they are “the original and natural masters” of the land they occupy, but the richer that virgin land proves to be, the greater the threat hanging over their lives. Nature’s very generosity makes them targets of plunder and crime. Indian hunting has become ferocious in recent years; the world’s greatest forest, a huge tropical zone open to legend and adventure, has inspired a new “American dream.” Men and business enterprises from the United States, a new procession of conquistadores, have poured into Amazonia as if it were another Far West. This U.S. invasion has inflamed the avarice of Brazilian adventurers as never before. The Indians die out leaving no trace, and the land is sold for dollars to the new interested parties. Gold and other plentiful minerals, timber and rubber, riches whose commercial value the Indians are not even aware of, recur in the reports of each of the few investigations that have been made. It is known that the Indians have been machine-gunned from helicopters and light airplanes and inoculated with smallpox virus, that dynamite has been tossed into their villages, and that they have been given gifts of sugar mixed with strychnine and salt mixed with arsenic. The director of the Indian Protection Service, named by the Castelo Branco dictatorship to clean up its administration, was himself accused, with proof, of committing forty-two different kinds of crimes against the Indians. That scandal broke in 1968. Indian society in our time does not exist in a vacuum, outside the general framework of the Latin American economy. There are, it is true, Brazilian tribes still sealed within the jungle, altiplano communities totally isolated from the world, redoubts of barbarism on the Venezuelan frontier; but in general the Indians are incorporated into the system of production and the consumer market, even if indirectly. They participate in an economic and social order which assigns them the role 50 of victim— the most exploited of the exploited. They buy and sell a good part of the few things they consume and produce, at the mercy of powerful and voracious intermediaries who charge much and pay little; they are day laborers on plantations, the cheapest work force, and soldiers in the mountains; they spend their days toiling for the world market or fighting for their conquerors. In countries like Guatemala, for example, they are at the center of national economic life: in a continuous annual cycle they leave their “sacred lands”— high lands where each small farm is the size of a corpse— to contribute 200,000 pairs of hands to the harvesting of coffee, cotton, and sugar in the lowlands. They are transported in trucks like cattle, and it is not always need, but sometimes liquor, that makes them decide to go. The contractors provide a marimba band and plenty of aguardiente and when the Indian sobers up he is already in debt. He will pay it off laboring on hot and strange lands which— perhaps with a few centavos in his pocket, perhaps with tuberculosis or malaria— he will leave after a few months. The army collaborates efficiently in the task of convincing the reluctant. Expropriation of the Indians— usurpation of their lands and their labor— has gone hand in hand with racist attitudes which are in turn fed by the objective degradation of civilizations broken by the Conquest. The effects of the Conquest and the long ensuing period of humiliation left the cultural and social identity the Indians had achieved in fragments. Yet in Guatemala this pulverized identity is the only one that persists.( The Maya-Quiches believed in a single god; practiced fasting, penitence, abstinence, and confession; and believed in the flood at the end of the world. Christianity thus brought them few novelties. Religious disintegration began with colonization. The Catholic religion assimilated a few magical and totemic aspects of the Maya religion in a vain attempt to submit to the Indian faith to the conquistadors’ ideology. The crushing of the original culture opened the way for syncretism. 34) It persists in tragedy. During Holy Week, processions of the heirs of the Mayas produce frightful exhibitions of collective masochism. They drag heavy crosses and participate in the flagellation of Jesus step by step along the interminable ascent to Golgotha; with howls of pain they turn His death and His burial into the cult of their own death and their own burial, the annihilation of the beautiful life of long ago. Only there is no Resurrection at the end of their Holy Week. 51 OURO PRETO, THE POTOSI OF GOLD The gold fever which is still sentencing Amazonian Indians to death or slavery is no novelty in Brazil. For two centuries after Brazil’s discovery, the soil stubbornly denied metal to its Portuguese proprietors. In the first period of coastal colonization timber, or brazilwood, was commercially exploited; then sugar plantations were started in the Northeast. In contrast to Spanish Latin America, there seemed to be no gold or silver. Having found no highly developed and organized civilizations, only savage and scattered tribes who had no knowledge of metal, the Portuguese had to discover the gold on their own as they opened up the territory and exterminated its inhabitants. The bandeirantes ( A bandeirante was a member of a bandeira, a band of Portuguese slave- or gold-hunters in the Brazilian interior. The São Paulo bandeiras were part of a paramilitary organization whose strength varied. Their expeditions into the jungle played an important role n the interior colonization of Brazil. (Trans.) ) of the São Paulo region had crossed the great expanse between the Serra da Mantiqueira and the Rio São Francisco headwaters, and had observed small traces of alluvial gold in the beds and banks of several streams. The millennial action of the rains had eaten into the seams in the rocks and deposited gold in river beds, valleys, and mountain ravines. Beneath the layers of sand, dirt, or clay, the stony subsoil revealed nuggets that were easily removed from the quartz cascalho, or gravel; methods of extraction became more complex as the more superficial deposits were exhausted. Thus the Minas Gerais region entered history with a rush: the largest amount of gold ever discovered in the world till then was extracted in the shortest space of time. “Here the gold was a forest,” says the beggar one meets today, his eyes scanning the church towers. “There was gold on the sidewalks, it grew like grass.” He is seventy-five years old now and considers himself part of the folklore in Mariana, the mining town where, as in nearby Ouro Préto, the clock has simply stopped. “Death is certain, the hour uncertain— everyone has his time marked in the book,” the beggar tells me. He spits on the stone steps and shakes his head: “They had more money than they could count,” he says, as if he had seen them. “They didn’t know where to put it, so they built churches one next to the other.” 52 Once this was the most important region of Brazil. Now…“Well, there’s no life at all,” says the old man. “No young folk. They all go.” His bare feet move slowly beside me under the warm afternoon sun. “See that? On the front of that church, the sun and moon. That means that the slaves worked day and night. This church was built by black men; that one by white men. And that’s the house of Monsenhor Alipio who died right on his ninety-ninth birthday.” In the eighteenth century Brazilian production of the coveted metal exceeded the total volume of gold that Spain had taken from its colonies in two previous centuries. Adventurers and fortune hunters poured in. Brazil had 300,000 inhabitants in 1700; a century later, at the end of the gold years, the population had multiplied eleven times. No less than 300,000 Portuguese emigrated to Brazil in the eighteenth century, a larger contingent than Spain contributed to all its Latin American colonies. From the conquest of Brazil until abolition, it is estimated that some 10 million blacks were brought from Africa; there are no precise figures for the eighteenth century, but the gold cycle absorbed slave labor in prodigious quantities. Salvador de Bahia was the Brazilian capital of the prosperous Northeastern sugar cycle, but the “golden age” in Minas Gerais moved the country’s economic and political capital southward and Rio de Janeiro, the region’s port, became the new capital in 1763. In the dynamic heart of the new mining economy, camps bloomed abruptly into cities, described by a contemporary colonial authority as “sanctuaries for criminals, vagabonds, and malefactors,” in a vertigo of easy riches. The “Vila Rica de Ouro Prêto( The “Rich Town of Black Gold,” so called because the mined gold turned black on exposure to the humid air, due to the presence of silver. (Trans.) ) had grown to city size by 1711; born of the miners’ avalanche, it was the quintessence of the gold civilization. Simão Ferreira Machado, describing it twenty-three years later, said that the power of Ouro Préto businessmen surpassed by far that of Lisbon’s most flourishing merchants: “Hither, as to a port, are directed and collected in the Royal Mint the grandiose amounts of gold from all the Mines. Here dwell the best educated men, both lay and ecclesiastic. Here is the seat of all the nobility and the strength of the military. It is, by virtue of its natural position, the head of the whole of America; and by the wealth 53 of its riches, it is the precious pearl of Brazil.” 35 Another writer of the period, Francisco Tavares de Brito, in 1732 defined Ouro Prêto as “the Potosi of gold.” Frequent complaints and protests reached Lisbon about the sinful life in Ouro Prêto, Sabará, São Joao d’El Rei, Mariana, and the whole turbulent mining district. Fortunes were made and lost overnight. It was commonplace for a miner to pay a fortune for a black who played a good trumpet and twice as much for a mulatto prostitute, “to abandon himself with her to continuous and scandalous sins.” Men of the cloth behaved no better: official correspondence of the time contains many complaints against “bad clergymen” infesting the area. They were accused of using their immunity to smuggle gold inside little wooden images of saints. It was said that in 1705 Minas Gerais did not contain one priest who was interested in the Christian faith of the people, and six years later the Crown banned the establishment of any religious order in the mining district. In any case, there was a proliferation of handsome churches built and decorated in the baroque style characteristic of the region. Minas Gerais attracted the best artisans of the time. Outwardly the churches looked sober and austere, but the interiors, symbolizing the divine soul, glistened with pure gold on their altars, reredoses, pillars, and bas-relief panels. Precious metals were not spared, so that the churches could achieve “the riches of Heaven,” as the monk Miguel de São Francisco recommended in 1710. The price of religious services was astronomical, but everything in the mining area was exorbitant. As had happened in Potosi, Ouro Prêto devoted itself to squandering its sudden wealth. Processions and spectacles provided occasions to exhibit splendid robes and adornments. A religious festival in 1733 lasted over a week. There were not only processions on foot, on horseback, and in triumphal mother-of- pearl, silk, and gold chariots, with fantastic costumes and dazzling settings, but there were equestrian tournaments, bullfights, and dancing in the streets to the sound of flutes, flageolets, and guitars. The slaves spent their strength and their days in the gold-washing installations. “There they work,” wrote Luis Gomes Ferreira, a doctor who lived in Minas Gerais during the first half of the eighteenth century, “there they eat, and often there they have to sleep; and since when they work they are bathed in sweat, with their feet always in the cold earth, 54 on stones, or in water, when they rest or eat their pores close and they become so chilled that they are susceptible to many dangerous illnesses, such as very severe pleurisies, apoplectic and paralytic fits, convulsions, pneumonia, and many other diseases.” 36 The’ capitaes do mato of Minas Gerais collected rewards in gold for the severed heads of slaves who tried to escape. Disease was a blessing from heaven because it meant the approach of death. The slaves were called the “coins of the Indies” when they were measured, weighed and embarked in Luanda in the Portuguese colony of Angola; in Brazil those surviving the ocean voyage became “the hands and feet” of the white master. Angola exported Bantu slaves and elephant tusks in exchange for clothing, liquor, and firearms, but Ouro Prêto miners preferred blacks shipped from the little beach of Ouidah on the Gulf of Guinea because they were more vigorous, lasted somewhat longer, and had the magic power to find gold. Every miner also needed a black mistress from Ouidah to bring him luck on his expeditions. 37 (In Cuba, medicinal powers were attributed to female slaves. According to onetime slave Esteban Montejo, “There was one type of sickness the whites picked up, a sickness of the veins and male organs. It could only be got rid of with black women; if the man who had it slept with a Negress he was cured immediately.” 38)Ouro Préto’s appetite for slaves became insatiable; they expired in short order, only in rare cases enduring the seven years of continuous labor. Yet the Portuguese were meticulous in baptizing them all before they crossed the Atlantic , and once in Brazil they were obliged to attend mass, although they were not allowed to sit in the pews or to enter the chanel. The gold explosion not only increased the importation of slaves, but absorbed a good part of the black labor from the sugar and tobacco plantations elsewhere in Brazil, leaving them without hands. The miners were contemptuous of farming, and in 1700 and 1713, in the full flush of prosperity, hunger stalked the region: millionaires had to eat cats, rats, ants, and birds of prey. A royal decree in 1711 banned the sale of slaves occupied in agriculture, with the exception of those who showed “perversity of character.” By the middle of the eighteenth century many miners had gone to look for diamonds in Serra do Frio. The crystalline stones the gold 55 hunters had tossed aside while exploring the riverbeds had turned out to be diamonds; Minas Gerais had both diamonds and gold in equal quantities. The booming camp of Tijuco became the center of the diamond district and there, as in Ouro Prêto, the wealthy sported the latest European fashions, bringing luxurious clothes, weapons, and furniture from across the ocean for their hour of delirium and dissipation. A mulatto slave, Francisca da Silva, or Xica da Silva, won her freedom by entering the bed of millionaire Joao Fernandes de Oliveira, the uncrowned king of Tijuco; she was ugly and had two children, but became “the xica who gives orders.” 39 As she had never seen the sea and wanted it near her, her cavalheiro made her a large artificial lake on which he floated a ship, complete with crew. In the Säo Francisco foothills he built her a castle with a garden of exotic plants and artificial waterfalls; in her honor he gave sumptuous banquets with the finest wines, balls that never ended, and theater and concert performances. In 1818 Tijuco could still manage a large-scale celebration of the prince of Portugal, but ten years earlier the Englishman John Mawe had visited Ouro Préto and had been startled by its poverty. He found empty and worthless houses with futile “for sale” signs, and ate wretched and meager food. Tijtico did not take long to meet the same fate. The crisis had at first led to rebellion. José Joaquim da Silva Xavier, known as “Tiradentes”— the “toothpuller”— was hanged and quartered after being tortured, and other fighters for independence had disappeared from Ouro Prêto into jail or exile. WHAT BRAZILIAN GOLD CONTRIBUTED TO PROGRESS IN ENGLAND The gold began to flow just when Portugal signed the Methuen Treaty with England in 1703. The treaty crowned a long series of privileges obtained by British merchants in Portugal. In return for some advantages for its wines in the English market, Portugal opened its own and its colonies’ markets to British manufactures. In view of the existing inequality of industrial development, this proved disastrous for local Portuguese manufactures. It was not with wine that English textiles were paid for, but with gold— Brazilian gold— and in the process Portuguese 56 looms were paralyzed. Not content with killing its own industry in the bud, Portugal destroyed the seeds of any kind of manufacturing development in Brazil: until 1715 sugar refineries were banned, in 1729 it was made a criminal offense to open new roads in the mining region, and in 1785 local looms and spinning mills were ordered burned. England and Holland, the leading gold and slave contrabandists, amassed fortunes in the illegal “black meat” traffic and are said to have illicitly garnered more than half the metal the Portuguese Crown was supposed to get from Brazil in quinto real tax. But Brazilian gold was channeled to London by licit as well as illicit methods. The gold boom, which brought a host of Portuguese to Minas Gerais, sharply stimulated colonial demand for industrial products and at the same time provided the means to pay for them. Just as Potosi silver rebounded off Spanish soil, Minas Gerais gold only reached Portugal in transit. The metropolis became an intermediary. In 1755 the Marquis de Pombal, Portugal’s prime minister, tried to revive a protectionist policy, but it was too late. He declared that the English had conquered Portugal without the trouble of a conquest, that they were supplying two-thirds of its needs, and that British agents controlled the whole of Portuguese trade. Portugal was producing almost nothing, and the wealth brought by gold was so illusory that even the black slaves who mined it were clothed by the British. Celso Furtado has noted that Britain, following a farsighted policy with respect to industrial development, used Brazilian gold to pay for essential imports from other countries and could thus concentrate on investments in the manufacturing sector. Thanks to this historical graciousness on the part of the Portuguese, Britain could apply rapid and efficient technical innovations. Europe’s financial center moved from Amsterdam to London. According to British sources, the value of Brazilian gold arriving in London reached £50,000 a week in some periods. ‘Without this tremendous accumulation of gold reserves, Britain would not have been able, later on, to confront Napoleon. No result of the dynamic stimulus of gold remained on Brazilian soil except churches and works of art. By the end of the eighteenth century, although the diamond supply was still not exhausted, the country was prostrate. Furtado calculates that at that time— the low point of the whole colonial period— the per capita income of the 3 million-odd 57 Brazilians did not exceed $50 a year in today’s buying power. Minas Gerais drowned in a long wave of decadence and insolvency. Incredibly, a modern Brazilian author expresses gratitude for the favor and submits that the capital the English derived from Minas Gerais “aided the great banking network that built international trade and made it possible to raise the living standards of peoples capable of progress.”( The author, Augusto de Limajr., derives great happiness from “the expansion of colonizing imperialism which ignorant people today, inspired by their Moscow masters, describe as a crime.” 40) Inexorably condemned to poverty so that foreigners might progress, the “incapable” mining communities moldered in isolation and could only resign themselves to scraping a livelihood from lands already despoiled of metals and precious stones. Subsistence farming replaced mining. Today the Minas Gerais countryside, like the Northeast, is the kingdom of the latifundio and the “hacienda colonels,” a dauntless bastion of backwardness. The sale of Minas Gerais workers to haciendas in other states is almost as common as the slave traffic in the Northeast. Recently, Franklin de Oliveira toured Minas Gerais. He found collapsing wooden huts, villages without water or light, prostitutes of an average age of thirteen on the road in the valley of the Jequitinhonha, and crazed and famished people along the roadsides. 41 Minas Gerais was once accurately described as having a heart of gold in a breast of iron, but its fabulous “iron quadrilateral” is being exploited today by a joint Hanna Mining Company-Bethlehem Steel enterprise: the deposits were surrendered in a sinister deal in 1964. The iron, in foreigners’ hands, will leave no more behind than did the gold. Only the explosion of artistic talent remains as a memento of the gold delirium, apart from the holes in the ground and the abandoned cities; nor could Portugal salvage anything creative except for the aesthetic revolution. The convent of Mafra, pride of Dom João V, lifted Portugal from artistic decadence: in its carillons of thirty-seven bells and in its solid gold vessels and candelabra, there still glints the gold of Minas Gerais. The Minas churches have been extensively plundered and few sacred objects of portable size remain in them, but monumental baroque works still rise above the colonial ruins— façades and pulpits, galleries, reredoses, human figures designed, carved, or sculpted by Antonio 58 Francisco Lisboa— ”Aleijadinho”—-”Little Cripple,” genius son of a female slave and a famous artisan. The eighteenth century was coming to a close when “Aleijadinho” began carving in stone a group of large sacred figures in the garden of the Born Jesus do Matosinhos church in Congonhas do Campo. The work was called “The Prophets,” but there was no longer any glory in prophesying. The gold euphoria was a thing of the past; all the pomp and gaiety had vanished and there was no room for hope. This dramatic final testimony, like a grand monument to the fleeting gold civilization that was born to die, was left to succeeding generations by the most talented artist in all Brazil’s history. “Aleijadinho,” disfigured and crippled by leprosy, created his masterpiece with chisel and hammer tied to fingerless hands, dragging himself on his knees to his workshop every morning. Legend insists that in the Nossa Senhora das Mercés e Misericordia church in Minas Gerais, dead miners still celebrate mass on cold rainy nights. ‘When the priest turns around, raising his arms from the high altar, one sees the bones of his face.
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Caliban andthe �.� Witch Autonornedia ,. Silvia Federici ., The Acc umul ation of Labo r and th e Degr adation of Wo men: Constructi ng “Dif ference” in the “T ransition to Capit alism ” I demand whether all wars, bloodshed and misery came not upon the creation when one man endeavoured to be a lord over another? .. And whether this l11,isery shall not remove … when all [he branches of mankind shall look upon the earth as one conunon treasury to all . -Gerrard Winstanley, 77 .. New Lal. of RigllltoUSlles� 1649 To him she was a fragmented commodity whose feelings and choices were rarely considered: her head and her heart were separated from her hack and her hands and divided from her womb and vagina. Her back and muscle were pressed into field labor … her hands were demanded to nurse and nurture the white man …. [H]er vagina, used for his sexual pleasure, was the gateway to the womb, which was his place of capital invesonent – the capital invesone nt being the sex-act and the resuJcing child the accumulated surplus …. -Barbara Omolade,”Heart of Darkness,” 1983 I Part One: Introduction Th e deve lopme nt of capitalism was not the only possible response to the crisis of feudal � owe r. Thr oughout Europe, vast con’WlUnalisric social movements and rebellions against e U daI.i sll1 had offered the promise of a new egalitarian society built on social equality �Il d coop eratio n. However, by 1525 their most powerful expression, the “Peasam War” H1 Ger many or, as Peter BlickJe called it, the “rev olution of the common man,” was c ru sh ed. I A hundred thousand rebels were massacred in retaliation. Then, in 1535,” New 61 I ,.,. …….. , ….. _ ….. ‘ . … , …… _ … “‘, _ .. – – … �. –_ ……. -, ………… . Jerusalem,” the attempt made by the Anabaptists in the town of Munster to bring kingdom of Cod to earth, also ended in a bloodbath, first undermined presumably the patriarchal turn taken by its leaders who, by imposing polygamy, caused among their ranks to revolt.2 With these defeats, compounded by the spreads hunts and the effects of colonial expansion, the revolutionary process in Europe came an end. Military might was not sufficient, however, to avert the crisis of feudalism. By the late Middle Ages the feudal economy was doomed, raced with an muJation crisis that nrctched for more than a century. We deduce its dimension some basic estimates indicating that between 1350 and 1500 a major shift occurred the power-relation between workers and masters. The real wage increased by prices declined by 33%, rents also declined, the length of the working-day decreased, a tendency appeared toward local self-sufficiency) Evidence of a chronic disaccum ula­ tion trend in this period is also found in the pessimism of the contemporary m”rchaJ,..’ and landowners, and the measures which the European states adopted to protect kets, suppress competition and force people to vork at the conditions imposed. As entries in the registers of the feudal manors recorded, “the work [was] not worth breakfast” (Dobb 1963: 54). The feudal economy could not reproduce itself, nor a capitalist society have “evolved” from it, for self-sufficiency and the new high-wa ge regime allowed for the “wealth of the people,” but “excluded the possibil.ity of ro •• i … L istic wealth” (Marx 1909,Vol.l: 789). It was in response to this crisis tl13t the European ru�ng class launched the global ofren­ sive that in the course of at least three centuries was to change the history of the plane� 1ay­ ing the foundations of a capitalist world-system, in the relendess attempt to appropriate sources of wealth, expand irs economic basis, and bring new workers under its command. A5 we know,’·conquest. enslavement, robbery, murder. in brief force” were the piJ.. lars of this process (ibid.: 785). Thus, the concept of a “transition to capitalism” is in ways a fiction. British historians, in the 1940s and 1950s, used it to define a period roughly from 1450 to 1650 -in which feudalism in Europe was breaking down no new social-economic system was yet in place, though elements of a capitalist were taking shape.4 The concept of “transition,” then, helps us to think of a pn’lo’ng� process of change and of societies in which capitalist accumulation coexisted with ical formations nOt yet predominantly capitalistic. The term, however. suggests a ual, linear historical development, whereas the period it names was among the est and most discontinuous in world history -one that saw apocalyptic transl’orm”tie,” and which historians can only describe in the harshest terms: the Iron Age (Kamen), Age of Plunder (Hoskins), and the Age of the Whip (Stone). “Transition,” then, evoke the changes that paved the way to the advent of capitalism and the forces shaped them. In this volume, therefore, I use the term primarily in a temporal sense. while I refer to the social processes that characterized the “feudal reaction” and the • opment of capitalist relations with the Marxian concept of “primitive accumulation. though I agree with its critics that we must rethink Marx’s interpretation of it.S Marx introduced the concept of”prim.itive accumulation” at the end of Volwne I to describe the social and economic restrucmring that the European ruling dati initiated in response to its accumulation crisis, and to establish (in polem.ics with AcbJIl Smith)6 that: (i) capitalism could nOt have developed without a prior concentration of car 62 iW and labo r; and that (ii) the divorcing of the workers from �e I.”.eans of produ�on. not abstin ence of the rich. is the source of capitalist wealth. Prmunve accul11ulaoon. then, til: u sefu l concept, for it connects the “feudal reaction” with the development of a capi­ � [ econom y. and it identifies the historical and logical conditions fO,r the develop �ent of ‘ capitalist system, “primitive” (“originary’) indicating a precondiron for the eXIstence the h ciii .. 7 (capitalist relations as mue as a spe c event 111 time. o Marx. however, analyzed primitive accumulation almost exclusively from the “,point of the waged industrial proletariat: the protagonist, in his view, of the revo lu­ V�l1a ry pro cess of h.is time and the foundation for the future conullunist sociccy. Thus, o hi s aCCOUllt, primitive accumulation consi.sts essentially in the expropriation of the ;�nd from the European peasantry and the formation of the “free,” independem worker, although he acknowledged that: The discov ery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslave­ mem and emombmem in mines of the aboriginal population, [of America], the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Mrica into a preserve for the commercial hum­ ing of black skins, are … the chief moments of prinutive accumula­ oon … (Marx J909,VoJ. I: 823). Marx a1,0 recognized that “[aJ great deal of capital, which today appears in the United Scates without any certificate of birth, was yesterday in England the capitalised blood of children” (ibid.: 82� 30). By contrast, we do not find in his work any men­ tion of the prof ound transformations that capitalism introduced in the reproduction oflabor-power and the social position of women. Nor does Marx’s analysis of primi­ ti ve accu mulation mention the “Creat Witch-Hunr”of the 16th and 17th centuries, although this state-sponsored terror campaign was cemral to the defeat of the European peasantry, facilitating its expulsion from the lands it once held in common. In tllis chapter and those that follow, I discuss these developm ents, especially with ref erence to Europe, arguing that: I. The expropriation of European workers from their means of subsis­ tence, and the enslave ment of Native Americans and Mricans to the nunes and plantations of the “New World,” were not the only means by which a world proletariat was fonned and “accumulated .” II . This process required the transf ormation of the body into a work­ machine, and the subjugation of women to the reprod uction of the work-force . Most of all, it required the de’truction of the power of women which, in Europe as in America, was achieved through the extennination of the “wit ches.” III. Prinut ive accumulation, then, was not simply an accumulation and conce ntration of exploitable workers and capital. It was also all (‘(CU­ mulatiol/ of dijJ erellccs atld divisions wit/,in the working class, whereby hier- 63 archies built upon gender, as weU as “r.ilce” and age, became constitu­ tive of class rule and the formation of the modern proletariat. IV. We cannot, therefore, identify capitalist accumulation with the liber­ ation of the worker, female or male, as many Marxists (among others) have done, or see the advent of capitalism as a moment of historical progress. On the contrary. capitalism has created more brutal and insiclious forms of enslavement, as it has planted into the body of the proletariat deep divisions that have served to intensify and conceal exploitation. It is in great part because of these imposed divisions­ especially those between women and men -that capitalist accumu­ lation continues to devastate life in every corner of the planet. I Capitalist Accumulation and the Accumulation of Labor in Europe Capital, Marx wrote, comes on the face of the eanh dripping blood and dirt from head to toe (1909, Vol. I: 834) and, indeed, when we look at the beginning of capitalist devd­ O P l11cnt, we have the impression of being in an immense concentration camp. In the “New World” we have the subjugation of the aboriginaJ populations to the regimes rl the mita and cuatt}ehifS under which multitudes of people were consumed to bring sil­ vcr and mercury to the surface in the mines of Huancavelica and Potosi. In Eastera Europe, we have a “second serfdom,” tying to the land a population oerumers who hacl never previously been enserfed.9 In Western Europe. we have the Enclosures, the Witch-. Hunt, the branding, whipping, and incarceration of vagabonds and beggars in newly COB­ structed work-houses and correction houses, models for the furure prison system. Oa the horizon, we have the rise of the slave trade, while on the seas, ships are already traJIIooo porting indentured servants and convicts from Europe to America. What we deduce from this scenario is that force was the main lever, the main eCG-‘ nomic power in the process of primitive accumulationlO because capitalist develop required an inunense leap in the wealth appropriated by the European ruling class the number of workers brought under its conmland. ln other words, primitive acc lation consisted in an inunense accumulation oflabor-power-“dead labor”in the fo of stolen goods, and “living labor” in the form of human beings made available exploitation -realized on a scale never before matched in the course of history. Significantly, the tendency of the capitalist class, during the first three centuri es its existence, was to impose slavery and other forms of coerced labor as the domi work relation, a tendency limited only by tlle workers’ resistance and the danger of exhaustion of the work-force. This was true nOt only in the American colonies, where, by the 16th cen economies based on coerced labor were forming, but in Europe as well. Later, I e inc the importance of slave-labor and the plantation system in capitalist accumula ti Here I want to stress that in Europe, too, in the 15th century, slavery, never compler abolished, was revitalized . I I 64 As reported by the Italian historian Salvatore Bono, to whom we owe the most ·ve study of slavery in Ic:UY there were numerous slaves in the Mediterranean areas ,,){tellS] • . the t 6th and 17th centuries, and their numbers grew after the Battle of Lepanto (1571) ,11 calated the hostilities against the Muslim world. Bono calculates that 1110re than — . . . 000 slave s lived in Naples and 25,000 1T1 the Napolitan kingdom as a whole (one per 10, fthe population) and simiJar figures apply [Q other Italian towns and to southern ceriC o · . frallce. In Italy, a system of public slavery developed whereby thousands of kidnapped forei gne rs – the ancestors of today’s . undocumented imnugrant work.ers -. � ere 111 Joyed by ciry goverrunents for public works, or were farmed out to private cltlzens :lh � el11pl oyed them in agriculture. Many were destined for the oars,an importam source fsuch employment being the Vatican aeet (Bono 1999: 1r8). a Slave ry is “that form [of exploitation] towards which the master always strives” (Dockes 1982: 2). Europe was no exception. This must b� emphasized to dispel the assul11ption ofa special connection between slavery and Afnca.12 But III Europe slavery remained a limited phenomenon, as the material conditions for it did not exist, although (he employ ers’ desires for it must have been quite strong if it tOok until the 18m century before slavery was outlawed in England.The attempt to bring back serfdom failed as weU, except in the East, where population scarcity gave landlords the upper hand.13 In the West its restoration was prevented by peasant resistance culminating in the “German Peasant War.” A broad organizational effort spreading over three countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and joining workers from every field (f anners. Ininers, artisans, IIlciuding the best German and Austrian artists),14 tills “revolution of the conmlon l11an” v.l5 a watershed in European history. Like the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, it shook the powerful to the core, merging in their consciousness with the Anabaptists akeover of Munster. which confirmed their fears that an international conspiracy was underway to overthrow their power. IS After itS def eat, which occurred in the same year as the conquest of Peru, and which was conunemorated by Albrecht Durer with the “Monument to the Vanquished Peasants” (Thea 1998: 65; 134-35), the revenge was mer­ ciless. “Thousands of corpses laid on the ground from Thuringia to Abace, in the fields, in t11e woods, in the ditches of a thousand dismantled, burned castles,” “murdered, tor­ tured, impaled, martyred” (ibid.: 153, 146). But the clock could not be turned back. In ‘;Inous parts of Germany and the other territories that had been at the cemer of the “war. ” Customa ry rights and even forms of territorial government were preserved .16 This was an exceptio n. Where workers’ resistance to re-enserfinent could not be brok en. the response was the expropriation of the peasantry from its land and the intro­ duction offorced wage-labor. Workers attempting to hire themselves out independently Or leave their employers were punished with incarceration and even with death, in the case of recidivism. A “free” wage labor-market did not develop in Europe until tlle 18m cen tury , and even then. contractual wage-work was obtained only at the price of an intense :;:O we and by a linuted set ofl.boren, mostly male and adult. Nevertheless, the fact that Very and serfdom could not be rescored meant that the labor crisis that had character­ � .d the late Middle Ages continued in Europe into the 170b century , aggrnvated by the �ct that the drive to maxim ize the exploitation of labor put in jeopardy tile reproduc­ tio n of the work-force. Tlus contradiction -wh.ich still characterizes capitalist develop­ Il 1ent1 7 _ exploded most dramatically in tlle American colonies, where work, disease, 6S liB .. …………………………. , …………… , … .. -�-‘:J. ��-�-�- …. -� …. � ……. . Peasatlt “‘ifurling tilt bmmer o!”Frudo”,. ” and disciplinary punislunents destroyed two thirds of the native American population ill the decades inunediately after me Conquest. IS It was also at the core of me slave trade and the exploitation of slave labor. Millions of Mricans died because of the tortu ro .. living conwtions to which they were subjected during the Middle Passage and on the plantations. Never in Europe did the exploitation of the work-force reach such genoci­ dal proportions, except under the Nazi regime. Even so, there too, in the 16th and 1′” centuries,land privatization and the commodification of social relations (the response lords and merchants to their economic crisis) caused widespread poverty, mortalicy , and an intense resistance that threatened to sh.ipwreck the emerging capitalist economy. ‘[his, I argue, is the historical context in wh.ich the history of women and reproduction in the transition from feudalism to capitalism must be placed; for the changes which the advefll of capitalism introduced in the social position of women -especially at the proletariaJl level, whether in Europe or America -were primarily dictated by the search for n� sources of lahar as well as new fonns of regimentation and division of the work-fo rce. 66 A/brrda o.1n’f, MO,,VMENT 1U nm VA NQU ISHED PEASAlvrs. (1526). TI,is pi(­ ,/lrt, rrprcst’tlfillg ” pras tllU et’ll,rom!d Oil a (0/­ Imiol l ofob jecrs jrom his d(li/y fife, is Ilighly /lllI bigIl OUS. It am suggest ‘hnl the prtlSllrltS lI’l’rt betmyed or ,/wI ‘hey ,hcmsdlltS s/Jould be tn.’nlt’c/ (IS tmitors. Aaord;”gly, it I/(IS been jnter­ preted either (IS” Stltire of tile rebel pellSlIIlts or as 1/ hOl/mge to their momi slrellgth. JtY1ll1t we JmoUl 11,,·,1, (ertt li”,y is ,II”, Darer WdS pro­ fO lll/dty pertIUbed by tile evell’S oj 1525, ill/d, /IS /1 (otlVil/ced Lu,henllJ, must IwlJtJolloulf!d Lu,her ill his (ollde ,,,,ltIlioll oj ri,e revolt. I • 67 In support of this statement, I trace the main developments that shaped the of capitalism in Europe -land privatization and the Price Revolution -to argue that ther was sufficient to produce a self-su staining process of prolec arianization. I then eXamin e in broad oudines the policies which the capitalist class introduced to discipline. reproduce. and e.xpa �d the Europea .n proletariat. �e�nning with the. attack it launched on wom en . resuJong 111 the construcnon of a new patnarchal order, wluch I define as the “patriarch y the wage.” Lasdy. I look at the production of racial and sexual hierarchies in the colOnies, asking to what extent they could fonn a terrain of confrontation or solidarity betw een indigenous, African, and European women and between women and men. I Land Privatization in Europe. the Produ ction of Scarci ty . and the Separation of Produ ction fro:rn. Reproduction From the beginning of capitalism, the inuniseration of the working class began with war and land privatization. This was an international phenomenon. By the mid-16th cen­ tury European merchants had exprop riated much of the land of the Canary Islands and turned them into sugar plantations. The most massive process of land privatization and. enclosure occurred in the Americas where, by the turn of the 17th centu ry, one-third of the communal indigenous land had been appropriated by the Spaniards under the sys­ tem of the etlcomieuda . Loss ofland VaS also one of the consequences of slave-raiding in Af rica, which deprived many COl1ullunities of the best among their youth. In Europe land privatization began in the late-15th century, simultaneous1y with colonial expan sion. It took different forms: the evictions of tenants, rent increases, and increased state taxation. leading to debt and d,e sale of land. I define all these forms .. laud expro priation because, even when force was not used, the loss ofland occurred against the inctividual’s or the cOl1ununity’s will and undermined their capacity for subsistence. Two forms ofland expropriation must be mentioned: war -whose character changed in this period, being used as a me.ms to transform territorial and economic arrangements – and religious reform. “[B] efore 1494 warfare in Europe had mainly consisted of rninor wars charac .. terized by brief and irregular campaigns” (Cunningham and GreU 2000: 95).These oft … took place in the summer to give the peasants, who formed the bulk of the armies, the time to sow their crops; armies confronted each other for long periods of time with-­ out much action. But by the 161h century wars became more frequent and a new rype of warfare appeared, in part because of technological innovation but l1losdy because the European states began to turn to territorial conquest to resolve their economic crisis and wealthy financiers invested in it. Military campaigns became much longer. grew tenfold, and they became permanent and professionalized.19 Mercenaries well hired who had no attachment to the local population; and the goal of warfare bec ….. the elimination of the enemy, so that war left in its wake deserted viUages, fields ered with corpses, faJnines, and epidemics, as in Albrecht Durer’s uThe Four H’lfS,ern”” of the Apocalypse” (1498).20This phenomenon. whose traumatic impact on the ulation is reflected in numerous artistic representations, changed the agricultural scape of Europe. 68 jtu/ ues Callol, THE HORRORS OF WA R (1633). ElIgmllitl R’ n,e tIIl.” lulIIged by mjfjl(/ry llull,orilia IvcreIor”,e, soldiers lumed robbers. Dismissed soldiers were n large pm! oj tlte IIrl,gabotlds lwd in:gg(1fS lllllt crowded the rollds oj 17”’· mllury Europe. Many tenure contracts were also annulled when the Church’s lands were confis­ cated in the course of the Protestant Reformation, which began with a massive land­ grab by the upper class. In France, a corrunon hunger for the Church’s land at first united the lower and higher classes in the Protesta nt movemem, but when the land was auc­ tioned, starting in 1563, the artisans and day-laborers, who had demanded the exprop ri­ ation of the Church “with a passion born of bitterness and hope,” and had mobilized with the promise that they too would receive their share, were betrayed in their expec­ tations (Le Roy Ladurie 1974: 173-76} .A1so the peasants, who had become Protestant to free themselves from the tithes, were deceived. When they stood by their rights,declar­ ing that “the Gospel promises land freedom and enfranchisement,” they were savagely attac ked as fomenters of sedition (ibid.: 192).21 In England as well, much land changed hand s in the name of religious reform. W. G. Hoskin has describe it as “the greatest trans­ fe re nce of land in English history since the Norman Conquest” or, more succinctly, as “The Great Plunder.”22 In England, however, land privatization was mostly accomplished throu gh the “Enclosures,” a phenomenon that has become so associated with the expro­ �ri �tio n of workers from their”c ol11mon wealth” that, in our time, it is used by anti-cap­ It al ist activ ists as a signifier for every attack on social entitlements.23 h In the 16th centu ry, “enclosure” was a technical term, indicting a set of strategies t h e.Eng iish lords and rich farmers used to eliminate conununaJ land property and expand t elr hol dings.24 It mostly referred to tile abolition of the open-field system, an arrange­ ; ent by whic h villagers owned non-contiguous so-ips of land in a non-hedged field. h nclo sing also included the fencing off of the conunons and the pulling down of the ‘ ack s f o pOor cottagers who had no land but could survive because they had access to 69 I r. …….. UIIIU ….. H.., •• vI .&.0 ….. … ..” … … – …., … � …. _w … ….. … , ., v … … . . customary rights.25 Large tracts of land were also enclosed to create deer parks, entire villages were cast down, to be laid [0 pasture. Though the Enclosures continued into the 18th century (Neeson 1993), before the Ref ormation, more than two thousand rural conununities were destroy ed this way (Fryde 1996: 185). So severe was the extinction of rural villages that in and again in 1548 the Crown called for an investiga tion. But despite the appointm ent several royal conunissions, little was done to stop the trend. What began, instead, was ill intense struggle, climaxing in numerous uprisings, accompanied by a long debate on the merits and demerits of land privatization which is still continuing today, revitaliz ed by the World Bank’ s assault on the last planetary commons. Briefly put, the argu ment proposed by “modernizers,” from all political perspec­ tives, is that the enclosures boosted agricultural efficiency, and the dislocations they pro­ duced were well compensated by a significant increase in agricultural productivity. It is claimed that the land was depleted and, if it had remained in the hands of the poor , it would have ceased to produce (anticipating Garret Hardin’s “tragedy of the COJ:ll­ mons”),26 while its takeover by the rich allowed it to rest. Coupled with agricultural innovation, the argument goes, the enclosures made the land more productive, leading to the expansion of the food supply. From tlus viewpoint, any praise for cOl lununal land tenure is disnussed as “nostalgia for the past,” the assumption being that agricultural com. l11unalism is backward and inefficient, and tllat those who def end it are guilty of an undue attachment to tradition.27 But these arguments do not hold. Land privatization and the conmlercializatiOD of agriculture did not increase the food supply available to the common people, though more food was made available for the market and for export. For workers they inaugu­ rated two centuries of starvation. in the same way as today, even in the most fertile areal of Africa,Asia, and Latin America, malnutrition is rampant due to tile destruction of com­ munal land-tenure and the “export or perish” policy imposed by the World Bank’ s suuc­ tural adjusonent programs. Nor did the introduction of new agricultural techniques ia England compensate for this loss. On the contrary, the development of agra rian capital­ ism “worked hand in glove” with the impoverislunent of the rural population (Lis aDd Soly 1979: 102). A testimony to the misery produced by land privatization is the fact that, barely a century alier the emergence of agrarian capitalism, sixty European toWDl had instituted some form of social assistance or were moving in this direction, vagabondage had become an international problem (ibid.: 87). Population growth have been a contributing factor; but its importance has been overstated, and should circumscribed in time. By the last part of the 16th centu ry, almost everywhere in Eurol�. the population was stagnating or declilung, but this time workers did not derive any efit from the change. There are also misconceptions about the effectiveness of the open-field system agriculture. Neo-liberal historians have described it as wasteful, but even a suppor ter land privatization like Jean De Vries recognizes that the conununal use ofa”,cic • .ilnJdl fields had many advantages. It protected the peasants from harvest failure, due to the ety of strips to which a fa mily had access; it also allowed for a manageable W()fk -schec.-: ule (since each strip required attention at a different time); and it encouraged a cratic way of life, built on self-gove rnment and self-reliance, since all decisions – 70 Rumlf etut.AI1 the festiVllis, gnmcs, nud gnth erings of the peasallt co mmutlity lIJere 1,e1d 011 tile {OIl/IIIOtU. 16th.autllry engr,willg by Dtmie1 Hopfer. to plam or harvest, when to drain the fens, how many animals to allow on the conunons – were taken by peasant assemblie s.28 The same considerations apply to the “cOllUll ons.” Disparaged in 16th cenrury liter­ ature as a SOurc e oflazmess and disorder, the corrunons .vcre essential to the reproduction of ma ny small fanners or cottars who survived only because they had access to meadows in � hich to keep cows, or woods in which to gather timber, wild berries and herbs, or quar­ nes , fish- ponds , and open spaces in which to meet. Beside encouraging collective decision­ Illakin g and work cooperation. the conunons were the material foundation upon which I’ they convened, exchanged news, took advice, and where a women’s viewpoint on c muna! events, autonomous from that of men, could form (Clark 1968: 51). This web of cooperative relations, which R. D.T awney has referred to as the “pri nl.. itive cOl1unullism It of the feudal village. crumbled when the open-field system was abo].. ished and me communal lands were fenced off (Tawney 1967). Not only did cooPera.., rion in agricultural lahor die when land was privatized and individual labor Contracta replaced collective ones; economic differences among the rural population deepened, II the number of poor squatters incre3sed who had nothing left but a cot and a cow, and no choice but to go with “bended knee and cap in hand” to beg for a job (Seccornbe 1992). Social cohesion broke down;30 families disintegrated, the youth left the villag e to join the increasing number of vagabonds or itinerant workers -soon to become the social problem of the age – while the elderly were left behind to fend for themsel …. Part icularly disadvantaged were older women who, no longer supported by their chiJ.,. dren, feU onto the poor rolls or survived by borrowing, petty theft, and delayed payments. The outcome was a peasantry polarized not only by the deepening economic inequal­ ities, bue by a web of hatred and resenOTIents that is well -documenced in the records f:L the witch-hunt, which show that quarrels relating to requests for help, the trespassing f:L animals, or unpaid rents were in the background of many accusations)1 The enclosures also undermined the economic situation of the anisans . In the same way in which multinational corporations take advantage of the peasants expropn. ated from their lands by the World Bank to construct “free export zones” where com­ modities are produced at the lowest cost, so, in the 16th and 17th centuries, merchant capitalists took advantage of the cheap labor-force that had been made available in the rural areas to break the power of the urban guilds and destroy the artisans’ independ­ ence. This was especially the case in the textile industry that vas reorganized as a runJ. cottage industry, and on the basis of the “putting out” system, the ancestor of toda y’s “infomlal economy,” also built on the labor of women and children.32 But textile work­ ers were not the only ones whose labor was cheapened. As soon as they lost access to land, all workers were plunged intO a dependence unknown in medieval times, as their landless condition gave employers the power to cut their pay and lengthen the worki …. day . In Protest ant areas this happened under the guise of religi ous reform, which dou­ bled the work-year by elim inating the saints’ days. Not surprisi ngly, with land exprop riation came a change in the workers’ attinxle towards ule wage. WIllie in the Middle Ages wages could be viewed as an instrUme nt to an end wages began to be viewed as instruments of enslavement (Hill 1975: 18111).» Such was ule hatred Ulat workers felt for waged labor that Gerrard Winstan le y . the leader of the Diggers, declared that it that it did not make any difference whethet one lived under the enemy or under one’s brother, if one worked fora wage.This exp . the grow th, in the wake of the enclosures (using the term in a broad sense to include . fo rms of land privatizatio n), of the number of “vagabonds” and “masterless” men, whO pref erred to take to the road and to risk ensJavemem or death – as prescribed by cbt “bloody” legisJation passed against them -rather than CO work for a wage.34 It explains the strenuous struggle which peasants made to defend their land from exp priation, no matter how meager its size. 72 In Engla nd, anti-enclosure struggles began in the late 15th century and continued rough out the 16th and 17th, when levelling the enclosing h �dges be� me “the most th on specie s of social protest” and dlC symbol of class co nfl ict (Manrung 1988: 311). COIiUll . . . . •• . ,closure nets often turned IIno mass upnslIlgs. The most notonous was Kerr s Ano- e, . . . Reb ellio n, named after its leader, Robert Kerr, that took place In Norf olk In 1549 : Tlus O Smali nocturnal affair. At its peak, the rebels I1Ulnbered 16,000, had an artillery, was n defeat ed a gove rnment army of12,OOO, and even captured Norwi�h. at ,the time the sec- ld larg est cicy in England.J5 They also drafted a progcam chac, If realized, would have �:le cked the advance of agrarian capit.ilism and elil1l.inated all vestiges of feudal power 1 the country. It consisted oftwency-nine demands that Kett, a fa rmer and tanner, pre­ :nte d to [he Lord Protector. The first was that “from henceforth no man shall enclose any more .” Other articles demanded that rencs shouJd be reduced to the rates that had rewed sixty-five years before, chac “all freeholders and copy holders may cake the prof ­ its of all commons, ” and that “all bond-men may be made free, for god made all free with hi s precio us blood sheddying” (Fleccher 1973: 142-44). These demands were puc inco practice. Throughout Norfolk, enclosing hedges were upromed, and only when another govenun enc army attacked them were the rebels stopped. Thirty-five hundred were slain III the massacre that foUowed. Hundreds more were wounded. Ken and his brodler William were hanged outside Norwich’s walls. Anti-enclosure struggles continued, however, through the Jacobean period with a noticeable increase in the presence of women.36 During the reign of James I, about ten percent of enclosure riots included women among the rebels. Some were all female protes cs. In 1607, for instance, thirty-seven women, led by a “Captain Dorothy,” attacked coal nuners working on what women claimed to be the village conunons in Thorpe Moor (Yorkshire) . Forty women went to “cast down the fences and hedges” of an enclo­ sure in Wa ddingham (Lincolnshire) in 1608; and in 1609, on a manor of Du nchurch (Warwi ckshire) “fifteen women, including wives, widows, spinsters, Ulunarried daugh­ ters, and servants, rook it upon themselves to assemble at lught to dig up the hedges and level the ditches” (ibid.: 97). Again,atY ork in May 1624, women destroyed an enclosure and went to prison for it – they were said to have “enjoyed tobacco and ale after their fe at” (Fraser 1984: 225-26) . Then, in 1641, a crowd chac broke inco an enclosed fen ac Buckden consiseed mainly of women aided by boys (ibid.). And dlese were juse a few Insta nces of a confr ontation in wluch women holding pitchforks and scythes resisted the fe ncin g of the land or the drailung of the fens when their livelihood was threatened. This Strong female presence has been attributed to the belief that women were above the law, being “covered” legally by theif husbands. Even men, we are told, dressed like WOlllen to pull up the fences. But this explanation should not be taken toO far. For the � OVer nme nt Soon eliminated this privilege, and started arresting and imprisOlung women Involv ed in anti-enclosure riots.37 Moreover, we should not assume that women had no stake of thei r Own in the resistance to land expropriation. The opposite was the case. As with the commutation, women were dlOse who suffered most when the land ;as lost and the village conunuluty feU apart. Part of the reason is that it was far more dif­ t CU lt for them to become vagabonds or m.igrant workers, for a nomadic life exposed them 10 Ill a le ViOle nce, especially at a time when nusogyny was escalating. Wo men were also ess In obi le on account of pregnancies and the caring of children, a fact overlooked by 73 _____ __ -. _0 scholars who consider the flight from servirude (through migration and other Cornu nomadism) the paradigmatic forms of struggle. Nor could women become soldien pay, though some joined amlies as cooks, washers, prostitutes. and wives;38 but by the century this option too vanished, as armies were further regimented and the crow ds women that used to follow them were expelled fiom the battlefields (Kriedte 1983: Wo men were also more negatively impacted by the enclosures because as SOo n land was privatized and monetary relations began to dominate economic life, they foUOd it more difficult than men to support themselves, being increasingly confined to repro.. ductive labor at the very time when this work was being completely devalued. As will see, this phenomenon, which has accompanied the shift from a subsistence to money-econo my, in every phase of capitalist development. can be attributed to se” enl. fa ctors. It is clear. however, that the commer cialization of economic life provided material conditions for it. With the demise of the subsistence economy that had prevailed in p”‘oc api tali. Europe, the unity of production and reproduction which has been typical of all based on production-f or-use came to an end, as these activities became the carriers fe rent social relations and were sexually differentiated. In the new monetary “,!,””,e,”1111 74 Enlil/ed “Wolt/al (Ind KtlnlltS,” Ihis picwre by Hmrs Sebtdd &II(lIt/ (c. 15)0) shows Iht 1m;” of wa”,tn Ilml ustd 10 Jo llow Iht ann its ttJnl 10 Iht oottftjitld. IWtllru, i”d”ding ,vivcs arid proslil14ltS, look cart oj Iht rcprodllCt;otl oj Iht so/­ diers. Notire the woman lve(lri,�� (I ‘1II4221iIJ� device. rodu crion-for-market was de6ned as a value-creati ng activity, wh �re� the �production P [th e worker began [0 be considered as valueless from an econonuc vlewpomt and even o ased to be considered as work. Reproductive work continued to he paid -though at ce lowest rates _ when perfonned for the master class or outside the home. Bm the the no mic importance of the reprod uction aflabar-power carried ou[ in the home, and e co fun ction in the accumulation of capital became invisible, being mystified as a natural us cion and labelled “women’s lahor.” In addi tion, women were excluded from many ”””’ ged occup ations and, when they worked for a wage. they earned a pittance compared ,,� o the aver age male wage. r These hiscoric changes – that peaked in the 19th cemury with the creation of the f ull-t ime housewif e – redefined women’s position in society and in relation to men. The sexual division oflabor that emerged from it not only fixed women to reproductive work, but incre ased their dependence on men, enabling the state and employers to use the male wage as a means to conunand women’s labor. In this way, the separation of conunodity p roduction from the reproduction of labor-power also made possible the devel opment of a speci fically capitalist use of the wage and of the markets as means for the accumu­ I>tion of unpaid labor. Most importantly, the separation of production from reproduction created a class of proletarian women who were as dispossessed as men but, unlike their male relatives, III a society that was becoming increasingly monetarized, had almost no access to wages, thus being forced into a condition of chronic poverty, economic dependence, and invis­ ibiliry as workers. As we will see, the devaluation and feminization of reproductive labor was a dis­ aster also for male workers, for the devaluation of reproductive labor inevitably devalued ItS prod uct: labor-power. But there is no doubt that in the “transition from feudalism to capitalism” women suffered a unique process of social degradation that was fundamen­ tal to the accumulation of capital and has remained SO ever since. Also in view of these developme nts, we cannot say, then, that the separation of the worker from the land and the advent of a money-economy realized the struggle which Ihe medieval serfS had fought to free themselves from bondage. It was not the worke” – male or female – who were liberated by land privatiza tion. What vas “liberated” was capit al, as rhe land was now “free” to function as a meallS of accumulation and exploita­ bon, rather than as a means of subsistence. Liberated were the landlords, who now could Unload Onto the workers most of the COSt of their reproduction, giving them access to some means of subsistence only when directly employed.When work would not be avail­ a ble Or would not be sufficiently profitable, as in times of cOl1unercial or agricultural cri­ SIS, Worke rs, instead, could be laid off and left [0 starve. The separatio n of workers from their means of subsistence and their new depend­ �: On nlOnet ary relations also meant that the real vage could now be cut and women’s I r cou ld be further devalued with respect to men’s through monetary manipulation. t IS nOt “d fl a COlllel ence, then, that as soon as land began to be privatized, the prices of Oodstuffi, Which for two centuries had stagnated, began [0 rise.39 7S I J'”u .. I.. … ” ….. . ….. .. Vl< vI ""' ..... vv . .......... ..... ... �I ........... ..... .. V, ........ ... '" I The Price Revolution and the Pauperization of the European Working Class This "inflationary" phenomenon, which due to irs devastating social consequen ces has been named the Price Revolution (Ramsey 1971), was attributed by contemporari es and later econolnists (e,g., Adam Smith) CO the arrival of gold and silver from America, "POu r_ ing into Europe [through Spain) in a manmloth stream" (Hamilton 1965: vu). But it .... been noted that prices had been rising before these metals started circulating through the European markets.40 Moreover, il1 themse.lves, gold and silver are not capital, and could have been put to other uses, e.g., to make jewelry or golden cupolas or to embr oider clothes. If they functioned as price-regulating devices, capable of turning even wheat into a precious conunodity, this vas because they were planted into a develo ping capitalist world, in which a growing percentage of the population -one-third in England (LasIett 19 71: 53) -had no access to land and had to buy the food that they had once produ ced, and because the ruling class had learned to use the magical power of money CO cut labor costs. In other words, prices rose because of the development of a national and interna-. tional market-system encouraging the export-import of agriculwral produces, and because merchanes hoarded goods to sell them later at a higher price. In September 1565. in Antwerp. "while the poor were literally starving in the streets," a warehouse collapsed under the weight of [he grain packed in i[ (Hackett Fischer 1996: 88). It was under these circumstances that the arrivaJ of the American treasure trilt"' gered a massive redistribution of wealth and a new prolec arianization process.4t Riq prices ruined the small farmers, who had to give up their land to buy grain or bread when the harvests could not feed their families, and created a class of capitalist entre­ preneurs, who accumulated forrunes by investing in agriculture and money-lending, . a time when having money was for many people a matter of life or death.42 The Price Revolution aJso triggered a historic coUapse in the real wage compa ­ rable to that which has occurred in our time throughout Mrica,Asia, and Latin America. in the countries "structurally adjusted" by the World Bank and the Inter natiollll Monerary Fund. By 1600. real wages in Spain had lost thirry percent of their purcluf. ing power with respect to what [hey had been in 1511 (Hamilton 1965: 280). and the collapse was just as sharp in other countries. While the price of food went up eigbt times, wages increased only by chree times (Hackett Fischer 1996: 74). This was not the work of the invisible hand of the market, but the product of a scate policy that pre­ vented laborers from organiz ing, while giving merchants the maximum freedom . regard to the pricing and movement of goods. Predictably, withjn a few decades, the real wage lost two-thirds of its purchasing power, as shown by the changes that intel'"' vened in the daily wages of an English carpenter. expressed in kilograms of � between [he 14ili and 18ili century (SlicherVan Bath 1963: 327): 76 YEARS 1351-14 00 1401-1 450 1451 -1500 KJLOGRAMS OF GRAIN 121. 8 15 5.1 143.5 15 00- 1550 12 2.4 15 51-16 00 83.0 1601-1 650 48.3 ·16 51-17 00 74.1 17 01-17 50 94.6 1751-18 00 79.6 It took cencuries for wages in Europe to return to the level they had reached in he lace Middle Ages. Thing< deteriorated to the point that, in England, by 1550, male t '''11 S had to work forty weeks to earn the same income that, at the beginning aCme art! .... ce ncur y. they had been able to obtaln in fifteen weeks. In France. [see graph, next page] wag es dropp ed by sixty percent between 1470 and 1570 (Hackett Fischer 1996: 78).43 The wage colJapse was especially disastrous for women, In the 14th centur y, they had rece ived ha.1f the pay of a man for the same cask; hut by the Bud-1 6th century they were receiving only one-thir d of the reduced male wage, and could no longer support them­ selves by wage-work, neither in agriculture nor in manufa cturing, a fa ct undoubtedly res ponsible for the massive spread of prostitution in this period.44 What followed was the absolute impoverislune nt of the European working class, a phenomenon so wide­ spread and general that, by 1550 and long after, workers in Europe were ref erred to as si mply "the poor ." Evidence for this dramatic impoverishment is the change that occurred in the worke rs' diets. Meat disappeared from their tables, except for a few scraps oflard, and so did beer and wine, salt and olive oil (Braude! 1973: 127ff; Le Roy Ladurie 1974). From me 16th to the 18th centuries, the workers' diets consisted essentially of bread, the main expense in their budget. Tills was a historic setback (whatever we may think of dietary norms) compared to the abundance of meat that had typified the late Middle Ages. Peter Kriedte writes that at that tiIne, the "annual meat consumption had reached the figure of 100 kilos per person, an incredible quantity even by today's standards. Up to the 19th century tlus figure declined to less than twenty kilos" (Kriedte 1983: 52). Braudel too speaks of the end or'carnivorous Europe," summoning as a witness the Swabian Heinrich MuUer who, in 1550, commented that, ... in the past they ate difTerencly at the peasant's house. Then, there was meat and food in profusion every day; tables at village fairs and fe asts sank under their load. Today, evetything has truly changed. For some years, in fact, what a calamitous time, what high prices! And the fo od of the most comfortably ofT peasants is almost worse than that of day -labourers and valets previously" (BraudelI973: 130). . Not only did meat disappear, but food shortages became conunon, aggravated in tunes of harv est failure, when the scanty grain reserves sent the price of grain sky-high, C o nde mni ng city dwellers to starvation (Braudel 1966, Vol. I: 328). This is what occurred In the f: . 15 anun e years of tile 1540. and 1550., and again in the decades of the 1580. and . 90s , wlu ch were some of the worst in the history of the European proletariat, coincid- Ing . h Vl[ widespread unrest and a record number of witch-trials. But malnutrition was 77 120 lOCI 80 60 40 20 o 120 lOCI 80 60 40 20 o lOCI 80 60 20 o Price Revolution IIl1d the Fait cifthe Reid IMI$, 1480- 1640. TIle Prict Revol",io n lri� gered n historic (ol/tlPSt i,. tIlt! rftll Wlige. With;" II few dfmdes, rile rt.'tll Imgt lost two_ thirds of its pl4rclms;,rg POUltr. nil.' real UNlgt' did not rrtum 10 tht fevtl it Iwd reache d n. the 151h century mlti/ the 19th ctntury (Plltips-Broll'" mId Hopkj,ls, 1981). Wase Index (W l-7S-10C1) Wase Index (14S1- 7S-10C1) Wase Index (14S1- 7S-10C1) 1440 1460 1480 ISOCI IS20 lS40 lS60 1S80 1600 1620 1640 78 "nIC soolll copu�que"ces of the Price Revolu tioll lire revellied by tllese cilllrrs, uAlidl it/dimtf, respeaively. tile rise i" tile pri(� of gmj" i" ElIgll lPld be,weerr 1490 mId 1650, th� (orl· cO/llitalll rise iPl prices lItld property crima iPl Essex (Englmld) between 1566 mId t 602, mId the popul tltioll decli"e mell$ured iPl milliopu {PI GertlllltlY, Amt,;tI, llilly mId SJkli" btWltfPl '500 and 1750 (Hfl{kett Fischer, 1996). 1200 1000 800 :i 600 1 400 200 o mMn IMIIII price of.,.., (14)>-99-100). compwtd .rich ) l.yew rncwq avencc 14�0 147� I�OO 1�2� I��O 1S7� 1600 162� 17� I�O Il� 16�0 900 800 700 600 :� I I .� J 200 100 — – — ……… o ������������� 1�66 1�71 1576 1″1 1″6 1�91 1�96 1601 18 16 . 14 12 10 8 6 4 1 0 — — – … – — — – – — — — — – — —. :-.. —::: —–� -_ ._—- — Germany ond Austria – —– llIly —- Spain �O l� o 1 500 1 600 16�0 1700 17� 79 rampam also in normal times, so that food acquired a high symbolic value as a mark er rank. The desire for it among the poor reached epic proportions, inspiring dreams Pantagruelian orgies, like those described by Rabelais in his Gargatltua and “01””‘ ….. (1 552), and causing nighttnarish obsessions, such as the conviction (spread among eastern Italian fanners) that witches roamed the countryside at night to feed upon catde (Mazzali 1988: 73). Indeed, the Europe that was preparing to become a Promethean W’lrIC1-rno … presumably taking humankind to new technological and cultural heights, was a where people never had enough to eat. Food became an obj ect of such intense d� that it was believed that the poor sold their souls to the devil to get their hands on it. Europe was also a place where, in rimes of bad harvests, country-f olk fed upon wild roots, or the barks of trees, and multitudes roved the countryside weeping and ing.”so hungry d”t d,ey would devour the beans in the fields” (Le Roy Ladurie 1974) ; or they invaded the cities to benefit from grain rustributions or to attack the houses granaries of the rich who, in turn, rushed to get anns and shut the cicy gates to keep the starving out (Heller 1986: 56-63). That the transition to capitalism inaugurated a long period of starvation for work­ ers in Europe – which plausibly ended because of the economic expansion pn:>d’o”,d by colonization – is also demonstrated by the fact that, while in the 14th and 1 Sth cen­ hlries, the proletarian struggle had centered around the demand for “Iibercy” and work, by the 16th and 17th, it was mostly spurred by hunger, raking the form of on bakeries and granaries, and of riots against the export oflocal crops.45 The au’th”ri­ ties described those who participated in these attacks as “good fo r nothing” or’ .. n.on’, .. ” …. “humble people,” but most were craftsmen, living, by this time, from hand to mouth. It was the women who usually initiated and led the food revolts. Six of the one food riots in 17th-cenmry France studied by Ives-Marie Berce were made up sively of women. In the others the female presence was so conspicuous that Beree them “women’ s riots.”46 Commenting on this phenomenon, with reference to ‘O·”-‘. a poor woman went weeping through the streets of the poor quarter, holding the of her son who had died of hunger” (Kamen 1971: 364). The same occurred MontpelJjer in 1645, when women took to the streets “[0 protect their children starvation” (ibid.: 356). In France, women besieged the bakeries when they becam e vinced [hat grain was to be embezzled, or found out that the rich had bought the bread and the remaining was lighter or more expensive. Crowds of poor women then gather at the bakers’ stalls. demanding bread and charging the bake” with . [heir supplies. Riots broke out also in the squares where grain markets were held, along the routes taken by the ca.rts Witll the corn to be exported, and “at the river where … boatmen could be seen loading [he sacks.” On these occasions the 80 lIbush ed the carts … with pitchfo rks an d sticks … the men carrying away the sacks, the :’omell gathering as much grain as they could in their skirts” (Berce: 1990: 171-73). The struggle for food was fought aJso by other means, such as poaching, stealing fI 111 one ‘s neighbors’ fields or homes, and assaults on the houses of the rich. In Treyes “‘ 152 3 rum or had it that the poor had put the houses of the rich on fire, preparing to It • -d e them (HeUer 1986: 55-S6) .At Malines, in d,e Low Countries, d,e houses ofspec­ utv .. lat 0rs were marked by angry peasants with blood (Hackett Fischer 1996: 88). Not sur- U risi ngly. “f ood crimes” loom large in the disciplinary procedures of the 16[h and 17th � cnt urie s. Exemplary is the recurrence of the theme of the “diabol ical banquet” in the wit ch- trials. suggesting that feasting on roasted mutton, white bread, and wine was now con sidered 3 diabolic act in the case of me “conunon people.” But me main weapons avai lable co the poor in their struggle for survival were their own famished bodies, as in tlll les of famine hordes of vag abonds and beggars surrounded the better off, half-dead of hung er and disease, grabbing their arms, exposing their wounds co them and, forcing them to live in a state of constant fear at the prospect of both contamination and revolt. ” You cannot walk down a street or stop in a square – a Venetian man wrote in the mid- 16th century -without multitudes surrounding you co beg for charity: you see hunger Fa mily oj VClg abo”ds. E” gmvi”g Uy Lmts VCI” L 81 written on their f-aces, their eyes like gemless rings, the wretchedness of their bodie s skins shaped only by bones” (ibid.: 88 ).A century later, in Florence, the scene was the same. “fI][ was impossible to hear Mass,” one G. Balducci complained. in Apri l “so much was one importuned during the service by wretched people naked and ered with sores” (Braudel I 966,Vol. 1l: 734-3 5).’7 I The State Intervention in the Reproduction of Labor: POOr Relief, and the Crirni naliZation of the Working Class The struggle for fo od was nOt the only front in the battle against the spread of capit al­ ist relations. Everywhere masses of people resisted the destruction of their former ways of existence, fighting against land privatization, the abolition of customary rights, the imposition of new taXes, wage-dependence. and the continuous presence of anrues ill their neighborhoods, which was so hated that people rushed to close the gates of thei r towns to prevent soldiers from setding among them. In France, one thousand “emotions” (uprisings) occurred between the 1530a and 1670s, many involving entire provinces and requiring the intervention oftr oops (Goubert 1986: 205). England, Italy, and Spain present a similar picture,.8 indicae­ ing that the pre-capitalist world of the villa ge, which Marx dismissed under the rubric of”rural idiocy,”could produce as high a level of struggle as any the indus­ trial proletariat has waged. In the Middle Ages, migration, vagabondage, and the rise of “crimes against pmpo erey” were part of the resistance to impo verishment and dispossession; these pheno tnelll now took on massive proportions. Everywhere -if we give credit to the complaints oftbe contemporary authorities -vagabonds were swanning. changing cities, crossing sleeping in the haystacks or crowding at the gates of towns – a vast humanity in”,l”,,.. iI a diaspora of its own, that for decades escaped the authorities’ control. Six th,’w …. vagabonds were reported in Ve nke alone in 1545. “In Spain vagrants cluttered the stopping at every town” (Braudel,Vol. 11: 740).’9 Starting with England, always a niD,n .. “. these matters. the state passed new, far harsher anti-vagabond laws prescribing ensl .,1etl1l crime rates also esca1ated, in such proportions that we can assume that a massive tion and reappropriation of the stolen conununal wealth was undenvay.50 To day. these aspects of the transition to capitalism may seem (for Europe at thing.; of the past or – as Marx put it in the Gnmdrisse (1973: 459 ) – “historical dirioos” of capitalist development. to be overcome by more marure forms ofcal)itaJisln .JIII the essential similarity between these phenomena and the social consequences of the phase of globa lization that we are witnessing tells us othenvise. Pauperization, and the escalation ofucril11e”are Structural elements of capitalist accumulation as talism must strip the work-force from its means of reproduction to impose its own 82 That in the industrializing regions of Europe, by me 19th century, the most extreme forms of proleta rian misery and rebellion had disappeared is not a proof against this claim. Proletarian misery and rebellions did not come to an end; they only lesse ned to the degree that the super-exploitation of workers had been expo ned. through the instirutionaHzation of slavery, at first, and later through the contillUing expansion of colonial domination. As for the “transition” period. this remained in Europe a time of intense social c onflict, providing the stage for a set of state initiatives that,judging from their effects, had thre e main objectives: (a) to create a more disciplined work-force; (b) to diffuse social pro test; and (c) to fix workers to the jobs forced upon them. Let us look at them in turn. In pursuit of social discipline, an attack was launched ag (I ,In the years between 1601 and 1606 (Underdown 1985: 47-48). Peter Burke t 97�), 111 hi s work on the subject. has spoken of it as a campaign against “popular cul­ �r e. But we can see that what was at stake was the desocializatiol1 or decollectivization � the reprodu ction of the work-force, as well as the attempt to impose a more produc­ p V e Us e of leis ure time. This process, in EngJand. re ached its climax with the COining to o W er of the Puritans in the aftermath of the Civil War (1642-49), when the fear of 83 1- —— -. — — — sociaJ indiscipline prompted the banning of all proleca rian gatherings and m”rryrr. ak inoo But the “moral reformation” was equally incense in non-Protescant areas where, in same period, religious processions were replacing the dancing and singing that had held in and out of the churches. Even the individual’s relation with God was priV2tiz “” in Protesta nt areas, with the institution of a direct relationsh ip between the ,”‘livid. … and the divin.ity; in the Catholic areas, with the introduction of individual cO.lll ess ;, …. ! The church itself, as a conIDlU nity center, ceased to host any social activity other thaa those addressed ‘0 d,e cult. A5 a result, the physical enclosure operated by land zarion and the hedging of the commons was amplified by a process of social encloSIU!. the reprodu ction of workers shifting from the openfield to the home, from the rnunity to the family, from the public space (the conunon, the church) to the �”‘ .. e .•• Secondly, in the decades between 1530 and 1560, a system of public aSSistance introduced in at least sixty European towns, both by initi.1ove of the local ITI’lIlicif’aliri”. az'” by direct intervention of the central state. 52 I ts precise goals are still debated. While of the literature on the topic sees the introduction of public assistance as a response to humanitarian crisis that jeopardized social control, in his 11″Iassive study of coerced wuur, ‘l1li French Marxist scholar Yann Moulier Boucang insists that its primary objective W3S Great Fixation” of the proletariat, that is, the attempt to prevent the flight oflabor.53 In any event, the introduction of public assistance was a turning point in the relation between workers and capital and the definition of the function of the state. was the first recognition of the IltlJusraiuability of a capitalist system ruling ex,clu,iveiy­ by means of hunger and terror. It was also the first step in the reconstruction of the as the guarantor of the class relati on and as the chief supervisor of the reproduction disciplining of the work-force. Antecedents for this function can be found in the 14th centur y, when faced the generalization of the anti-f eudal struggle, the state had emerged as the only capable of confronting a working class that was regionally unified, armed, and no confined in its demands to the political economy of the manor. In 1351, with the ing of the Statute of Laborers in England, which fixed the maximum wage. the had formally taken charge of the regulation and repres sion of labor, which the lords were no longer capable of guaranteeing. But it was with the introduction lic assistance that the State began to claim “ownership” of the work-force, and a talist “division of labor” was instituted within the ruling class, enabHng enlplo,!,on reHnquish any respo nsibility for the reprod uction of workers, in the certainty that state would intervene, either with the ca.rrot or with the stick, to address the ineyj, … crises. With this innovation, a leap occurred also in the management of social duction, resuJting in the introduction of demograph ic recording (census-taking, recording of mortality, natality, marriage rates) and the appHcation of accounti ng social relations. Exemplary is the work of the administrators of dle Bureau de in Lyon (France), who by the end of the 16th century had learned to c.lculate the ber of the poor, assess the amount offood needed by each child or adult, and keep of the deceased, to make sure that nobody could claim assistance in the name of:ll penon (Zemon Davis 1968: 244-46) _ Along with this new “social science.” an international debate also deveJoped on administration of public assiscallce anticipating the contemporary debate on welfare. 84 ,]y cllOse unable to work,deseribed as me “deserving poor,”be supported, or should “able­ � ed”laborers unable to find ajob also be given help� And how much or how li�e shouJd d be given. so as not co be discouraged from looking for work? These questIons were l � al from the viewpoint of social discipline, as a key objective of public aid was to tie ‘:rk ers to their jobs. But, on these matters a consensus could rarely be reached. Willie humanist reformers like Juan Luis Vives5 4 and spokesmen for the wealthy bUrg hen recognized the economic and disciplinary benefits of a more liberal and cen­ualize d dispensa tion of charity (not exceeding cl,e distribution of bread, however), part of the clergy strenuously opposed the ban on individual donations. But, across differences of system s and opinions , assistance was administered with such stinginess thac it generated as much conflict as appeasemenc. Those assisted resemed the humiliating rituals imposed on theOl .like wearing the “mark of infamy” (previously reserved [or lepers and Jews), or (in Fran ce) participating in the annual processions of the poor, in which they had to parade sing ing hymns and holding candles; and they vehemently protested when the alms were n ot promp cly given or were inadequate to their needs. In response, in some French [Owns, gibbets were erected at the time of food distributions or when the poor were asked to work in exchange for me food they received (Zemon Davis, 1968: 249). In England, as cl,e 16th century progresse d, receipt of public aid -also for children and me elderly­ was made conditional on the incarceration of the recipients in “work-houses,” where they became the experimenca1 subjects for a variety of work-schemes.55 Consequently, the attack on workers, that had begun with the enclosures and the Price Revolution, in the space of a century, led to the crimi”alizat;o fl of the uJOrki”g class, that is, the formation of a V2St proletariat either incarcerated in the newly constructed work-houses and correction­ houses, or seeking irs survival outside the law and living in open antagonism to the state – always one step away from the whip and the noose. From the viewpoint of the formation of a laborious work-force, this was a deci­ sive failure, and the constant preoccupation with the question of social discipline in 161h and l7lb-century political circles indicates that the comemporary statesmen and entr epreneurs were keenly aware of it. Moreover, the social crisis that tills general state of rebeUiousness provoked was aggravated in the second haJf of the 16th century by a Ilew econon llc contraction, in great part caused by the dramatic population decline that occurred in Spanish America after the Conquest. and the shrinking of the colo­ m al econo mies. I Popula tion Decline. Economic Crisis. and the DiSC iplining of Women Wit hin less than century from the landing of Columbus on the American continent, the �olo ni.zer s’ dream of an infinite supply of labor (echoing the explorers’ estimate of an infin ite numb er of trees” in the forests of the Americas) was dashed. h. Euro peans had brought death to America. Estimates of the population collapse : lC� affected the region in the wake of the colonial invasion vary. Sue scholars almost (l �l lllll� usly liken irs effects to an “American Holocaust.” According to David Stal1l1ard 2), In the century after the Conquest, the population declined by 75 million across as South America, representing 95% of its inhabirnnts (1992: 268-305). Tim is also the mate of Andre Cunder Frank who writes that “within little more than a century . Indian population declined by ninety percent and even ninety-five percent in M,exi cail Peru, and some other regions” (1978: 43). In Mexico, the population feU “from 11 lion in 1519 to 6.5 nullion in 1565 to about 2.5 nUllion in 1600” (Wallerstein 1 By 1580 “disease … assisted by SpaJush brutality, had killed off or driven away 1110st people of the Antilles and the lowlands of New Spain, Peru and dle Caribbean li�t o.”‘1 (Crosby: 1972:38), and it would soon wipe out many more in Brazil. The clergy «u0II:I&.ll ized this “holocaust” as God’s pun.ishment for the Indial1s”‘bestial” behavior “” liIJiaQ” 1986: 138); but its economic consequences were nOt ignored. In addition, by the population began to decline also in western Europe. and continued to do so into the century. reaching a peak in Germany where one third of the population was lost. 56 With the exception of the Black Death (1345-1348), this was a population without precedents, and statistics, as awful as they are, tell only a part of the story . struck at “the poor.” lt was nOt the rich, for the most part, who perished when the pb’IUeI or the smallpox swept the tOwns, but craftsme n, day-laborers and vagabonds (]{, …. .. I 1972: 32-33) . They died in such numbers that their bodies paved the streets, .nd authorities denounced the existence of a conspiracy, instigating the population to fo r the malefactors. But the population decline was also blamed on low natality rates the reluctance of the poor to reproduce themselves. To what extent this charge .• -. J’-. ti6ed is difficult to tell, since demographic recording, before the 17th century, vas uneven. But we know that by the end of the 16th century the age of marriage was inc: …… 11 ing in all social classes, and that, in the same period, the number of abandoned c ru�dI _ 1 – a new phenomenon – started to grow. We also have the complaints of ministers from the pulpit charged thac the youth did not marry and procreate, in order not to more mouths into the world than they could feed. The peak of the demographic and economic crisis were the decades of the and 16305. In Europe, as in the colonies, markets shrank, trade stopped, un,emplo,ym. became widespread, and for a while there was the possibility that the developing talist economy might crash. For the integration between the colonial and Euro!oeM econonues had reached a point where the reciprocal impact of the crisis rapidly erated its course.This was the first international economic crisis. It was a “General as historians have caUed it (Kamen 1972: 307ff.; Hackett Fischer 1996: 91). It is in this context that the question of tile relation between labor, popul.tio rl,”. the accumulation of wealth came to the foregr ound of politieal debate and strategy produce the first elements of a population policy and a “bio-power” regime.57 The ness of the concepts applied, often confusing “populousness” with “population,” and brutality of the means by which the state began to punish any behavior obstructing ulation growth, should not deceive us in cllis respect. It is my contention that it was population crisis of the 16th and 17th centuries, not the end of fami ne in Europe in 18 1h (.s Foucault has argued) that turned reproduction and population growth into matter s,as well as primary objects of intellectual discourse.58t further argue that clle si6cation of the persecution or’witches,” and the new disciplinary methods that the adopted in this period to regulate procreation and break women’s control over duction, are also to be traced to tlus crisis. The evidence for this argument is circul mOtali 86 ;t1 and it should be recognized that other factors contributed to increase the determi­ t1 cion of the European power-structure to control more strictly women’s reproductive ;ncci on.Amon g them, we must include the increasing privatization �f property a� d eco­ ont ic relations that (within the bourgeoisie) generated a new amaety concertung the (1 estio n of paternity and the conduct of women. Similarly, in the charge that witches sac­ q’�ced childre n to the devil – a key theme in the “great witch-hunt” of the 16th and 17th r�nru rie s – we can read nor only a preoccupation with population decline, but also the � at of the propertied classes with regard to their subordinates, particularly low-class �men who, as servancs, beggars or healers, had many opportunities to enter theif employ­ e(1′ ho uses and cause them harm. It C3.lmot be a pure coincidence, however, that at the very mome nt when population vn.s declini ng, and an ideology was forming that stressed the cent rality of labor in economic life. severe penalties were introduced in the legal codes of Eu rope to punish VOmen guilty of reproductive crimes. The concom.ital1t development of a population crisis, an expansionist population t heor y, and the introduction of policies promoting population g rowth is well-docu­ mente d. By the mid-16th century the idea that the number of citizens dctenllines a nation’s wealth had become something of a social axiom. “In my view,” wrote the French political dunker and demonologistJean Bodin,”one should never be afraid of having coo many subjects or too many citizens, for the strength of the conU1lOnwealth consists in men” (Commom”,ai,,,, Book VI). The I talian economist Ciovalllu Botero (1533-1617) had a more sophisticated approach, recogn.ising the need for a balance be rween the number of people and the means of subsistence. Still, he declared that that “the greatness of a city” did not depend on its physical size or the circuit of irs walls, bm exclusively on the num­ ber of its residents. Henry IV’s saying that “the strength and wealth of a king lie in the nwnber and opulence ofhis citizens” sums up the demographic thought of the age. Concern with population growth is detectable also in the program of the Protestant Reform ation. Dismissing the traditional Christian exaltation of chastity, the Reformers valorized marriage. sexuality, and even women because of their reproductive capacity. Woman is “needed to bring about the increase of the human race,” Luther conceded, reflecting that “whatever their weaknesses, women possess one virtue that cancels them all: dley have a womb and they can give binh” (King 1991: 115). uppon for population growdl clinuxed with the rise of Men:antilism which made the presence of a large population the key to the prosperity a.nd power of a nation. Mercantilism has often been dismissed by mainstre3.ln economists as a crude system of tho ught because of its assumption that the wealth of nations is proportional to the quan­ tlty of labor ers and money available to them. The brutal means which the mercantilists appli ed in order to force people to work, in their hunger for labor, have contributed to the ir disr epute, as most econo miscs wish to maintain the illusion that capitalism fosters free­ :0 111 ra th er than coercion. It was a merc3.l1tilist class dlat invented the work-houses, hunted sb ow n vagabonds. “transported” criminals to the American colonies. and invested in the I ve trade, all the while asserting the “utility of poverty” and declaring “idleness” a social � agu e. Thu s, it has nOt been recognized that in dle mercantilists’ theory and practice we can� th� mOSt direct expression of the requiremenrs of primitive accumulation and the first -d::, ta liSt polic y explicitly addressing tlle problem of the reproduction of the work-force. POlicy , as we have seen, had an “intensive” side consisting in the imposition of a total- 87 I …. -… _ …… .. -. _ .. __ . itarian regime using every means to extract the maximum of work from every incliVlidu toi regardless of age and cOllclition. But it also had an “extensive one” consisting in the to expand the size of population, and thereby the size of the army and the work-force. As Eli Hecksher noted, “an almost fanatical desire to increase popuJation pn””tiIe.d in all countries during the period when mercant ilism was at its height, in the later of the 17,h century” (Heckscher 1966: 158). Along with it, a new concept of hUIlI aQ beings also took hold, picturing them as just raw materials, workers and breeders for the state (Spengler 1965: 8). But even prior to the heyday of mercantile theory, in Fr.onc e and England the state adopted a set of pro-natalist measures that, combined with Public: Relief, formed the embryo of a capitalist reproductive policy. Laws were passed that”.. a prem ium on marriage and penalized celibacy, modeled on those adopted by the Roman Empire for tills purpose. The family was given a new importance as the key insti­ tution providing for the transnussion of prop erty and the repr oduction of the work_ fo rce. Simultaneously, we have the beginning of demograpluc recording and the inter .. vention of the state in the supervision of sexuality, procreation, and family life. But the main initiative that the state cook to restore the desired population was the launching of a true war against women clearly aimed at breaking the w””” •• they had exercised over their bodies and reprod uction. As we will see later in this ume, tlus war was waged primarily through the witch-hunt that literally demonized fo rm of birth-control and non-procreative sexuality, while charging women with sacri­ ficing children to the devil. But it also relied on the redefi nition of what constitutes • repr oductive crime. Thus, starting in the mid-16th century. while Portuguese ships were returning from Af rica with their first human cargoes, all the European govel·nrn .. _ . began to impose the severest penalties against contraception, abortion and infanticide. This last practice had been treated with some leniency in the Middle Ages, at in the case of poor women; but now it was turned into a capital crime, and punishe4 1 more harshly than the majority of male crimes. In sixteenth century Nuremberg, the penalty for maternal infanticide was drowning; in 1580, the year in wluch the severed heads of three women convicted of maternal infanticide were nailed to the scaffold fo r public contemplation, the penalry was changed to beheading (King 19 91: 10).60 New fomu of surveillance were also adopted to ensure that pregnant women not ternunate the,ir pregnancies. In France, a royal edict of1556 required women to ister every pregnancy, and sentenced to death those whose infants died before after a concealed delivery, whether or not proven guilty of any wrongd oing. . statutes were passed in England and Scotland in 1624 and 1690. A system of spies also created to surveil unwed mothers and deprive them of any support. Even an unmarried pregnant woman was made illegal, for fe ar that she might escape the lic scrutiny; while those who befriended her were exposed to public criticism 1993: 51-52; Ozment 1983: 43). As a consequence women began to be prosecuted in large numbers, and were executed for infanticide in 16th and 17[h-century Europe than for any other 88 cpt for wicchcr.lfc, a charge chac also centered 011 the killing of children and other e� cla cion s of reproductive norms. Significantly, in the case ofboch infanticide and wicch­ ��il the statutes lim.itillg women’s legal responsi ?ility :vere lifted.Thus, women walked, the first time, into the courtrooms of Europe, III the lf own name as legal aduJts, under for rge of being witches and child murderers. Also the suspicion under which midwives (hale in tills period -leading to the entrance of the male doctor into the delivery room can enun ed more from the authorities’ fears ofinfanricide than from any concern with -” the nud wives’ alleged medical incompetence. With the marginalization of the midwife, the process began by which women lost the couc rol they had exercised over procreation, and were reduced to a passive role in hild deli very, while male doctors came to he seen as the true “givers of life” (as in the �che Jllica 1 drea ms of the Renaissance magicians). With this shift, a new medical practice also prevailed, one that in the case of a medical emergency prioritized the life of the fetus over that of the mother. This was in comrast to the customary birthing process which wolllen had controlled ; and indeed, for it to happen, the cOlTunu nicy of women that had gather ed around the bed of the fmure mother had to be first expelled from the delivery roO I11, and midwives had [0 be placed under the surveillance of the doctor, or had to he recruited to police women. In France and Germany, midwives had to become spies for the state, if they wanted [0 continue their practice. They were expected to report all new births, discover the fathers of children born out of wedlock, and eXaJnine the women suspected of having secredy given birth. They also had to examine suspected local women for any sign of lact ation when foundlings were discovered on the Church’s steps (Wiesner 1933: 52). The same cype of collaboration was demanded of relatives and neighbors. In Protestant countries and towns, neighbors were supposed to spy on women and report all relevant sexual details: if a woman received a man when her husband was away, or if she emered Il house with a man and shut the door behind her (Ozment 1983: 42-44). In Germany, (he pro-natalist crusade reached such a point that women were punished if they did not make enough of an effort during child-deli very or showed litcle enthusiasm for their off­ spring (R.ublack 1996: 92). The Outcome of these policies that lasted for two centuries (women were still being execu ted in Europe for infanticide at the end of the 18th century) was the enslavement of WOm en to procreation. While in the Middle Ages women had been able to use vari­ ou s form s of contraceptives, and had exercised an undisputed control over the birthing p rocess, from now on their wombs became public territory, controlled by men aJld the StiI.[e, and procreatio n was directly placed at the service of capitalist accumulation. In this sense, the destiny of West European women, in the period of primitive IlcCulllUla tion, was similar to that of female slaves in the American colonial plantations :ho, espe cially after the end of the slave-trade in 1807, were forced by their masters to E ec olll e bre eders of new workers. The comparison has obviously serious limits. ur op ean Women were not openly delivered to sexual assaults -though proletarian ;omen coul d be raped with impun.ity and punished for it. Nor had they to sutTer the PgOfiny of seei ng their children taken away and sold on the auction block. The economic ro t d . se n . ef!v ed from the births imposed upon them was also far more concealed. In this s e, It is the condition of the enslaved woman that most explicitly reveals the truth 89 Alb”,ht Durer, Tl-m BIRTH Of’Il-m V,RGIN (1502- 1503). Child-birth Il-IIlS o,,� oj ,ht mai” rvnlts ill rite fift oj II ,VOl/IIIII Imd all ocalsio ll ill wi/jell jimmie rooperi lliotl lri· umphed, 90 1Ju� ltltUll4linizat;oll oj mediad pmt1ia is por­ In�d ill ‘his E,t�lis’, dtsigll pidllrillg tl/l m,<-{!d pmlling I,fer/wlt 11f:lller au-t"Y from tilt btd oj a sick mm/.TI,t �"mn dmounca ,.tr incompllftlct. l d the logic of capitalist accul11uJation . But despite the differences, in both cases, the � ,)la le body was turned into an instrument for the reproduction aflabar and the expan­e 1 of the work-force, treated as a natural breeding-machine. fUllctioning according [0 SIOI rhy thms outside of wOI �e�1 :5 control. .' . •. . This aspect of prmutlve accumulation IS absent 111 Marx s analysIs. Except for his ,narks in the Communist Manifesto on the use of women within the bourgeois family­ re pro ducer s of heirs guarameeillg the tr.lnsmission of family property -Marx never � ckJ1owledged that procreation couJd become a terrain of exploitu.1on and by the same token a terrain of resistance. He never imagined that women could refuse to reproduce, or U13t such a refusal could become part of class struggle. In the Crlllldrisse (1973: 100 ) he a rgued that capitalist development proceeds irrespective of population numbers because, by virtUe of the increasing productivity oflabor. the labor that capical exploits constantly duninishes in relation to "constant capical" (that is, the capical invested in machinery and othe r produ ction assets), with the consequent determination of a "surplus population." But tillS dynantic, which Marx defines as the "law of population typical of the capitalist mode of production" (Capital,Vol. 1: 689ff.), could only prevail if procreation were a purely biol ogical process, or an activity responding automatically to economic change, and if cap­ I tal iUld the state did not need to worry about "women going on strike against child mak­ mg."This, in fact� is what Marx assumed. He acknowledged that capitalist developmenc has been accompanied by an increase in population, of which he occasionally discussed the causes. But, like Adam Smith, he saw this increase as a "nacural effect" of economic development, and in Capital, VoLl, he repeatedly contrasted tile determination of a "sur­ plus population" with the population's "natural increase." Why procreation should be "a fact of nature" rather than a social, historically detennined activity, invested by diverse Interests and power relations, is a question Marx did not ask. Nor did he imagine that men and women aught have different interests with respect to child-making, an activity which he treated as a gender-neucral. undifferentiated process. In reality, so far are procreation and population changes from being automatic or "natural" that, in all phases of capitalist development, the state has had to reSOT[ to reg­ ulation and coercion to expand or reduce the work-force. This was especially true at the rime of the capitalist take-off, when the muscles and bones of workers were the primary means of production. But even later -down to the presenc -the state has spared no efforts in its attempt to wrench from women's hands tile control over reproduction, and to deter mjne which children should be born, where, when, or in what numbers. Conseq uently, women have often been forced to procreate against their will, and have txperie nced an alienation from their bodies, their"labor," and even their children, deeper than that experienced by any other workers (Martin 1987: 19-21). No one can describe In fac t the anguish and desperation suffered by a woman seeing her body turn against herself, as it must occur in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. This is particuJarly true to those situations in which out-of-wedlock pregnancies are penaHzed, and when hav­ Ing a chil d makes a woman vulnerable to social osrracism or even death. 91 I The Devaluation of Wozn en's Labor The crimi nalization of women's concrol over procreation is a phenomeno n wI."" •• importance cannOt be over emphasized, both from the viewpoint or its effects on wo rn. ... and its consequences for the capitalist organization of work. As is well do 'cum "ntod..1 through the Middle Ages women had possessed many means of contraception, Olostt, consisting of herbs wh.ich turned into potions and "pessaries" (suppositories) were USed to quicken a woman's period, provoke an abort ion, or create a conclition of sterili ty. ha E",, � H"bs: A History if COlltraceptioll ill the West (1997), the American historian Jolla Riddle has given us an extensive catalogue of the substances that were most used and the effects expected of them or most likely to occur.6t The criminalization of con � ception expropriated women from tllis knowledge that had been transmitted &om gen... eration to generatio n,giving them some autOnomy with respect to child-birth. It appeaa tl lat, in some cases, tllis knowledge was not lost but was only driven underground; yet when birth control again made its appearance on the social scene, contraceptive metb.. ods were no longer of the type that women could use, but were specifically created for use by men. What demographic consequences followed from this shift is a question tha fo r the moment I will not pursue, though f refer to R..iddle's work for a discussion of tbis matter. Here I only want to stress that by denying women control over their bodies, the state deprived them of the most fundamental condition for physical and psychological integrity and degraded maternity to the status of forced labor, in adclition to confinin8 women to reproductive work in a way unknown in previous societies. Nevertheles s,forc­ ing women to procreate agajust their will or (as a fe mjnist song from the 1970. had iI) fo rcing them to" produce children for the state,"62 only in part defined women's tion in the new sexual clivision of labor. A complemen tary aspect was the definition women as non-workers, a process much studied by fem inist historians, which by the of the 17th century was nearly completed. By this time women were losing ground even with respect to jobs that had their prerogatives, such as ale-brewing and midwifery, where their employment was jected to new restrictions. Proletarian women in particular found it clifficult to O bw.* 1 any job other than those carrying the lowest status: as domestic servants (the occu'pa tiol of a third of the female work-f orce), farm-hands, spinners, knitters, embroiderers, ers, wet nurses. As Merry Wiesner (among others) teUs us, the assumption was ground (in the law, in the tax records, in the ordinances of the guilds) that women not work outside the home, and shouJd engage in "production" only in order to their husbands. It vas even argued that any work that women did at home was work" and was worthless even when done for the market (Wiesner 1993: 838). a woman sewed some dothes it was "domestic work" or "housekeeping," even if clothes were not for the family, whereas when a man clid the same task it was ered "productive." Such was the devaluation of women's labor that city governmen ts the guilds to overlook the production that women (especially widows) djd in homes, because it was not real work, and because the women needed it not to fall public relief. Wiesner adds that women accepted this fiction and even apologized asking to work, pleading for it on account of their need to suppOrt themselves 92 11fr prosti(lltt mId lilt 501- J ,rt. Ojio. a (limp follower, I "nutiwtt peifor",td tilt ,fr y' - f im ctiOl l cif d wift for sol­J,m lIt,d other proleltlrim/J, lJusltitlg (lIld cookillgfor 'he , Sht sen�J ill "ddilion .'" (i) prol';Ji"�� sexmd scrviw. A prostitlltt ill"iti,�� II diem, "n,t 'IIImbltt oj prostitutes j,urclued imlllct/sely ill tilt tljtcrllwlh of tmlll privcftiz(llioll fwd ,lte (om­ mern'alizntiotl of (.grim/IUff wltich expelled mallY jJelUlftll wometl from the umd. 93 I .-----.. -- -- .. -.. -, -.-- -. -- .. ----, 84-85). Soon all female work, if done in the home, was defined as .. h.ousel(e"pin2 .. .. . even when done ouuide the home it was paid less chan men's work, and never fo r women to be able to live by it. Marriage was now seen as a woman's true Cd'"C', ... women' s inability to support themselves was taken so much for granted, that when ill gle woman tried to settle in a village. she was driven away even if she earned a Combined with land dispossession . this loss of power with regard to wage em' ...... Incnt led co the massification of pro stitution. As Le Roy Ladurie reports, the gt'Owtb the number of prostitutes in France was visible everywhere: From Avignon to Narbonne to Barcelona "sporting women" (femmes de debauche) stationed themselves at the gates of the cities, in streets of red­ light distric .... . and on the bridges ... [so that] by 1594 the "shameful traffic" was flourishing as never before (Le RoyLadurie 1974: 112-13). The situation was similar in England and Spain, where, everyday, in the cities. women arriving from the countryside. and even the wives of craftsmen, rounded up faJrUly income with this work. A proclamation issued by the political authorities Madrid, in 1631 ,denoun ced the problem, complaining that many vagabond women now wandering among the ciey's streets, alleys, and taverns, enticing men CO sin with (Vigil 1986: 1 14-5). But no sooner had prostitution become the main form ofsuk,siste actl fo r a large female population than the institutional attitude towards it change,n��" in the late Middle Ages it had been officially accepted 2S a necessary evil, and pn>Sti’ …… had benefited from the high wage regime, in the 16m cencury. the situation was re�etII.U In a climate of intense misogyny. characterized by the advance of the Ref ormation and witch-hunting, prostitution was first subjected to new restrictions then crinunalizcd. Everywhere. between 1530 and 1560. town brothels were closed prosti tutes, especially street-walkers, were subjected co severe penalties: banishment, ging, and other cruel forms of chastise ment. Among them was uthe ducking stool” acabussade -ua piece of grim theatre,” as Nickle R.oberts describes it – whereby tht tims were tied up, sometimes they were forced into a cage, and then were inunersed in rivers or ponds, till they almost drowned (Roberts 1992: 1 Meanwhile. in 16th-century France, the raping of a prostitute ceased to be a “, im” .6il I Madrid. as well, it was decided that female vagabonds and prostitutes should not be to stay and sleep in the streets and under the porticos of the town, and if caught be given a hundred lashes. and then should be banned from the city for six years in tion to having their heads and eyebrows shaved. What can account for this drastic attack on female workers? And how does exclusion of women from the sphere of socially recognized work and monetary relate to the impositon of forced maternity upon them, and the contemporary cation of the witch-hum? Looking at these phenomena from the vantage point of the present, after four turies of capitalist disciplilljng of women, the answers may seem to impose Though womcn’s waged work, housework, and (paid) sexual work are still studied oftcn in isolation from each other, we are now in a better position to see that the crimination that women have suffered in the waged work-force has been direcdy 94 their function as unpaid laborers in the home. We can thus connect the banning of lI�stiruti on and the expulsion of women from the organized workplace with the cre­ p 011 of the housewife and the reconstruction of the f.un.ily as the locus for the produc­ ;a.�11 ofl abo r-power. However, from a theoretical and a political viewpoint. the funda­tllen tal question is under what conditions such degradation was possible, and what social �orc es pro moced it or were complicitous with it. The answer here is that an important factor in the devaluation of women’s labor ,v;aS the campaign that craft workers mounted, starting in the late 15th century, to exc lud e female workers from their work-shops, presumably to prO[cct themselves fro nt the assaults of the capitalist merchants who were employing women at cheaper rate s. The craftsmen’s efforts have left an abundant trail of evidence.64 Whether in ln iy, Fran ce, or Germany,journeymen petitioned the authorities nOt to allow women A prostitute brj,�� slIbjC'(ted to the lorlure of tht IJ(mbus. sndt. “S/.e will bt subm ergtd 111 tht river sn,.”d limes IIlI d II.e r, Ittlp riso”ed for lift . ” 9S Uke the “battle for the breech es,” the im{/ge oj tile domille ering tvife dlllllctlgillg rhe sexual Iliemrchy /l/ld be”r;,�,! /11 • ., Imsb/ ll/d um olle oj rhefiulOrirc rargcrs oj 16tll mId 17tll-cctuury sori llllitfr(/tllre. co compete with them, banned them from their ranks, went on strike when the hal was not observed, and even refused to work with men who worked with women. It appears that the craftsmen were also inter ested in lim iting women to domestic wad. because, given their economic difficulties, “the prudent household management 011.. the part of a wife” was beconung for them an indispensable condition for avoidiJ:W] bankruptcy and for keeping an independent shop. Sigrid Brauner (the author of above citation) speaks of the importance accorded py the German artisans to social rule (Brauner 1995: 96-97). Women tried to resis< this onslaught, but -f. with the intinudating tactics male workers used against them -failed. Those w dared to work out of the home, in a public space and for the market, were po as sexually aggressive shrews or even as "whores" and "witches" (Howell 19 182-83).65 Indeed, there is evidence that the wave of misogyny that by the late t century was mounting in the European cities -reflected in the male obsession the "battle for the breeches" and with the character of the disobedient wife, pic in the popular literature in the act of beating her husband or riding on Ius back. emanated also from this (self -defeating) attempt to drive women from the workp and from the market. On the other hand, it is clear that this attempt would not have succeede d if authorities had not cooperated with it. But they obviously saw that it was in their in est to do so. For, in addition to pacifying the rebellious journeymen, the displace ment . women from the crafts provided the necessary basis for their fixation in reprodu labor and their utilization as low-waged workers in cottage industry. 96 Women: The New Conll'nons and the Substitute for the Lost Land vas from tlus alliance between the crafts and the urban authorities, along with the con­ It' 'ng privatization of land, that a new sexual division of labor or, better, a new "sexual O�I • .. l lt r3ct," in Carol ?ateman swords (1988), was forged, defimng women IT1 terms - C �o the rs, wives, daughters, widows -that hid their status as workers, while giving men � access to women's bodies, their labor, and the bodies and labor of their children. Accord ing to tlus new social-sexual contract, proletarian women became for male rke rs the substitute for the land lost to the enclosures, their most basic means of repro­ VO dueD on, and a conmlUnal good anyone couJd appropriate and use at wiU. Echoes of this "pri miti ve appropriation" can be hea� in tile concept Oftll� "conullon woman" �rras 1989) wluch in the 161h century qualified those who prostltuted themselves. But 111 the neW orga njzation of work every woman (other than those privatized by bourgeois mell) became a co mmullal good, for once women's activities were defined as non-work, women's labor began to appear as a natural resource, available to all, no less than the air we breathe or the water we drink. Thjs was for women a historic defeat. With their expulsion [rom the crafts and the devalua tion of reproductive labor poverty became femiluzed, and to enforce men's "pri­ mary appropriation" of women's labor, a new patriarchal order vas constructed, reduc­ II1g women to a double dependence: on employers and on men. The fact that unequal power relations between women and men existed even prior to the advent of capital­ ism, as did a discrinunating sexual division of labor, does not detract from this assess­ ment. For in pre-capitalist Europe women's subordination to men had been tempered by dIe fact that they had access to the coounons and other conununal assets, while in the new capitalist regime IVOllle" themselves became the com mons, as tlleir work was defined as a natural resource, laying outside the sphere of market relations. I The Patriarchy of the Wage Sign ifican t, in this context, are the changes that took place witlun the family which, in � is perio d, began co separate from the public sphere and acquire its modern con nota­ bons as the main center for the reproduction of the work-force. . The counterpart of the market, the instrument for the privatization of social rela �on : and, above all, for the propagation of capitalist discipline and patriarchal rule, the an�y emerg es in the period of primitive accumulation also as the most important insti­ tubon for the appropriation and concealment of women's labor. We see this in particular when we look at the working-class family. This is a sub­ !e� t hat has been understudied. Previous discussions have privileged the family of prop­ fj lll ed m en, plau sibly because, at the time to which we are referring, it was the dominant eor�l a nd the model for parental and marital relations. There has also been more inter­s�e�l the fa�nily as a political institution than as a place of work. What has been empha­ of t h' the n, IS that in the new bourgeois family, the husband became the represe ntative e State, charg ed with disciplilung and supervising the "subordinate classes," a cate- 97 gory th3t for 16th 3nd 17th-century political theori.sts Oe3n Bodin, for example) inclu the man's wife and his children (Schochet 1975). Thus, the identification of the ( 3S 3 nucro-st3te or 3 nucro-church , and the demand by the authorities that single wort... ers live under the roof and rule of a m3Ster. It is also pointed out that within the b0ur­geois family the woman lost much of her power, being generally excluded from the fana., ily business and confined co the supervision of the household. But what is missing in tlus picture is a recogt ution that, while in the upper class. W3S properly that gave the husband power over his wife and children, a similar pOwer w: granted to working-class men over women by means of lWmell� exclusiolljrom tlte""lt. Exemplary of this trend was the family of the cottage workers in the purri ng-oat system. Far from shunning marriage and family-making, male cottage workers depended on it, for a wife could "help" them with the work they would do for the merch ants, while caring for their physical needs, and providing them with childr en, who from an early age could be employed at the loom or in some subsidiary occupation. Thus, eYQ in times of population decline. cottage workers apparently continued to multiply; their fa milies were so large that a contemporary 17th-century Austrian, looking at those liv. ing in his village, described them 3S packed in their homes like sparrows on a rafter. Wba stands out in this type of arrangement is that though the wife worked side-by-side wiIh her husband, she too producing for the market, it was the husband who now received her wage. This was true also for other female workers once they married. In England ", married man .. _ was legally entitled to his wife's earnings" even when the job she did was nursing or breast-feeding. Thus, when a parish employed women to do this kind of job, the records "frequenuy hid (their) presence as workers" registering the payment made in the men's names. "Whether the payment was made to the husband or to the wife depended on the whim of the clerk" (Mendelson and Crawford 1998: 287). This policy , making it impossible for women to have money of their own, created the material conditions for their subjection to men and the appropriation of their labor by male workers. It is in this sense that I speak of the patriarchy of 'he wage. We must also rethink the concept of "wage slavery." If it is true that male workers became only f0r­ mally free under the new wage-labor regime, the group of workers who, in the transi­ tion to capitalism, most approached the condition of slaves was working-class women. At the same time - given the wretched conditions in which waged worked lived -the housework that women performed to reproduce their families was essarily limited. Married or not, proletarian women needed to earn some me,"''' ' which they did by holding multiple jobs. Housework, moreover, requires some ductive capital: furniture, utensils, clothing, money for fo od. But waged workers poorly, "slaving away by day and night" (as an artisan from Nuremberg denoun ce"· 15 24),ju st to stave otrhunger and feed their wives and children (Brauner 1995: Most barely had a roof over their heads, living in huts where other families and mals also resided, and where hygiene (poorly observed even among the better was totally Jacking; their clothes were rags, their diet at best consisted of bread, and some vegetables. Thus, we do not find in this period, among the working the classic figure of the full-time housewife . It was only in the 19th centur y - response to the first intense cycle of struggle against industrial work - that ern family" centered on the full-time housewif e's unpaid reproductive labor waS 98 raliz ed in the workjng class, in England first and later in the United States. e Its development (foUowing the passage of Factory Acts limiting the employment of men and children in the factories) reflected the first long-term investtnent the capital­ �vo dass made in the reproduction of the work-force beyond its numerical expansion. It ist-as the resuJt of a tr.Ide-off . forged under me threat of insurrection . bccween the granting '[ hi ghe r wages, capable of supporting a "non-working" wife, and a more intensive rate of Ox loiration. Marx spoke of it as a shift from "absolute" to "relative surplus," that is, a shift ;;:11 a cype of exploitation based upon the lengthening of the working day to a maximum nd the reduction of the wage to a min.imum, to a regime where higher wages and shoreer �o urs would be compensated with an increase in the productivity of work and the pace of pro ducti on. From the capitalist perspective, it was a social revolution, overriding a long­ hd d cOllu niollent co low wages. It resulted from a new deal between workers and employ­ ers , agai n founded on the exclusion of women from the wage -putting an end to their recr uitment in the early phases of the Industrial Revolution. It was also the mark of a new cap italis t aff1uence, the product of two centuries of exploication of slave labor, soon to be boos ted by a new phase of colonial expansion. In the 16th and 17th centuries, by contrast, despite an obsessive concern with the size of populati on and the number of "working poor," the actual invesollent in the reproduc­ Don of the work-force was extremely low. Consequently, the bulk of the reproductive labor done by proletarian women was not for their families, but for the families of their employ­ ers or for the market. One third of the female population, on average, in England, Spain, France. and Italy, worked as maids. Thus, in the prolecariat, tlle tendency was cowards the postponment of marriage and the disintegration of the f.unily (16'h-century English vil­ lages experienced a yearly turnover of fifty percent). Often the poor were even forbidden to marry, when it was feared that their children would fall on public relief, and when this actually happened, the children were taken away from them and farmed out to the parish to work. It is estimated that one tlurd or more of the population of rural Europe remained single; in the towns the rates were even higher, especially among women; in Cermany, forty percent were either "spinsters" or widows (Ozment 1983: 41-42). Neverthele ss - though the housework done by proletarian women was reduced to a m.inim um, and proletarian women had always to work for the market -within the working-class conullunity of the transition period we already see the emergence of the sexu al divisio n of labor that was to become typical of the capitalist organization of work. At its center was an increasing d.ifferentiation between male and female labor, as the tasks perf orme d by women and men became more diversified and, above all, became the car­ rie rs of differe nt social relations. Impo verished and disempowered as they may be, male waged workers couJd still �nefit from their wives'labor and "...ages, or they could buy the services of prostitutes. ft hrou gh out tlus first phase of proletarianization, it was the prostitute who often per­ � rrned for male workers the function of a wife, cooking and washing for them in addi­ ��n to serv ing them sexually. Moreover, the criminalization of prostitution , which pun­ ts ed th e WOma n but hardly tOuched her male customers, strengthelled male power. Any :�. Could now destroy a woman simply by declaring tl1at she was a prostitute, or by nll h eiz ing that she had given in to his sexual desires. Women would have to plead with len" not to take away their honor"(the only property left to them) (Cavallo and Cerutti 99 19 80: 346B). the assumption being th2t their lives were now in the hands of mCn (like feudal lords) could exercise over them a power of life and death. The Taming of Women and the Red efinition of Femi ninity and Masculinit y: Women the Savages of Europe It is not surprising, then, in view of this deva luation of women's labor and social Status. that the insubordination of women and the methods by which they could be "tam ed" were among the main themes in the literacure and social policy of the "tramitio n" (Underdown 1985a: 116-36).70W omen could not have been tot:illy devalued as wodt. en and deprived of autonomy with respect to men without being subjected to an intet1le process of sodal degradati on; and indeed, throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, wOIl1 e Q lost ground in every area of social life. A key area of change in this respect was the law, where in this period we aa observe a steady erosion of women's rights.71 One of the main rights that women to. was the right to conduct economic activities alone, asfemme soles. In France, they kc the right to make contracts or [Q represent themselves in court, being declared lepl " imbeciles." I n Italy, they began to appear less frequently in the courts to denounce abuses perpetrated against them. In Germa ny, when a nuddle-class woman became a widow •• became customary to appoint a tutOr to manage her affairs. Gennan women were .., fo rb idden to live alone or with other women and, in the case of the poor, even with their own families, since it was expected that they would not be properly controlled. In sum. together with econonuc and social devaluation, women experienced a process oftep infantili zation. Wo men' s loss of social power was also expressed through a new sexual differena­ ation of space. In the Mediterranean countries women were expelled not only fita many waged jobs but also from the streets, where an unaccompanied woman risked beiDI sub jected to ridicule or sexual assault (Davis 1998). In England, too, ("a women's .,.,.. dise" in the eyes of some lcalian visitors) , the presence of women in public began to be frowned upon. English women were discouraged from sitting in front of their homes or staying near their windows; they were also instructed noc to spend time with fr iends (in tllis period the term "gossip" -female friend -began to acquire a paraging connotation). It was even reconunended that women should noc visit their ents too often after marriage. How the new sexual division of labor reshaped male-female relations can be from the broad debate that was carried Out in the learned and popular literature on nature offemale virtues and vices, one of the main avenues for the ideological of gender relations in the transition to capitalism. Known from an early phase as ilIa des femmes," what transpires from this debate is a new sense of curiosity for the indicating that old norms were breaking down, and the public was beconling tlle basic elements of sexual politics were being reconstructed .Two trends within rntly inferior to men - excessively emotional and lusty, unable to govern dlemselves­ and had to be placed under male connol. As with the condemnation of witchcraft, con­ sensus on tlus matter cut across religious and intellectual lines. From the pulpit or the writ­ [en page, humanistS, Protestant reformers, counter-reformation Catholics, all cooperated m the vilification of women, conscancly and obsessively. Women were accused of being unreasonable, vain, wild, wasteful. Especially blamed was the female tongue, seen as an instrument ofinsuhordination. But the main female vil­ lain was the disobedient wife, who, together with the"scold,"the"witch," and the "whore" was the favorite target of dramatists, popular writers, and moralists. In this sense, Shake speare's 771e Tam;IIg if /Ile SI"Clv (1593) was the manifesto of the age. The punish­ ment of female insubordination to patriarchal authority was called for and celebrated in 101 It is no exaggeration to say that women were treated with the same hostility sense of estrang ement accorded "Indian savages" in the literature that developed on sub ject after the Conquest. The parallel is nOt casual. In both cases literary and CUI", ... , denigration vas at the service of a pro ject of expro priation. As we will see, the nization of ule American indigenous people served to justify their enslavemen t an d plunder of their resources. In Europe, the attack waged on women justified the priation of their labor by men and the crim.inalization of their control over "' 1'10<11> 1:..’ tion. Always. the price of resistance was extermination. None of the tactics aeplc’Ytod against European women and colonial subjects would have succeeded, had they not beea sustained by a campaign ofcerror.ln the case of European women it was the witch-h_ that played the main role in the construction of their new social filnction, and the d� dation of their social identity. The defin.ition of women as demonic beings, and ule atrocious and huntil ia tiat practices to which so many of them were subjected left indelible marks in the coUectivt fe male psyche and in women’s sense of possi bilities. From every viewpoint – � economically , cultura lly, politically -the witch-hunt was a turning poim in wo men .. lives; it wa, the equivalent of the hiStoric defe.t to which Engel, alludes. in 11It Origin ” the Family, Pri,”‘tt Property .IId the St.te (1884). as the cau,e of the downfall of the matri- Frotllispim of T,-w PA RlJAMl1Vf OF WOME:” (1646 ). a work typical nIJ,i-lvomrn satirt ,IWI Jomi· Ill lltJ English Ultmlllrt in llrt ptriod of tire Civil lM,,; 102 �HE “”” Parliament of VV omen. Witb tb. mcm. uwn by .b …. _’1 f.nalkd. Tolin’ in mon:- Ea’,.., Pompc, PriM, .nd ,,_ •. “”‘ ofp«b1 I’ ….. ,.., ……. ,,”,�. “,, �” “”” o.� rIIft w….st : ….. a_ .., …… … !.r …. . –r .:.lll._(. …….. .. ‘- … ..-:- “‘.1 � … ucdIII …. � v- rehal world. For the witch-hunt destroyed a whole world of female practices, colJecove ” latio ns, and systems oflOlowledge that had been the foundation of women’s power in ;re�ca pitalist Europe, and the condition for their resistance in the struggle against feu- dJli�ll· . . . . . Out of this defeat a new model of fenunuuty emerged: the Ideal woman and wIfe _ passive, obediem, thrifty, of few words, always busy at work, and chaste. Tills change btg311 at the end of the 17th century, after women had been subjected for more dlan two cent uries to state terrorism. Once women were defeated, the image of fernininity con­ structe d in the “transition” was discarded as an unnecessary tool, and a new, tamed one took its place. While at dle time of the witch-hunt women had been portrayed as savage bein gs, mental.ly weak, unsatiably lusty, rebelliow, insubordinate, incapable of self-control. by dle 18th century the canon has been reversed. Women were now depicted as passive, asex ual beings, more obedient. more moral than men, capable of exerting a positive moral utfl uence on them. Even their irrationality could now be valorized, as the Dutch philoso­ pher Pierre Bayle realized in his Dictiollaire Historique cl Critique (1740), in which he praised the power of the female “maternal instinct,” arguing that dut it should be viewed as a truly providential device, ensuring that despite the disadvantages of childbinhing and childrais­ II1g, women do continue to reproduce. I Colonization, Globalization, and Women While the response to the population crisis in Europe was the subjugation of women to r eproduction, in colonial America, where colonization destroyed ninety five percent of the aboriginal population, the response was the slave trade which delivered to the European ruling class an ulmlense quantity oflabor-power. As early as the 16th century , approximately one million Mrican slaves and indige­ nous workers were producing surplus-value for Spain in colonial America, at a rate of exploitation far higher than that of workers in Europe, and contributing to seccors of the European economy that were developing in a capitalist direction (Blaut 1992a: 45-46).73 By 1600, Brazil alone exported twice the value in sugar of all the wool that England e xporte d in dle same year (ibid.: 42). The accumulation rate was so high in the Brazilian sU� r plamario ns that every two years they doubled their capacity. Gold and silver too pl.ye d a key role in the solution to the capitalist crisis. Cold imported from Brazil re­ acti vate d conunerce and industry in Europe (DeVries 1976: 20). More than 17,000 tOIlS we� imported by 1640, giving the capitalist class there an exceptional advantage in access to Wor kers. conunodities, and land (Blaut 1992a: 38-40). But the true wealdl was the I.b or acc umulated through the slave trade. which made possible a mode of production that coul d not be imposed in Europe. It is now established that the plantation system fueled the Industrial Revolution, as arg ued by Eric Williams, who noted that hardly a brick in Liverpool and Bristol was “o [ t c em ente d with Mrican blood (1944:61–63).But capitalism may not even have taken o . W ith out Europe’s “annexation of America,” and the “blood and sweat” that for twO Centu . � r rtes flowed to Europe from the plantations. This must be stressed, as it helps us a. 1ZC how essential slavery has been for the hiscory of capitalism, and why, periodi- 103 I … ………. …… -, _ .. __ ……. -., …. . cally, but systematically, whenever the capitalist system is threatened by a majo r nmnic crisis, the capitalist class has to launch a process oC”pr-imitive accumulation .. is, a process of large-scale colonization and enslavement, such as the one we � nessing at present (Bales 1999). The plantation system was crucial for capitalist development not only beea of the illunense an-lOuO[ of surplus labor that was accumulated from it, but beca USe-: set a model aflabar management, export-oriented production . economic imegrana. and international division of labor that have since become paradigmatic for cap ital . ist class relations. With its inullcnse concentration of workers and its captive I3bor force uProoted from its homeland, unable to rely on local support, the plantation prefigured not “”” the factory bue also the later use ofimnugration and globalization CO cut the COSt oflabar. In particular, the plantation was a key step in the formation of an international divisiaa oflabor dm (through the production of “consumer goods”) integrated the work oflhe slaves into the reproduction of the European work-force, while keeping enslaved .. waged worke” geographically and socially divided. The colonial production of sugar, tea, tobacco, rum,and cotton -the most impGli. cant conmlodities, together with bread, in the production of labor-power in Europe _ did not take off on a large scale until afier the 1650., after slavery had been institu� alized and wages in Europe had begun to (modesdy) rise (Rowling 1987: 51,76, 85).11 must be mentioned here, however, because, when it did take off, two mechanisms wee introduced that significantly restructured the repro duction of labor internation ally. one side, a global assembly line was created that cut the cost of the commodities necel-‘ sary to produce labor-power in Europe, and linked eru.laved and waged workers in that pre-figured capitalism’s present use of Asian, African, and Latin American W(,rIo”. as providers of”cheap””consumer” goods (cheapened by death squads and military lence) for the uadvanced”capita1ist countries. On the other side, the metropolitan wage became the vehicle by which me produced by enslaved workers went to the market, and the value of the products enslaved-labor was realized. In tllis way, as with female domestic work, the integrlltiiGI of enslaved labor into the production and reproduction of the metropolitan wc,rIc··101II was further established, and the wage was further redefined as an instrument ofaC(:uJl� lation, that is, as a lever for mobilizing not only the labor of the workers paid by it, also for the labor of a multitude of workers hidden by it, because of the umvaged ditions of their work. Did worke” in Europe know that they were buying products resuJoing [re’m …. labor and, if they did, did they ob ject to it?This is a question we would like to ask but it is one which I cannot answer. What is certain is that the history of tea, sugar , tobacco, and cotton is far more significant than we can deduce from the co'”trib U’llCI which these conullodities made, as raw materials or means of exchange in the mde, to the rise of the factory system. For what traveled with these “exports” was only the blood of the slaves but the seeds of a new science of exploitation, and a division of the work ing class by which \f3ged-work, rather than providing an rive to slavery, vas made to depend on it for its existence, as a means Qike 104 I lllp aid labor) for the expansion of the unpaid part of the waged . workin �-day. So closely incegrated were the lives of the enslaved laborers 111 America and waged bOrers in Europe that in the Caribbean islands, where slaves were given plots of land r.. rev ision grounds”) to cultivate for their own use, how much land was allotted to d’�Jl1 ‘ and how much time was given to them to cultivate it, varied in proportion to the rtc e of sugar on the world-marke[ (Morrissey 1989: 51-59) -plausibly determined � the dynamics of workers’ wages and workers’ struggle over reproduction. Y It would be a miscake, however, to conclude that the incegration of slave labor in the production of the European waged proletariat created a conullunity of imerests betwee n European workers and the metropolitan capitalists, presumably cemented by their COl1unon desire for cheap imported goods. In realiry, like the Conquest, the slave trade was an epochal misfortune for Eur ope an workers. As we have seen, s.Iavery (like the witch-hunt) was a major ground of experimentation for methods of labor-comrol that were later imported into Europe. Sbvery also affected the European workers’ wages and legal status; (or it cannot be a coin­ odence that only with the end o( slavery did wages in Europe decisively increase and did European workers gain the right to organize. It is also hard to imagine that workers in Europe profited from the Conquest of America, at least in its initial phase. Let us remember that it was the imensity of the anti­ feudal struggle that instigated the lesser nobility and the merchants to seek colonial (xpansion, and that the conqu.istadors came from the ranks of the most-hated enemies af the European working class. It is also important [Q remember that the Conquest pro­ Vided the European ruling class with the silver and gold used to pay the mercenary annies mat defeated the urban and rural revolts; and that, in the same years when Arawaks, Aztecs, and Incas were being subjuga ted, workers in Europe were being driven from their homes, branded like animals, and burnt as witches. We shouJd not assume, then, that the European proletariat vas always an accom­ plice to the plunder of the Americas, though individual proletarians undoubtedly were. The nobilicy expected so little cooperation from the “lower classes” that initially the Spaniards allowed only a few to embark. Only 8,000 Spaniards migrated legaIly to the Ameri cas in the entire 161h century, the clergy malting up 17% of [he lot (Hamilton 1965: 2 99;W illiams 1984: 38–40). Even later, people were forbidden from settling ovelleas inde­ pend endy, because i[ was feared that d,ey m.igh[ collabom[e with the local population. For most proletarians, in the 17th and 18th cenUiries, access to the New World ‘was thro ugh indentured servitude and “transportation,” the punislullent which the authori­ ti es in Engla nd adopted to rid the country of convicts, political and religious dissidents, an d the vast population of vagabonds and beggall that was produced by the enclosures. �s Peter Lin ebaugh and Marcus Rediker point ou[ in 711< Mally-Headed Hydra (2000 ), t le col oni zers ' fear of unrestricted nugration was well-founded, given the wretched liv­ ,ntcondi tions [hat prevailed in Europe, and the appeal exercised by the reportS [hat cir­ �u te d ab out the New World, which pictured it as a wonder land where people lived p7e fmlll toil and tyranny, masters and greed, and where "myne" and "thyne" had no 6-;e , all dungs being held in conunon (Linebaugh and Rediker 2000; Brandon 1986: . So Strong was the attr.lction exercised by the New World that the vision of a new IDS I ......... ......... ... _ ..... ...... -., .... ... .. ... .. .. ..... .. society it provided apparently influenced the political thought of the Enlighterun, contributing to the emergence of a new concept of "Ii berry," taken to signify lessness. an idea previously unknown in European political theory (Brandon 1 23-28) . Not surpris ingly, some Europeans tried ro"lose thenlSelve s"in this utopia n where,as Linebaugh and Rediker powerfully put it, they couJd reconstruct the lost e rience of the conUTIOns (2000: 24). Some lived for years with Indian tribes despite restrictions placed on those who settled in the American colonies and the heavy p . to be paid if caught. since escapees were treated like traitors and puc to death. This the fate of some young English settlers in Virginia who, having run away to live the Indians, on being caught were condemned by the colony'S councilmen to "burned, broken on the wheel. .. [and] hanged or shot to death" (Koning 1993: 6 "Terror created boundaries:' Linebaugh and Rediker comment (2000: 34).Y et, as late 1699, the English still had a great difficulty persuading the people whom the India ns captivated to leave their Indian manner of living. No argu ment, no entreaties, no tears [a contemporary reponed] ... could persuade many of them to leave their Indian friends. On the other hand, Indian children have been carefully educated among the English, clothed and caught, yet there is not one inscance that any of these would remain, but returned to their own nations (Koning 1993: 60). As for the European proletarians who signed themselves away inco inclerltw .... ; servitude or arrived in the New Wodd in consequence of a penal sentence, their lot nOt tOO different, at first, from that of the African slaves with whom they often W side by side.Their hostility to their masters was equally intense, so that the planters them as a dangerous lot and, by the second half of the 17<1> centur y. began to limit use and introduced a legislation aimed at separating them from the Mricans. But only the end of the 18th century were racial boundaries irrevocably drawn (Moulier 19 98). Until then, the possibility of alliances between whites, blacks, and aboriginal pies. and the fear of such unity in the Euro pean ruling class’ imagination, at home on the plantations, was constantly present. Shakespeare gave voice to it in TI,e (1612 ) where he pictured the conspiracy organized by Caliban. the narive rebel. son a witch, and by Trinculo and Stephano, the ocean-going European proletarians , gesring the possibility of a fatal alliance among the oppressed, and providing a counterpoint to Prospero’s magic healing of me discord among the rulers. In TI,e Tempest the conspiracy ends ignominiously, with the European pn,lell ll ans demonstrating to be nothing better than petty thieves and drunkards, and Caliban begging forgiveness from his colonial master. Thus, when the def eated rebels brought in front of Prospero and his former enelnies Sebastian and Antonio (noW onciled with him), they are met with derision and thoughts of ownership and 106 SEBASTIAN. What things are these, my lord Antonio? Will money buy them? ANTONIO. Very like; one of them is a plain fish, and, no doubt, marchernble. PR OSP ERa. Mark but the badges of these men, my lords, Then say if they be true. This mis-shapen knave, His mother was a witch, and one so strong That could control the moon, make flows and ebbs, And deal in her conunand without her power. These three have robbed me; and this demi-devil­ For he’s a bastard one -had plotted with them To take my life. Two of these fellows you Must know and own. This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine. (Shakespeare, Act V, Scene I, lines 265-276) Offstage, however, the threat continued. “Both on Bermuda and Barbados white serv ants were discovered plotting with Mrican slaves, as thousands of convicts were being ship ped dJere in the 1650s from the British islands” (Rowling 1987: 57). In Virgi nia the peak in the alliance between black and white servants was Bacon’s Rebellion of1675-76. when African slaves and British indentured servants joined together to conspire against their masters . It is fo r tlus reason that, starting in the 16405. the accumulation of an enslaved pro­ letariat in the Southern American colonies and the Caribbean was accompanied by the construction of racial hierarchies. thwarting the possibility of such combinations. Laws were passed depriving Mricans of previously granted civic rights, such as citizenship, the right CO bear arms, and the right to make depositions or seek redress in a tribunal for injuries suffered. The turning point was when slavery was made an hereditary condition, and the slave masters were given the right to beat and kill their slaves. In addition, mar­ riages between “blacks” and “whites” were forbidde n. Later, after the American War of Independence, white indentured servitude, deemed a vestige of British rule, was elinu­ nated. As a result, by the late 18th century , colonial America had moved from “a society with slaves to a slave society” (Moulier Boutang 1998: 189), and the possibility of soli­ darit y between Mricans and whites had been severely undermined. “White,” in the colonies, became not just a badge of social and economic privilege “serving to designate those who until 1650 had been called ‘Christians’ and afterwards ‘English’ or ‘free men'” (ibid .: 194), but a moral attribute, a means by which social hegemony was naturalized. “Black” or ” African,” by contrast, became synonynlous with slave, so much so that free bl ac k peopl e – still a sizeable presence in early 17th-century America -were later fo rced to prove that they were free. I Sex, Race and Class in the Colonies W, ex, Race, and Class in the Cololues o ul d Caliba n’s conspiracy have had a diff erent outcome had its protagonists been � OIl 1�n ? Had the instigators been not Caliban but Ius mother, Sycorax, the powerful S genan witch that Shakespeare ludes in the play’s background. and not Trillculo and t e ph ano but the sisters of the witches who, in the same years of the Conquest, were 107 being burned in Europe at the stake? This question is a rhetorical one, but it serves to question the nature of the ual division of labor in the colonies, and of the bonds that could be established between European, indigenous, and African women by virtue of a COllmlon expe,ri.,…! of sexual discrim ination. In I, Till/ba, Black Witch of Salem (1992), Maryse Conde gives us an insigh, ‘he kind of situation that could produce such bonding, by describing how Tirub a her new mistress, the Puritan Samuel Parris’ young wife, gave each other suppOrt at against his murderous contempt for women. An even more outstanding example comes from the Caribbean, where ‘O’Y-c:l…1 English women “tr:msported” from Britain as convicts or indentured servants be,c..,,,, a significam part of the labor-gangs on the sugar estates. “Considered unfit for riage by propertied white males, and disqualified for domestic service,” because insolence and riotous disposition, “landless white women were dismissed to “”””1111 labor in plantations, public construction works, and the urban service sector. In these worlds they socialized intimately with the slave conmlUnity, and with enslaved black men.” They established households and had children with ,hem (Beckles 1995 131- 32). They also cooperated as well as competed with female slaves in the market­ ing of produce or stolen goods. But with the institutionalization of slavery, which was accompanied by a lesseo­ ing of the burden for white workers, and a decrease in the number of women arrivina fr om Europe as wives for the planters, the situation changed drastically. Regardless « their social origin, white women were upgraded, or married off within the ranks ofme white power structure, and whenever possible they became owners of slaves then1Selws, usually female ones, employed for domestic work (ibid.),7′ Tills, however, was not an automatic process. Like sexism, racism had to be legit­ lated and enf orced. Among the most revealing prohibitions we must again count marriage and sexual relations between blacks and whites were forbidden, white wo, me” who married black slaves were condemned, and the children resulting from such riages were enslaved for life. Passed in Maryland and Virginia in the 1660s, these prove that a segregated, racist society was instituted from above, and that intimate tions between “blacks” and “whites” must have been very conlJTlon, indeed, if enslavement was deemed necessary to terminate them. As iff oUowing the script laid out by the witch-hunt, the new laws oem”ru”’. ­ relation between white women and black men.When they were passed in the IO 71u� bratld ing of women by the Jn1f hlld jigllred promitlfnlfy jt, fflt £lIro pcat’ ulitdHritli5, tI5 (/ symbol of lo(nl slIbju gnlioll. BII/ ill rt:tdily, the tnle devi/5 lvert flit wllitt 51m;e traders IItld plllll((/[io ll oll/ners wl,o (like the /llCII i” this piclllrej did 110/ hes­ iflJlt to frelll tile IWllletl ther CflSuwed like mttlt. segregation along racial lines succeeded only in part, checked by m.igration, population decline, indigenous revolt, and the formation of a white urban proletariat with no prosp ect of economic advancement, and therefore prone to identify with mestizos and mulanos more than with the white upper-class. Thus, while in the plantation societies �f the Cari bbean the differences between European and Mricans increased with time, III the South American colonies a “re-composition” became possible, especially among l o w-c lass European, me5tiza, and Mrican women who, beside their precarious economic POS itio n, shared the disadvantages deriving from the double standard built into the law, wh o I Ie 1 made them vuJnerable to male abuse. k Sig ns of this “recomposi tion” can be found in the records which the Inqu.isition h Cp t �n 18t1L century Mexico of the investiga tions it conducted to eradicate magical and e ren e beli efS {Behar 1987: 34-51).The task v.s hopeless, and soon the Inqui sition lost ;� ere st in the project, convinced that popular magic was no longer a threat to the polit­ am order . But the testimon.ies it collected reveal the existence of multiple exchanges .. Ong Wom en in matters relating to magical cures and love remedies, creating in time 111�� W cultur al reality drawn from the encounter between the African, European and gen ous magi cal traditions. As Ruth Behar writes: 109 Indian women gave hummingbirds to Spanish healers (or use in sex­ual attracti on, mulatta women told mestiza women how [0 tame theif husbands, a loba sorceress introduced a coyota to the Devil.T his “pop­ ular” system of belief ran parallel to the system of belief of the Church, and it spread as quickly as Christianity did in the New Wodd, so that after a while it became impossible to distinguish in it what was “In dian” or “Spanish” or “Afric an” (ibid.).7 6 Assimilated in the eyes of the Inquisition as people “without reason,” this varie­ gated female world which Ruth Behar describes is a telling example of the alliances that, across colonial and color lines, women could build, by virtue of their common expeq.. enee, and theiT interest in sharing the traditional knowledges and practices available to them to control theif reproduction and fight sexual discrimination. Like discrimi nation on the basis of “race,” this was more than a cul[Ural bagg;wa which the colonizers brought from Europe with their pikes and horses. No less _ the destruction of cODu nunaHsm, it was a strategy clictated by specific economic inter­ est and the need to create the preconclitions for a capitalist economy, and as such always ad justed to the task at hand. In Mexico and Peru, where population decline recommended that female domestic labor in the home be incentivized, a new sexual hierarchy was introdu cell by the Spanish authorities that stripped indigenous women of their auto nomy, and gave their male kin more power over them. Under the new laws, married womeD. became men’s propert y, and were forced (against the traditional custom) to foUow their husbands CO their homes. A compadrazgo system was also created further limiting their rights, placing the authority over children in male hands. In adclition, to ensure thIt incligenous women reproduced the workers recruited to do mjla work in the mines. the Spanish authorities legislated that no one could separate husband from wife, whida meant that women were forced to follow their husbands whether they wanted it not, even co areas known to be death camps, due to the pollution created by the ing (Cook Noble J 981 :205-6).77 The intervention of the French Jesuits in the clisciplining and training of Montagna,is- Naskapi, in mid-1 7th century Canada, provides a rev ealing example gender clifferences were accumulated. The story is told by the late anthropologist Leacock in her My’!’s of Male Dominance (1981), where she examines the diary of its protagonist s.This was Father Paul Le Jeune, a Jesuit missionary who, in M”C3U <,­ nial Cashion, had joined a French tracling post to Christianize the Inclians,and rurn into citizens of "New Frallce."The Montagnais-Naskapi were a nomadic Indian that had lived in great harmony, hunting and fishing in the eastern Labrndor Pe,,;"'''' But by the time of Le Jeune's arrival, their conununity was being undennined by presence oCEuropeans and the spread oCCur-trading, so that some men, eager to conunercial alliance with them, were amenable to letting the French dictate how should govern themselves (Leacock J 98 1: 396) . As often happened when Europeans came in contact with native populations, the French were impressed by Momagnais-Naskapi generosity, lIO ense of cooperation and indifference to status, but they were scandalized by their �')a ck of mora Is;" they saw that the Naskapi had no conception o(private property. of auth ority, of male superiori ty, and they even refused to pu�lish their children (Leac ock 1981: 34-38) .TheJe,uilS decided 10 change all Ihal, se[[lng oU[ to teach the dians the basic eiemcms of civilization, convinced that this was necessary to turn In d tI . .. th fi I h h" . h hePl into reliable era e panners. In us Spirit, ey IrsC raug 1t t em t at mal l IS t e I 'I er " that "in France women do not rule their husbands," and eha[ courting at 1113 ' nJg ltt. divorce at either partner' s �esire. and s�xual fr�edol1l (or both spouses, before O f aft er marria ge, had to be forbidden. Here JS a [cUing exchange Le Jeune had, on this score , with a Naskapi man: "I [old him it was not honorable for a woman to love anyone else except her husband, and that this evil being among them, he himself was not sure that his son, who was present, was his son. He replied, 'Thou has no sense. You French people love only your chil­ dren; but we love all the children of our tribe.' I began to laugh see­ ing that he philosophized in horse and mule fashion" (ibid.: 50). Backed by the Gov ernor of New France, the Jesuits succeeded in convincing the Naskapi to provide themselves with some chiefS, and bring "their" women to order. Ty pically, one weapon they used .vas to insinuate th:iIC women who were too independ­ ent and did not obey their husbands were creatures of the devil . When, angered by the men 's attempts to subdue them, the Naskapi women ran away, the Jesuits persuaded the men to chase after their spouses and threaten them with imprisonment: "Such acts ofjustic e"- Lejeune proudly commented in one particu­ lar case -"cause no surprise in France, because it is usual there to pro­ ceed in that manner. But among dlese people ... where everyone consid­ ers himself from birth as fiee as the wild animals that roam in dleir great fo rests ... it is a marvel, or radler a miracle, to see a peremptory conunand obeyed, or any act of severity or justice performed" (ibid.: 54). The Jesuits' greatest victory, however, was persuading the Naskapi to beat their child ren, believing that the "savages' " excessive fondness for their offipring .vas the major O �lacl e to their Christianization. Le Jeune's diary records the first instance in which a girl was publicly beaten, while one of her relatives gave a chilling lecture to the bystanders on the historic significance of the event:"Thi, is the first punishment by beating (he said) W e mfl ict on anyone of our Nation ... .. (ibi d.: 54-55). tha The Montagnais- Naskapi men owed their training in male supremacy to the fact th t the French wanced to instill in them the "instinct" for private property, to induce :01 to bec ome reliable partners in the fur trade. Very different was the situation on the � n� tio ns, where the sexual division oflabor was inunediately dictated by the planters' O qU lrel llencs for labor- power, and by the price of commodities produced by the slaves n Ih . e Illter national market. Until Ole abolition of tile slave trade, as Barbam Bush and Marietta Morrissey have III documented, both women and men were subjected to the sam e degr ee of' expl()i" ,ti cm;""" planters found it more profitable to work and "consume" slaves to death than to en ,c o, u r. ... 1 their reproduction. Neither the sexual division oflabor nor sexual hierarchies were thus nounced. Mrican men had no say concern ing the destiny of their female companion s and kin; as for wom en, far from being given special consideration, they were expected to walk in the fields like men, especially when sugar and tobacco were in high demand, and they were subject to the same cruel punislunents, even when pregna nt (Bush 1990: 42-44). Ironically then, it would seem that in slavery women "achieved" a rough equality with the men of their class (Momsen 1993). But their treatment was never the sante Wo men were given less to eat; unlike men, they were vulnerable to their masters' sex uai assaults; and more cruel punishment were inflicted on them, for in addition to the phys.. ical agony women had to bear the sexual huntiJiation al'vays attached to them and the damage done, when pregnant, to the fetuses they carried. A new page, moreover, opened after 1807. when the slave trade was abolished and the Caribbean and American plante", adopted a "slave breeding" policy. As Hilary Beckles points out, in relation to the island of Barbados, plantation owners had attemp ted to control the reproductive patterns offemale slaves since the 17th century, "[encourag.­ ing] them to have fewer or more children in any given span of time," depending on how much field labor was needed. But only when the supply of Mr ican slaves diminished did the regulation of women's sexual relations and reproductive patterns become more sys­ tematic and intense (Beckles 1989: 92). In Europe, forcing women to procreate had led to the imposition of capital pun­ ishment for contracept ion. In the plan tations, where slaves were becoming a precious conunodi ty, the shift to a breeding policy made women more vulnerable to sexual assault. though it led to some "ameliorations" of women's work conditions: a reduction of work­ hours, the building oflying-in-houses, the provision of midwives assisting the delivery. an expansion of social rights (e.g .• of travel and assembly)(Beckles: 1989: 99-1 DO; Bum 1990: 135). But these changes could not reduce the damages inflicted on women by field-labor, nor the bitterness women experienced because of their lack offreedom.With the exception of Barbados, the planters' attempt to expand the work-force through "nat­ ural reprod uction" failed, and the birth rates on the plantations remained "abnormall y low" (Bush 136-37; Beckles 1989. ibid.).Whether this phenomenon was a result of out­ right resistance to the perpetuation of slav ery, or a consequence of the physical debili­ tation produced by the harsh conditions to which enslaved women were subjected, is still a matter of debate (Bush 1990: 14311). But. as Bush points out. there are good rea­ sons to believe that the main cause of the failure was the refusal of women to procreate. fo r as soon as slavery was eradicated, even when their economic conditions in some respect deteriorated, the conmlU nities offreed slaves began to grow (Bush 1990).18 Wo men's refusaJs of victimization also reshaped the sexual division of labor , as occurred in Caribbean islands where enslaved women turned themselves into semi-free market vendors of the products they cultivated in the "provision grounds" (in Jamaica. "polinks"). given by the plante", to the slaves so that they could to support themselV es. The planters adopted tillS measure to save on the cost of repr oducing labor. But access to the "provision grounds" turned out to be advancageou for dle slaves as well; it gave 112 t h ell l more mobility, and the possibi lity to use the time allotted for their cwtivation for th er act ivities. Being able to pro duce small crops that couJd be eaten or sold boosted � lei r independence. Those most devoted to the success of the provision grounds were t lO m en . who marketed the crops, re-appr opriating and repro ducing within the planta­ � o n syst em what had been one of their main occupations in Africa. As a result, by the Iud-18th century, enslaved women in the Caribbean had carved out for themselves a I la ce in the plantation economy, contributing to the expansion, if not the creation, of � le isJa nd's food market. They did so both as producers of much of the food consumed by the slaves and the white population, and also as hucksters and market vendors of the cro ps they cultivated, supplemented with goods taken from the master's shop, or exc hanged with other slaves, or given to them for sale by their maSters. It was in this capacity that female slaves also came into contact with white prole­ tari an wom en, often former indentured servants, even after the latter had been removed front gang-labo r and emancipated. Their relationship at times couJd be hostile: proletar­ jan European women, who also survived mostly through the growing and marketing of rood crops, stole at times the products that slave women brought to the market, or attempted to im_pede their sales. But both groups of women also collaborated in build­ ing a vast network of buying and selling relations which evaded the laws passed by the colonial authorities, who periodically worried that these activities may place the slaves beyond their control. Despite the legislation introduced to prevent them from selling or limiting the places in which they couJd do so, enslaved women continued to expand their market­ IIlg activities and the cuJtiv ation of their provision plots, which they came to view as their own so that, by the late 18th century, they were forming a proto-peasantry with practically a monopoly of island markets.Thus, according to some historians, even before �m:mcipation, slavery in the Caribbean had practically ended. FClnaJe slaves -against all odds -were a key force in tlus process, the ones who, with their determination, shaped the development of the slave community and of the islands' economies, despite dle authorities' ITI3ny attempts to linut their power. Enslaved Caribbean women had also 3 decisive impact on the culture of the white po pulation, especially that of white women, through their activities as healers, seers, expert s in magical practices, and their "dom ination" of the kitchens, and bedrooms, of their maste" (Bush 1990) . Not surpr isingly, they were seen as the heart of the slave conmlunit y.Visitors were impressed by their singing, their head-kerchiefS and dresses, and dleir extravagant man­ n�r of speaking which are now understood as a means of satiriz.ing their maSters. African and Creol e WOI1'len influenced the customs of poor female whites, whom a contempo­ rary portr ayed as behaving like Africans, walking with their children strapped on their lu ps, willie balancing trays with goods on their heads (Beckles 1989: 81). But their main a chi eve ment was the development of a poHtia of self-reliance, grounded in survival str ategies and female networks. These practices and the values attached to them, wluch � osaly n Te rborg Penn has identified as the essential tenets of comemporary African fem­ I nis lll, redefi ned the African COI1U1llIlUty of the diaspora (pp. 3-7) . They created not only t he foundations for 3 new female African identity, but also the foundations for a new 113 114 Above: A fomily €if shIVes (ddt/iV. Etlslalltd l4Iometl slmggled 10 (011· I;nue the act;vit;a they IlIId CIIrried Ot' it' Af rica, such lIS "'lIrkelillg lilt. produce Ihey grcu" 1l1/,;(h erlllbled Iher" to beuer supperl lileir fomi. lies alld lI(hieve some tllliot/omy. (From BtlfiHmr BliSh, 1990.) &lolV:A festive �athering 011 tI We st 11Il1;t'" pfmlliU;o". Wotnell were the heart €if such glllheri" gs as they were tl,e heart oj the ttlSlaved (otlmumi,y, a"d Ihe staull chest dtjwders oj the cutll4re brough, from Ajrim. ieey comm.i tccd - against the capitalist attempt to impose scarcity and dependence � rrllc[U ra1 conditions oflife -to the re_appropriation and concentration in women's as ds of the fundamenta1 means of subsistence, starting from the land. the production of han . . al .. fk I d d . r o od. and the mceT-g eneratlOn transnUSSlOn 0 now e ge an cooperat ion. I CapitalisIYl and the Sexual DiviSon of Labor As this h rief hiscofY of women and primitive aCClilTIuJation has shown, the construction o f II new patriarchal order, making of women the servants of the male work-f orce, was a maj or aspect of capitalist development. On its basis a new sexual division oflabor could be enforced that differentiated not onl y the tasks that women and men should perform, but their experiences, their lives, th eir relatio n to capical and [0 other sectors of the working class. Thus, no less than the inte rnatio nal division oflabor, the sexual division oflabor was above all a power-rela tion, a divisi on within the work-force, while being an inUl1ense boost to capital accumulation . Tills point must be emphasized, given the tendency to atuibuce the leap capicaJ­ ism brough t about in the productivity oflabor only to the specialization of work-tasks. In reality, the advantages which the capitalist class derived from the differentiation between agricultural and industrial labor and within industrial labor itself - celebrated in Adam Smith's ode to pin-maJcing -pale when compared to those it derived from dle degradation of women's work and social position. As I have argued, the power- difference between women and men and the con­ cealment of women's unpaid-labor under the cover of natural inferiorit y, have enabled capitalism to inunensely expand the "unpaid part of the working day,"a nd use the (male) wage to accumulate women's labor; in many cases, they have also served to deflect elass antagonism into an antagonism between men and women. Thus, primitive accumula­ tion has been above all an accumulation of diff erences, inequalities, hierarchies, divisions, which have alienated workers from each other and even from themselves. As we have seen, male workers have often been complicitolls with this process, as they have tried to maintain their power with respect to apical by devaluing and disci­ plining women, children, and the populations d1e capitalist class has colonized . But the power that men have imposed on women by virtue of d1eir access to vag e-Iabor and their reco gniz ed contribution to capitalist accumulation has been paid at the price of self -alien­ atio n, and d1e "primit ive disaccumulat ion" of their own individual and collective powers. In dle next chapters I fu rther examine dlis disaccumulation process by discussing thr ee key aspects of transition from feudalism to capicaJism: dle constitution of the pro­ le � ria n body into a work-m achine, the persecution of women as witches, and the cre­ iltl on of" savages" and "cannibals" both in Europe and the New World. liS I Endnotes 1. Peter Blickle objects to the concept of a "peasant war" because of the socia l position of this revol ution, which included many artisans, miners, and I n1t eU:eC1tuo1 among its ranks. The Peasant War combined ideological sophistication, exp",_ in the tvelve "articles" which the rebels put forward, and a powerful military urlQl .. . ization. The twelve "articles" included: the refusal of bondage, a reductio n of the tithes, a repeal of the poaching law's, an affirmation of the rights to gather WOod, les sening of labor services, a red uction of rents, an affirmation of the right s to ..: the conunon, and an abolition of death taXes (Bickle 1985: 195-201). The <>«:ep. •• tional military prowess demonstrated by the rebels depended in part on the PIt’­ ticipation of prof essional soldiers in the revolt, including the Landsknechte -the fa mous Swizz soldiers who, at the time, were the elite mercenary troops in Europe,. The Landsknechte headed the peasant armies, putting their military expertise. their service and, in various occasions, refused to move against the rebels. In ODe case, they motivated their refusal by arguing that they too came from the peasa lllltyl and that they depended on the peasants for their sustenance in times of peace.Wbea it was clear that they could not be trusted, the German princes mobilized the troopI of the Swabian League, drawn from more remote regions, to break the � resi stance. On the history of the Landsknechte and their participation in the p� Wa r, see Reinhard Baumann, J Lallz;chellecchi (1994: 237-256). 2. The Anabaptists, politicaUy, represented a fusion of’the late medieval social me_.1 ments and the new anti-clerical movement sparked off by the Ref ormation. the medieval heretics, they condemned economic individualism and greed supported a fo rm of Christian communalism. Their take-over of·Mun .. ,,, eiccUftIfl in the wake of the Peasa nt War, when unrest and urban insurrections spread Frankf urt to Cologne and other towns of Northern Germany. In 1531, the took control of the city of Munster, renamed it New Jerusalem. and under influence ofinuuigr.mt Dutch Anabaptists, installed in it a communaJ unver·nn'” based upon the sharing of goods. As Po-Chia Hsia writes, the records of jerusaJem were destroyed and its story has been told only by itS enemies. shouJd not presume that events unfolded as narrated. According to the records, women had at first enjoyed a high degree of freedom in the town; instance, “they could divorce their unbelieving husbands and enter into new riages.” Tltings changed with the decision by the reformed government to duce polygamy in 1534, which provoked an “active resistance” among presumably repressed with imprisonment and even executions (po-Chia 1988.: 58-59). Why this decision was taken is not clear. But the episode more investigation, given the divisive role that the crafts played in the “”ama li’. with regard to wome n.We kn ow, in fact, that the craft campaigned in several tries to exclude women from the waged work-place, and nothing indicates they opposed the persecution of the witches. 3. For the rise of the real wage and the faU of prices in England, see Nort h Thomas (1973: 74). For Florentine wages, see Carlo M. Cipolla (1994: 116 4. s. 6. 7. 8. the fall in the value of output in England see R. H. Britnel (1 993: 156-171). On the stagnation of agricultural production in a number of European countries, see B.H. SlicherV an Bath (1963: 160-170). Rodney Hilton argues that this period saw “a contraction of the rural and industrial economies … probably felt in the first place by the ruling class …. Seigneurial revenues and industrial and conuncrcial profi ts began [Q fall …. Revolt in the towns disorganized industrial production and revolt in the countryside strengthened peasant resistance to the payment of rent. Rent and profits thus dropped even further” (HiltOn 1985: 240-24 1). On Maurice Dobb and the debate on the transition to capitalism, see Harvey J. Kaye, The British Marxist Historia”,. New York: St. Martin’s Press, (1984), 23-69. Critics of Marx’s concept or’pri.tlurive accumulation” include: SamirAmin (1974) and Maria Mies (1986).Whilc SamirAm.in focusses on Marx’s Eurocentrism. Mies st.resses Marx’s blindness to the exploitation of women.A different critique is fo und in Yann Moulier Bout.1ng (1998) who faults Marx for generating the impression that the objective of the ruling class in Europe was to free itself from an unwanted work-f orce. Moulier Boutang underlines that the opposite was the case: land expr opriation aimed to fix workers to their jobs, not to encourage mobility. Capitalism -as MouJier Boutallg stresses -has always been primarily concerned with preventing rhe flight of labor (pp. 16-27). As Michael Perelman points out. the term “primitive accumulation” was actually coined by Adam Smith and rejected by Marx. because of its ahistorical character in Sm ith’s usage. “To underscore his distance from Smith, Marx prefixed the pejo­ rative ‘so-called’ to the title of the final part of the first volume of Capital. which he devoted to the study of primitive acculllulation. Marx, in essence, dismissed Smith’s mythical ‘previous’ accumulation in order to call attention to the actual historical experience” (perlman 1985: 25-26). On the relation between the historical and the logical dimension of “primitive accumu lation” and its implications for political movements today see: Massimo De Angelis, “Marx and Primitive Accumulation. The Continuous Character of Capital ·Enclosures· … In Tile Commoner: www.conulloner. org.uk; Fredy Periman, The Colltj/lu i”g Appea l of Na tionalism. Detroit: Black and Red, 1985; and Mitchel Cohen, “Fredy Perlman: Out in Front of a Dozen Dead Oceans” (Unpublished manuscript, 1998). For a des cription of the systems of the e”comienda. mita. and cateq uil see (among othe,,) Andre Gunder Frank (1978),45; SteveJ. Stern (1982);and Inga Clendinnen (1987).A s described by Gunder Frank. the eIlcomienda was “a system under which righ ts to the labor of the Indian conullunities were granted to Spanish landown­ ers.” But in 1548. the Spaniards “began to replace the etlcomienda de sen/icio by the re par rjmjem o (called cacequil in Mexico and mita in Peru), which required the Indian conunuluty’s chiefs to supply rhe Spanish juez repartidor (distributing judge) with a cert ain number of days of labor per month …. The Spanish official in turn dis­ trib uted this supply of labor to qualified enterprising labor contraccors who were sup pos ed co pay the laborers a certain minimum wage”(1 978: 45). On the efforts of the Spaniards to bind labor in Mexico and Peru in the course of the various 117 I ….. …… . stages of colonization, and the impact on it of the catastrophic collapse of the indigenous population, see again Gunder Frank (ibid.: 43-49). 9. For a discussion of the “second serfdom” see Inunanuel Wallerstein (1974) and Henry Kamen (1971). It is important here to stress chac the newly enserfed peas­ ana were now producing for the international grain market. In other words despite the seem ing backward character of the work-relation imposed upon thern: under the new regime, they were an integral pare of a developing capitalist econ­omy and international capitalist division oflabar. 10. 13m echoing here Marx’s statement in Cap ital,V ol.l:”F orce … is in icselfan eco.. nomic power”(1 909: 824). Far less convincing is Marx’s accompanying observa_ tion, according to which:”F orce is the midwif e of every old society pregnant with a new one” (ibid.). First, midwives bring life into the world, not destruction. This methaphor also suggests that capitalism “evolved” out of forces gestating in the bosom of the feudal world -an assumption which Marx himself refutes in his discussion of primitive accumulation. Comparing force to the generative powen of a midw ife also casts a benign veil over the process of capital accumulation, sug_ gesting necessity, inevitability, and ultimat ely, progress. 11. Slavery had never been abolished in Europe, surviving in pockets, mostly as female domestic slavery. But by the end of the 15m century slaves began to be imponed agai n, by the Portuguese, from Mrica. Attempts to impose slavery continued in England through the 16th cenrury, resulting (after the inrroduction of public relief) in the construction of work-houses and correction houses, which England pio­ neered in Europe. 12. See, on this point, Sanur Amin (1974).T o stress the existence of European slavery in the 16th and 17th centuries (and after) is also important because this fact has been often “forgotten” by European historians. According to Salvatore Bono, this self -induced oblivion was a product of the “Scramble for Mr ica,” which was jus­ tified as a nussion aimed to ternunate slavery on the Af rican continent. Bono argues that Europe’s elites could not admit to having employed slaves in Europe, the alleged cradle of democracy. 13. Immanuel Wallerstein (1974), 90-95; Peter Kriedte (1978), 69-70. 14. Paolo Thea (I 998} has powerfully reconstructed the history of the German artisu who sided with the peasants. 118 “During the Protestant Reformation some among the best 16th-centur y German artistS abandoned their laboratories to join the peasants in struggle …. They drafted documents inspired by the principles of evangelic poverty, the com­ mon sharing of goods, and the redistribution of wealth. Sometimes … they took anns in support of the cause.The endless list of those who, after the military defeaa of May- June 1525, met the rigors of the penal code, mercilessly applied by the winners against the vanquished, includes famous names. Among them are OorgJ Ratget quartered in Pforzheim (Stuttgart) , [Philipp] Dietman beheaded, and [Tilman] Riemenschneider mutilated -both in Wurzburg – [Matthi .. ] Grunewald chased from the court of Magollza where he worked. Holbein the Yo ung was so troubled by the events that he £led from Basel, a city that was torn apart by religious conflict.” [My translation] Also in Switzerland,Au stria, and the Tyrol artists participated in me PeasantWar, including famous ones like Lucas Cranach (Cranach the old) as well as myriad lesser painters and engravers (ibid.: 7). Thea points out that the deeply felt partic­ ipation of the artists to the cause of the peasants is also demonstrated by the reval­ uation of rural themes depicting peasant life -dancing peasants, animals, and flora – in contemporary 16th-century German art (ibid .:12-15; 73,79,80). “The coun­ tryside had become animated … [it] had acquired in the uprising a personality worth of being represe nted” (ibid.: 155). [My translati on]. 15. It was through the prism of the Peasant War and Anabaptism that the European gove rnments, through the 16th and 17th centuries, interpreted and repressed every fo nn of social protest. The echoes of the Anabaptist revolution were felt in Elizabethan EngJand and in France, inspiring uOnost vigilance and severity with regard to any challenge to the constituted auchority.” Anabaptist” became a cursed word, a sign of opprobrium and criminal intent, as “communist” was in the United States in the 19SOS, and “terrorist” is coday. Enrl y 171h-amtu ry Centultl engnwitlg revili ng the Atltl/x’PlislS ‘ belief ill lilt: (OtlltllUtlislj( sIJaritl.� of goods. 16. Village authority and privileges were maintained in the hinterland of some city­ states. In a number of territorial states, the peasants “continued to refuse dues, taxes, and labor services”; “they let me yell and give me nothing,” complained the abbot ofSchussenried, referring to those working on his land (Buckle 1985: 172). In Upper Swabia, though serfdom was not abolished, some of the main peasant 119 grievances relating to inheritance and marriage rights were accepted with the Tre acy of Menullingen of 1526. “On the Upper Rhine, too, some areas reached settlements that were positive for the peasants” (ibid. :172-1 74). In Switzerland, in Bern and Zurich, serfdom ,vas abolished. Improvements in the 1m of the “corn .. mon man” were negotiated in Ty rol and Salzburg (ibid.: 176-179). But “the true child of the revol ution” ,vas the territorial assembly, instituted after 1525 in Upper Swabia, providing the foundation for a system of self-gove rrunent that remain ed in place till the 191h centur y. New territorial assemblies emerged after 1525 ” [real­ izing] in a weakened form one of the demands of 1525: that the C0l1U1l011 man ought to be part of the territorial estates alongside the nobles, the clergy, and the towns.” BlickJe concludes that “Wherever this cause won out, we cannOt say that there the lords crowned their military conquest with political victory, [as] the prince was still bound to the consent of the common man. Only later, during the fo rmation of the absolute state, did the prince succeed in fre eing himself from that consent” (Ibid.: 181-18 2). 17. Ref erring to the growing pauperization brought about across the world by capi­ talist development, the French anthropologist Claude Meillassoux, in Maidnu, Mea l alld MOlley (1981), has argued that this contradiction spells a fu ture crisis for capitalism: “In the end imperialism – as a means of repr oducing cheap labor power -is leading capitalism to a ma jor crisis, for even if there are still millions of people in the world … not directly involved in capitalist employment … how many are still capable owing to the social disruption, famine and wars it brings about, of producing their own subsistence and feeding their childr en?” (1981 :140). 18. The extent of the demographic caeastrophe caused by “the Columbian Exchange” is still debated. Estimates of the population decline in South and Central America, in the first post-ColuJnbian century, range widely, but contemporary scholarly opinion is almost unanimous in likening its effects to an American Holocaust. Andre Gunder Frank writes that: “Within little more than a centur y, the Indian population declined by ninecy percent and even ninecy-five percent in Mexico, Peru, and some other regions” (1978: 43). Similar ly, Noble David Cook argues that: “Perhaps 9 miUion people resided within the linurs delineated by Peru’s con­ temporary boundaries. The number ofilwbitants remaining a century after con­ tact was roughly a tenth of those that were there when the Europeans invaded the Andean world” (Cook 1981: 116). 19 . On the changes in the nature of war in early modern Europe sec, Cunningham and Crell (2000 ),95-102; Kalmer (1998). Cunnin gham and Crell write tha,, “ln the 1490s a large army would have consiSted of20,OOO men, by the 1550. it would have been twice that. while towards the end of the Thirty Years War the leading European staces would have field annies of close to 150,000 men” (2000: 95). 20. Albrecht Diirer’s engraving was not the only representation of the “Four Horsemen.”We have also one by Lucas Cranach (1522) and by Mauheus Merian (16 30). Representations of battlefields, portraying slaughters of soldiers and civil­ ians, viUages in Dames, rows of hanging bodies, are too numerous to mention. War is possibly the main theme of 161b and 171h-century painting, leaking into every repre sentation, even those ostensibly devoted to sacred subjects. 120 I Mt.uhcus Mcriall, FOUR HORSEA fE..J 01;11 .. 111 APOCAU’I’SE (16JO) .. 21.. This outcome reveals the two souls of the Ref ormation: a popular one and elitist one, which very soon split along opposite lines. While the conservative side of the Ref ormation stressed the virtues of work and wealch accumulation, the popular side demanded a society run by “godly love” equality, and conununal solidarity .. On the class dimensions of the Ref ormation see Henry Heller (1986) and Po­ Chia Hsia (1988). 22. Hoskins (1976),121-123. In England the pre- Reformation Church had owned twenty-five CO thirty per cent of the country’s real property. Of this land, Henry VIII sold sixty per cent (Hoskins 1976:121-123).Those who most gained from the confiscation and more eagerly enclosed the newly acquired lands were not the old nobility, nor those who depended on the commons for their keep, but the gentry and the “new men,” especially the lawyers and the merchants, who were the face of greed in the peasants’ imagination (Cornwall 1977: 22-28). It was against these “new men” that the peasants were prone to vent their anger .. A fine snapshot of the winners and losers in the great transfer of land produced by the English Reformation is Ta ble 15 in Kriedte (1983: 60), showing that twenty to twenty-five per cent of the land lost to the Church became the gentry’s property. Following are the most relevant columns .. 121 DISTRIBUTION OF LAND BY SOCIAL GROUPS IN ENGLAND AND WALES : 1.!U2* 1.62!! Great owners 15-20 15-20 Gentry 25 45-50 Yeomen/freeholders 20 25-33 Church and Crown 25-33 5-10 [*excl. Wales] On the consequences of the Refonnation in England for land tenure, see Christopher Hill who writes: “We need nOt idealjze the abbeys as leniem landlords co admit some truth contemporary allegations that the new purchasers shortened leases, racked and evicted tenancs …. ‘Do ye not know; said John Palmer to a group of holders he was evicting, ‘that the king’s grace hath put down all houses of … ” …. � .. friars, and nuns, therefore now is the time come that we gentJemen will pull dotra the houses of such poor knaves as yet be?’ ” (Hill 1958: 41). 23. See Midnight Notes (1990); see also 71Ie Ecologist (1993); and the ongoing debate .. the “enclosures” and the “commons” in 17,e Commo”er, especially n.2, (September 2001), and n.3., Oanuary 2002). 24. Primarily, “enclosure” meant “surrounding a piece of land with hedges, ditches,. other barriers to the free passage of men and animals, the hedge being the mad: of exclusive ownenhip and land occupation. Hence, by enclosure, collecti� use, usually accon1panied by some degree of communal land ownership, wouldl be,. abolished, superseded by individual ownership and separate occ upatio n”l v·:.II _11 1968: 1-2).There were a variety ways to abolish collective land use in the 15 d ….. 16th centuries. The legal paths were (a) the purchase by one person of aU ments and their appurtenant common riglns;” (b) the issuing by [he King of a cial license to enclose, or the passage of an enclosure act by the Parliament; (c) agreement between the landlord and tenants, embodied in a Chancery d«:rec,;( 41 the making of partial enclosures of waste by the lords, under the provisions Statutes of Merton (1235) andWestminister (1285). Roger Manning notes, ever, that these “legal methods … frequently concealed the use of force, tratla,;­ intimidation against the tenants” (Manning 1998: 25). E. D. Fryde, too, �ri, .. ; till “[p]rolonged harassmenc of tenancs combined WitJl threats of eviction s at slightest legal opportunity” and physical violence were used to bring about evictions “particularly during the disorder years 1450-85 [i.e., the War of Roses)” (Fryde 1996: 186). Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) expressed the and desolation that these mass expulsions produced when he spoke of·h”,n “‘.” had become so great devouren and so wild that “they eat up and swallow the men themselves ….. Sheep .. – he added -that “consume and destroy and whole fields. houses and cities.” 25. In 771e /’lVelllioli if Capitalislll (2000), Michael Perelman has emphasized the canee of “customary rigllCS” (e.g .. hunting) noting how dley were often of vital 122 2 7. 28. 29. 3 0. 31 . 32. nificance. making the difference between survival and toeal destitution (pp.38ff.). Garret Hardin’s essay on the “tr agedy of the COnUl l01l5” (1968) was one of the mainstays in the ideologica1 campaign in support ofland privatization in the 1970s. The ;’tragedy;’ in Hardin’s version. is the inevitability of Hobbesian egoism as a determi nant of human behavior. In his view, in a hypothetical common, each herdsman wants to l11ax.im.ize ills gain regardless of the implications of his action for the other herdsmen, so that “ruin is the destination CO which all men rush, each pu”uing his best incerest” (In Baden and Noonan, eds., 1998: 8-9). The “modernization” defense of the enclosures has a long history. but it has received new energy from neo-Iiberalism. Its main advocate has been the World Bank, which has often demanded that gove nunents in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Ocean.ia privatize communal lands as a condition for receiving loans (World Bank I 989). A classic defense of the produ ctivity gains derived from enclosure is fo und in Harriett Bradley (1968, originally published in 1918 ). The more recent academic literature has caken a more even-handed “costs/gains” approach, exemplified by the works of G. E. Mingay (1997) and Robert S. Duplessis (1997: 6S-70} .The batde concerning the enclosures has now crossed the disciplinary boundaries and is being debated also among literary scholars. An example of disciplinary border-crossing is ftichard Burt and John Michael Archer, eds., Ellc/osu”, Acts. Sexuality Property alld Cllltu”, ill Early Moderll Ellglalld (1994) -especially the essays by James R. Siemon, “Landlord Not King: Agrarian Change and Imerarciculation;” and William C. Carroll, ”’The Nursery of Beggary’: Enclosur e,Vagrancy, and Sedition in the Tudor- mart Period,” Willianl C. Carroll has found that there was a lively defense of enclosures and cri­ tique of the cOl1unons in the Tudor period carried out by the spokesmen of the enclosing class. According co this discourse, the enclosures encouraged private enter­ prise, which in turn increased agricultural productivity. while the conUl1Ons were the “nurleries and recept:lcles of thieves, rogues and begga,,” (CarroU 1994: 37-38). DeVries (1976) , 42-43; Hoskins (1976), 11-12. The commons were the sites of popular festivals and other collective activities, like sports,games, and meetings.When they were fenced off, the sociality that had char­ acterized the village conununity was severe ly undermined.Among the rituals that came to an end was “Rogation tide perambuJation,” a yearly procession among the fields meant to bless the future crops, that was prevented by the hedging of the fields (Underdown 1985: 81). On the breaking down of social cohesion see (among othe,,) David Underdown, Rtvel, Riot alld Rebellio ll: Popular Politics and Cul,u”, ill Ellgland, 1603-1660 (1985), especially Chapter 3, which also describes the efforts made by the older nobility to distinguish itself from the IIouvtnux riches. Kriedte (1983), 55; Briggs (1998), 289-3 16. COttage industry was an extension of the manorial, rural industry, reorganized by the capitalist merchants to take advantage of the large pool of labor liberated by the enclosures. With tills move the merchants aimed to circumvent the high wages and power of the urban guilds. This is how the putting-out system was born – a sy stem by which the capitalist merchants distributed among rural families wool or COt ton to spin or weave, and often also the instruments of work, and then picked 123 up the finjshed product. The importance of the put-out system and cottage indus­ try for the development of Brit ish industry can be deduced from the fact that tht entire textile industry, the most important sector in the first phase of capitll ist development, was organjzed in this fashion. The cottage industry had cwo main advantages for employers: it prevented the danger of’combinations’; and it cheap­ ened the cost of labor, since its home-based organization provided the workers with free domestic services and the cooperation of their children and wives, who were treated as helpers and paid low “auxmary” wages. 33. Wage labor was so identified with slavery that the Levellers excluded waged work_ ers from the vote, not considering them sufficiently independent from theif employers to be able to cast a vote. “Why should a free person make oneself a slave?” asked The Fox, a character in Edmund Spenser’s Mother Hubbard’s Yair (1591). In turn Gerrard Winstanley, the leader of the Diggers, declared that it did not make any diffe rence whether one lived under one’s enemy or under one’s brother if one worked for a wage (Hill 1975). 34. Herzog (1989), 45-52.The literature on vagabonds is vast. Among the most impor­ tant on this topic are A. Beier (1974) and B. Geremek’s Poverty,A History (1994). 35. Fletcher (1973), 64-77; Cormvall (1977), 137-241; Beer (1982),82-139. At the beginning of the 16lh century many enclosure riots involved the lesser gentry who used the popular hatred for enclosures, engrossments, and emparkments to setde their feuds with their betters. But, after 1549,”the gentry’s leadership in enclosure disputes dimjlljshed and small-holders or artisans and cottagers were more likely to take the initiative in heading agrarian protests” (Manning 1988: 312). Manning describes the typical victim of an enclosure riot as “the outSider.” “Merchanrs attempting to buy their way into the landed gentry were particularly vulnerable to enclosure riots, as were farmers ofleases. New owners and farmers were the victims of enclosure rims in 24 of the 75 Star Chamber cases. A closely-related category consists of six absentee gendemen” (Manning 1988: 50). 36. Manning (1988),9&-97, 114-116, 281; Mendelson and Crawford (1998). 37. The increasing presence of women in anti-enclosure riots was influenced by a popular beljef that women were “lawless” and could level hedges with impunity (Mendelson and Crawford 1998: 386–387). But the Court of the Stat Chamber went out of irs way co disabuse people of this belief. In 1605, one year after James “s witchcraft law, it ruled that “if women offend in trespass, riot or otherwise, and an action is brought against them and their husbands, d,ey [the husbands] shall pay the fines and damages, notwithstilnding the trespass or the offense is committed widlOut the privity of the husbands” (Manning 1988: 98). 38. On this subject see, among others, Maria Mies (1986). 39. By 1600, real vages in Spain had lost thirty percent of their purchasing power with respect to what they had been in 1511 (Hamilton 1965: 280). On the Price R.evolution, see in particular Earl J. Hanwcon’ s now classic work, America” Treasure alld the Price Revolutioll ill Spaill, 1501-1650 (1965), which studies d,e impact of the America bullion on it; David Hackett Fischer TI,e Great Wave: Price RevolutiotlS alld the Rhythms oj History (1996),which studies price hikes from the Middle Ages 124 to the present – in particular Chapter 2 (pp. 66-113); and Peter Ramsey’s edited volume, 71,e Price Revolution i” Sixteen,l, CelHury England (1 97 1). 40. Braude! (1966) ,VoI. 1,517 -524. 41. As Peter Kriedte (1983) sums up the economic developments of this period: “The crisis sharpened the differentials in income and property. Pauperization and prole tarian ization were paralleled by an incr eased accumulation of wealth …. Wo rk on Chippenham in Cambridgeshire has shown that the bad harvestS of [the late 16th and early 17th centuries] resulted in a decisive sh.ift. Between 1544 and 1712 the medium-sized farms all but disappeared. At the same time the propor­ tion of properties of 90 acres or more rose from 3% to 14%; households without land increased from 32″A. to 63%” (!Criedte 1983: 54-55). 42. Wallerstein (1974),83; Le R.oy Ladurie (1928-1 929). The growing interest of capitalist entrepreneurs for money-lending was perhaps the motivation behind the expulsion of the Jews from most cities and countries of Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries -Parma (1488), Milan (1489), Geneva (1490), Spain (1492), and Austria (1496). Expulsions and pogroms continued for a cemu ry. Until the tide was turned by R.udolph II in 1577, it was illegal for Jews to live in most of We stern Europe. As soon as money-lending became a lucrative business, this activity, previously declared unworthy of a Christian, was rehabilitated, as shown by this dialogue between a peasant and a wealthy burgher, written anonymously in Gennany around 1521: Peas ant:What brings me to you?Wh y,l would like to see how you spend your time. Burgher: How should I spend my time? I sit here counting my mone y, can’t you see? Pea sant:T ell me, burgher, who gave you so much money that you spend all your time counting it? Burgher: You want to know who gave me my money? I shall tell you. A peas­ ant comes knocking at my door and asks me to lend him ten or twenty gulden. I inquire of him whether he owns a pIm of good pasture land or a nice field for plowing. He says: ‘Yes, burgher, 1 have a good meadow and a fine field, worth a hundred gulden the two of them.’ I reply: ‘Excelle nt! Pledge your meadow and your 6eJd as collateral, and if you will undertake to pay one gulden a year as inter­ est, you can have your loan of twenty gulden: Happy to hear the good news, the peasant replies: ‘I gladly give you my pledge. “But I must tell you,’ I rejoin, ‘that if ever you fail to pay your interest on time, I will take possession of your land and make it my property.’ And tlus does not worry the peasam, he proceeds to assign his pasture and field to me as his pledge. I lend him tile money and he pays inter­ est punctually for one year or two; then comes a bad harvest and soon he is behind in his payment. I confiscate his land, evict him and meadow and field are nune. And I do this not only with peasants but with artisans as well. If a tradesman owns a good house I lend him a sum of money on it, and bef ore long the house belongs to me. In this way I acquire much property and weaJth, which is why I spend all my time counting my money. lZS Peasanc: And I thought only the Jews practiced usury! Now I hear that Christians do it, too. Burgher: Usury? Who is talking about usury? Nobody here practices usury. What the debtor pays is interest (G. Strauss: 110-111). 43. With reference to Germany, Peter Kriedte writes that: “Recent research has shown that a build ing worker in Augsburg [in Bavari al was able adequately to maintain his wife and two chiJdren from his annual income during the 6″t three decades of the 16,h century. Thenceforth his �ving standard began to fall. Between 1566 and 1575 and from 1585 to the outbreak of d,e Thirty Years War ltis wages could no longer pay for the subsistence minimwn of his fam_ ily” (Kriedte 1983: 51-52). On d,e impoverishment of the Europen working class due to the enclosures and the Price Revolution see also C. Lis & H. Soly (1979), 72-79. As they write, in England “between 1500 and 1600 grain prices rose six­ fold, while wages rose threefold. Not surprisingly, workers and cottars were but ‘house beggars’ for Francis Bacon.” In the same period, in France,the purchasing power of cottars and waged workers feU by forty five percent. “In New Castile … wage labour and poverty were considered synonymous.” (ibid.:72-4). 44. On the growth of prostitution in the 16th century see, Nickie Roberts, Wlhores in History: Prostitution j” �sle”, Society (1992). 45. Manning (1988); Fletcher (1973); Cornwall (1977); Beer (1982); Beree (1990); Lom bardini (1983). 46. Kamen (1971),Berce (1990), 169-179; Underdown (I 985).As David Underdown notes: “The pronunent role played by female [food] riote” has often been noted. At Southampton in 1608 a group of women refused to wait while the corpor ation debated what to do about a ship being loaded with grain for London; they boarded it and seized the cargo. Women were thought to be the likely rioters in the inci­ dent in Weymouth in 1622, while at Dorchester in 1631 a group (some of them inmates of the workhouse) stopped a cart in the mistaken belief that it contained wheat; one of them complained of a local merchant who “did send away the best fruits of the land, as butter, cheese, wheat, etc., over the seas” (1985: 117). On women’s presence in food riots, see also Sara Mendelson and Patricia Crawford (1998), who write that “women played a prominent role in grain riots [in England].” For instance, “[a]t Maldon in 1629 . crowd of over a hundred women and children boarded the ships to prevent grain from being slupped away.”They were ted by a “Captain Ann Carter, later tried and hanged” for her leading role in the protest (ibid.: 385-86). 47. In a similar vein were the conunents of a physician in the Italian city of Bergamo, during d,e fanune of1630: “The 10adUng and terror engendered by a maddened crowd of half dead peo­ ple who imporrune all comers in the streetS, in piazzas, in the churches, at street doors, so that life is incolerable. and in addition the foul stench rising from them as well as the constant spectale of the dying … this cannot be believed by anyon e who has not experienced it” (quoted by Carlo M. CipoUa 1993: 129). 48. On 16th and 17th-century protest in Europe, see Henry Kamen, TIlt IratI Cel/tury 126 (19 72), in particular Chapter 10, “Popular Rebellion. 1550-1660” (pp. 331- 385). As Kamen writes, “The crisis of 1595-7 was operative throughout Europe. with repercussions in England , France, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Probably never before in European history had SO many popular rebel­ lions coincided in time”(p. 336). There were rebellions in Naples in 1595, 1620, 1647 (ibid.: 334-35, 350, 361-63). In Spain, rebellions erupted in 1640 in Catalonia, in Grenada in 1648,in Cordova and Seville in 1652. For riots and rebellions in 16th and 17th.. cenrury England, see Cornwall (1977) ; Underdown (1985), and Manning (1 988) . On revolt in pain and Italy, see also Braudel (1976,Vol. 11),738-739. 49. On vagrancy in Europe, beside Beier and Geremek, see Braudel (1976),V ol. II, 739-743; Kamen (1972),3 90-394. 50. On the rise of pro percy crimes in the wake of me Price Revolution see the Charter on p.14’1 in this volume. See Richard J. Evans (1996) ,35; Kamen (1972),39 7-403; and Lis and Soly (1984). Lis and Soly write that “,tlhe available evidence suggests that the overall crime rate did indeed rise markedly in Elizabethan and early Stuart England, especially between 1590 and 1620” (p. 218). 51. In England, among the momen[5 of sociality and collective reproduction that were tenninated due to the loss of the open fields and the COnUllQI15 there were the processions that were held in the spring to bless the fields – which could no longer take place once the fields were fenced off-and the dances that were held around the Maypole on May First (Underdown 1985). 52. Lis and Soly (1979), 92. On [he instirution of Public Assistance, see Geremek’s Po verty A HiS/ory (1994), Chapter 4: “The Reform of Charity” (pp. 142-177). 53. Ya nn Moulier Boutang, De L’tSclava ge au salariat (1998 ),291-293. I only partially agree with Moulier Boutang when he claims that Poor Relief was nOt so much a response to the misery produced by land expropriation and price inflation, but a measure intended to prevent the flight of workers and thereby create a local labor market (1 998}.As already mentioned, MouIier Boucang overemphasizes the degree of mobility available to the dispossessed proletariat as he does not con­ sider the different situation of women. Furthermore, he underplays the degree to which assistance was the result of a struggle – a struggle that cannOt be reduced to the flight of labor, but included assaults, the invasion of towns by masses of sca.rving rural people (a constant feature, in Inid-1 6th-cenrury France) and other fo rms of attack. It is not coincidence, in this context, that Norwich, the center of the Kett Rebellion became, shortly after its defeat, the center and the model of Poor Relief refon115. 54. The Sp.nish human,i” Juan Luis Vives, who was knowledgeable about the poor relief systems of the Flanders and Spain, was one of the main supporters of pub­ lic charity. In his De Sub”.”” ioll Pal/perum (1526) he argued that “secular author­ ity rather than the Church should be resp onsible for the aid [0 the poor” (Geremek 1994: 187). He also stressed [hat authorities should find work for the able-bodied, insisting that “tlle dissolute, the crooked, the thieving and the idle should be given the hardest work, and the most badly paid, in order that their example might serve as a deterrent to others” (ibid.). 55. The main work on the rise of work-house and correction houses is Dario Melossi 127 and Massimo Pavarini, 111t Priso” and tilt Factory: Origi,u oj tilt Penitatlliary System (1981).The authors point out that the main purpose of incarceration was to break the sense of identity and solidarity of the poor. See also Geremek (1994),206- 229. On the schemes concocted by EngJish proprietors to incarcerate the poor in their parishes, see Marx, Capita/Vol. 1 (1909: 793). For France, see Foucault, Madness and Civilizatiotl (1965), especially Chapter 2:”The Great Confinement” (pp. 38-64). 56. While Hackett Fischer connects the 17th century decline ofpoulation in Europ e co the social effects of the Price Revolution (pp. 91-92), Peter Kriedte presents a more complex picture, arguing that demographic decline was a combination of both Malthusian and socio-economic factors. The decline was, in his view, a response CO both the population increase of the early 16th century, on one side, and on the other to the landlords’ appropriation of the larger portion of the agri­ cultural income (p. 63). An imeresting observation which supports my arguments concerning the con­ nection between demographic decline and pro-natalist state policies is offered by Robert S. Duplessis (1997) who writes that the recovery afier the population cri­ sis of the 17th century was far swifter than that after the Black Death. It took a century for the population to scan growing again after the epidemic of1348, while in the 17th century the growth process was reactivated within less than half a cen­ tury (p. 143).This estimates would indicate the presence in 17″‘-century Europe of a far higher naca1ity rate, possibly to be attributed to the fierce attack on any form of contraception. 57. “Bio-power”is the concept Foucault used in his History ofSexuality:An Iutrodud;on (1978) to describe the shift from an authoricarian form of governnlent to one more decentralized, centered on the “fostering of the power of life”in 19th-cen­ nlry Europe. “Bio-power” expresses the growing concern, at the state level, for the sanitary,seKUaI,and penal control of individual bodies,as well as population growth and population movements and their insertion into the economic realm. According to this paradigm, the rise of bio-power went hand in hand with the rise of liberalism and marked the end of the juridical and monarchic state. 58. I make this distinction with the Canadian sociologist Bruce Curtis’ discussion of the Foucauldian concept of “population” and “bio-power” in mind. Curtis con­ trasts the concept of “populousness,” which was current in the 16th and 17 1h cen­ turies, with the notion of “population .. that became the basis of the modern sci­ ence of demography in the 19th century. He points out that “populousness” was an organic and hierarchi cal concept. When the mercantilists used it they were con­ cerned with the part of the social body that creates wealth, i.e., actual or poten­ tial laborers.The later concept of “population” is an atomistic one. “Population consists of so many undifferentiated atoms distributed through abstract space and time” -Curtis writes – “with its own laws and structures.” I argue, however, that there is a continuity between these two notions, as in both the mercantilis t and liberal capitalist period, the notion of population has been functional to the reproduction of labor-power. 59. The heyday of Mercantilism was in the second half of the 17th century, its dOIll- 128 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. ina nee in economic life being associated with the names of William Petty (1 623-1687) and Jean Bapti”e Colbert, the finance minister of Louis XIV. However, the late 17th-century mercantilists only systematized or applied theories that had been developing since the 16th century. Jean Bodin in France and Giova nni Botero in Italy are considered proto-mercantilist economiscs. One oCthe first systematic formulations of mercantilist ecatlontic theory is found in Thomas Mun’s ElIg’alld� 1’e”, .. “, by Forraign Trade (1622). For a discussion of the new legislation against infanticide see (among others) John Riddle (1997), 163-16 6; Merry Wiesner (1993), 52-53; and Mendelson and Crawf ord (19 98). who write that “[t1he crime of infanticide was one that single women were more likely to conmuc than any other group in society. A study of inf anticide in the early seventeenth century showed that of sixty mothers, fifty three were single, six were widows”(p. 149). Statistics also show that infanticide was pun­ ished even more frequcntly than witchcraft. Margaret King writcs that Nuremberg “exccuted fourteen women for that crime between 1578 and 1615 , but only one witch. The Parliament of Rauen from 1580s to 1606 prosecuted about as many cases of illf.mticide as witchc raft, but punished infanticide more severely. Calvinist Geneva shows a much higher rate of execution for infanticide that witchcraft; from 1590 to 1630, nine women of eleven charged were executed for inf anticide, com­ pared to only one of thirty suspects for witchcraft (p.10). These estimates are con­ finned by Merry Wiesner, who writes that “in Geneva, for example. 25 women out of 31 charged with infanticide during the period 1595 -1712 were executed, as compared with 19 out of122 charged with witchcraft (1993: 52). Women were executed for infanticide in Europe as late as the 18th century. An interesting article on this topic is Robert Fletcher’s “The Witches Pharmakopeia” (1896). The reference is to an Italian feminiSt song from 1971 tided “Aborto eli Stato” (State Aborti on). Margaret L. IGng, Womell oJ,”e Rellaissance (1991),78. For the closing of broth­ cIs in Germany sec Merry Wiesner, W1)rkillg W1mlcII ;/1 Rellai ssallce Germany (1986 ),194-209. An cxtensive catalogue of the places and years in which women were cxpeUed fro m the crafts is found in David Herlihy, Wome”, Family a”d Society ill Medieval Europe: Historica’ Essays. Providence: Berghahan, 1978-1 99 1. See also Merry Wiesner (1986), 174-185. Martha Howell (1986), Chapter 8,174-183. Howell writes: “Comedies and satires of the period, for example, often portrayed market WOme n and trades women as shrews, with characterizations that not only ridiculed Or scolded them for taking on roles in market production but frequently even charged d,em with sexual aggressi on”(p.182). In a thorough critique of 17th-century social contract theory, as formuJated by Th omas Hobbes and John Locke, Carol Pateman (1988) argues that the “social Cont ract” -vas based on a more fundamental “sexual contract,” which recognized m en’s right CO appr opriate women’s bodies and women’s labor. Ruth Mazo Karras (1996) writes that ” ‘Con unon woman’ meant a woman avail- 129 able to all men; unlike ‘collunon man’ which denoted someone of humble ori­ gins and could be used in either a derogatory or a lauda cory sense, it cUd not con­ vey any meaning either of non-gentile behavior or of class sol.idarity”(p. 138). 68. For the family in the period of the “transition,” sec Lawrence Stone (1977); and Andre Burguiere and Fran�ois Lebrull,”Priescs. Prince, and Family,”in Burgujere, et aI., A History of elle Family: 71/t [mpace of Modemiry (1996). Volume Two, 95ff. 69. On the character of t 7th-century patriarchalism and, in particular, the concept of patriarchal power in sociaJ contraCC theory, see again Pateman (1988); Zilla Eisenstein, TI,e Radical Future of Liberal Femj”ism (1981); andMargaret R.. SOllunerville, Sex a”d Subjecrio,,:Arritudes To Wome” [” Early Modem Society (1995). Discussing the changes contract theory brought about in England. in the legal and philosophica1 attitude towards women, Sonmlerville argues that the contrac­ tarians supported the subordination of women to men as much as the patriar­ chalists, but justified it on different grounds. Being at least formally cOl1unitted to the principle or’natural equality,” and “government by consent,” in defense of male supremacy they invoked the theory of women’s “narural inferiority,” according to which women wouJd consent to their husbands’ appropriation of their property and voting rights upon realizing their intrinsic weakness and necessary depend­ ence on men. 70. See Underdown (1985a), “The Taming of the Scold: The Enforcemem of Patriarchal Authority in Early Modern England,” in Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson (1985),116-136; Mendelson and Crawford (1998),69-71. 71. On women’s loss of rights in 16th and 17th-cenrury Europe, see (among others) Merry Wiesner (1993), who writes that: “The spread of Roman law had a largely negative effect on women’s civil legal status in the early modern period both because of the views of women which jurists chose to adopt from it and the stricter enforcement of existing laws to which it gave rise” (p.33). 72. Adding to the dramas and tracts also the court records of the period, Underdown concludes that “between 1560 and 1640 … such records disclose an intense preoccupation with women who are a visible threat to the parriar­ chal system. Women scolding and brawling with their neighbors, single women refusing CO enter service, wives domineering or beating their husbands: all seem to surface more frequently than in the period inmlediately before or afterwards. It will nor go unnnoticed [hat [his is also [he period when witchcraft accusa­ tions reach a peak” (1985a: 119). 73. lames Blaut (1992a)points out that within a few decades after 1492 “the rate of growth and change speeded up dramatically and Europe entered a period of rapid development.” He writes: 130 “Colonial enterprise in the 16th century produced capital in a number of ways. One was gold ands silver lnining. A second was plantation agricuJrure, principally in Brazil.A th.ird was trade with A.sia in spice, cloth and much more. A fouM ele­ ment was the profit returned to Euro pean houses from a variety of productive and commercial enterprises in theAmericas … . A fifth vas slaving. Accumulation from these sources was massive (p.38). 74. Exemplary is the case of Bermuda, cited by Elaine Fomlan Crane (1990) . Crane writes that several white women in Bermuda were owners of slaves -usually other women -thanks to whose Jabor they were able to maintain a certain degree of economjc autonomy (pp. 231-258). 75. June Nash (1980) writes that “A significant change came in 1549 when racial ori­ gin became a fa ctor, along with legally sanctioned marital unions, in defining rights of succession.The new law stated that no I11ulatto (offipring of a black man and an Indian women), mestizo, person born out of wedlock was allowed to have Indians in encomienda …. Mestizo and illegitimate became almost synonymous” (p. 140). 76. A coyota was a part-mestiza and part-Indian woman. Ruth Behar (1987 ).45. 77. The most deadly ones were the mercury mines, like that in Huancavelica, in which thousands of workers died of slow poisoning amidst horrible sufferings. As David Noble Cook writes: “Laborers in the Huanc avelica mine faced both inunediate and long term dan­ gers. Cave-ins. floods. and falls as a result of slipping shafts posed daily threats. Intermediate health hazards were presented by a poor diet, inadequate ventilation in the underground challlbers, and a sharp temperature difference between the mi ne interiors and the rarefied Andean atmosphere …. Wo rkers who remained for long periods in the mines perhaps suffered the worst fate of all. Dust and fine par­ ticles were released into the air by the striking of the tools used to break the ore loose. Indians inhaled the dust, which contained four dangerous substances: mer­ cury vapors, arsenic, arsen.ic anhydride, and cinnabar. Long exposure … resul ted in death. Known as mal de la “,i”a, or mine sickness, it was incurable when advanced. In less severe cases the gums were ulcerated and eaten away … (pp.205-6) . 78. Barbara Bush (1990) points out that. if they wamed to abort, slave women cer­ tainly knew how to. having had available to them the knowledge brought from Mr ica (p. 141 ). 131 Title page of A”drcas Vtsllli”s’ DEi HUMANt CORPORIS FABR.1CA (Aldl”‘ , 1543). TI,e tri””,ph of the mnle, uppn c/Jus, IN’trinrclml order throug h tilt (lin” st;tIU;O” of Ihe IIeIV nlmlom;CilI tl,e(l(rt could “ot be mort complete , OJ the U.'(lmnn dissected (md dcl;vcrt.d to tilt: ,mbticgllZe, the llUtllor tells us IIIlJ t “in l Sfil'” Jem oJbci ng /ratlged /she/ hnd declnred “t1Seif prrgtUJlJ/,” bUI ‘!fier it”US I ered tlml sht WlIS not, s/,t 14W hutI.’!. TI,e ftmalejigurt in the bilck (ptri”rps” prostitute or iJ midu1fr) 10uIM her eyts, possibly aslmmtd i” frolll of tlu’ ob#”” ity of the senfe fwd ilS implicit viole,,!t.
Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Your title page and bibliography (and any other pages that are not written) do not count toward
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Walter Rodney 1973 How Europe Underdeveloped Africa Published by: Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, London and Tanzanian Publishing House, Dar-Es-Salaam 1973, Transcript from 6th reprint, 1983; Transcribed: by Joaquin Arriola. To Pat, Muthoni, Mashaka and the extended family Contents Preface Chapter One. Some Questions on Development 1.1 What is Development 1.2 What is Underdevelopment? Chapter Two. How Africa Developed Before the Coming of the Europeans up to the 15th Century http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/index.ht m (1 of 3) [8/22/05 11:01:42 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 2.1 General Over-View 2.2 Concrete Examples Chapter Three. Africa’s Contribution to European Capitalist Development — the Pre-Colonial Period 3.1 How Europe Became the Dominant Section of a World- Wide Trade System 3.2 Africa’s contribution to the economy and beliefs of early capitalist Europe Chapter Four. Europe and the Roots of African Underdevelopment — to 1885 4.1 The European Slave Trade as a Basic Factor in African Underdevelopment 4.2 Technological Stagnation and Distortion of the African Economy in the Pre-Colonial Epoch 4.3 Continuing Politico-Military Developments in Africa — 1500 to 1885 Chapter Five. Africa’s Contribution to the Capitalist Development of Europe — the Colonial Period 5.1 Expatriation of African Surplus Under Colonialism http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/index.ht m (2 of 3) [8/22/05 11:01:42 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 5.2 The Strengthening of Technological and Military Aspects of Capitalism Chapter Six. Colonialism as a System for Underdeveloping Africa 6.1 The Supposed Benefits of Colonialism to Africa 6.2 Negative Character of the Social, Political and Economic Consequences 6.3 Education for Underdevelopment 6.4 Development by Contradiction Walter Rodney Archive | Marxism & Anti-Imperialism in Africa http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/index.ht m (3 of 3) [8/22/05 11:01:42 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Chapter Four. Europe and the Roots of African Underdevelopment — to 1885 ‘The relation between the degree of destitution of peoples of Africa and the length and nature of the exploitation they had to endure is evident. Africa remains marked by the crimes of the slave-traders: up to now, her potentialities are restricted by under-population.’ Ahmed Sekou Toure, Republic of Guinea, 1962 4.1 The European Slave Trade as a Basic Factor in African Underdevelopment To discuss trade between Africans and Europeans in the four centuries before colonial rule is virtually to discuss slave trade. Strictly speak ing, the African only became a slave when he reached a society where he worked as a slave. Before that, he was first a free man and then a captive. Nevertheless, it is acceptable to talk about the trade in slave s to refer to the shipment of captives from Africa to various other parts of the world where they were to live and work as the property of Europeans. The title of this section is deliberately chosen to call attention to the fact that the shipments were all by Europeans to market s controlled by Europeans, and this was in the interest of European capitalism and nothing else. In East Africa and the Sudan, many http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (1 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Africans were taken by Arabs and were sold to Arab buyers. This is known (in European books) as the ‘Arab Slave Trade’. Therefore, let it be clear that when Europeans shipped Africans to European buyers it was the ‘European Slave trade’ from Africa. Undoubtedly, with few exceptions such as Hawkins, European buyers purchased African captives on the coasts of Africa and the transaction between themselves and Africans was a form of trade. It is also true tha t very often a captive was sold and resold as he made his way from the interior to the port of embarkation — and that too was form of trade. However, on the whole, the process by which captives were obtained on African soil was not trade at all. It was through warfare, trickery, banditry and kidnapping. When one tries to measure the effect of European slave trading on the African continent, it is very essential to realise that one is measuring the effect of social violence rather than trade in any normal sense of the word. Many things remain uncertain about the slave trade and its consequences for Africa, but the general picture of destructiveness is clear, and that destructiveness can be shown to be the logical consequence of the manner of recruitment of captives in Africa. One of the uncertainties concerns the basic question of how many Africans were imported. This has long been an object of speculation, with estimates ranging from a few millions to over one hundred million. A recent study has suggested a figure of about ten million Africans landed alive in the Americas, the Atlantic islands and Europe. Because it is a low figure, it is already being used by European scholars who are http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (2 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 apologists for the capitalist system and its long record of brutality in Europe and abroad. In order to white-wash the European slave trade, they find it convenient to start by minimising the numbers concerned. The truth is that any figure of Africans imported into the Americas which is narrowly based on the surviving records is bound to be low, because there were so many people at the time who had a vested interest in smuggling slaves (and withholding data). Nevertheless, if the low figure of ten million was accepted as a basis for evaluating the impact of slaving on Africa as a whole, the conclusions that could legitimately be drawn would confound those who attempt to make light of the experience of the rape of Africans from 1445 to 1870. On any basic figure of Africans landed alive in the Americas, one would have to make several extensions — starting with a calculation t o cover mortality in transhipment. The Atlantic crossing or ‘Middle Passage’, as it was called by European slavers, was notorious for the number of deaths incurred, averaging in the vicinity of 15% to 20%. There were also numerous deaths in Africa between time of capture and time of embarkation, especially in cases where captives had to travel hundreds of miles to the coast. Most important of all (given that warfa re was the principal means of obtaining captives) it is necessary to make some estimate as to the number of people killed and injured so as to extract the millions who were taken alive and sound. The resultant figure would be many times the millions landed alive outside of Africa, and it is that figure which represents the number of Africans directly removed from the population and labour force of Africa because of the establishment of slave production by Europeans. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (3 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 The massive loss to the African labour force was made more critical because it was composed of able-bodied young men and young women. Slave buyers preferred their victims between the ages of 15 and 35, and preferably in the early twenties; the sex ratio being about two men to one woman. Europeans often accepted younger African children, but rarely any older person. They shipped the most healthy wherever possible, taking the trouble to get those who had already survived an attack of smallpox, and who were therefore immune from further attacks of that disease, which was then one of the world’s great kill er diseases. Absence of data about the size of Africa’s population in the 15th century makes it difficult to carry out any scientific assessment of the results of the population outflow. But, nothing suggests that there was any increase in the continent’s population over the centuries of slav ing, although that was the trend in other parts of the world. Obviously, fewe r babies were born than would otherwise have been the case if millions of child-bearing ages were not eliminated. Besides, it is essential to recognise that the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean was not the onl y connection which Europeans had with slaving in Africa. The slave trade on the Indian Ocean has been called the ‘East African slave trade’ and the ‘Arab slave trade’ for so long that it hides the extent to whi ch it was also a European slave trade. When the slave trade from East Africa was at its height in the 18th century and in the early 19th century, the destination of most captives was the European-owned plantation economies of Mauritius, Réunion and Seychelles-as well as the Americas, via the Jape of Good Hope. Resides, Africans labouring as http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (4 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 slaves in certain Arab countries in the 18th and 19th centuries were all ultimately serving the European capitalist system which set up a demand for slave-grown products, such as the cloves grown — Zanzibar under the supervision of Arab masters. No one has been able to come up with a figure representing total losses to the African population sustained through the extraction of slave labour from all areas to all destinations over the many centuries that slave trade existed. However, on every other continent from the 15th century onwards, the population showed constant and sometimes spectacular natural increase; while it is striking that the same did not apply to Africa. One European scholar gave the following estimates of world population (in millions) according to continents: 1650 1750 1850 1900 Africa 100 100 100 120 Europe 103 144 274 423 Asia 257 437 656 857 None of the above figures are really precise, but they do indicate a consensus among researchers on population that the huge African continent has an abnormal record of stagnation in this respect, and ther e is no causative factor other than the trade in slaves to which attention can be drawn. An emphasis on population loss as such is highly relevant to the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (5 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 question of socio-economic development. Population growth played a major role in European development in providing labour, markets, and the pressures which led to further advance. Japanese population growth had similar positive effects; and in other parts of Asia which remained pre-capitalist, the size of the population led to a much more intensive exploitation of the land than has ever been the case in what is still a sparsely-peopled African continent. So long as the population density was low, then human beings viewed as units of labour were far more important than other factors of production such as land. From one end of the continent to the other, it is easy to find examples that African people were conscious that population was in their circumstances the most important factor of production. Among the Bemba, for instance, numbers of subjects were held to be more important than land. Among the Shambala of Tanzania, the same feeling was expressed in the saying ‘a king is people’. A mong the Balanta of Guinea-Bissau, the family’s strength is represented by the number of hands there are to cultivate the land. Certainly, many African rulers acquiesced in the European slave trade for what they considered to be reasons of self-interest, but on no scale of rationalit y could the outflow of population be measured as being anything but disastrous for African societies. African economic activity was affected both directly and indirectly by population loss. For instance, when the inhabitants of a given area were reduced below a certain number in an environment where tsetse fly was present, the remaining few had to abandon the area. In effect, http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (6 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 enslavement was causing these people to lose their battle to tame and harness nature — a battle which is at the basis of development. Violence also meant insecurity. The opportunity presented by European slave dealers became the major (though not the only) stimulus for a great deal of social violence between different African communities and within any given community. It took the form more of raiding and kidnapping than of regular warfare, and that fact increased the element of fear and uncertainty. Both openly and by implication, all the European powers n the 19th century indicated their awareness of the fact that the activities connected with producing captives were inconsistent with other economic pursuits. That was the time when Britain in particular wanted Africans to collect palm produce and rubber and to grow agricultural crops for export in place of slaves; and it was clear that slave-raiding was violently conflicting with that objective in Western, Eastern and Central Africa. Long before that date, Europeans accepted that fact when their self-interest was involved. For example, in the 17th century, the Portuguese and Dutch actually discouraged slave trade on the ‘Gol d Coast’ for they recognised that it could be incompatible with gold tr ade. However, by the end of that century, gold had been discovered in Brazil, and the importance of gold supplies from Africa was lessened. Within the total Atlantic pattern, African slaves became more important than gold, and Brazilian gold was offered for African captives at Whydah (Dahomey) and Accra. At that point, slaving began undermining the ‘Gold Coast’ economy and destroying the gold trade . Slave-raiding and kidnapping made it unsafe to mine and to travel with http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (7 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 gold; and raiding for captives proved more profitable than gold-mining. One European on the scene noted that ‘as one fortunate marauding makes a native rich in a day, they therefore exert themselves rather in war, robbery and plunder than in their old business of digging and collecting gold’. The above changeover from gold-mining to slave-raiding took place within a period of a few years between 1700 and 1710, when the ‘Gold Coast’ came to supply about 5,000 to 6,000 captives per year. By the end of the 18th century, a much smaller number of captives were exported from the ‘Go1d Coast’, but the damage had already been do ne. It is worth noting that Europeans sought out different parts of West and Central Africa at different times to play the role of major suppliers of slaves to the Americas. This meant that virtually every section of the long western coastline between the Senegal and Cunene rivers had at least a few years experience of intensive trade in slaves — with all its consequences. Besides, in the history of Eastern Nigeria, the Congo, Northern Angola and Dahomey, there were periods extending over decades when exports remained at an average of many thousands per year. Most of those areas were also relatively highly developed within the African context. They were lead rig forces inside Africa, whose energies would otherwise have gone towards their own self- improvement and the betterment of the continent as a whole. The changeover to warlike activities and kidnapping must have affected all branches of economic activity, and agriculture in particular. Occasionally, in certain localities food production was increased to http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (8 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 provide supplies for slave ships, but the overall consequence of slaving on agricultural activities in Western, Eastern and Central Africa were negative. Labour was drawn off from agriculture and conditions became unsettled. Dahomey, which in the 16th century was known for exporting food to parts of what is now Togo, was suffering from famines in the 19th century. The present generation of Africans will readily recall that in the colonial period when able-bodied men left the ir homes as migrant labourers that upset the farming routine in the home districts and often caused famines. Slave trading after all, meant migration of labour in a manner one hundred times more brutal and disruptive. To achieve economic development, one essential condition is to make the maximum use of the country’s labour and natural resources. Usually, that demands peaceful conditions, but there have been times in history when social groups have grown stronger by raiding their neighbours for women, cattle and goods, because they then used the ‘booty’ from the raids for the benefit of their own community. Sla ving in Africa did not even have that redeeming value. Captives were shipped outside instead of being utilised within any given African community for creating wealth from nature. It was only as an accidental by-product that in some areas Africans who recruited captives for Europeans realised that they were better off keeping some captives for themselves. In any case, slaving prevented the remaining population from effectively engaging in agriculture and industry, and it employed professional slave hunters and warriors to destroy rather than build. Mite apart from the moral aspect and the immense suffering that it http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (9 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 caused, the European slave trade was economically totally irrational from the viewpoint of African development. For certain purposes, it is necessary to be more specific and to speak o f the trade in slaves not in general continent-wide terms but rather with reference to the varying impact on several regions. The relative intensity of slave-raiding in different areas is fairly well known. Some South African peoples were enslaved by the Boers and some North African Muslims by Christian Europeans, but those were minor episodes. The zones most notorious for human exports were, firstly, West Africa from Senegal to Angola along a belt extending about 200 miles inland and, secondly, that part of East Central Africa which today covers, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Northern Zambia and Eastern Congo. Furthermore, within each of those broad areas, finer distinctions can be drawn. It might therefore appear that slave trade did not adversely affect the development of some parts of Africa, simply because exports were non- existent or at a low level. However, the contention that European slave trade was an underdeveloping factor for the continent as a whole must be upheld, because it does not follow that an African district which did not trade with Europe was entirely free from whatever influences were exerted by Europe. European trade goods percolated into the deepest interior, and (more significantly) the orientation of large areas of t he continent towards human exports that other positive inter-actions were thereby ruled out. The above proposition may be more fully grasped by making some http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (10 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 comparisons. In any given economy, the various components reflect the well-being of others. Therefore, when there is depression in one sector, that depression invariably transfers itself to others to some extent. Similarly, when there is buoyancy in one sector then others benefit. Turning to biological sciences, it will be found that students of ecolog y recognise that a single change, such as the disappearance of a small species could trigger off negative or positive reactions in spheres that superficially appear unconnected. Parts of Africa left ‘free’ by e xport trends in captives must have been affected by the tremendous dislocation — in ways that are not easy to comprehend, because it is so much a question of what might have happened. Hypothetical questions such as ‘what might have happened if . . . ?’ sometimes lead to absurd speculations. But it is entirely legitimate and very necessary to ask ‘what might have happened in Barotseland (southern Zambia) if there were not generalised slave-trading across t he whole belt of central Africa which lay immediately north of Barotseland?’. ‘What would have happened in Buganda if the Katangese were concentrating on selling copper to the Baganda instead of captives to Europeans?’ During the colonial epoch, the British forced Africans to sing Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves Britons never never never shall be slaves The British themselves started singing the tune in the early 18th century, at the height of using Africans as slaves. ‘What would have http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (11 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 been Britain’s level of development had millions of them been put to work as slaves outside of their homeland over a period of four centuries?’ Furthermore, assuming that those wonderful fellows could never never never have been slaves, one could speculate further on the probable effects on their development had continental Europe been enslaved. Had that been the case, its nearest neighbours would have been removed from the ambit of fruitful trade with Britain. After all, trade between the British Isles and places like the Baltic and the Mediterranean is unanimously considered by scholars to have been the earliest stimulus to the English economy in the late feudal and early capitalist period, even before the era of overseas expansion. One tactic that is now being employed by certain European (including American) scholars is to say that the European slave trade was undoubtedly a moral evil, but it was economically good for Africa. Here attention will be drawn only very briefly to a few of those arguments to indicate how ridiculous they can be. One that receives much emphasis that African rulers and other persons obtained Europe commodities in exchange for their captives, and this was how Africans gained ‘wealth’. This suggestion fails to take into account the fa ct that several European imports were competing with and strangling African products; it fails to take into account the fact that none of the long l ist of European articles were of the type which entered into the productive process, but were rather items to be rapidly consumed or stowed away uselessly; and it incredibly overlooks the fact that the majority of the imports were of the worst quality even as consumer goods — cheap gin, cheap gunpowder, pots and kettles full of holes, beads, and other http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (12 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 assorted rubbish. Following from the above, it is suggested that certain African kingdoms grew strong economically and politically a consequence of the trade with Europeans. The greatest of the West African kingdoms, such as Oyo, Benin, Dahomey and Asante are cited as examples. Oyo and Benin were great, before making contact with Europeans, and while both Dahomey and Asante grew stronger during the period of the European slave trade, the roots of their achievements went back to much earlier years. Furthermore — and this is a major fallacy in the argument of the slave trade apologists — the fact that a given Africa n state grew politically more powerful at the same time as it engaged in selling captives to Europeans is not automatically to be attributed to t he credit of the trade in slaves. A cholera epidemic may kill thousands in a country and yet the population increases. The increase obviously came about in spite of and not because of the cholera. This simple logic escapes those who speak about the European slave trade benefitting Africa. The destructive tendency of slave trading can be clearly established; and, wherever a state seemingly progressed in the epoch of slave trading, the conclusion is simply that it did so in spite of the adverse effects of a process that was more damaging than cholera. This is the picture that emerges from a detailed study of Dahomey, for instance, and in the final analysis although Dahomey did its best to expand politically and militarily while still tied to slave trade, that form of economic activity seriously undermined its economic base and left it much worse off. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (13 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 A few of the arguments about the economic benefits of the European slave trade for Africa amount to nothing more than saying that exporting millions of captives was a way pf avoiding starvation in Africa! To attempt to reply to that would be painful and time-wasting. But, perhaps a slightly more subtle version of the same argument requires a reply: namely, the argument that Africa gained because in the process of slave trading new food crops were acquired from the American continent and these became staples in Africa. The crops in question are maize and cassava, which became staples in Africa late in the 19th century and in the present century. But the spread of food crop s is one of the most common phenomena in human history. Most crops originated in only one of the continents, and then social contact caused their transfer to other parts of the world. Trading in slaves has no special bearing on whether crops spread-the simplest forms of trade would have achieved the same result. Today, the Italians have (hard) wheat foods like spaghetti and macaroni as their staple, while most Europeans use the potato. The Italians took the idea of the spaghetti type foods from the Chinese noodle after Marco Polo returned from travels there, while Europe adopted the potato from American Indians. In neither case were Europeans enslaved before they could receive a benefit that was the logical heritage of all mankind, but Africans are t o be told that the European slave trade developed us by bringing us maize and cassava. All of the above points are taken from books and articles published recently, as the fruit of research in major British and American Universities. They are probably not the commonest views even among http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (14 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 European bourgeois scholars, but they are representative of a growing trend that seems likely to become the new accepted orthodoxy in metropolitan capitalist countries; and this significantly coincides with Europe’s struggle against the further decolonization of Africa economically and mentally. In one sense, it is preferable to ignore such rubbish and isolate our youth from its insults; but unfortunately one of the aspects of current African underdevelopment is that the capitalist publishers and bourgeois scholars dominate the scene and help mould opinions the world over. It is for that reason that writing of the type which justifies the trade in slaves has to be exposed as racist bourgeoi s propaganda, having no connection with reality or logic. It is a question not merely of history but of present day liberation struggle in Africa. 4.2 Technological Stagnation and Distortion of the African Economy in the Pre-Colonial Epoch. It has already been indicated that in the 15th century European technology was not totally superior to that of other parts of the world. There were certain specific features which were highly advantageous to Europe-such as shipping and (to a lesser extent) guns. Europeans trading to Africa had to make use of Asian and African consumer goods, showing that their system of production was not absolutely superior. It is particularly striking that in the early centuries of tra de, Europeans relied heavily on Indian cloths for resale in Africa, and they also purchased cloths on several parts of the West African coast for resale elsewhere. Morocco, Mauretania, Senegambia, Ivory Coast, Benin, Yorubaland and Loango were all exporters to other parts of http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (15 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Africa — through European middlemen. Yet, by the time that Africa entered the colonial era, it was concentrating almost entirely on the export of raw cotton and the import of manufactured cotton cloth. This remarkable reversal is tied to technological advance in Europe and to stagnation of technology in Africa owing to the very trade with Europe. Cloth manufacture in the world went through a stage of handlooms and small-scale craft production. Up to the 16th century, that was the general pattern in Africa, Asia and Europe: with Asian cloth makers being the most skilled in the world. India is the classic example where the British used every means at their disposal to kill the cloth industr y, so that British cloth could be marketed everywhere, including inside India itself. In Africa, the situation was not so clear-cut, nor did it require as much conscious effort by Europeans to destroy African cloth manufacture, but the trend was the same. Europe benefitted technologically from its external trade contacts, while Africa either failed to benefit or actually lost. Vital inventions and innovations appeared in England in the late 18th century, after profits from externa l trade had been re-invested. Indeed, the new machinery represented the investment of primary capital accumulated from trading and from slavery. African and Indian trade strengthened British industry, which in turn crushed whatever industry existed in that is now called the ‘underdeveloped’ countries. African demand for cloth was increasing rapidly in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, so that there was a market for all cloth produced locall y as well as room for imports from Europe and Asia. But, directed by an http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (16 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 acquisitive capitalist class, European industry increased its capacity t o produce on a large scale by harnessing the energy of wind, water and coal. European cloth industry was able to copy fashionable Indian and African patterns, and eventually to replace them. Partly by establishing a stranglehold on the distribution of cloth around the shores of Africa, and partly by swamping African products by importing cloth in bulk, European traders eventually succeeded in putting an end to the expansion of African cloth manufacture. There are many varied social factors which combine to determine when a society makes a breakthrough from small scale craft technology to equipment designed to harness nature so that labour becomes more effective. One of the major factors is the existence of a demand for more products than can be made by hand, so that technology is asked to respond to a definite social need-such as that for clothes. When European cloth became dominant on the African market, it meant that African producers were cut off from the increasing demand. The craft producers either abandoned their tasks in the face of cheap available European cloth, or they continued on the same small hand-worked instruments to create styles and pieces for localized markets. Therefore , there was what can be called ‘technological arrest’ or stagnation, and in some instances actual regression, since people forgot even the simple technique of their forefathers. The abandonment of traditional iron smelting in most parts of Africa is probably the most important instance of technological regression. Development means a capacity for self-sustaining growth. It means that http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (17 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 an economy must register advances which in turn will promote further progress. The loss of industry and skill in Africa was extremely small, if we measure it from the viewpoint of modern scientific achievements or even by standards of England in the late 18th century. However, it must be borne in mind that to be held back at one stage means that it is impossible to go on to a further stage. When a person was forced to leave school after only two years of primary school education, it is no reflection on him that he is academically and intellectually less developed than someone who had the opportunity to be schooled right through to university level. What Africa experienced in the early centuries of trade was precisely a loss of development opportunity, and this is of the greatest importance. One of the features associated with technological advance is a spirit of scientific enquiry closely related to the process of production. This leads to inventiveness and innovation. During the period of capitalist development in Europe, this was very much the case, and historians lay great emphasis on the spirit of inventiveness of the English in the 18th century. Socialist societies do not leave inventions merely to chance or good luck — they actively cultivate tendencies for innovation. For instance, in the German Democratic Republic, the youth established a ‘Young Innovators’ Fair’ in 1958, calling upon the intellectual creativity of socialist youth, so that within ten years over 2,000 new inventions were presented at that fair. The connection between Africa and Europe from the 15th century onwards served to block this spirit of technological innovation both directly and indirectly. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (18 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 The European slave trade was a direct block, in removing millions of youth and young adults who are the human :agents from whom inventiveness springs. Those who remained in areas badly hit by slave- capturing were preoccupied about their freedom rather than with improvements in production. Besides, even the busiest African in West, Central, or East Africa was concerned more with trade than with production, because of the nature of the contacts with Europe; and that situation was not conducive to the introduction of technological advances. The most dynamic groups over a great area of Africa became associated with foreign trade — notably, the Afro-Portuguese middlemen of Upper Guinea, the Akan market women, the Aro traders of the Bight of Biafra, the mulattos of Angola, the Yao traders of Mozambique, and the Swahili and Wanyamwezi of East Africa. The trade which they carried on was in export items like captives and ivory which did not require the invention of machinery. Apart from that, they were agents for distributing European imports. When Britain was the world’s leading economic power, it used to be referred to as a nation of shopkeepers: but most the goods in their shop s were produced by themselves, and it was while grappling with the problems posed by production that their engineers came up with so many inventions. In Africa, the trading groups could make no contribution to technological improvement because their role and preoccupation took their minds and energies away from production. Apart from inventiveness, we must also consider the borrowing of technology. When a society for whatever reason finds itself http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (19 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 technologically trailing behind others, it catches not so much by independent inventions but by borrowing. Indeed, very few of man’s major scientific discoveries have been separately discovered in differen t places by different people. Once a principle or a tool is known, it spreads or diffuses to other peoples. Why then did European technology failed to make its way into Africa during the many centuries of contact between the two continents? The basic reason is that the very nature of Afro-European trade was highly unfavourable to the movement of positive ideas and techniques from the European capitalist system to the African pre-capitalist (communal, feudal, and pre-feudal) system of production. The only non-European society that borrowed effectively from Europe and became capitalist is that of Japan. Japan was already a highly developed feudal society progressing towards its own capitalist forms in the 19th century. Its people were neither enslaved nor colonised by Europe, and its foreign trade relations were quite advantageous. For instance, Japanese textile manufacturers had the stimulus of their own growing internal market and some abroad in Asia and Europe. Under those circumstances, the young Japanese capitalist class (including many former feudalist landowners) borrowed technology from Europe and successfully domesticated it before the end of the 19th century. The use of this example from outside of Africa is meant to emphasise that for Africa to have received European technology the demand would have had to come from inside Africa — and most probably from a class or group who saw profit in the new technology. There had to be both willingness on the part of Europeans to transfer technology and African http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (20 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 socio-economic structures capable of making use of that technology and internalising it. Hunting for elephants or captives did not usually induce in Africa a demand for any technology other than firearms. The lines of economic activity attached to foreign trade were either destructive as slavery wa s, or at best purely extractive, like ivory hunting and cutting camwood trees. Therefore, there was no reason for wanting to call upon European skills. The African economies would have had little room for such skills unless negative types of exports were completely stopped. A remarkable fact that is seldom brought to light is that several African rulers in different parts of the continent saw the situation clearly, an d sought European technology for internal development, which was meant to replace the trade in slaves. Europeans deliberately ignored those African requests that Europe should place certain skills and techniques at their disposal. This was a n element in the Kongo situation of the early 16th century, which has already been mentioned. It happened in Ethiopia also, though in Ethiopia no trade in captives was established with Europeans. A Portuguese embassy reached the Ethiopian court in 1520. Having examined Portuguese swords, muskets, clothes, books and other objects, the Emperor Lebna Dengel felt the need to introduce European technical knowledge into Ethiopia. Correspondence exists between the Emperor and European rulers such as kings Manuel I and John III of Portugal and Pope Leo X, in which requests were made for European assistance to Ethiopian industry. Until late in the 19th century, http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (21 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Ethiopian , petitions to that effect were being repeated with little or no success. In the first half of the 18th century, there were two further examples o f African rulers appreciating European technology, and stating their preference for skills and not slave ships. When Agaja Trudo of Dahomey sought to stop the trade in captives, he made an appeal to European craftsmen, and he sent an ambassador to London for that purpose. One European who stayed at the court of Dahomey in the late 1720s told his countrymen that ‘if any tailor, carpenter, smith or an y other sort of white man that is free be willing to come here, he will fi nd very good encouragement’. The Asantehene, Opoku Ware (1720-50), also asked Europeans to set up factories and distilleries in Asante, but he got no response. Bearing in mind the history of Japan, it should be noted that the first requests for technical assistance came from the Ethiopian and Kongo empires, which in the 16th century where at a level undoubtedly comparable to most European feudal states, with the important exception that they had not produced the seeds of capitalism. During the 18th century the great African states of Dahomey and Asante became prominent. They had passed out of the communal stage and had a somewhat feudal class stratification along with specialisation in many activities such as the working of gold, iron and cloth. Asante society under Opoku Ware had already shown a capacity for seeking out innovations, by going to the trouble of taking imported silk and unravelling it so as to combine the silk threads with cotton to make the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (22 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 famous kente cloth. In other words, there would have been no difficulty in such African societies mastering European technical skills and bridging the rather narrow gap which existed between them and Europe at that time. Well into the 19th century, Europe displayed the same indifference to requests for practical assistance from Africa, although by that period both African rulers and European capitalists were talking about replacing slave trade. In the early 19th century, one king of Calabar ( in Eastern Nigeria) wrote the British asking for a sugar refinery; while around 1804 king Adandozan of Dahomey was bold enough to ask for a firearms factory! By that date, many parts of West Africa were going to war with European firearms and gunpowder. There grew up a saying in Dahomey that ‘He who makes the powder wins the war’, which was a far-sighted recognition that Africans were bound to fall before the superiority of Europeans in the field of arms technology. Of course, Europeans were also fully aware that their arms technology was decisive, and there was not the slightest chance that they would have agreed to teach Africans to make firearms and ammunition. The circumstances of African trade with Europe were unfavourable to creating a consistent African demand for technology relevant to development; and when that demand was raised it was ignored or rejected by the capitalists. After all, it would not have been in the interests of capitalism to develop Africa. In more recent times, Western capitalists had refused to build the Volta River Dam for Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah, until they realised that the Czechoslovakians would http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (23 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 do the job; they refused to build the Aswan Dam for Egypt, and the Soviet Union had to come to the rescue; and in a similar situation they placed obstacles in the way of the building of a railway from Tanzania to Zambia, and it was the Socialist state of China that stepped in to express solidarity with African peasants and workers in a practical way. Placing the whole question in historical perspective allows us to see th at capitalism has always discouraged technological evolution in Africa and blocks Africa’s access to its own technology. As will be seen in a subsequent section, capitalism introduced into Africa only such limited aspects of its material culture as were essential to more efficient exploitation, but the general tendency has been for capitalism to underdevelop Africa in technology. The European slave trade and overseas trade in general had what are known as ‘multiplier effects’ on Europe’s development in a very positive sense. This means that the benefits of foreign contacts extende d to many areas of European life not directly connected with foreign trade, and the whole society was better equipped for its own internal development. The opposite was true of Africa not only in the crucial sphere of technology but also with regard to the size and purpose of each economy in Africa. Under the normal processes of evolution, an economy grows steadily larger so that after a while two neighbouring economies merge into one. That was precisely how national economies were created in the states of Western Europe through the gradual combination of what were once separate provincial economies. Trade with Africa actually helped Europe to weld together more closely the different national economies, but in Africa there was disruption and http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (24 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 disintegration at the local level. At the same time, each local economy ceased to be directed exclusively or even primarily towards the satisfaction of the wants of its inhabitants; and (whether or not the particular Africans recognised it) their economic effort served externa l interests and made them dependent on those external forces based in western Europe. In this way, the African economy taken as a whole was diverted away from its previous line of development and became distorted. It has now become common knowledge that one of the principal reasons why genuine industrialisation cannot easily be realised in Africa today is that the market for manufactured goods in any single African country is too small, and there is no integration of the markets across large areas of Africa. The kind of relationship which Africa has had with Europe from the very beginning, has worked in a direction opposite to integration of local economies. Certain interterritorial lin ks established on the continent were broken down after the 15th century because of European trade. Several examples arose on the West African coast down to Angola, because in those parts European trade was most voluminous, and the surviving written record is also more extensive. When the Portuguese arrived in the region of modern Ghana in the 1470s, they had few commodities to offer the inhabitants in exchange for the gold coveted by Europe. However, they were able to tranship from Benin in Nigeria supplies of cotton cloths, beads, and female slaves, which were saleable on the ‘Gold Coast’. The Portuguese we re responding to a given demand on the ‘Gold Coast’, so that a previo us http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (25 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 trade must have been in existence between the people of Benin and those of the ‘Gold Coast’, particularly the Akan. The Akan were go ld producers, and the people of Benin were specialist craftsmen who had a surplus of cloth and beads which they manufactured themselves. As an expansionist state with a large army, Benin also had access to prisoners of war, while the Akan seemed concerned with building their own population and labour force, so the latter acquired female captives from Benin and rapidly integrated them as wives. When the Portuguese intervened in this exchange, it was subordinated to the interests of European trade. As soon as Portugal and other European nations had sufficient goods so as not to be dependent on the re-export of certain commodities from Benin, then all that remained were the links between the ‘Gold Coast’ and Europe on the one hand and between Benin and Europe on the other. Probably, Benin products had reached the ‘Gold Coast’ by way of th e creeks behind the coast of what is now Dahomey and Togo. Therefore, it would have been more convenient when Europeans established a direct link across the open sea. As pointed out earlier, the superiority of Europeans at sea was of the greatest strategic value, along with their organisational ability. This was illustrated in several places, beginnin g with the Maghreb and Mauretania. After the Portuguese took control of the Atlantic coast of North-West Africa, they were able to secure horses, woollen goods and beads, which they shipped further south to West Africa for gold and slaves ; up to the early 16th century, the most important article brought by the Portuguese for trade in Senegambia was the horse. In exchange for one horse they received as many as http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (26 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 fifteen captives. North African woollens and beads were also utilised by the Portuguese in buying gold on the river Gambia and as far south as Sierra Leone. It needs to be recalled that the Western Sudan had links with the West African coast and with North Africa. Long before the European arrival, horses were moving from North Africa to be inter-bred with local West African stock. Long before the European arrival, the Arabs and Mauretanians travelled to the river Senegal and further south to meet the Mandinga Djola traders and hand over to them products such as beads made in Ceuta and cloth spun from the wool of North African sheep. With the advantage of rapidity of transport by sea as opposed to overland across the desert, the Portuguese were in effect breaking up the economic integration of the region. As with the Benin / Akan example, the point to note is that after the Portuguese became middlemen they had the opportunity of developing a new trade pattern by which both North West Africa and West Africa looked to Europe and forgot about each other. A similar situation came into existence on the Upper Guinea coast, and this time the European exploitation was aided by the presence of white settlers in the Cape Verde Islands. The Portuguese and the Cape Verde settlers broke into the pattern of local Upper Guinea trade ever since t he 1470s. They intervened in transfers of raw cotton and indigo dye from one African community to another, and the Cape Verdean settlers established a flourishing cotton-growing and cotton-manufacturing industry. They used labour and techniques from the mainland, and http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (27 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 exported the finished products along the length of the coast down to Accra. The Portuguese also took over the trade in cowries in the Kongo and its off-shore islands, the trade in salt along the Angolan coast, and the tr ade in high-quality palm cloth between northern and southern Angola. In some instances, they achieved dominance not just because of their ships and commercial skills but also by the use of force — providing they were operating on the coast and could bring their cannon into use. In East Africa, for instance, the Portuguese used violence to capture trade from the Arabs and Swahili. The disruption of African commerce between the ‘Ivory Coast’ and the ‘Gold Coast’ followed that pattern. A strong coastal canoe trade existed between these two regions, with the people of Cape Lahou (modern Ivory Coast) sailing past Cape Three Points to sell their cloth as far east as Accra. The Portuguese set up a fort at Axim near Cape Three Poínts to service gold trade with the hinterland; and one of its functions was to chop the east-west coastal African trade. They banned Axim residents from going to Cape Lahou, and they stopped canoes from ‘Ivory Coast’ from travelling east be yond Axim. The purpose was obviously to make both areas separate economic entities exclusively tied to Europe. The above-mentioned African commerce proved to have roots. The Dutch found it still going on when they took over Axim in 1637. The servants of the Dutch West India Company which was operating on the ‘Gold Coast’ wanted put a complete stop to the African trade; and when that was not achieved they tried to force the people of the ‘Ivory Co ast’ http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (28 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 to buy a certain amount of Dutch goods. The Dutch ruled that each Axim canoeman going to Cape Lahou should carry Dutch goods worth at least 4 ounces of gold. The purpose was to convert a purely inter- African exchange into a European/African trade. What was doubly detrimental to African attempts to integrate their own economies was the fact that when Europeans became middlemen in local trade networks, they did so mainly to facilitate the extraction of captives, and thereby subordinated the whole economy to the European slave trade. In Upper Guinea and the Cape Verde islands, the Portuguese and their mulatto descendants engaged in a large variety of exchanges involving cotton, dyes, kola nuts and European products. The purpose of it all was to fill the holds of slave ships. In Congo and Angola, the same picture emerges. The salt, cowry shells and palm cloth that came in Portuguese hands made up for their shortage of trade goods and served to purchase captives on different parts of the coast and deep in the interior. The element of subordination and dependence is crucial to an understanding of African underdevelopment today, and its roots lie far back in the era of international trade. It is also worth noting that the re is a type of false or pseudo integration which is a camouflage for dependence. In contemporary times, it takes the form of free-trade areas in the formerly colonised sections of the world. Those free-trade areas are made to order for the penetration of multi-national corporations. From the 15th century onwards, pseudo integration appeared in the form of the interlocking of African economies over long distances from http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (29 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:22 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 the coast, so as to allow the passage of human captives and ivory from a given point inland to a given port on the Atlantic or Indian Ocean. For example, captives were moved from Congo through what is now Zambia and Malawi to Mozambique, where Portuguese, Arab or French buyers took them over. That was not genuine integration of the economies of the African territories concerned. Such trade merely represented the extent of foreign penetration, thereby stifling local trades. The West African gold trade was not destroyed, but it became directly dependent on European buyers by being diverted from the northward routes across the Sahara. Within the savannah belt of the Western Sudan, the trans-Saharan gold trade had nourished one of the most highly developed political zones in all Africa from the 5th century onwards. But it was more convenient for Europe to obtain its gold on the West Coast than through North African intermediaries, and one is left to speculate on what might have occurred in the Western Sudan if there had been a steady increase in the gold trade over the 17th and 18t h centuries. Nevertheless, there is something to be said in favour of African trade with Europe in this particular commodity. Gold production involved mining and an orderly system of distribution within Africa. Akan country and parts of Zimbabwe and Mozambique sustained flourishing socio-political systems up to the 19th century, largely because of gold production. Certain benefits also derived from the export of ivory. The search for ivory became the most important activity in several East African http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (30 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 societies at one time or another, sometimes in combination with the trade in captives. The Wanyamwezi of Tanzania were East Africa’s best known traders — acquiring their reputation through carrying goods for hundreds of miles between Lake Tanganyika and the Indian Ocean. When the Wanyamwezi gave their attention to the export of ivory, this sparked off other beneficial developments, such as increased trading in hoes, food and salt between themselves and their neighbours. Yet, ivory was an asset that was rapidly exhausted in any given region, and the struggle to secure new supplies could lead to violence comparable to that which accompanied the search for human captives. Besides, the most decisive limitation of ivory trade was the fact that i t did not grow logically from local needs and local production. Large quantities of ivory were not required by any society inside Africa, and no African society turned to elephant hunting and ivory collection on a big scale until the demand came from Europe or Asia. Any African society which took ivory exports seriously, then had to re-structure its economy so as to make ivory trade successful. That in turn led to excessive and undesirable dependence on the overseas market and an external economy. There could be growth in the volume of commerce and the rise of some positive side-effects, but there was decrease in capacity to achieve economic independence and self-sustaining social progress. Besides, at all times one must keep in mind the dialectical opposite of the trade in Africa: namely, production in Europe or in America under European control. The few socially-desirable by- products of elephant hunting within Africa were chicken-feed in comparison with the profits, technology and skills associated with the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (31 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 product in Europe. In that way, the gap between Africa and Europe was constantly widening; and it is on the basis of that gap that we arrive a t development and underdevelopment. 4.3 Continuing Politico-Military Developments in Africa, — 1500 to 1885. Modern African nationalist historians correctly stress that Africa had a meaningful past long before the coming of Europeans. They also stress that Africans made their own history long after coming into contact with Europe, and indeed right up to the period of colonisation. That African centred approach to the continent’s past is quite compatible with one which equally emphasises the transformatory role of external forces, such as overseas trade in slaves, gold, ivory, etc. The reconciliation of the two approaches is facilitated by bearing in mind the following three factors: (a) The external (and mainly European) impact up to 1885 was very uneven in geographical terms, with the coasts being obviously more exposed. (b) Commerce with Europeans affected different aspects of African life in varying degrees, with the political, military and ideological apparatus being virtually untouched. (c) Dynamic features of independent African evolution and development (as illustrated in chapter 2) continued to operate after 1500. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (32 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 It has already been argued that it would be misleading to try and compartmentalise Africa into areas that were affected by slave trading and those which were not, for the continent as a whole had to bear the costs. However, for present purposes, it is enough to make the crude distinction between those parts of Africa which were directly caught up in European-generated activities and those parts which to all appearances continued in the traditional manner. Developments continued in certain areas such as south Central Africa,, because the population there was free to pursue a path dictated by the interplay between African people and the African environment in the particular localities. Besides, there were achievements even in those societies under the heaviest bombardment of slaving. Slave trading led to the commercial domination of Africa by Europe, within the context of international trade. In very few instances did Europeans manage to displace African political authorities in the various social systems. So African states in close contact with Europe in the pre-colonial era nevertheless had scope for political manoeuvre, and their evolution could and did continue. Military conquest of Africa awaited the years of the imperialist Scramble. In pre-colonial centuries of contact with Europe, African armies were in existence, with all the socio-political implications whic h attach to an armed sector in society. Equally important was the fact tha t direct imports; from Europe in the cultural and ideological spheres were virtually nil. Christianity tried sporadically and ambivalently to make an impact on some parts of the continent. But most of the few http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (33 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 missionaries in places like the Congo, Angola and Upper Guinea concentrated on blessing Africans as they were about to be launched across the Atlantic into slavery. As it was, Christianity continued only in Ethiopia, where it had indigenous roots. Elsewhere, there flourished Islam and other religions which had nothing to do with European trade. As before, religion continued to act as an element of the superstructure , which was crucial in the development of the state. So long as there is political power, so long as people can be mobilised to use weapons, and so long as society has the opportunity to define its own ideology, culture, etc., then the people of that society have some control over their own destinies, in spite of constraints such as those imposed as the African continent slipped into orbit as a satellite of capitalist Europe. After all, although historical development is inseparable from material conditions and the state of technology, it is also partially controlled by a people’s consciousness at various stag es. That is part of the interdependence of base and superstructure alluded t o at the outset. Revolution is the most dramatic appearance of a conscious people or class on the stage of history; but, to greater or lesser extent, the rul ing class in any society is always engaged in the developmental process as conscious instruments of change or conservatism. Attention in this section will be focussed on the political sphere and its power companion, the military. In those areas, Africans were able to excel even in the face of slave trading. Politico-military development in Africa from 1500 to 1885 meant that http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (34 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 African social collectives had become more capable of defending the interests of their members, as opposed to the interests of people outsid e the given community. It also meant that the individual in a politically mature and militarily strong state would be free from external threat of physical removal. He would have more opportunities to apply his own skill in fields as diversified as minstrelry and bronze-working, under t he protection of the state. He could also use his creativity and inventiveness to refine the religion of his people, or to work out a mor e manageable constitution, or to contribute to new techniques of war, or to advance agriculture and trade. Of course, it is also true that the benefits of all such contributions went mainly to a small section of African society, both within and without the zone of slaving; for, as communalism receded, the principle of egalitarian distribution was disregarded. These various points can be illustrated by concrete historical examples drawn from all over the continent during the pre- colonial period in question. (a) The Yoruba In a previous discussion, the Yoruba state of Oyo was merely listed as one of the outstanding representatives of African development up to the eve of European arrival in the 15th century. The remarkable 14th- and 15th-century artistic achievements of Oyo, of its parent state of life, and of the related state of Benin have been well studied, because of the preservation of ivory, terracotta and bronze sculptures. It is clear tha t the earliest bronzes were the best and that there was a deterioration in execution and sensitivity from the 16th through to the 18th century. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (35 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 However, politically, states such as Oyo and Benin did continue to prosper for a very long time after the arrival of Europeans on the West African coast. Since Oyo and the Yoruba people were within an intensive area of slave trading, their fate between 1500 and 1885 is of considerable significance. The kingdom of Oyo kept fairly clear of any involvement with slave trading until the late 18th century. Instead, its people concentrated on local production and trade, and on the consolidation and expansion of the trade. Indeed, although the nucleus of the Oyo kingdom had already been established in the 15th century, it was during the next three centuries that it expanded to take control of most of what was later termed Western Nigeria, large zones north of the river Niger and the whole of what is now Dahomey. In effect, it was an empire, ruled over by an Alafin in conjunction with an aristocracy. It was in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries that the subtle constitutional mechanisms which regulated relations between the Alafin and his principal subjects and between the capital and the provinces were crystallised. In so far as Oyo had an interest in the coast, it was as an outlet more for cloth than for slaves. Being some distance inland, the Yoruba of Oyo concentrated on relations with the hinterland, thereby connecting with the Western Sudanic trading zone. It was from the North that Oyo got the horses which made its armies feared and respected. Oyo is a prime example of that African development which had its roots Jeep in the past, in the contradictions between man and environment. Its people continued to develop on the basis of forces which they did not http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (36 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 consciously manipulate, as well as through the deliberate utilisation of political techniques. Early in the 19th century, Oyo and Yorubaland in general began to export captives in considerable numbers. They were obtained partly by military campaigns outside Yorubaland, but also through local slave procuring. Local slave procuring involved kidnapping, armed raids, uncertainty and disunity. Those features, together with internal constitutional tensions and an external threat from the Islamic North, brought about the downfall of the Oyo empire by about 1830. The famous Yoruba ancestral home of Ife was also despoiled and its citizens turned into refugees, because of quarrels among the Yoruba over kidnapping for sale into slavery. But it was testimony to the level of development in that part of Africa that, within a few years the inhabitants were able to reconstruct new political states: notably those of New Oyo, Ibadan, Ijaye, Abeokuta and Ijebu — each centred on a town, and with enough land for successful agriculture. Until the British arrived to kindly impose ‘order’ in Nigeria, the Yoruba people kept experimenting with various political forms, with heavy emphasis on the military, and keeping to the religion of thei r forefathers. Being conscious of territorial boundaries, the inhabitants and rulers of any given state invariably become involved in clashes with neighbouring states. The state in the feudal epoch in Europe and Asia was particularly concerned with its military capacity. The ruling class comprised in whole or in part the professional fighting forces of the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (37 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 state. One rationalisation by which they justified their enjoyment of th e major portion of the surplus of society was that they offered armed protection to the ordinary peasant or serf. This generalisation was as true of 19th-century Yorubaland as it was of Prussia and Japan. Without a doubt, Africans in that region were proceeding along the line of development leading to social organisation comparable to feudalism in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa such as Ethiopia and the Maghreb, which were at that stage some centuries earlier. In the Oyo empire, the civil power was dominant, and the military generals were servants of the king. Subsequently, however, the military took over effective political power. For instance, the Ajaye state was founded by Kurunmi, said to have been the greatest Yoruba general of those troubled times following the fall of Oyo. Kurunmi established a personal military ascendancy in Ajaye. Ibadan was slightly different, in that there it was a group of military officers who collectively formed t he political elite. Efforts to put civilians back in power were half-hearte d and unsuccessful. After all, the town itself grew out of a military encampment. The city-state of Abeokuta perhaps made the most consistent effort to make the military an arm of the civil state. But, what mattered most was the defence of the townships within the fortified walls of Abeokuta. Abeokuta’s fortified walls became famous as the place where many a rival army met disaster; and, under those circumstances, the Ologun or war-chiefs were the social and political powers. While the militarisation of politics was going on in Yorubaland, http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (38 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 changes were taking place in the structure of the society, which brought about sharper class stratification. Numerous captives were taken in war, most of whom were sold to Europeans, so that Yorubaland became notorious as a slave supplying region right up to the 1860s. But many war prisoners were retained locally, in conditions approximating either to slavery or to serfdom, depending on whether or not they were first- generation captives. Sometimes, refugees fleeing from destroyed towns also had no option other than to become clients or serfs of other free Yoruba. Such refugees were made to give service to their new overlords by farming the land, in return for armed protection. However, serfs were also used as soldiers, which means that they had access to the means of production (the land) only through meeting an obligation in military labour. That is a measure of the extent to which the principle of kinship had been weakened, and it indicates that, in contrast to the typical communal village, states such as those in 19th-century Yorubaland allocated roles and rewards to their citizens on the basis of reciprocal obligations characteristic of feudalism. During the period under discussion, the division of labour among the Yoruba was extended with the rise of professional soldiers or ‘war- boys,’ as they were called. The professional soldiers, who were sons of aristocrats, left farming disdainfully to prisoners and serfs-the large number of whom ensured agricultural plenty. Other branches of economic activity also flourished, notably the making of cloth and palm oil and the trade in various products. These things were true, in spite of the fact that by that time some labour was being lost both in the form o f slaves exported and in the form of labour power devoted to capturing http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (39 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 people for export. European visitors to Yorubaland in the middle of the 19th century could still admire the level of its material culture, along with the highly colourful and impressive aspects of its non-material culture such as the annual ‘Yam Festivals’ and the ritual of the r eligious cults of Shango, Ogboni, etc. One item of European technology that was anxiously sought by Africans and that was fairly easily obtainable from Europeans was the firearm. From the 1820s onwards, the Yoruba acquired European firearms in large numbers, and integrated them into the pattern of trade , politics and military strategy. On the eve of colonial rule, Yoruba generals were reaching out for breech-loading rifles and even rockets; but Europe stepped in too quickly for that move to get very far. Through a series of actions which started as early as 1860 in Lagos (an d which included missionary infiltration as well as armed invasion) the British managed to bring that part of Africa under colonial rule. Economic development is a matter of an increasing capacity to produce, and it is tied up with patterns of land tenure and class relations. Thes e basic facts were well brought out both positively and negatively in Yoruba history, in the decades before independence was lost. So long as agricultural production was not disrupted, then for so long any given Yoruba state remained in a strong position. Ibadan was once the greatest military power in Yorubaland, selling captives as well as retaining many for use as labourers for its own benefit. But Ibadan’s farming areas were hit by war, and Ibadan’s rulers also started removing prisoners farming the land and selling them instead to http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (40 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Europeans. That became necessary because Ibadan needed firearms, and those could be obtained only by selling slaves. It was at that point that the undermining effect of the presence of European slave buyers on the coast became really paramount. By selling its own captives and serfs, Ibadan was undermining its own socio-economic base. If the prisoners were to develop into a true serf class, then those prisoners would have had to be guaranteed the right to remain fixed on the soil and protected from sale. That was one of the reasons why slavery as a mode of production in Europe had to give way to serfdom and feudalism; and, under normal circumstances, Yoruba society did rapidly guarantee the irremovability of those captives who were integrated into the local production pattern. But, forces unleashed by the European presence as slave buyers were too great to be withstood, and any hope of solving the problem disappeared with the loss of political power under colonialism. Too often, historians lay undue emphasis on the failure of 19th-century Yoruba states to unite and produce an entity as large as the former empire of Oyo. But, firstly, the size of a political unit is not the mos t important criterion for evaluating the achievement of its peoples. And, secondly, a given people can disintegrate politically and later integrat e even more effectively. The Yoruba states of Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ijaye, etc., had populations of up to 100,000 citizens — as large as most of the city-states, principalities and palatinates of feudal Germany. That is a comparison which is worth bringing to light, and it is one that struck European observers who happened to visit Yorubaland in the middle http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (41 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 years of the 19th century. Germany has long had a common culture and language, and there was a form of political unity under the Holy Roman Empire from the 12th to the 15th century. However, after the Reformation and the break-up of the Holy Roman Empire, the German people were divided into as many separate political entities as there are days in the year, some of them being hardly bigger than a public park. Yet, the internal class relation s and productive forces continued to develop throughout Germany, and ultimately by 1870 unity was again achieved, with feudalism giving way to a powerful capitalist nation state. Similarly, the Yoruba were a widely spread cultural entity with a single language. After the fall of the Oyo empire the developmental processes were slowed down by both internal and external factors, but they were not stopped. It took the arrival of European colonialism to do that. Within the sphere of West and Central African slaving, state building continued with varying degrees of success. For instance, the Akan state system grew up in a manner as impressive as that of the Oyo empire. Fortunately for the Akan, slave exports reached alarming proportions only during the first half of the 18th century. By that time, a state su ch as Asante had sunk roots deep enough to withstand the adverse effects of slaving. It continued to be incorporated with the heartlands of the Western Sudan, and by the 1870s when the British tried to dictate to Asante, these famous African people did not give up without heroic armed struggle. Asante’s connection with the export of slaves in the 18th century led its http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (42 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 rulers to concentrate on expansionism of the type which would bring in captives through wars, raids, tribute, and as articles of trade from regions where they had been made prisoner. Besides, since the 15th century, Akan country was building up rather than exporting its human resources. Captives were incorporated locally into the society; and on the eve of colonialism a substantial proportion of Asante society was made up of Odonko-ba — the descendants of one-time captives, who were the labouring population on the land. Development had come not through exporting and losing labour but by increasing and maximising it. (b) Dahomey Asante’s eastern neighbour beyond the Volta river was Dahomey. Since Dahomey was more deeply involved in the European slave trade and for a much longer period, its experiences shall be cited at a greater length . Throughout the 18th and 19th century, Dahomey had a stagnant if not declining population, and an economy that had virtually no props other than slave exports. What Dahomey succeeded in doing in spite of all that is a tribute to the achievements of man inside the African continen t. It should be made clear that the groundwork far the socio-political development of the Aja or Fon people of Dahomey was laid down in the period preceding the influence of Europe on West Africa. By the 15th century, the Aja states of Allada and Whydah were already in existence, having a loose connection with the Yoruba of Ife. Dahomey was an offshoot from Allada in the 16th century, and by the early 18th century it expanded to incorporate both Allada and Whydah. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (43 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 The kings of Allada and Whydah had made the mistake of either failing to protect their own citizens from enslavement or of actually conniving at their enslavement. Dahomey never followed such a policy, which was directly antagonistic to the very maintenance of the state. Instead, Dahomey eventually became the classic raiding state of West Africa, after failing to get Europeans to accept any products other than human beings. To achieve that, Dahomey had first to build up a tightly organised military state, whose monarch came much closer to an authoritarian or despot than did the Alafin of Oyo or the Asantehene of Asante. Secondly, Dahomey invested a great deal of time and ingenuity on its army, so as to protect its own citizens and wage war abroad. Within European history, the state of Sparta stood out as one that was completely dedicated to the art of war. Europeans in Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries invariably referred to Dahomey as a Black Sparta. Throughout the 18th century, the cavalry of Oyo was more than a match for Dahomey’s foot soldiers, and Dahomey remained a tribute-paying portion of the Oyo empire. But with the fall of Oyo, Dahomey became the supreme military state in that region, and indeed wreaked vengeance on its former Yoruba overlords. Warfare was necessary for securing slaves outside of Dahomey and for obtaining firearms. It was in fact essential for survival. Dahomey’s profound pre-occupation with militaristic activities can be illustrated in many ways. Their value system rewarded the brave and the victorious, while ruthlessly despising and even liquidating the cowardly and the unsuccessful on the battlefield. The two chief http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (44 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 ministers of the king were the commanders of the ‘Left’ and ‘Ri ght’ armies, and other military officers held political appointments. Then, too, the artistic media constantly harped upon the theme of war. Beautiful mosaics and paintings appeared on the walls of the palaces of Dahomey — all dealing with military victories. Historical accounts, a s rendered by professional reciters, reflected the same bias; and the clot h workers busied themselves making emblems, ‘colours’, and umbrellas for the generals and the regiments. Two unique innovations set Dahomey off from its African neighbours and even gives it a special claim within the context of feudal or semi- feudal military organisation. Firstly, Dahomey encouraged young boys to become apprentices of war. By the age of 11 or 12, a boy would be attached to a veteran soldier-helping to carry his supplies, and observing battle. The second innovation (and the one that was more widely commented upon) was Dahomey’s utilisation of its female population within the army. Apparently, the wives in the royal palace started off as a ceremonial guard in the 18th century, and then progressed to become an integral part of Dahomey’s fighting machine, on terms of complete equality of hardship and reward. Dahomey’s population in the 19th century was probably no more than 200,000; and the state consistently managed to send 12,000 to 15,000 actives on its annual campaigns. Of those, it was estimated in 1845 that some 5,000 were women — the so-called ‘Amazons of Dahomey’, who were feare d for their ferocity in battle. In the long run, the trade in slaves cast a blight on Dahomey. Slaving http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (45 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 campaigns were costly and not always rewarding in terms of captives. European buyers failed to turn up during certain years, depending on European conditions. E.g., during the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the subsequent revolutionary wars, there was a lull in Dahomian slave exports, because far fewer European ships could be spared for the trade in slaves. Without selling captives to get firearms to carry on more warfare for slaves, Dahomey felt its glory and military honour was slipping. Resort to human sacrifice was one attempt to compensate for the diminishing reputation of the state and it s monarch as was the case with the Oba of Benin in the 19th century. Even so, the story of the reputed savagery of Dahomey was exaggerated incredibly. The Dahomian state created such refinements as a population census; it conducted diplomacy far and wide, with all the niceties and the protocol that one usually hears of only in connection with ‘civilised’ European states; and it built up a system of espi onage and intelligence as an essential ingredient in its own security. Above a ll, attention should be focussed at least briefly on the role of the artist in Dahomian society. Much of African art springs from elaboration of things functional, such as pottery and cloth. However, both religion and the state power also stimulated art. For instance, the brasses and bronzes of Ife were executed on behalf of the religious cults and were associated with the Oni of Ife and the royal family. Indeed, it is a most widespread phenomenon that the feudal ruling class gave its protection to artists, along with sustenance and recognition. This was true in Mandarin China with pottery makers and theatre artists; it was true of 16th century Italy of the Renaissance; and it was true of Dahomey from http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (46 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 the 17th to the 19th centuries. No one now knows which Dahomian is to be credited with any given artistic achievement of the independent pre-colonial period. However, in that time, particular individuals were being given the opportunity fo r self-discovery and self-development and of serving the society as a whole. Their task was to give pleasure and to capture the hopes and ambitions of the people in palace wall paintings, in wrought-iron sculptures, in the stamped patterns of hand-woven cloths designed for royalty, on the intricately carved heads of the safe-conduct staffs of t he king’s ambassadors, and in the lively tales of how the founder of the Dahomian kingdom came out of the belly of a leopard. It was art that centred around royalty and noble families, but it was also a national product and a point of identification for the people as a whole. Subsequently, such artistic skills either disappeared or became debased to serve the curiosity of philistine colonialists. It is still held in some quarters that Dahomey’s development in certa in spheres must be credited to slave trading. To demonstrate conclusively that African political and military development through to the 19th century was an extension of groundwork already laid in an earlier epoch, it is best to turn to zones where foreign influence was non- existent. The interlacustrine zone of East Africa is one such. (c) The Eastern Inter-Lacustrine States In an earlier discussion, attention was directed to Bunyoro-Kitara as th e most advanced socio-political formation in East Africa up to the 15th http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (47 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 century. Its ruling dynasty, the Bachwezi, declined for reasons that are not clear, and they were overwhelmed by new immigrants from the north. While there is some doubt as to whether the Bachwezi had an Ethiopian origin, it is clearly established that the 16th century immigrants were Luo peoples from a section of the Nile that flows through the Sudan. Following upon Luo migrations, a new line known as the Babito dynasty, was placed in power over Bunyoro proper. Other branches of the same dynasty were enthroned in several places, sometimes breaking off from the main line. As late as the 19th century, a separate Babito kingdom was carved out in Toro. Meanwhile, the Bachwezi or Bahima had staged a comeback in regions to the south, in the form of a clan known as the Bahinda. The Bahinda were one of the pastoralist clans of the old Bunyoro-Kitara state, and in the period from the 16th century onwards their stronghold was in Ankole and Karagwe. Obviously, the new Babito ruling class immediately sought to take control of the land, but in accordance with settled African customs, the y later tried to project themselves as the original owners of the land, rather than usurpers. In Busoga, where there were several small Babito kings, a researcher reported the following dialogue about land between a member of a royal clan and a commoner: Royal clan member — ‘We found this place empty and made something of it. You fellows later came round begging for land, so we were generou s and gave you some. Naturally you’re now our slaves.’ Commoner — ‘Oho! What a lie! We were here long before you. You took http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (48 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 your power by trickery. You princes have always been scoundrels!’ At no stage in the independent history of these interlacustrine states d id land become purely a personal possession, to be monopolised by a given class, as in the classic European feudal model. Scholars frequently demand this feature before they concede that feudalism has arrived; but they fail to take into account the reality of the distribut ion and usufruct (or produce) of the land being in the hands of a few, and they fail to realise that where cattle were a dominant form of wealth then private ownership of herds was also part of a process by which producers were separated from the means of production. To be specific, those who owned the herds were usually the Bahinda or other Bahima or the new Babito families, while those who tended them were clients and virtually serfs of the owners. As far as land was concerned, the peasant who farmed it paid a heavy tax in crops to the clan heads and ruling authorities, to allow the latter to live without resort to agricu ltural work. It is necessary to recall that in the process of independent evolution o n all continents, the increase in productive capacity was accompanied by increasing inequality at all stages except socialism. To say that the in ter- lacustrine zone continued developing uninterruptedly up to the eve of colonialism is to highlight the expanded productive capacity of the states and at the same time to recognise frankly that it was the result of increased exploitation not only of natural resources but also of the labour of the majority. The latter were disenfranchised and oppressed to get them to toil in the interests of a few who lived in palaces. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (49 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 The inter-lacustrine kingdoms fell mainly in what is now Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Only in the north-east of Tanzania are there representatives of the inter-lacustrine complex of states. North-east Tanzania was the most developed portion of the country in the pre- colonial epoch, because the rest of mainland Tanzania comprised numerous small kingdoms that had not decisively left behind the communal stage. But north-east Tanzania was also the corner of the country in which problems arose when a new ideology of egalitarianism was being preached after the end of the colonial era, because there was already a regime of inequality in the distribution of land and produce and in the rights granted to individuals. In fact, in any meaningful political sense, the area was feudal. There is some disagreement as to the origins of the important inter- lacustrine state of Buganda. Some traditions give it the same Luo origin as Bunyoro, while others tend to hold that it was a Bachwezi survival. Its social structure certainly paralleled that of Babito Bunyoro closely . Unlike in Ankole, in Buganda the Bahima did not have the reins of political power. They were only associated with the cattle-owning ruling class, very often in the junior capacity of herdsmen. In any even t, Buganda’s history was one of gradual expansion and consolidation at the expense of Bunyoro and other neighbours. By the 18th century, it had become the dominant power in the whole region. The Buganda state had a sound agricultural base, with bananas as a staple and with cattle products being available. Their craftsmen manufactured bark-cloth for export, and local production of iron and http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (50 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 pots was supplemented by imports from neighbouring African communities. Their lack of salt was a big stimulus to the extending of their trade network to obtain the necessary supplies; and, as was true o f the Western Sudan, such an extension of the network of commerce was in effect integrating the productive resources of a large area. Carl Peters, the advance agent of German colonialism in East Africa remarked that ‘in estimating the political and commercial affairs of East Africa too little stress is laid on this internal trade among the tribes . The barter trade of Buganda defies all direct calculation.’ In Buganda’ s case, the absence of slave trading must have been important in expanding internal production and trade, and therefore providing a sound base for the political superstructure. The kings of Buganda set up a small permanent armed force, which served as a bodyguard; and the rest of the national army was raised when necessary. The political administration was centralised under the Kabaka, and district rulers were appointed by the Kabaka and his council, rather than left to be provided by the clans on a hereditary family basis. Great ingenuity went into devising plans for administering this large kingdom through a network of local officials. Perhaps the bes t tributes to the political sophistication of Buganda came from the British, when they found Buganda and other East African feudalities in the 19th century. They were the best tributes because they were reluctantly extracted from white racists and culturally arrogant colonialists, who did not want to admit that Africans were capable of anything. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (51 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Actually, Europeans were so impressed with what they saw in the inter- lacustrine zone that they invented the thesis that those political state s could not possibly have been the work of Africans and must have been built at an earlier date by white ‘Hamites’ from Ethiopia. This my th seemed to get some support from the fact that the Bachwezi were said to have been light-skinned. However, in the first place, had the Bachwezi come from Ethiopia they would have been black or brown Africans. And secondly, as noted earlier, the cultures of East Africa were syntheses of local developments, plus African contributions from outside the specific localities. They were certainly not foreign imports . Assuming that the Bachwezi or Bahima were from Ethiopia, then they lost their language and became Bantus-peaking like their subjects. The same thing happened to the Babito dynasty of Luo extraction, indicating that they had been absorbed by the local culture. Furthermore, the Babito and the Bahima/Bahinda also forged close connections from the 16th to the 19th centuries. In effect, out of different ethnic groups, castes and classes, a number of ‘nationalities’ were emerging. The ‘nationality’ group is held to be that social formation which immediately precedes the nation state, and the definition applies to the peoples of Buganda, Bunyoro, Ankole, Karagwe and Toro, as well as to those in Rwanda and Burundi. (d) Rwanda The western most portion of the inter-lacustrine zone comprised the kingdoms of Rwanda and Burundi. The two countries which today bear those names are centred around the old kingdoms. The experiences of http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (52 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Rwanda will be instanced here. Like the old Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom and like its north-eastern neighbour state in Ankole, Rwanda was split into two major social groups. Though the great majority of the population were cultivators known as the Bahutu, political power was in the hands of Batutsi pastoralists, comprising about 10% of the population. An even smaller minority were the Batwa (about 1 %), who were at a very low level of pre-agricultural social organisation. The relative physiques of the three social segments in Rwanda offers an interesting commentary on the development of human beings as a species. The Batutsi are one of the tallest human groups in the world; the Bahutu are short and stocky; and the Batwa are pygmies. The differences can be explained largely in terms of social occupation and diet. The Batwa were not living in settled agricultural communities : instead, they wandered around in small bands, hunting and digging roots, thereby failing to assure themselves of plentiful or rich food. A t the other extreme, the Batutsi pastoralists were subsisting on a constantly accessible and rich diet of milk and meat. The Bahutu were more socially advanced than the Batwa; they ate more and more regularly than the latter because Bahutu agriculture meant that they did not live entirely on the whims of nature, following scarce game like the Batwa. However, the quality of their food fell short of the protein-rich Batutsi diet. Thus, the development of man, the physical being is also linked in a broad sense to the expansion of productive capacity and the distribution of food. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (53 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 In any event, it was their political and military achievements rather th an their height which distinguished the Batutsi from a historical viewpoint . Their contribution to the kingdom of Rwanda goes back to the 14th century, to a period contemporaneous with the Bachwezi. There were indeed striking parallels and actual links between Rwanda and Ankole and between Karagwe and Burundi. But unlike Bunyoro-Kitara, Rwanda in the 14th and 15th centuries, was far from being a single political entity. There were several small chiefdoms, and it was the expansion of a central Rwanda Tutsi clan which gradually created a small compact state in the 17th century. Later still, that central Rwand a state extended its frontiers; and it was still doing so when the colonialists arrived. For instance, rulers in Mpororo (Ankole) were already paying tribute to Rwanda, which was growing at Ankole’s expense. At the head of the Rwanda kingdom was the Mwami. Like so many other African rulers, his powers were sanctioned by religious beliefs and his person surrounded by religious ritual. Feudal kings in Europe often tried to get their subjects to believe that royal authority emanat ed from God and that the king therefore ruled by ‘divine right’. Subj ects of African kings like those of the Mwami of Rwanda often accepted something quite close to that proposition. Of course, in addition, the authority of the king had to be based on real power, and the Mwami of Rwanda did not overlook that fact. Rujugira was a famous Mwami of the 18th century, and the last of the independent line was Rwaabugiri (known also as Kigeri IV), who díed http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (54 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 in 1895. Gahindiro is another whose praises were sung by the court musicians and historians. Each of them was associated with one or more contributions to refining and elaborating the power structure of the state, which meant that they each embodied certain historical, class and national forces. The Mwami Rujugira in the 18th century took the step of placing his frontier zones under the exclusive authority of a military commander, and stationing strong contingents of soldiers -there. The move was significant because in any young and growing state the most uncertain areas are those on the frontiers, known as the ‘marcher provinces’ in European feudal terminology. Rujugira was in effect placing the marcher provinces under military law, and he also put permanent military camps at strategic places. Early in the 19th century, Mwami Gahindiro overhauled the civil administration. In each province, there was created both a land-chief and a cattle chief-one being responsible for farm rents and the other fo r cattle dues. Besides, there were smaller district authorities or ‘hil l chiefs’ within all the provinces, all members of the Batutsi aristocr acy. Whether by accident or design, it turned out that administrators responsible for different areas and different matters were jealous of each other, and that kept them from uniting to conspire against the Mwami. The ‘hill chiefs’ were for a long time hereditary within gi ven Batsutsi clans or lineages; but under Rwaabugiri they became appointive-another move which strengthened central government. Meanwhile, the civil servants and councillors (collectively known as http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (55 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Biru) were given grants of land which were free from the intervention of the land- and cattle-chiefs, thereby cementing the loyalty of the Bir u to the throne. The system of social relations which emerged in Rwanda were more completely hierarchical and feudal than in most other parts of Africa. Hierarchy and socio-legal interdependence of classes and individuals were features found in the army, the civil administration and in the social fabric itself. The key to everything else was the control over cattle, through an institution known as ubuhake. This meant that the poor (in cattle) and those of low status (by birth) could approach a nyone with more cattle and more respected status, and offer his physical labour services in return for cattle and protection. The cattle were nev er given as outright property, but only the usufruct was handed over to a client. Therefore, the client could have the use of the cattle for so lo ng as he reciprocated by handing over milk and meat to his overlord, and for so long as he remained loyal. Of course, the peasant on the land als o had to perform labour services and provide tribute in the form of food. The Batutsi aristocracy fulfilled their function of offering ‘protect ion’ partly by making representations at the Mwami’s court or by defending their dependents in legal cases. Above all, however, the protection came through specialisation in the military art. Ever since the 15th century, there was compulsory military service for certain Batutsi lineages. Sons of the Batutsi aristocracy became royal pages, receiving all their educational training within a military context. Each new Mwami made a fresh recruitment to add to existing forces. Some Bahutu were http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (56 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 associated with particular regiments to provide supplies, and the Batwa were also incorporated as specialist archers (with poisoned arrows). Of course, the ‘protection’ which the Batutsi gave the Bahutu was a myth, in the sense that what they were guarding was their exploitation of the Bahutu. They defended them from external enemies, so that the population became dense and plentiful. They conserved the Bahutu, so that the latter could exercise their highly developed agronomical knowledge to produce surplus. Furthermore, the top stratum of Batutsi were the cattle owners, and they left their cattle to the lesser Batutsi to tend, thereby exploiting the labour and profound empirical knowledge which the common cattle herders possessed. As in Europe and Asia, such was the socioeconomic base which supported a life of leisure and intrigue among the Batutsi aristocracy. There was little inter-marriage between Batutsi and Bahutu, and hence they are regarded as castes. The Batwa, too, can be similarly categorised; but since the castes were hierarchically placed one over th e other, it was also a situation of class, and there was upward and downward mobility from one class to another to a certain extent. At the same time, Batutsi, Bahutu and Batwa together evolved as the Rwanda nation, having common interests to defend against even the Batutsi, Bahutu and Batwa who comprised the kingdom of Burundi. The people of Rwanda were not unique in developing a state and a sense of national consciousness, while at the same time experiencing the rise of more sharply differentiated classes and castes in society. The important thin g is that they were free to develop relatively unaffected by alien http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (57 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 influence, and certainly free from direct ravages of slave trading. (e) Ama-Zulu The same freedom from slave trading was operational in South Africa, for West African exports of capotes began in Angola and East African exports came from Mozambique and zones further north. The area south of the Limpopo was one that had some of the simpler social formations in Africa up to the 15th century. The eastern side was sparsely peopled up to a late date by the Khoi Khoi herdsmen, who were slowly edged out by Bantu speakers. When European ships touched on the Natal coast in the 16th century, it was still a region of widely-scattered homesteads; but in the years to come the population became denser and important politico-military development took place. Anyone with a nodding acquaintance with the African past would have heard the name of Shaka, the Zulu leader who most embodied the social and political changes which took place in the eastern portion of South Africa. One biographer (a European) had this to say of Shaka: ‘Napoleon, Julius Caesar, Hannibal. Charlemagne . . . such men as the se have arisen periodically throughout the history of the world to blaze a trail of glory that has raised them high above the common level. Such a man was Shaka, perhaps the greatest of them all.’ The above praise-song appeared on the back-cover of the biography in question; and, since capitalist publishers treat books just like boxes o f soap-powder, one has admittedly to be suspicious of any advertisement designed to sell the book. Nevertheless, all commentators on Shaka http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (58 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 (both African and European) frequently compare him favourably with the ‘Great Men’ of European history. It is therefore appropriate t o examine Ama-Zulu society up to the 19th century with a view to understanding the role of the leader in relationship to the development of society as a whole. Shaka was born about the year 1787, and the impressive achievements attributed to him in his 40-year life span can only be briefly enumerate d here. By 1816, he was head of a small Ama-Ngoni clan, the Ama-Zulu. Within a few years, he had re-organised it militarily — both in terms of weapons and the tactics and strategy of war — so that the Ama-Zulu clan became a feared fighting force. Through warfare and political manoeuvring , he united and commanded the Ama-Ngoni who had previously been divided into dozens of independent or semi- independent clans. At one point, it seemed as though Shaka was about to unite under one rule the whole of the region that is now Natal, Lesotho and Swaziland. That task was not accomplished when he met his death in 1828, nor were his successors able to maintain Shaka’s sway. But the territory belonging to the Ama-Zulu nation in the late 19th century was 100 times greater than the 100 sq. miles of the origina l patrimony of the Ama-Zulu clan as inherited by Shaka in 1816. It was a diminished and less powerful AmaZulu that was still capable in 1876 of inflicting upon the British one of the most crushing defeats in their history of overseas adventuring — at the battle of Isandlwana. Shaka grew up at a time when the questions of unity and of effective armies were being posed seriously for the first time among the Ama- http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (59 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Ngoni. Previously, the clans (which generally coincided with chiefdoms) displayed a tendency to segment or break into smaller and smaller units. As the eldest son of a clan head grew to adulthood, he went off to settle his own kraal; and a new junior clan was born, for hi s father’s clan remained senior and its headship passed to the eldest s on of the ‘great wife’. That pattern of segmentation was possible so long as population density was low and land was plentiful for farming and- grazing. Under those circumstances, there was little competition for resources or political power; and wars were hardly any more dangerous than a game of football in Latin America. Usually a clan had traditional rivalry with another given clan. They knew each other well, and their champions fought in a spirit of festivity. One or two might have been killed, but then everyone went home until the rematch. Early in the 19th century, the casual tempo of Ama-Zulu life and politics had changed considerably. A greater population meant less and less room for junior members to ‘hive off’ on their own. It meant less grazing land for cattle, and disputes over cattle and land. As the Ama- Zulu began to fight more frequently, so they began to feel the necessity to fight more effectively. At the same time, senior clan heads began to recognise the need for a political structure to ensure unity, the maximisation of resources and the minimisation of internecine conflict. Shaka addressed himself to both the military and political problems of Zululand, which he saw as two sides of the same coin. He thought that the centralising political nucleus should achieve military superiority a nd demonstrate it to other sectors. That would generally lead to peaceful http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (60 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 acceptance of the greater political state, or else the dissidents would be thoroughly crushed. The era of conflict and warfare in Zululand in the early 19th century brought troops face to face much more often, but the pattern of military encounter still remained that of the long-distance hurling of light Umkhonto or spears. For close fighting, a weapon grasped in the hands is much more damaging-as feudal armies discovered in Europe and Asia, and therefore resorted to sword and pike. Shaka, while serving as a young soldier, came up with the solution of devising a heavy short assegai, which was used purely for stabbing rather than throwing. In addition, he discarded the loose sandals so as to achieve more speed in closing with the enemy and more dexterity at close quarters. Through experience, Shaka and his fellow youth then discovered the specific techniques of using their shields and assegais to best effect. Of course, warfare comprises not just the encounter of individual soldiers, but (more importantly) a pattern of tactics and strategy in relationship to the opposing forces taken as a whole. This aspect of war also attracted Shaka’s attention, and his outstanding innovation came in the form of izimpi (regiments) deployed so as to allow for a reserve behind the fighting vanguard and for two wings or ‘horns’ capable of encircling the enemy’s flanks. Finally (and most importantly), an a rmy has to be trained, disciplined and organised so that it is a meaningful unit in peace and in war. Shaka created new regiments to include men up to 40 years of age. He kept his izimpi on constant exercises and ‘fatigues’, so that the individual soldier was fit and proficient, while the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (61 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 army as a whole synchronised in accordance with the wishes of its commanders. The Zulu army was more than a fighting force. It was an educational institution for the young, and an instrument for building loyalties that cut across clans and could be considered as national. Promotion came through merit, and not through clan or regional origin. The enforced use of the Zulu branch of the family of Ngoni languages also worked in the direction of national consciousness. Over an area of 12,000 sq. miles, citizens came to call themselves ‘Ama-Zulu’, and to relegate their clan names to second place. Over a much larger area still, Zulu influence was profoundly felt. Policies such as curbing the excesses of witchcraft diviners (izanusi) and the fact that Zululand became free of internal struggles led to an influx of population from outside its boundaries — a positive contribution to the resources of the Zulu state. European travellers who have left written accounts of Zululand in Shaka’s time were impressed by the cleanliness (as they were in Beni n in the 15th century) and they were equally struck by the social order, absence of theft, sense of security, etc. (just like the Arabs who travelled in the Western Sudan during its period of imperial greatness) . In actual fact, both the cleanliness and the security of life and proper ty were part of Zulu life from long before, and under Shaka what was impressive was the scale on which these things extended, owing to the protective umbrella of the state. The people being impressed were Europeans; and European evidence is the best evidence in that it can scarcely be said to have been pro-African propaganda. One white http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (62 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 visitor who saw a march-past of fifteen of Shaka’s regiments, wrote that: ‘it was a most exciting scene, surprising to us, who could not have imagined that a nation termed “savages” could be so disciplined an d kept in order.’ A great deal more could be added concerning Ama-Zulu political institutions and its army. But what is relevant here is to understand wh y a Shaka was possible in Africa in the 19th century, before the coming of colonial rule. Had Shaka been a slave to some cotton planter in Mississippi or some sugar planter in Jamaica, he might have had an ear or a hand chopped off for being a ‘recalcitrant nigger’, or at best he might have distinguished himself in leading a slave revolt. For the only great men among the unfree and the oppressed are those who struggle to destroy the oppressor. On a slave plantation, Shaka would not have built a Zulu army and a Zulu state — that much is certain. Nor could any African build anything during the colonial period, however much a genius he may have been. As it was, Shaka was a herdsman and a warrior. As a youth, he tended cattle on the open plains — free to develop his own potential and apply it to his environment. Shaka was able to invest his talents and creative energies in a worthwhile endeavour of construction. He was not concerned with fighting for or against slave traders; he was not concerned with the problem of how to re-sell goods made in Sweden and France. He was concerned with how to develop the Zulu arca within the limits imposed http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (63 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 by his people’s resources. It must be recognised that things such as military techniques were responses to real needs, that the work of the individual originates in a nd is backed by the action of society as a whole, and that whatever was achieved by any one leader must have been bounded by historical circumstances and the level of development, which determine the extent to which an individual can first discover, then augment and then display his potential. To substantiate the above points, it can be noted that Shaka was challenged to create the heavy stabbing assegai, when he realised that the throwing spear broke when used as a stabbing weapon. More important still, what Shaka came up with depended upon the collective effort of the Ama-Zulu. Shaka could ask that a better assegai be forged, because the Ama-Ngoni had been working iron for a long time, and specialist blacksmiths had arisen within certain clans. It was a tribute to the organisational and agricultural capacity of the society as a whole that it could feed and maintain a standing army of 30,000 men, re-equip them with iron weapons, and issue each soldier with the full-length Zulu shield made from cattle hide. Because the scientific basis and experimental pre-conditions were lacking in Zulu society, Shaka could not have devised a firearm — no matter how much genius he possessed. But, he could get his people to forge better weapons, as we explained above; and he found them receptive to better selective breeding practices when he set up special http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (64 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 royal herds, because the people already had a vast fund of empirical knowledge about cattle and a love of the cattle herding profession. In the politico-military sphere, Shaka was following in the footsteps of his original protector, Dingizwayo, and to some extent in the footsteps of Zwide, who was a rival to both Dingizwayo and Shaka. Dingizwayo opened up trade with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay in 1797 (mainly in ivory), and he stimulated arts and crafts. His most distinguished innovation was in the army, when he instituted a system of recruiting regiments according to age grades. Previously, each locality tended to dominate within a given regiment; and, in any event, people were accustomed to fighting side by side with members of their own kraal, locality and clan. However, when all men in a given age-grade were brought into the same regiment, this emphasised a greater national feeling and also increased Dingizwayo’s power vis-a-vis the smaller clan heads. Dingizwayo was head of the important Ama-Mthethwa clan, and he succeeded in establishing his paramountcy in what later became the southern portion of Zululand. In the north, Zwide of the Ama- Ndwandwe was also engaging in political consolidation. Shaka served in one of the junior age-grade regiments of Dingizwayo, and remained faithful to the latter’s centralising power, until Dingizwayo met his death at the hands of Zwide in 1818. Thereafter, Shaka took up many of the military and political techniques of Dingizwayo and greatly improved them. That is development: It is a matter of building upon what is inherited and advancing slowly, provided that no one comes to http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (65 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 ‘civilise’ you. Conclusion The regions of Yorubaland, Dahomey, the inter-lacustrine kingdoms and Zululand, which have so far been discussed, are examples of leading forces in the political development which was taking place in Africa right up to the eve of colonisation. They were not the only leading forces, and even where the states were territorially much smaller, there were observable advances in political organisation. Areas of Africa that were most advanced by the 15th century generally maintained their standards, with few exceptions such as Kongo. In North Africa and Ethiopia, for example, feudal structures remained intact, though there was a noticeable lack of continued growth. In the Western Sudan, the Hausa states were heirs to the political and commercial tradition of the great empires after the fall of Songhai in t he 17th century; and early in the 19th century there arose the Islamic Caliphate of Sokoto with its centre in Hausaland. The Sokoto empire was one of the largest political units ever established on the African continent, and it suffered from many internal schisms through lack of adequate mechanisms for integrating so vast a territory. Experiments to deal with the problem of unity were continued in the Western Sudan, with Islam as the hoped-for unifying factor. An Islamic theocratic state was established across the Niger bend by Ahmadu Ahmadu in the middle of the 19th century, while another was created by Al Haj Omar on the upper Niger. Most outstanding of all was the Mandinga state carved out under the leadership of Samori Toure by the 1880s. Samori http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (66 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Toure was not a scholar like the renowned Uthman dan Fodio and Al Haj Omar, who before him had been creators of Islamic states; but Samori Toure was a military genius and a political innovator, who went further than the others in setting up a political administration where a sense of loyalty could prevail over and above clans, localities and ethn ic groups. Zimbabwe, too, progressed, with only slight interference from Europeans. Locally, the centre of power shifted from Mutapa to Changamire; and eventually in the 19th century, Nguni groups (fleeing from the power of the Zulu) overran Zimbabwe. So long as the Nguni were warrior bands on the march, they obviously proved destructive; but by the middle of the 19th century the Nguni had already spread their own building techniques to Mozambique and to what is now Southern Rhodesia, and had joined with the local population to establish new and larger kingdoms — infused with a sense of nationality, as was the cas e in Zululand. Meanwhile, across vast areas of Central Africa, striking political chang e was also taking place. Up to the 15th century, the level of social organisation was low in the area between Kongo and Zimbabwe. Precisely in that area, there arose the group of states known as the Lub a- Lunda complex. Their political structures rather than their territorial size made them , significant; and their achievements were registered in the face of constantly encroaching slaving activities. On the large island of Madagascar, the several small states of an earlie r epoch had by the late 18th century given way to the powerful feudal http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (67 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Merina kingdom. More often than not, Madagascar is ignored in general assessments of the African continent, although (both in the physical an d cultural sense) Africa is writ large on the Malagasy people. They, too, suffered from loss of population through slave exports; but the Merina kingdom did better than most slaving states, because more intensive cultivation of high-yielding swamp rice and the breeding of cattle offse t the loss of labour. This situation should serve as a reminder that development accompanied by slave trading must not be superficially and illogically attributed to the export of the population and the dislocation attendant upon slave raiding. The bases of the political development of the Merina kingdom and of all others (whether or not engaged in slaving) lay in their own environment — in the material resources, human resources, technology and social relations. So long as any African society could at least maintain its inherited advantages springing from many centuries of evolutionary change, then for so long could the superstructure continue to expand and give further opportunities to whole groups of people, to classes and to individuals. At the beginning of this section, attention was drawn to the necessity for reconciling a recognition of African development up to 1885 with an awareness of the losses simultaneously incurred by the continent in that epoch, due to the nature of the contact with capitalist Europe. Tha t issue must also be explicitly alluded to at this point. It is clearly ridiculous to assert that contacts with Europe built or benefitted Afric a in the pre-colonial period. Nor does it represent reality to suggest (a s President Leopold Senghor once did) that the slave trade swept Africa like a bush fire, leaving nothing standing. The truth is that a developi ng http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (68 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Africa went into slave trading and European commercial relations as into a gale-force wind, which shipwrecked a few societies, set many others off course, and generally slowed down the rate of advance. However (pursuing the metaphor further) it must be noted that African captains were still making decisions before 1885, though already forces were at work which caused European capitalists to insist on, and succeed in taking over, command. 4.4 The Coming of Imperialism and Colonialism In the centuries before colonial rule, Europe increased its economic capacity by leaps and bounds, while Africa appeared to have been almost static. Africa in the late 19th century could still be described as part communal and part feudal, although Western Europe had moved completely from feudalism to capitalism. To elucidate the main thesis of this study, it is necessary to follow not only the development of Europe and the underdevelopment of Africa, but also to understand how those two combined in a single system — that of capitalist imperialis m. The European economy was producing far more goods by making use of their own resources and labour, as well as the resources and labour o f the rest of the world. There were many qualitative changes in the European economy, which accompanied and made possible the increase in the quantity of goods. For example, machines and factories rather than and provided the main source of wealth; and labour had long since ceased to be organised on a restricted family basis. The peasantry had been brutally destroyed and the labour of men, women and children was ruthlessly exploited. Those were the great social evils of the capitalis t http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (69 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 system, which must not be forgotten; but, on the issue of comparative economics, the relevant fact is that what was a slight difference when the Portuguese sailed to West Africa in 1444 was a huge gap by the time that European robber statesmen sat down in Berlin 440 years later to decide who should steal which parts of Africa. It was that gap which provided both the necessity and the opportunity for Europe to move into the imperialist epoch, and to colonise and further underdevelop Africa. The growing technological and economic gap between Western Europe and Africa was part of the trend within capitalism to concentrate or polarise wealth and poverty at two opposite extremes. Inside of Western Europe itself, some nations grew rich at the expense of others. Britain, France and Germany were the most prosperous nations. Poverty prevailed in Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Southern Italy. Inside of the British, French and German economies, the polarisation of wealth was between the capitalists on the one hand and the workers and a few peasants on the other. The big capitalists got bigger and the little ones were eliminated. In many important fields, such as iron and steel manufacture, textiles and particularly banking, i t was noticeable that two or three firms monopolised most of the business. The banks were also in a commanding position within the economy as a whole, providing capital to the big monopoly industrial firms. European monopoly firms operated by constantly fighting gain control over raw materials, markets and means of communications. They also fought to be the first to invest in new profitable undertakings related to http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (70 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 their line of business — whether it be inside or outside their countr ies. Indeed, after the scope for expansion became limited inside of their national economies, their main attention was turned to those countries whose economies were less developed and who would therefore offer little or no opposition to the penetration of foreign capitalism. That penetration of foreign capitalism on a world-wide scale from the late 19th century onwards is what we call ‘imperialism’. Imperialism meant capitalist expansion. It meant that European (and North American and Japanese) capitalists were forced by the internal logic of their competitive system to seek abroad in less developed countries opportunities to control raw material supplies, to find market s, and to find profitable fields of investment. The centuries of trade with Africa contributed greatly to that state of affairs where European capitalists were faced with the necessity to expand in a big way outside of their national economies. There were certain areas of Africa in which European investment was meant to get immediate super-profits. The mines of South Africa, the loans to North African governments, and the building of the Suez Canal were in that category. The Suez Canal also ensured the greater profitability of European investment in and trade with India. However, Africa’s greatest value to Europe at the beginning of the imperialist era was as a source of raw materials such as palm products, groundnuts, cotton and rubber. The need for those materials arose out of Europe’s expanded economic capacity, its new and larger machines and its increasing wage-earning population in towns. All of those things had http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (71 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:23 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 developed over the previous four centuries; and again it needs to be repeated that one of the important factors in that process was the unequal trade with Africa. Imperialism is essentially an economic phenomena, and it does not necessarily lead to direct political control or colonisation. However, Africa was the victim of colonisation. In the period of the notorious Scramble for Africa’, Europeans made a grab for whatever they thought spelt profits in Africa, and they even consciously acquired many areas not for immediate exploitation but with an eye to the future. Each European nation that had these short-term and long-term economic interests ran up its own flag in different parts of Africa and establish ed colonial rule. The gap that had arisen during the period of pre-colonial trade gave Europe the power to impose political domination on Africa. Pre-colonial trade in slaves, ivory, gold, etc., was conducted from the coasts of Africa. On the coasts, European ships could dominate the scene, and if necessary forts could be built. Before the 19th century, Europe was incapable of penetrating the African continent, because the balance of force c their disposal was inadequate. But the same technological changes which created the need to penetrate Africa also created the power to conquer Africa. The firearms of the imperialist epoch marked a qualitative leap forward. Breech-loading rifles and machine guns were a far cry from the smooth-bored muzzle loaders and flintlocks of the previous era. European imperialists in Africa boasted that what counted was the fact that they had the Maxim machine gun and Africans did not. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (72 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Curiously, Europeans often derived the moral justification for imperialism and colonialism from features of the international trade as conducted up to the eve of colonial rule in Africa. The British were the chief spokesmen for the view that the desire to colonise was largely based on their good intentions in wanting to put a stop to the slave trade. True enough, the British in the 19th century were as opposed to slave trading as they were once in favour of it. Many changes inside Britain had transformed the 17th century necessity for slaves into the 19th century necessity to clear the remnants of slaving from Africa so as to organise the local exploitation of land and labour. Therefore, slaving was rejected in so far as it had become a fetter on further capitalist development; and it was particularly true of East Africa, where Arab slaving persisted until late in the 19th century. The British took special self-righteous delight in putting an end to Arab slave trading, and in deposing rulers on the grounds that they were slave traders. However, in those very years, the British were crushing political leaders in Nigeria, like Jaja and Nana who had by then ceased the export of slaves, and were concentrating instead on products like palm oil and rubber. Similarly, the Germans in East Africa made a pretence of being most opposed to rulers like Bushiri who were engaged in slave trading, but the Germans were equally hostile to African rulers with little interest in slaving. The common factor underlying the overthrow of African rulers in West, Central, North and South Africa was that they stood in the way of Europe’s imperial need s. It was the only factor that mattered, with anti-slaving sentiments being at best superfluous and at worst calculated hypocrisy. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (73 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 King Leopold of Belgium also used the anti-slavery excuse to introduce into Congo forced labour and modern slavery. Besides, all Europeans had derived ideas of racial and cultural superiority between the 15th an d 19th centuries, while engaged in genocide and the enslavement of non- white peoples. Even Portugal, an impoverished and backward European nation in the imperialist era, could still presume that it had a destiny to civilise the natives in Africa! There is a curious interpretation of the Scramble and African partition which virtually amounts to saying that colonialism came about because of Africa’s needs rather than those of Europe. Africa, they say, requ ired European colonisation if it were to advance beyond the stage it had reached the late 19th century. Clearly, they do not appreciate that such a line of reasoning was suggesting that Africa would develop if it were given bigger doses of the European concoction that had already started its underdevelopment — that it would develop if it lost the last remnants of its freedom of choice, which had clearly been seriously undermined by the pre-colonial trade — that it would develop if its economy became more integrated with Europe’s on terms that were entirely dictated by Europe. Those implications and their fallacies would be plain to anyone who tries to understand the development process before making pronouncements on any particular epoch of human development in Africa. Throughout the 14th century, African rulers were displaying great initiative in pursuit of the broadest forms of cultural contact with Europe. In the case of West Africa, that meant seeking substitutes for http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (74 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 trade in slaves. Dahomey, one of the most embroiled in slave trading, was among those states that used many of the last years of its independence to find a healthy basis for cultural exchange with Europeans. In 1850, the reigning Dahomean king, Ghezo, proclaimed an edict whereby all-young oil-palms were to be freed from parasites surrounding them, and severe penalties were to be imposed for cutting palm trees. Ghezo who ruled from 1818 to 1857 was a reformer, and he made sincere efforts to meet criticisms of his policies by groups such a s missionaries and anti-slavery campaigners; but it soon became clear that Europeans were not bent on seeing Dahomey re-emerge as a strong state, but were rather creating excuses and the subjective conditions to justify their proposed colonisation of the people of Dahomey. Under those circumstances, the last Dahomean monarch, Glele, fell back on his capital at Abomey, and pursued the policies which he considered most consistent with the dignity and independence of Dahomey. Glele raided Abeokuta, which contained converts who were already ‘British protected persons’; he told the French to get the hell out of Porto Novo ; and he generally resisted until defeated militarily by the French in 188 9. African groups who had little or nothing to do with slave exports also intensified their efforts to integrate into a wider world in the 19th century. Gungunhana, the Nguni ruler of Gaza in Mozambique, asked for a Swiss missionary doctor and maintained him at his court for several years until the Portuguese conquered his kingdom in 1895. After the Portuguese imposed colonial rule, it was a long time before http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (75 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Africans saw another doctor! It is particularly instructive to turn to the example of Egypt under Muhammad Ali, who ruled from 1805 to 1849. Capitalist Europe had left feudal North Africa behind over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries. Muhammad Ali was aware of that, and consciously aimed at catching up with Europe. He instituted a series of reforms, the most important of which were of an economic nature. Egypt grew and manufactured its own cotton, and it made glass, paper, and other industrial goods. Egypt was not to be used as a dumping ground for European goods which would undermine local industry, so that protective tariff walls were set up around Egypt’s ‘infant industr ies’. That did not mean that Egypt became isolated from the rest of the world. On the contrary, Muhammad Ali borrowed experts from Europe, and he increased Egypt’s foreign trade. The ideals of Muhammad Ali could be related in the idiom of modern social science as being the creation of a viable, self-propelling econom y to provide the basis for national independence. Such ideals were diametrically opposed to the needs of European capitalism. British and French industrialists wanted to see Egypt not as a textile manufacturer but as a producer of raw cotton for export, and an importer European manufactures. European financiers wanted Egypt to be a source of investment, and in the second half of the 18th century they turned the Sultan of Egypt into an international beggar, who mortgaged the whole of Egypt to international monopoly financiers. Finally, European statesmen wanted Egyptian soil to serve as a base for http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (76 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 exploiting India and Arabia. Therefore, the Suez Canal was dug out of Egyptian soil by Egyptians, but it was owned by Britain and France, who then extended political domination over Egypt and Sudan. Education is undeniably one of the facets of European life which had grown most appreciably during the capitalist epoch. Through education and extensive use of the written word, Europeans were in a position to pass on to the others the scientific principles of the material world which they had discovered, as well as a body of varied philosophical reflections on man and society. Africans were quick to appreciate advantages deriving from a literate education. In Madagascar, the Merina kingdom did a great deal to sponsor reading and writing. They used their own language and an Arabic script, and they welcomed the aid of European missionaries. That conscious borrowing from all relevant sources was only possible when they had the freedom to choose. Colonisation, far from springing from Malagasy needs, actually erected a barrier to the attainment of the ‘modernisation’ initiat ed by the Merina kings in the 1860s and 1870s. A similar example can be found in the history of Tunisia before the axe of Partition fell. In many parts of the world, capitalism in its imperialist form accepted that some measure of political sovereignty should be left in the hands o f the local population. This was so in Eastern Europe, in Latin America, and to a more limited extent in China. However, European capitalists came to the decision that Africa should be directly colonised. There is evidence to suggest that such a course of action was not entirely planned. Britain and France up to the 1850s and 1860s http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (77 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 would have preferred to divide Africa into informal ‘spheres of influence’. That means that there would have been a gentlemen’s agreement that (say) Nigeria would be exploited by the British merchants while Senegal would be exploited by Frenchmen. At the same time both Englishmen and Frenchmen would trade in a minor way in each other’s informal empire. But, firstly, there was disagreement over who should suck which pieces of Africa (especially since Germany wanted to join the grabbing); and, secondly, the moment that one European power declared an area of Africa as a Protectorate or a colony, it put up tariffs against European traders of other nationalitie s, and in turn forced their rivals to have colonies and discriminatory tariffs. One thing led to another, and soon six European capitalist nations were falling over each other to establish direct political rule over particular sections of Africa. Make no mistake about it, gentlemen like Karl Peters, Livingstone, Stanley, Harry Johnston, de Brazza, General Gordon and their masters in Europe were literally scrambling for Africa. They barely avoided a major military conflagration. In addition to the factors that caused the chain-reaction of the Scrambl e as described above, Europeans were also racially motivated to seek political domination over Africa. Thee 19th century was one in which white racism was most violently and openly expressed in capitalist societies, with the U.S.A. as a focal point, and with Britain taking the lead among the Western European capitalist nations. Britain accepted granting dominion status to its old colonies of white settlers in Canada , Australia and New Zealand; but it withdrew self-government from the West Indies when the white planters were ousted from the legislative http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (78 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 assemblies by black (or brown) people. As far as Africa is concerned, Englishmen violently opposed black self-government such as the Fante Confederation on the Gold Coast in the 1860s. They also tried to erode the authority of black Creoles in Sierra Leone. In 1874, when Fourah Bay College sought and obtained affiliation with Durham University, the Times newspaper declared that Durham should next affiliate with the London Zoo! Pervasive and vicious racism was present in imperialism as a variant independent of the economic rationality that initially gave birth to racism. It was economics that determined that Europe should invest in Africa and control the continent’s raw materi als and labour. It was racism which confirmed the decision that the form of control should be direct colonial rule. Africans everywhere fought against alien political rule, and had to be subdued by superior force. But a sizeable minority did insist that their trade connections with Europe should remain unbroken, for that was a measure of the extent to which they were already dependent on Europe. The most dramatic illustration of that dependence was the determination with which some Africans fought the end of the European slave trade. For most European capitalist states, the enslavement of Africans had served its purpose by the middle of the 19th century; but for those Africans who dealt in captives the abrupt termination of the trade at an y given point was a crisis of the greatest magnitude. In many areas, major social changes had taken place to bring the particular regions effective ly into the service of the European slave trade — one of the most http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (79 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 significant being the rise of ‘domestic slavery’ and various forms of class and caste subjugation. African rulers and traders who found their social existence threatened by the earliest legal edicts such as the 180 7 British Act against the trade in slaves found ways of making contact with Europeans who still wanted slaves. In sub-Saharan Africa and especially in West Africa, the export of slaves declined most rapidly where Europeans were prepared to buy other commodities. As soon as inhabitants of any region found that they had a product which Europeans were accepting in place of the former slave trade, those inhabitants put tremendous effort into organising the alternatives: namely, ivory, rubber, palm products, groundnuts, etc. Once more, those efforts demonstrated the determination of a small but decisive proportion of Africans. It was a determination based on the desire to obtain European trade goods, many of which had ceased to be mere curiosities or luxuries, and were regarded instead as necessities. The first four centuries of Afro/European trade in a very real sense represent the roots of African underdevelopment. Colonialism flourished rapidly from a European viewpoint, because several of its features were already rooted in Africa in the preceding period. One of the most decisive features of the colonial system was the presence of Africans serving as economic, political and cultural agents of the European colonialists. Those agents or ‘compradors’ were already serving European interests in the pre-colonial period. The impact of trade with Europe had reduced many African rulers to the status of middlemen for European trade; it had raised ordinary Africans to that http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (80 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 same middleman commercial role; and it had created a new trading group of mixed blood-the children of European or Arab fathers. Those types can all be referred to as ‘compradors’, and they played a ke y role in extending European activity from the coast into the hinterland, as soon as Europeans thought of taking over political power. One outstanding example of the above is the way that the French colonialists used Africans and mulattoes on the Senegalese coast as agents for the spread of French control for thousands of miles into areas now covered by Senegal, Mali, Chad, Upper Volta and Niger. Those particular blacks and mulattoes were living in the trading ports of Gorée, Dakar, St. Louis and Rufisque; and they had had long-standing links with Atlantic trade. Africans conducting trade on behalf of Europeans were not merely commercial agents, but also cultural agents, since inevitably they were heavily influenced by European thought and values. The search for European education began in Africa before the colonial period. Coastal rulers and traders recognised the necessity to penetrate more deeply int o the way of life of the white man who came across the sea. The mulatto sons of white traders and the sons of African rulers were the ones who made the greatest effort to learn the white ways. This helped them to conduct business more effectively. One Sierra Leone ruler in the 18th century explained that he wished ‘to learn book to be rogue as good a s white man’; and there were many others who saw the practical advantages of literacy. However, the educational process also meant imbibing values which led to further African subjugation. One West African educated in this early period wrote a Ph.D. thesis in Latin http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (81 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 justifying slavery. That was not surprising.: The Rev. Thomas Thompson was the first European educator on the ‘Gold Coast’, and he wrote in 1778 a pamphlet entitled, The African Trade for Negro Slaves Shown to be Consistent with the Principles of Humanity and the Laws of Revealed Religion. One of the most striking features of 19th century West ‘African histo ry is the manner in which Africans returned from slavery under European masters and helped in the establishment of colonial rule. This was especially true of Africans who returned from the West Indies and North America to Sierra Leone or who were released from slave ships and landed in Sierra Leone. To a lesser extent, it also applied to Africans who were once in Brazil. Such individuals had assimilated capitalist values, and like most European missionaries, promoted the kinds of activity that went along with colonial rule. In a rather differ ent context, it can be argued that the Arabs of Zanzibar and the East African ere also transformed into agents of European colonialism. At first, they resisted because European colonialism affected their own expansionist ambitions on the East African but they soon came to an arrangement which gave Europeans the ultimate powers. The Europeans reduced the small Arab clique into political and economic instruments of imperialism. European superiority over the Arabs in East and North : and in the Middle East demonstrates conclusively modern imperialism is inseparable from capitalism, and the role of slavery in the context of capitalism. The Arabs had acquired Africans as slaves for centuries, but http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (82 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 they were exploited in a feudal context. African slaves in Arab hands became domestics, soldiers, and agricultural serfs. Whatever surplus they produced was not for reinvestment and multiplication of capital, as in the West Indian or North American slave systems but for’ consumption by the feudal elite. Indeed, slaves were often maintained more for social prestige than for economic benefit. The major exceptions to that rule were 19th century Zanzibar and Egypt under Muhammed Ali. In both those instances, African labour was being exploited to produce profit on a plantation basis; and this may also have applied to date palm production in Arabia. But, Europe had already been exploiting African labour to maximise surplus for three centuries previously, and the contribution which the plantation system made to the European capitalist development was so great that Western Europe in the 19th century had engulfed the lesser exploitation of Zanzibar and Arabia, and it secured a firm grasp on Egypt’s economy after the death of Muhammed Ali in 1849. In other words, the cloves, cotton and dates produced in Zanzibar, Egypt and Arabia, respectively, previous to colonisation were already going to strengthen European trade and production. Eventually, it was no problem for the capitalist slave traders of Europe to extend political domination over the feudalis t Arab slave traders and to use the latter as agents of colonialism in Eas t Africa. Returning to the question of indigenous African agents of European colonial rule in Africa, it should be recognised that Europeans recruite d Africans to serve in the armies that actually conquered Africa in the http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (83 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 bloody period from the 1880’s through to the first Great War started by Europeans in 1914. It is a widespread characteristic of colonialism to find agents of repression from among the colonial victims themselves. Yet, without the previous centuries of trade between Africa and Europe, it would have been impossible for Europeans to have so easily recruited the askaris, porters, etc., who made their colonial conquest possible. African residents of the Senegalese ports already referred to were the ones who were put in French army uniform and fought to establish French rule in the interior and other parts of the coast such as Dahomey . When the British defeated Asante in 1874, they had in their forces African troops from the coastal towns around the ‘Gold Coast’ fort s. Those Africans had been in contact with Europeans ‘for so long that ever since the 17th century they identified themselves as ‘Dutch’, ‘Danish’, or ‘English’, depending upon whose fort gave them employment. They had fought battles for one European nation against another; and by the late 19th century it was an easy matter to get them to fight against fellow Africans on behalf of the conquering colonial power of Britain. In the Portuguese territories, the origins of the black colonial police and army also went back into the ‘pre-colonial’ trade period. Around t he forts of Luanda and Benguela in Angola and Lourenço Marques and Beira in Mozambique, there grew up communities of Africans, mulattoes and even Indians who helped ‘pacify’ large areas for the Portuguese after the Berlin Conference. Traders in Mozambique and in the rest of East, West and Central Africa who had experience with http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (84 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 Europeans previous to colonialism were the ones to provide porters to carry the heavy machine guns, cannons and the support equipment; they were the ones who provided the would-be European colonialist with the information and military intelligence that facilitated conquest; and the y were the interpreters who were the voice of the Europeans on African soil. Of course, it is true that many Africans who had little ‘ nothing to do with pre-colonial trade also allied themselves with European newcomers. In that respect, the gap in levels of political organisation between Europe and Africa was very crucial. The development of political unity in the form of large states was proceeding steadily in Africa. But even so, at the time of the Berlin Conference, Africa was still a continent of a large number of socio-political groupings who had not arrived at a common purpose. Therefore, it was easy for the European intruder to play the classic game of divide and conquer. In that way, certain Africans became unwitting allies of Europe. Many African rulers sought a European ‘alliance’ to deal with thei r own African neighbour, with whom they were in conflict. Few of those rulers appreciated the implications of their actions. They could not know that Europeans had come to stay permanently; they could not know that Europeans were out to conquer not some but all Africans. This partial inadequate view of the world was itself a testimony of African underdevelopment relative to Europe, which in the late 19th century was self-confidently seeking dominion in part of the globe. Political divisions in Africa were no evidence of innate inferiority or http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (85 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 backwardness. That was the state in which the continent then found itself — a point along a long road that others had traversed and alon g which Africa was moving. Commercial impact of Europe slowed down the process of political amalgamation and expansion; in contrast to the way trade with Africa strengthened Europe’s nation states. When European capitalism took the form of imperialism and started to subjugate Africa politically, the normal political conflicts of the pre- capitalist African situation were transformed into weakness which allowed the Europeans to set up their colonial domination. Altogether, it is very clear that to understand the coming of colonialis m into Africa, one has to consider the previous historical evolution of bo th Africa and Europe and in particular one has to consider ways in which their trade contacts influence the two continents mutually, so that what was called ‘pre-colonial’ trade proved to be a preparatory stage f or the era of colonial rule. It is widely accepted that Africa was colonised because of its weakness. The concept of weakness should be understood to embrace military weakness and inadequate economic capacity, as well as certain political weaknesses namely, the incompleteness of the establishment of nation states which left the continent divided and the low level of consciousness concerning the world at large which had already been transformed into a single system by the expansion of capitalist relation s. Brief Guide to Reading Section 3 of this chapter dealing with African society is a continuation http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (86 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 of Chapter 2; and general books cited there are also relevant in this context. More African writers are involved in this recent pre-colonial period, which is of course one aspect of a national struggle. There are also more and better monographs on given areas and subjects. But, the coming of imperialism has not yet been seriously pursued from an African viewpoint, and there is a marked absence of theory linking together the numerous facts that are now well established about events taking place in Africa between 1500 and 1885. J. Webster and A. Boahen, The Revolutionary Years: West Africa since 1800. Davidson with J. E. Mhina, The Growth of African Civilisation: East and Central Africa lo the late nineteenth century. These two should be added to the list of general texts which provide regional surveys over a long period of time. They have the advantage of being coherent interpretations and not just collected essays. W. Rodney, West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade. E. Alpers, The East African Slave Trade. I.A. Akinjogbin, Dahomey and its Neighbours. The first two are short accounts of the impact of slave exports on the African regions concerned. The third is a detailed account by a Nigerian scholar of Dahomey’s involvement with Europeans. http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (87 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM] How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Walter Rodney 1973 J. Egharevba, A Short History of Benin. B.A. Ogot, History of the Southern Luo. I. Kimambo, A Political History of the Pare. J. Vansina, Kingdoms of the Savannah. The first three are good examples of scholarship by Africans concerning historical developments starting before contact with Europe. They are characterised by the use of African oral traditions as a basis for interpretation. The fourth (by a European) was a pioneering work which drew heavily on oral traditions in reconstructing Central African history. J. Ajayi, Christian Missions in Nigeria, 1845-1891. E.A. Ayandele, The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria. One aspect of the imperialist epoch that has been probed by African historians (and many non-Africans) is that of the Christian missionari es, as evidenced by the above works. Table of Contents http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/rodney-walter/how-europe/ch04.htm (88 of 88) [8/22/05 11:06:24 AM]
Write a 5-7 page paper (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins) on one of the following topics. Your title page and bibliography (and any other pages that are not written) do not count toward
A B rie f H is to ry o f CO M MER CIA L CA PIT A LIS M JA IR US B AN AJI Hay m ark et B ooks Chic a g o, I llin ois C O N TE N TS 1 . Rein sta tin g C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 2 . The I n fr a str u ctu re o f C om merc ia l C ap it a lis m 3 . The C om petit io n o f C ap it a ls : Str u ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f r o m t h e T welf th t o Eig hte en th C en tu rie s 4 . Brit is h M erc a n tile C ap it a lis m a n d t h e C osm opo lit a n is m o f t h e N in ete en th C en tu ry 5 . Com merc ia l P ra ctic e s : Puttin g-O ut o r t h e C ap it a lis t D om estic I n dustr ie s 6 . The C ir c u la tio n o f C om merc ia l C ap it a ls : C om petit io n, V elo cit y , V ertic a lit y A PPEN D IX : I SL A M AN D C APIT ALIS M A CKN O W LED GM EN TS N O TES S ELEC T B IB LIO GRA PH Y For H en ry , J a ved , M . J ., a nd S ughosh 3 TH E C O M PETIT IO N O F C A P IT A LS S tru ggle s f o r C om merc ia l D om in an ce f ro m t h e T w elf t h t o E ig h te en th C en tu rie s B YZA N TIU M : T H E S U BOR DIN ATIO N O F G R EEK C A P IT A L I n C onsta n tin ople th e e arly m odern w orld in herit e d a n “ u rb an m onste r,” 1 b u t o ne w hose tr a je cto ry h ad i n volv ed sh arp f lu ctu atio n s o v er t h e c e n tu rie s , w it h a h is to ry g oin g b ack , o f c o urse , t o la te a n tiq u it y ( u nlik e m eg acit ie s lik e C air o a n d B ag hdad ). O n t h e e v e o f it s c o nqu est b y t h e O tto m an s in 1 453, t h e c it y ’s p o pu la tio n h ad s ta b iliz e d a ro und s e v en ty t h ousa n d, 2 b u t a t it s e arly -B yza n tin e p eak in th e s ix th c e n tu ry it h ad b een p ro bab ly w ell o ver h alf a m illio n, a n d a t t h e e n d o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry w as a g ain s o m ew here in th e r e g io n o f h alf a m illio n, s a y , f o ur h undre d th ousa n d. 3 B etw een th ose p eak s c a m e a d ow ntu rn r e ach in g a l o w p o in t, f o rty t h ousa n d t o s e v en ty t h ousa n d, i n t h e e ig hth c e n tu ry ( fo llo w in g a p la g ue in 7 47– 8), 4 a n d t h en a s u sta in ed r e n ew al o r e x p an sio n f r o m t h e n in th c e n tu ry d ow n t o t h e e n d o f th e tw elf th . A s th e p o lit ic a l b ase o f a n e m pir e , h ow ev er, th e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f th e in te rn al m ark et t h at o ccu rre d f r o m t h e n in th t o t w elf th c e n tu rie s w as t r u e n ot j u st o f t h e m etr o po lis b u t t o s o m e d eg re e o f t h e w hole e m pir e i n clu din g i t s v ario us s e co ndary u rb an c e n te rs a s w ell a s t h e i s la n ds. 5 W hat w as in p la y h ere w as a h uge co m mon m ark et , th e b ig gest in th e w orld in th e tw elf th c e n tu ry (if w e e x ce p t C hin a, o f c o urse ), a n d i t w as b o und t o e x ert c o nsid era b le f o rc e a s a c o m merc ia l m ag net. C onsta n tin ople is s a n dw ic h ed b etw een t h e G old en H orn t o it s n orth a n d t h e S ea o f M arm ara t o t h e s o uth . I n t h e s ix th c e n tu ry , a s o ne s c h ola r h as a rg ued c o nvin cin gly , t h e p la g ue o f 5 42 t r ig gere d a m ajo r r e lo ca tio n o f b u sin ess an d re sid en ce to th e so uth ern (M arm ara ) co ast, b eca u se b o die s w ere b ein g d um ped in th e se a a n d a n y d um ped in th e G old en H orn w ould n ot h av e b een w ash ed a w ay . 6 T he G old en H orn h ad b een a b an doned w ell b efo re t h e l a te s e v en th c e n tu ry 7 a n d i t w as t h e s o uth c o ast t h at w as m ore a ctiv ely u se d in th e se v en th to te n th c e n tu rie s. 8 T he su sta in ed e x p an sio n o f th e n in th to t w elf th c e n tu rie s, h ow ev er, s a w a s u cce ssio n o f I ta lia n c it y -sta te s s ta rtin g t o t r a d e w it h t h e e m pir e i n a b ig w ay , a n d it w as e sse n tia lly t h eir p re se n ce in C onsta n tin ople t h at r e v it a liz e d t h e G old en H orn in to t h e m ajo r c o m merc ia l h ub t h at i t b eca m e f r o m t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry d ow n t o e arly O tto m an t im es 9 a n d t h en a g ain , w it h th e r e n ew ed c o lo niz a tio n o f P era ( G ala ta , o n th e E uro pean s id e o f I sta n bu l) , in th e m ain p art o f t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . A ll t h e m ajo r I ta lia n c o lo nie s ( A m alf i, P is a , G en oa, V en ic e ) w ere c lu ste re d in th e lo w er G old en H orn , w it h je ttie s o r la n din g-sta tio ns ( sk ala i ) w here s e ag oin g v esse ls c o uld lo ad a n d u nlo ad . T he c it y c e n te r a n d th e s e ash ore s w ere “ h eav ily b u ilt u p w it h th re e- o r e v en f iv e-sto ry h ouse s.” 10 I n t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry C onsta n tin ople w as a d en se ly p o pu la te d c o sm opo lit a n c it y , s h arp ly d iv id ed in s o cia l te rm s, a n d p ro ne to v io le n t, u nco ntr o lla b le fir e s. 11 J o hn T ze tz e s b o aste d h e c o uld s p eak to lo ca l r e sid en ts in n o fe w er th an s e v en la n guag es, in clu din g P ersia n , A ra b ic , R ussia n , a n d H eb re w . 12 E usta th io s o f T hessa lo nik i c o unte d six ty th ousa n d “ L atin s” in th e c it y , 13 a n d a k een obse rv er, t h e J e w is h t r a v ele r B en ja m in o f T udela t e lls u s, “ T hey s a y t h at t h e t r ib u te o f t h e c it y a lo ne am ounts e v ery d ay to tw en ty th ousa n d f lo rin s, a ris in g f r o m r e n ts o f h oste lr ie s a n d b aza ars, a n d f r o m th e d utie s p aid b y m erc h an ts w ho a rriv e b y s e a a n d b y l a n d.” 14 I t w as t h e g re ate st c o m merc ia l c e n te r o f th e e aste rn M ed it e rra n ean , 15 w it h a p o pu la tio n b y t h en n ot f a r s h ort o f h alf a m illio n. 16 F in ally , e v en a s la te a s 1 192 th e n ativ e, G re ek , m erc h an ts o f C onsta n tin ople w ere a “ la rg e, in flu en tia l, r ic h ” g ro up. 17 Oik onom id ès c it e s th e e x am ple o f K alo m odio s, a b an ker w ho a ccu m ula te d a v ast fo rtu ne th ro ugh su cce ssfu l o pera tio ns i n l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e, f in an cin g c o m merc ia l t r ip s u nderta k en b y o th ers. 18 Yet th e m ost e x tr a o rd in ary f a ct a b o ut B yza n tin e c o m merc e f r o m th e e n d o f th e e le v en th c e n tu ry to th e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d la te r w as t h e s e v ere d is c rim in atio n G re ek m erc h an ts w ere s u bje cte d t o v is – à-v is fo re ig n c o m petit o rs by th eir o w n s ta te . B y th e te rm s o f th e tr e aty o f 1 082, “ V en etia n m erc h an ts co uld b u y a n d s e ll i n e v ery p art o f t h e E m pir e , f r e e o f d uty o r c u sto m s e x am in atio n.” M an y p o rts w ere open ed a n d “ v ast te rrit o rie s m ad e a cce ssib le to th em f o r f r e e tr a d e.” 19 “ T hese p riv ile g es, r e n ew ed b y th e e m pero rs o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . . . r e n dere d t h e V en etia n s v ir tu al m aste rs o f t h e c o m merc ia l lif e of t h e e m pir e .” 20 B y t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry , w hen t h e G en oese c a m e in to B yza n tin e e co nom ic lif e in a big w ay a n d s im il a r w id e-ra n gin g c o nce ssio ns w ere g ra n te d , “ Ita lia n m erc h an ts , w heth er G en oese o r Ven etia n s, b eca m e s o e n tr e n ch ed in C onsta n tin ople th at th ey c o ntr o lle d th e e co nom y o f th at c it y .” 21 And b y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry , th e is la n ds o f th e A eg ean (th e A rc h ip ela g o) w ere b ein g div id ed b etw een G en oese an d V en etia n co ntr o l, 22 th e A eg ean ’s east co ast b eco m in g th e h eart o f Gen oa’s m arit im e d om ain . G re ek m erc h an ts , m ean w hile , c o ntin ued to p ay a d uty o f 1 0 p erc e n t a n d Byza n tin e a cce ss to m ark ets in th e w est re m ain ed se v ere ly lim it e d . G re ek m erc h an ts ra re ly g ain ed acce ss t o I ta lia n m ark ets . 23 T he I ta lia n s d is c o ura g ed B yza n tin e e x p an sio n w est o f t h e P elo po nnese , 24 s o th at G re ek c a p it a l w as e ffe ctiv ely s h ut o ut o f t h e l o ng-d is ta n ce t r a d e. 25 A m ajo r u psh ot o f e n tr e n ch ed I ta lia n e co nom ic d om in an ce w as th e e n dem ic h ostilit y th at g re w u p betw een th e Ita lia n s a n d la rg e se cto rs o f th e lo ca l p o pu la tio n. 26 T he v io le n t c ru sa d er o ccu patio n o f Consta n tin ople i n 1 204 a n d t h e l o ng-sta n din g d iv is io n b etw een t h e c h urc h es d id n oth in g t o a b ate t h at, of c o urse . E very a tte m pt to b rin g th e tw o c h urc h es to geth er w as se en a s a “ n atio nal b etr a y al” a n d sp ark ed rio ts . 27 G re ek s liv in g in te rrit o rie s under L atin co ntr o l w ere lo oked dow n upo n as a “co nqu ere d p eo ple ” a n d s u ffe re d th e e co nom ic a n d s o cia l c o nse q u en ce s o f th at e v en to th e p o in t o f bein g d en ie d th e rig ht to h av e th eir o w n b is h ops. 28 “ T hey tr e ate d c it iz e n s lik e sla v es,” w ro te o ne tw elf th -c e n tu ry c h ro nic le r. “ T heir b o ld ness a n d im pu den ce in cre ase d w it h t h eir w ealt h u ntil t h ey n ot only d ete ste d t h e R om an s [ G re ek -sp eak in g B yza n tin es] b u t e v en d efie d t h e t h re ats a n d c o m man ds o f th e E m pero r.” 29 O n t h e o th er h an d, a s t h e le ft- w in g h is to ria n N ic o la s O ik onom id ès e m ph asiz e d , n one of t h is p re v en te d G re ek b u sin ess c ir c le s f r o m e n te rin g i n to p artn ersh ip s w it h I ta lia n c a p it a l. T here w as ex te n siv e c o lla b o ra tio n, a n d G re ek m erc h an ts e v en s o ught G en oese o r V en etia n n atio nalit y to e n jo y th e s a m e b en efit s . The e m erg en ce o f a B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l “ m id dle c la ss” w as a r e m ark ab le f e atu re o f t h e e le v en th – ce n tu ry b o om in th e e co nom ic a n d c u lt u ra l lif e o f th e e m pir e , a n d it s m ost s tr ik in g p o lit ic a l o utc o m e was th e th re e d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e c e n tu ry w hen a s tr ic tly a ris to cra tic m odel o f g overn m en t sp lit w id e o pen to a llo w th e p o pu la r c la sse s a n d c o m merc ia lly a ctiv e str a ta (lit e ra lly , “ th ose o f th e mark et p la ce ” ) acce ss, fo r th e fir st tim e ev er, to th e se n ate an d h ig her ad m in is tr a tio n. 30 N o le ss in te re stin gly , t h e s a m e r u le rs w ho b ro ught a b o ut t h is r e v olu tio nary c h an ge r e sp o nded t o t h e eco n om ic need s o f th e m id dle c la ss ( meso i ) b y a llo w in g fo r a c o ntr o lle d d ev alu atio n o f th e g old c o in ag e— a measu re not o f c ris is b u t o f t h e e co nom ic b o om r e fle cte d b y a g ro w in g d em an d f o r m ean s o f c ir c u la tio n an d p ay m en t as B yza n tiu m ’s m ark ets w ere b eco m in g m ore d eep ly in te g ra te d in to th e ex p an sio n occu rrin g in t h e w est. 31 W hat e m erg ed b rie fly in t h e e le v en th c e n tu ry w as a f a sc in atin g a llia n ce o f t h e ab so lu tis t p o w er w it h a m id dle c la ss h ostile to th e a ris to cra cy . It w as th is “ ca p it a lis t” d re am o f th e ele v en th c e n tu ry th at w as sh atte re d in 1 081/ 2 in th e v io le n t re actio n o f a str o ngly p ro -a ris to cra tic dynasty (th e K om nen oi) th at se t ab o ut cu rb in g th e g ro w in g afflu en ce an d p o w er o f th e G re ek merc a n tile c la ss b y a b o lis h in g “ all th e p riv ile g es th e b u sin essm en h ad ju st a cq u ir e d ” 32 a n d (ju st a s im po rta n t!) gra n tin g ex te n siv e co nce ssio ns to V en etia n ca p it a l, effe ctiv ely allo w in g a w hole sa le ta k eo ver o f B yza n tin e m ark ets b y I ta lia n m erc h an t c a p it a lis ts , w it h th e m ajo r e x ce p tio n o f th e B la ck Sea w hic h in a n y c a se fa ile d to a ttr a ct m uch a tte n tio n till th e la te r th ir te en th c e n tu ry . T he F re n ch Byza n tin is t L em erle d esc rib ed A le x io s I K om nen os’s ch ry so b u ll o f 1082 as a “m assiv e eco nom ic ca p it u la tio n,” th e p o in t b ein g th at th ough a B yza n tin e m erc h an t c la ss s u rv iv ed a n d c o ntin ued to b e activ e d ow n to th e e n d o f th e tw elf th c e n tu ry , it h ad lo st c o ntr o l o f th e e m pir e ’s m ark ets . 33 G oin g b y la te r e x p erie n ce , it is p o ssib le th at th e v ast m ajo rit y o f lo ca l m erc h an ts w ork ed a s b ro kers fo r th e Ita lia n f ir m s. 34 The la st tw o a n d a h alf c e n tu rie s o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e (1 204– 1453) w ere c h ara cte riz e d b y th e ca ta str o ph e o f th e V en etia n o ccu patio n o f C onsta n tin ople , w hic h perm an en tly d is m em bere d th e em pir e a n d le ft t h e c it y it s e lf d ep le te d a n d im po veris h ed ; 35 b y f e ro cio us s tr u ggle s b etw een V en ic e a n d Gen oa f o r c o ntr o l o f t h e le ad in g t r a d e s e cto rs, o nce B yza n tin e r u le w as r e sto re d ( in 1 261) a n d G en oa esta b lis h ed a m ajo r p re se n ce th ro ugh it s allia n ce w it h M ic h ael V III P ala io lo gos (th ose str u ggle s eru pte d i n t h e l a st q u arte r o f t h e t h ir te en th c e n tu ry a n d b eg an w it h t h e B la ck S ea); b y t h e c iv il w ars o f th e 1 340s w hic h s a w th e a ris to cra cy c o nte n din g w it h r e b ellio ns b ase d o n a lo ose c o alit io n o f u rb an cla sse s th at in clu ded sa ilo rs an d lo ngsh ore m en ; b y th e aris to cra cy ’s d ecis iv e tu rn to co m merc ia l in vestm en t a s la n ded a sse ts w ere p ro gre ssiv ely lo st to th e O tto m an a d van ce fr o m th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry ; a n d f in ally , b y t h e o verw helm in g g rip t h at G en oa e v en m ore t h an V en ic e h ad n ow esta b lis h ed o ver m uch o f t h e t r u nca te d e m pir e ’s t r a d e. I n deed , t h e G en oese h ad c lo se r e la tio ns w it h t h e Turk s t h ro ughout t h e f o urte en th c e n tu ry , a n d a v ery s u bsta n tia l p art o f t h eir b u sin ess w as d one i n t h e Otto m an t e rrit o rie s. 36 The id ea th at a n cie n t a n d m ed ie v al w rit e rs w ere o bliv io us to th e p la y o f e co nom ic fo rc e s in th e his to ry o f th eir re sp ectiv e so cie tie s an d civ iliz a tio ns d oes n ot sta n d u p to sc ru tin y. T o B yza n tin e writ e rs lik e G eo rg e P ach ym ere s an d N ik ep h oro s G re g ora s it w as fa ir ly obv io us th at G en oa’s ex p lo it a tio n o f B yza n tin e m ark ets w as th e b asis o f h er p ro sp erit y . 37 P ach ym ere s h im se lf h as so m e re m ark ab le p assa g es o n t h e k in d o f d om in an ce t h e G en oese h ad e sta b lis h ed o ver t h e e m pir e a n d a b o ut th e fie rc e s tr u ggle s b etw een th em a n d th e V en etia n s fo r th e d om in atio n o f G re ek m ark ets . I n o ne o f th ese h e w rit e s, “ th e V en etia n s a n d th eir c o m munit y ( in C onsta n tin ople ) fo rm erly g re atly s u rp asse d th e G en oese i n w ealt h . . . b eca u se t h ey m ad e g re ate r u se o f t h e [ n arro w ] w ate rs ( th e A eg ean ) t h an d id th e G en oese a n d b eca u se th ey s a ile d a cro ss th e h ig h s e a ( th e M ed it e rra n ean m ore w id ely ) w it h lo ng sh ip s ( g alle y s), a n d th ey s u cce ed ed in g ain in g m ore p ro fit th an d id th e G en oese in tr a n sp o rtin g a n d ca rry in g w are s. B ut o nce th e G en oese b eca m e m aste rs o f th e B la ck S ea b y g ra n t o f th e e m pero r (M ic h ael III) a n d w it h a ll lib erty a n d fr a n ch is e , th ey b ra v ed th at [s e a], a n d sa ilin g in th e m id st o f win te r i n s h ip s o f r e d uce d l e n gth . . . t h ey n ot o nly b arre d t h e R om an s ( B yza n tin es) f r o m t h e l a n es a n d ware s o f t h e s e a bu t a ls o e clip se d t h e V en etia ns i n w ea lt h a nd m ate ria l [ g ood s] . B eca u se o f t h is t h ey c a m e to lo ok d ow n n ot o nly u po n th ose o f th eir o w n k in (o th er Ita lia n s) b u t als o u po n th e R om an s th em se lv es.” 38 H ere P ach ym ere s d esc rib es t w o b ro ad p erio ds in t h e c o m merc ia l h is to ry o f t h e e m pir e , in th e f ir st o f w hic h , a cco rd in g to h im , th e V en etia n s e sta b lis h ed th eir p rim acy th ro ugh a s tr a te g y o f ca b o ta g e o r c o asta l tr a d in g in th e p u re ly G re ek p arts o f th e e m pir e ( a B yza n tin e v ersio n o f w hat in In dia th e B rit is h w ould la te r c a ll th e “ co untr y tr a d e” ). T he G en oese la te r s u rp asse d th em b y m ak in g th e B la ck S ea th e re n ew ed fo cu s o f th eir c o m merc ia l o pera tio ns. T his str ik es m e a s a re m ark ab ly co here n t s u m mary o f o ver t w o c e n tu rie s o f B yza n tin e c o m merc ia l h is to ry . In b o th c it ie s, V en ic e a s w ell a s G en oa, th e a ris to cra cy it s e lf w as v ery s u bsta n tia lly in volv ed in th e tr a d e w it h “ R om an ia .” 39 T he in vestm en ts a t s ta k e w ere th ose o f th e le ad in g fa m ilie s in b o th c e n te rs. But c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as s till w id ely d is p erse d a m ong th e alb erg hi . O n th e G en oese sid e, th e six le ad in g fa m ilie s acco unte d fo r 29 perc e n t of all in vestm en t, a deg re e of co nce n tr a tio n sc a rc e ly co m para b le w it h t h e m uch h ig her l e v els c h ara cte ris tic o f l a te r c e n tu rie s. 40 I n ca . 1170 t h e V en etia n s h ad vastly m ore c a p it a l tie d u p in B yza n tiu m th an a n y o f th eir c o m petit o rs. T hey h ad a s tr o nger h old o n th e i s la n ds, a n d t h is w as e x te n siv e b y t h e s e co nd q u arte r o f t h e t w elf th c e n tu ry . 41 When th e G en oese fir st so ught to e sta b lis h th em se lv es in C onsta n tin ople , th eir n ew ly e sta b lis h ed qu arte rs w ere re p eate d ly atta ck ed an d ev en d em olis h ed — in 1 162 b y a m ob co nsis tin g m ain ly o f Pis a n s, th en a g ain in 1 170 b y th e V en etia n s th em se lv es, a n d a th ir d tim e, in A pril 1 182, in a d re ad fu l lo ca l p o gro m a g ain st a ll Ita lia n s (e x ce p t th at th e V en etia n q u arte r la y v aca n t a t th is tim e). 42 O n a ll th ese v ario us o cca sio ns, c la im s fo r c o m pen sa tio n w ere s u bm it te d b y th e m ain a g grie v ed p artie s, a n d fr o m th ese o ne g ets a t le ast a c ru de im pre ssio n o f th e s c a le o f th eir r e sp ectiv e in vestm en ts . G en oese estim ate s o f t h e l o sse s t h ey s u sta in ed i n 1 162 a n d 1 182 r e sp ectiv ely s u ggest t h at i n t h e p re v io us d eca d e or s o th ere h ad b een v ery r a p id e n ric h m en t o f G en oese m erc h an ts tr a d in g to B yza n tin e m ark ets . 43 I t se em s e n tir e ly lik ely th at th e d is ru ptio n o f V en etia n b u sin ess fo llo w in g th e r e p ris a ls a g ain st th em in 1171 w ork ed s tr o ngly i n G en oa’s f a v or. That t h e L atin c o nqu est o f C onsta n tin ople w as l a rg ely a f u nctio n o f t h e e n dem ic r iv alr y b etw een t h e tw o m ain co m merc ia l po w ers is sh ow n by th e fa ct th at G en oa w as not offic ia lly re p re se n te d in Con sta ntin op le d urin g t h e o ccu patio n. 44 V en ic e ’s t e rrit o ry in t h e c it y e x p an ded s u bsta n tia lly s o on a fte r th e c o nqu est. 45 T he re sto ra tio n o f B yza n tin e ru le in 1 261 tu rn ed th e ta b le s d ra m atic a lly a s G en oa beca m e t h e d om in an t e co nom ic p o w er i n C onsta n tin ople a n d s e cu re d a cce ss t o t h e B la ck S ea, w here a co lo ny w as e sta b lis h ed a t C affa t h at w as t h riv in g b y t h e 1 280s. 46 T he w hole p erio d f r o m 1 270 t o 1 3 40 sa w s u bsta n tia l G en oese i n vestm en t. I n 1 348, a cco rd in g t o t h e c h ro nic le r G re g ora s, r e v en ues f r o m t h e cu sto m s c o lle cte d a t G en oa’s c o lo ny a t P era w ere a lm ost se v en tim es b ig ger th an th e c o lle ctio ns a t Consta n tin ople . 47 T hese f e ll s h arp ly in th e la te r f o urte en th c e n tu ry , w hic h s a w a p ro lo nged r e ce ssio n th at o nly lif te d in th e e arly p art o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry . C om petit io n w as s h arp er th an e v er in th ese deca d es, s in ce t h ere w ere n o f e w er t h an t h re e “ co lo nia l w ars” b etw een V en ic e a n d G en oa f o r c o ntr o l of t h e A eg ean , t h e u psh ot o f w hic h w as a d iv is io n, a “ d e f a cto c a rv e-u p,” o f t h e s e a b etw een t h em . 48 Thus th e “ co lo niz a tio n” o f th e B yza n tin e e m pir e p ro bab ly c o unts a s th e m ost s tr ik in g e x am ple o f a “co lo nia l- sty le ” eco nom y befo re co lo nia lis m . The para lle l has been dra w n re p eate d ly , an d Oik onom id ès h im se lf w ould s p eak o f t h e “ eco nom ic im peria lis m o f w este rn m erc h an ts .” 49 A n a tte m pt in th e m id dle o f th e fo urte en th c e n tu ry to r e esta b lis h g re ate r p arit y in th e d utie s p aid b y G re ek a n d Ita lia n m erc h an ts le d to a v io le n t re actio n w hic h fo rc e d th e em pero r Jo hn V I K an ta k ouze n os to re v erse h is d ecis io n. 50 ( T he G en oese r e acte d b y b u rn in g B yza n tin e m erc h an t s h ip s a n d w are h ouse s!) The t r e aty o f 1 352 i n clu ded a c la u se “ se v ere ly l im it in g t h e a cce ss o f B yza n tin e m erc h an ts t o T an a a n d th e S ea o f A zo v.” 51 T he meso i w ho w ere a ctiv e in t h e r e b ellio ns o f t h e 1 340s in clu ded a la y er o f G re ek ca p it a l t h at b o th r e se n te d i t s s u bo rd in atio n t o m ore p o w erfu l c o m petit o rs and d ep en ded o n t h em f o r i t s ow n s u rv iv al. I n T hessa lo nik i, th e m ost r a d ic a l fa ctio n, th ose k now n a s th e Z ealo ts , e v en c o ntr o lle d th e c it y ’s g overn m en t f o r s o m e s e v en o r e ig ht y ears a n d w ere le d , in p art a t le ast, b y t h e c it y ’s h arb o r work ers. 52 A ngelik i L aio u a rg ued th at th e c iv il w ar w as “ an a b o rtiv e e ffo rt to c re ate a sta te q u it e dif fe re n t f r o m w hat h ad e x is te d in B yza n tiu m , o ne w here t h e i n te re sts o f t h e c o m merc ia l e le m en t w ou ld b e pa ra m ou nt .” 53 In a n y c a se , b y th e la tte r h alf o f th e c e n tu ry a m ore su bsta n tia l k in d o f in volv em en t em erg ed a s m em bers o f th e G re ek a ris to cra cy c o m pen sa te d fo r fa llin g in co m es fr o m th eir e sta te s b y tu rn in g t o l a rg e-sc a le t r a d e a n d b an kin g. A s O ik onom id ès s h ow ed , t h e h ig hest l e v els o f t h e a ris to cra cy were in volv ed in th is , 54 w it h th e n um ber o f a ris to cra ts in volv ed in tr a d e g ro w in g d ra m atic a lly . “ T he urb an u pper c la ss o f B yza n tiu m w as a t la st u nit e d in p u re ly c a p it a lis t a sp ir a tio ns,” h e w ro te , 55 a n d t h e pre v io us d is tin ctio n b etw een t h e meso i a n d t h e a ris to cra cy e v en tu ally d is a p peare d . A f in al w ord . N one o f t h e le ad in g I ta lia n t r a d e c e n te rs t h at t r a d ed w it h B yza n tiu m s im ply r e p lic a te d th e p atte rn o f th eir c o m petit o rs. I n th e e le v en th c e n tu ry , A m alf i ( w here , a g ain , th e a ris to cra cy w ere key d riv ers o f e x te rn al in vestm en t, u nlik e th e o th er so uth ern n obili t ie s) 56 h ad sp ecia liz e d in lu xu ry im po rts f r o m C onsta n tin ople f o r m ark ets in R om e a n d N ap le s, in te g ra tin g it s t r a d e w it h t h e s o uth ern Med it e rra n ean b y u sin g th e g old fr o m th e S ah ara a cq u ir e d in th e M ag hre b p o rts a n d in E gypt (in ex ch an ge fo r g ra in , tim ber, lin en clo th , an d so o n) to fin an ce p u rc h ase s fr o m th e B yza n tin es. In Consta n tin ople th e A m alf it a n s w ere b u yers, n ot se lle rs. 57 In th e e le v en th a n d tw elf th c e n tu rie s, th e Ven etia n s h ad tr a d ed in th e lo ca l p ro duce o f th e G re ek m ain la n d a n d G re ek is la n ds a n d o f s o uth ern Ita ly , in it e m s s u ch a s o liv e o il, c h eese , w in e, w heat, r a w s ilk , a n d r a w c o tto n. A bo ut s ix ty p erc e n t o f Ven ic e ’s tr a d e w it h th e e m pir e is s a id to h av e b een tr a n sa cte d in G re ece . 58 S outh ern C ala b ria w as a majo r p ro duce r o f r a w s ilk 59 a n d t h is m ust a ls o h av e r e ach ed m an ufa ctu rin g c e n te rs s u ch a s T heb es in Ven etia n s h ip s. O liv e o il c a m e f r o m t h e P elo po nnese . 60 A V en etia n b y t h e n am e o f V it a le V olt a n i, w ho se ttle d in G re ece in th e 1 160s, w as sa id to h av e “ d om in ate d th e o il m ark et in C orin th , S parta a n d Theb es.” 61 F or t h eir p art, t h e G en oese c o m bin ed t h e b u lk t r a d es o f t h e B la ck S ea r e g io n, P hokaia , a n d Chio s ( g ra in , a lu m , le ath er, c o tto n, e tc .) w it h th e im po rta tio n o f e x p en siv e fa b ric s, “ m an y d if fe re n t ty pes o f E uro pean c lo th ,” 62 t h e e x p o rt o f A nato lia n c a rp ets , 63 R ussia n f u rs, 64 a n d s o o n. VEN IC E T O P O R TU GAL Unlik e t h e r u le rs o f B yza n tiu m , i t w as M am lu k p o lic y n ot t o i n te rv en e i n t h e c o nflic ts b etw een V en ic e an d G en oa. I n 1 294 t h e c o m merc ia l b attle b etw een t h em h ad s p ille d o ver i n to t h e f a r e n d o f t h e e aste rn Med it e rra n ean . T he S yria n ch ro nic le r al- J a za ri n ote s th at in 1294 “w it n esse s re p o rte d th at la rg e num bers o f F ra n ks c a m e b y s e a to A yas fo r p u rp o se s o f tr a d e a n d th at th ey b elo nged to tw o n atio ns ( ta if a ). O ne l o t w ere c a lle d V en etia n s, t h e o th er G en oese .” A s a cts o f h ostilit y e sc a la te d b etw een t h em , th ey g ot i n to a b it te r f ig ht a n d “ o n o ne d ay a lo ne o ver 6 000 p eo ple w ere k ille d .” “ T he G en oese g ot t h e bette r o f t h e V en etia n s.” 65 A l- J a za ri w as d esc rib in g a c ru cia l p art o f t h e p re lu de t o t h e m ajo r w ar t h at dev elo ped tw o y ears la te r, w hic h b eg an a n d e n ded w it h th e V en etia n s se ttin g fir e to P era a n d th e Gen oese r e ta lia tin g b y m assa crin g l a rg e n um bers o f t h em i n t h eir q u arte r o f t h e c it y . In th e tw elf th a n d th ir te en c e n tu rie s, th e e x p an sio n o f Ita lia n b u sin ess in te re sts in th e L ev an t ra n pa ra lle l to a r a p id g ro w th o f M uslim tr a d e a n d s e ttle m en t o n th e M ala b ar c o ast. 66 T he L ev an t c o tto n tr a d e w as d om in ate d b y t h e I ta lia n s, s o t h at b y t h e l a te f if te en th a n d s ix te en th c e n tu rie s “ in p eak y ears th e to ta l v olu m e o f V en etia n c o tto n im po rts fr o m a ll s o urc e s c o uld e x ce ed 4 ,0 00 to ns.” 67 T hey h ad su bsta n tia l in te re sts in th e L ev an tin e s u gar in dustr y , fo r e x am ple , in th e v illa g es a ro und T yre w here th e m ost im po rta n t s u gar p la n ta tio ns o f t h e S yro -P ale stin ia n c o ast p asse d in to V en etia n h an ds in 1 123 (b etw een t h e f ir st a n d s e co nd C ru sa d es). 68 W it h t h e f a ll o f A cre in 1 291, V en etia n s u gar in te re sts w ere re lo ca te d to th e is la n ds. In C ypru s in th e la te r fo urte en th an d fif te en th ce n tu rie s, th e C orn ers, a po w erfu l V en etia n f a m ily , b u ilt a t h riv in g e n te rp ris e i n s u gar. 69 I n 1 183 t h e S pan is h t r a v ele r I b n J u bay r sa w in num era b le lo ad s o f p ep per b ein g s h ip ped t o t h e S udan ese p o rt o f A ydhab a n d t r a n sp o rte d f r o m th ere in n um ero us ca ra v an s. 70 B are ly se v en y ears la te r, th e v alu e o f g oods e x p o rte d b y C hris tia n merc h an ts t r a d in g t h ro ugh t h e N ile p o rts w as e stim ate d t o b e “ w ell o ver 1 00,0 00 d in ars,” a n d t h is a t a tim e o f c o nsid era b le p o lit ic a l te n sio ns (S ala d in h ad c a p tu re d Je ru sa le m in 1 187). 71 T he n um ber o f merc h an ts f r o m t h e w est t r a d in g i n A le x an dria i n 1 216 w as ( a s I n ote d e arlie r) p u t a t t h re e t h ousa n d b y th e h is to ria n a l- M aq riz i. 72 I n ca . 1260 V en etia n s o urc e s in dic a te “ la rg e c o tto n s h ip m en ts fr o m A cre .” 73 Can dia i n V en etia n -c o ntr o lle d C re te b eca m e a m ajo r s p ic e m ark et i n t h e e arly f o urte en th c e n tu ry . T he su gar a n d c o tto n e x p o rte d t h ere f r o m A le x an dria w ere r e ex p o rte d t o I ta ly i n V en etia n g alle y s. 74 B y t h e mid dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e p ap ers o f t h e V en etia n n ota ry B re sc ia n o r e fle ct massiv e i m po rts o f I ta lia n a n d Fle m is h te x tile s in to C an dia , s o m eth in g th at w as d oubtle ss tr u e o f o th er V en etia n c o lo nie s. 75 B y th e en d o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e v olu m e o f I ta lia n b u sin ess h ad i n cre ase d d ra m atic a lly . I n vestm en ts c o uld r u n a s hig h a s 4 50,0 00 d in ars w it h t h e V en etia n s in t h e 1 390s, a n d b etw een 2 00,0 00 a n d 3 00,0 00 d in ars e v ery year b etw een 1394 an d 1400 in G en oa’s ca se . (T he C ata la n s ca m e th ir d w it h an an nual av era g e ca . 200,0 00.) 76 A nd b y th e fif te en th c e n tu ry w hen , a s B ra u del sa y s, “ V en ic e w as u nqu estio nab ly th e vig oro us h eart o f th e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 77 th an ks la rg ely to it s tr a d e w it h th e L ev an t, m erc h an t g alle y s wit h g oods w orth o ne m illio n d uca ts p lu s 4 00,0 00 i n c a sh w ere s a ilin g f r o m V en ic e f o r A le x an dria a n d Beir u t. 78 The L ev an t t r a d e w as t h e m id dle s e g m en t o f a c ir c u it t h at e x te n ded t o t h e p o rts o f M ala b ar in S outh In dia a n d b ey ond th em in to S outh east A sia . H ere th e g re at c o unte rp art to th e c ru sa d in g p erio d’s “cre atio n o f n um ero us L atin tr a d in g co lo nie s in th e N ear E ast w it h th eir o w n co nsu ls , h oste ls , ware h ouse s, m ark etp la ce s, a n d c h urc h es” 79 w as t h e e x p an sio n o f I sla m , w hic h , s im ila rly , b eg in s in t h e tw elf th c e n tu ry a n d r e ach es it s c o m merc ia l z e n it h in t h e f if te en th . T he o ld est r e lia b ly d ata b le m osq u e on th e M ala b ar c o ast w as fo unded in 1 124, a t M ad ay i. 80 B y th e e n d o f th e th ir te en th c e n tu ry M uslim se ttle m en ts w ere w ell e sta b lis h ed b o th th ere a n d o n th e C oro m an del c o ast, 81 r e fle ctin g a n e x p an sio n acro ss th e e n tir e w este rn h alf o f th e I n dia n O ce an . E ven in th e e arly th ir te en th c e n tu ry , it h as b een cla im ed , th e E ast A fr ic a n c o ast w as la rg ely Isla m ic , 82 a n d c e rta in ly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry th e ev id en ce fr o m K ilw a im plie s a “ v ery la rg e M uslim re sid en t p o pu la tio n.” 83 B y ca . 1331 Ib n B attu ta desc rib es a “ v ast n etw ork o f M uslim s a ll a ro und th e p erip h ery o f th e I n dia n O ce an .” 84 T hese w ere esse n tia lly c o m merc ia l n etw ork s d ra w n f r o m m an y d if fe re n t p arts o f t h e N ear E ast. C alic u t’s M uslim s who te n dere d th eir a lle g ia n ce to th e R asu lid su lt a n a l- A sh ra f II in 1 393 re fle cte d a m ult ip lic it y o f geo gra p h ic o rig in s, 85 a n d th e s a m e is s u ggeste d in B arb o sa ’s r e p o rt th at b y th e s e co nd d eca d e o f th e six te en th c e n tu ry t h ese c o sm opo lit a n m erc h an ts “ d ep arte d t o t h eir o w n l a n ds a b an donin g I n dia a n d i t s tr a d e,” 86 fo llo w in g th e d ra m atic a n d v io le n t w ay in w hic h th e P ortu guese m ad e th eir e n tr y in to th e In dia n O ce an tr a d e w it h V asc o d a G am a in sis tin g o n th e e x p u ls io n o f th e M uslim s fr o m C alic u t a n d bo m bard in g t h e t o w n w hen i t s r u le r r e fu se d . 87 That t h e c ru sh in g o f t h e V en etia n s p ic e m onopo ly w as t h e p re m ed it a te d g oal o f P ortu gal’s m arit im e ex p an sio n in th e fif te en th c e n tu ry c a n , o f c o urse , b e ru le d o ut. T he str a te g y o f A tla n tic e x p an sio n ev olv ed o nly g ra d ually . 88 T here w as, a s L uís F ilip e T hom az h as a rg ued , n o co h ere n t im peria l p ro je ct till th e la st tw o d eca d es o f th e fif te en th c e n tu ry a n d w hat h e c a lls th e “ ca lc u la te d im peria lis m ” o f a model th at w as “ im peria l, g lo baliz in g, a n d s ta te -d riv en .” 89 F ro m th e r e ig n o f D om F erd in an d ( 1 367– 83), P ortu guese r o yal p o w er h ad f o und i t s s tr o ngest s u ppo rt i n t h e p o pu la tio n o f t h e p o rts , 90 w here t h e Portu guese m erc h an t c la ss g re w in s tr e n gth . 91 B ut in th e p artn ersh ip th at e v olv ed o ver th e fo llo w in g ce n tu ry b etw een th e m onarc h y a n d p riv ate c a p it a l, th e sta te c a n sc a rc e ly b e d esc rib ed a s a p assiv e ag en t o f th e la tte r. F in an cia lly , it d ep en ded o n th e re so urc e s o f b ig L is b o n m erc h an ts lik e F ern ão Gom es ca . 1469 a n d, la te r, o f p o w erfu l s y ndic a te s o f G erm an a n d I ta lia n b u sin essm en , b u t it w as th e cro w n t h at b o th d ro ve a n d m onit o re d t h e p ro ce ss, a n d ( ju st a s im po rta n t) t h ere w as n ev er a n y “ cle ar- cu t d em arc a tio n b etw een th e fin an ce s o f th e S ta te an d it s co m merc ia l ca p it a l.” 92 A ll co m merc ia l ca p it a lis m s o f th e six te en th to e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s w ould c o m e to b e in ex tr ic a bly b ou nd u p w it h th e sta te , b u t i n P ortu gal’s c a se t h e r e la tio nsh ip w as p o sit e d a s i m med ia te . I t w as t h e c ro w n t h at w ould a ct as a m erc h an t c o m pan y o n th e w est c o ast o f I n dia , “ se ttin g u p fe it o ria s (tr a d in g p o sts , fa cto rie s) in vario us k ey p o rts , b u yin g u p p ep per, s p ic e s a n d o th er p re cio us c o m modit ie s, w hic h t h ey w ould s h ip t o Euro pe a n d s e ll t h ere a t a h uge p ro fit .” 93 The P ortu guese , o f c o urse , w ere q u it e c le ar w ho th eir c o m petit o rs w ere . T ry in g to c o nvin ce th e mem bers o f h is c o uncil o f th e n eed to c a p tu re a n d re ta in M ala cca , A lb u qu erq u e w ro te , “ S in ce w e gain ed c o ntr o l o f t h e M ala b ar p ep per t r a d e, C air o h as n ot r e ce iv ed a n y e x ce p t w hat t h e M osle m s h av e been a b le t o t a k e f r o m t h is r e g io n ( th e S tr a it s ) . . . I a m v ery s u re t h at, i f t h is M ala cca t r a d e i s t a k en o ut of t h eir h an ds, C air o a n d M ecca w ill b e c o m ple te ly l o st a n d no s p ic e s w ill g o t o t h e V en etia ns e x ce p t t h ose th at th ey g o to P ortu gal to b u y .” 94 T he ta rg et h ere , in 1 511, w as th e e n tir e R ed S ea ro ute , a c ir c u it dom in ate d b y a so rt o f m assiv e jo in t v en tu re b etw een V en etia n c a p it a l, C air o m erc h an ts , a n d th e su pplie rs in C alic u t. B ut m ovin g b ack alo ng th e ch ain , th e m ajo rit y o f h is ca p ta in s ag re ed w it h Alb u qu erq u e, it w as e sse n tia l t o “ ta k e t h e c it y o f M ala cca , to e x pel t h e M osle m s , a n d t o b u ild a f o rtr e ss th ere .” 95 P ortu gal’s “ co m merc ia l a n d re lig io us w ar a g ain st Isla m ” 96 o ccu pie d th e g re ate r p art o f a ce n tu ry a n d w as n ev er c o m ple te ly s u cce ssfu l, b u t i n C alic u t t h e e ffe cts o f h er i n tr u sio n w ere f e lt a lm ost im med ia te ly . A lr e ad y b y 1 507 o ne tr a v ele r, th e I ta lia n L udovic o d i V arth em a, w as w rit in g, “ C alic u t was r u in ed b y t h e K in g o f P ortu gal, f o r t h e m erc h an ts w ho u se d t o c o m e t h ere w ere n ot t h ere , n eit h er did th ey c o m e.” 97 I t w as C och in th at b eca m e P ortu gal’s e co nom ic b ase in th e r e g io n a n d th e b u lk o f Portu guese p ep per fr o m M ala b ar w as e x p o rte d fr o m th ere . 98 B y 1 512 A lb u qu erq u e w as te llin g K in g Man uel th at th e net v alu e o f s h ip m en ts fr o m I n dia w as n ow “ w orth a m illio n cru za d os .” 99 I f s o , th ese le v els w ere nev er su bse q u en tly su sta in ed . T he m ajo rit y of actu al cu lt iv ato rs w ere St. T hom as Chris tia n s. 100 P ep per w as so ld to th e P ortu guese fa cto ry in C och in by m erc h an ts fr o m th eir co m munit y a n d b y C och in J e w s. 101 A ppare n tly , t h e k in g h ad a sk ed o ffic ia ls t o d eal w it h C hris tia n a n d Hin du tr a d ers (N air s w ere u se d as b ro kers) “ an d to keep th e M uslim m erc h ants aw ay fr o m tr a d e activ it ie s .” 102 D om M an uel’s “ro yal ca p it a lis m ” 103 w as a cu rio us m ix tu re of m erc a n tilis m an d messia n is m 104 w here h ard head ed b u sin ess d ecis io ns an d a M ed it e rra n ean -sty le eco nom ic w ar w ere clo ak ed i n r e lig io us z e al a n d a g re at d eal o f b o th i g nora n ce a n d b ig otr y . The habit u al u se o f f o rc e a s a n a cce p ta b le p art o f t h e c o m petit io n b etw een s u bsta n tia l blo cs o f c a p it a l was n ow , fo r th e fir st tim e in th e h is to ry o f eit h er se a, tr a n sp o se d fr o m a th eatr e w here it h ad flo uris h ed fo r c e n tu rie s (sin ce V en ic e ’s d ev asta tin g a tta ck o n C om acch io in 9 32, sa y ) to th e In dia n Oce an , w here it s m ajo r ta rg ets w ere th e p o w erfu l M uslim c o m merc ia l n etw ork s th at str a d dle d th e en tir e o ce an f r o m K ilw a a n d S ofa la in E ast A fr ic a t o S um atr a a n d t h e s o uth ern P hilip pin es. I n C och in it s e lf t h e p rin cip al m erc h an ts o f t h e p o rt ( M uslim c o nverts o f t h e M ara k kar f a m ily ) r e lo ca te d t o C alic u t by th e 1 520s, fo rc e d o ut b y w hat o ne h is to ria n c a lls a n “ atm osp h ere o f c o erc io n a n d v io le n ce .” 105 Ahm ad Z ay n a l- D in ’s la te s ix te en th -c e n tu ry h is to ry , Tuhfa t a l- m uja hid in , h as g ra p h ic d esc rip tio ns o f th e v io le n ce i n flic te d o n M ala b ar’s M uslim c o m munit ie s. H e w rit e s o f t h e b u rn in g o f t h e ja m i‘ m asji d i n Calic u t in 1 510, th e e arlie r d em olit io n o f th e C och in m osq u e, th e se iz u re o f sh ip s, d estr u ctio n o f pro perty , a n d s o o n. T here w as a ls o t h e r e p eate d p erso nal h um ilia tio n M uslim s w ere s u bje cte d t o , a n d of c o urse b lo odsh ed . Z ay n a l- D in h ad a n a cu te s e n se o f t h e h is to ry o f h is o w n lif e tim e, k now in g t h at th e a d ven t o f th e P ortu guese h ad b een r u in ous fo r th e p ro sp erit y o f M uslim c o m merc e in th e I n dia n Oce an . T he P ortu guese , h e w rit e s, h ad s o ught t o “ se cu re f o r t h em se lv es a mon op oly o f t h is t r a d e ” ( th e sp ic e t r a d e). 106 T hey h ad e sta b lis h ed t h em se lv es “ in t h e g re ate r p art o f t h e s e a p o rts o f t h is p art o f t h e world .” 107 T hey h ad ev en “ fo und th eir w ay to th e C hin ese em pir e , ca rry in g o n tr a d e in all th e in te rm ed ia te a n d o th er p o rts , in a ll o f w hic h th e c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th e M uslim s h av e b een in co nse q u en ce c o nsig ned t o r u in .” T he P ortu guese “ re n dere d i t im possib le t h at a ny o th ers s h ou ld c o m pete wit h t h em ” i n t h e t r a d es t h ey s o ught t o d om in ate . 108 T he M uslim s o f M ala b ar h ad s e en t h e b u lk o f t h eir in te rn atio nal c o m merc e m assiv ely d is ru pte d a n d w ere le ft o nly w it h t h e c o astin g t r a d e o f I n dia . T hey had b eco m e “ im po veris h ed a n d w eak a n d p o w erle ss.” 109 There i s a f a sc in atin g r e fe re n ce i n t h ese p assa g es t o a s e lf – fin an cin g m odel t h at b eca m e c h ara cte ris tic not o nly o f P ortu gal’s tr a d e in A sia n w ate rs b u t, e v en m ore c ru cia lly , o f th e b ette r-o rg an iz e d D utc h ex p an sio n th at w ould la te r re p la ce it in th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry . T he P ortu guese m onarc h y w as ch ro nic a lly s h ort o f c a sh a n d s o ught t o s u sta in t h e E uro pean s id e o f it s m onopo ly o f t h e s p ic e m ark et by in volv in g th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis ts a s in vesto rs a n d e n co ura g in g g overn ors lik e Alb u qu erq u e to fin an ce th e ro yal sh are o f p u rc h ase s fr o m p ro fit s g en era te d b y P ortu guese tr a d in g wit h in A sia n m ark ets . 110 A t th e M ala b ar e n d, th ere w as n ev er a n y re al m onopo ly , sin ce e x p o rts to Lis b o n n ev er s e em to h av e e x ce ed ed a b o ut 4 0 p erc e n t o f th e to ta l o utp u t o f p ep per e v en in th e e arly six te en th c e n tu ry a n d fe ll d ra m atic a lly b y th e e n d o f th e c e n tu ry , w hen F ra n cis c o d a C osta r e lia b ly estim ate d th at o f a to ta l p ro ductio n o f 2 58,0 00 q u in ta ls , e x p o rts to P ortu gal w ere a m eag re tw en ty th ousa n d to th ir ty th ousa n d q u in ta ls . 111 I n 1 587 F erd in an d C ro n, C och in a g en t o f th e F uggers, w ro te th at a lt h ough ca . th re e h undre d t h ousa n d q u in ta ls o f p ep per w ere p ro duce d a n nually i n s o uth ern I n dia , only a v ery lit tle o f th is c a m e in to th e h an ds o f th e c o ntr a cto rs to b e ta k en to E uro pe. 112 T hom az h as arg ued th at “ P ortu guese c o m merc e in th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry d ev elo ped p re d om in an tly in th e I n dia n Oce an , ov er a n etw ork o f s h ort a nd m ed iu m r a ng e r o u te s w hic h a ctu ally e n co m passe d a lm ost e v ery c o ast of A sia . . . T he m ain r e aso n w hic h d ro ve t h e P ortu guese t o a p ply t h em se lv es t o t h e lo ca l t r a d e s e em s to b e th at th e C ap e ro ute to P ortu gal w as o fte n a lo se r.” 113 In sh ort, P ortu gal’s A sia n tr a d e c ro ss- su bsid iz e d t h e t r a d e t o L is b o n, s in ce o verh ead s w ere s o h ig h i n t h e l a tte r. Pep per w as g ro w n o n lit e ra lly th ousa n ds o f g ard en s in M ala b ar. 114 T he P ortu guese s im ply d id n ot hav e th e lo gis tic a l s e t- u p to d eal w it h p ro duce rs d ir e ctly a n d c e rta in ly h ad n o w ay o f c o ntr o llin g th e pro duce rs. 115 T here fo re , p ric e d om in atio n h ad to b e e n fo rc e d th ro ugh a g re em en ts w it h th e ru le r o f Coch in a n d o th er l o ca l r u le rs. A l o w f ix ed p ric e w as v it a l t o t h e w hole e n te rp ris e a s k in g D om M an uel had c o nce iv ed t h is in it ia lly . I n 1 503 t h e p ric e o f a bh ar o f p ep per ( th at is , o f a b atc h o f ca . 166 k g) w as fix ed a t le ss t h an h alf t h e m ark et p ric e p re v ailin g in C alic u t t h re e y ears e arlie r. 116 P ric e s w ould r e m ain fix ed fo r d eca d es. B ut M ala b ar p ep per w as a h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark et w it h o ver a d oze n r e g io nal ce n te rs w here m erc h an ts b o ught th e p ro duce w hole sa le . C om petit io n w as fie rc e in th ose m ark ets . 117 This acco unts fo r th e p u re ly th eo re tic a l n atu re o f th e P ortu guese m onopo ly , sin ce , as C esa re d e Fed eric i n ote d , p ro bab ly in th e 1 570s, th e b u lk o f g ood-q u alit y p ep per w as b ein g s h ip ped to th e R ed Sea b eca u se m erc h an ts c o nnecte d w it h th at tr a d e pa id m ore a nd g ot a b ette r q u alit y o f p ro d uce , “ cle an e an d dry an d bette r co ndit io ned .” 118 T his is th e esse n tia l re aso n beh in d th e re silie n ce of th e Med it e rra n ean r o ute t h at B ra u del c o nsta n tly d re w a tte n tio n t o . 119 If th e “ ro yal ca p it a lis m ” o f th e early six te en th ce n tu ry w as ev en tu ally ab an doned fo r a “ m ore str a ig htf o rw ard s e m i- A bso lu tis t c o nce p tio n o f t h e s ta te ’s r e la tio nsh ip t o t r a d e,” 120 P ortu guese c o lo nia l en te rp ris e , o r th e A sia n th ala sso cra cy th at fo rm ed it s c o re , b eca m e e v en s tr o nger a s a m ag net fo r a n ag glo m era tio n o f ca p it a lis t in te re sts th at is p ro bab ly b est d esc rib ed in H en ry B ern ste in ’s id ea o f “cla sse s o f c a p it a l.” A t th e to p w ere th e b ig gest G erm an a n d I ta lia n c a p it a lis t h ouse s ( th e W els e rs, Fuggers, H öch ste tte rs, A ffa it a d i, B arto lo m eo M arc h io nni, G io van ni R ovela sc a ) w ho co m bin ed in po w erfu l s y ndic a te s to fin an ce th e a ctu al e x p ed it io ns to I n dia , s u ch a s th e o ne in 1 505 in w hic h th e Wels e rs h ad a v ery s u bsta n tia l in vestm en t o f tw en ty th ousa n d cru za d os , o r a g re ed to h an dle s a le s in Euro pe, w it h p le d ges to b u y a stip u la te d q u an tit y o f p ep per a t a n a g re ed p ric e . B oth a rra n gem en ts were f r a u ght w it h t e n sio ns b o und u p w it h t h e v ola tilit y o f t h is m ark et, w it h t h e c ro w n q u it e c a p ab le o f re n eg in g o n co ntr a cts . F lo re n tin e m erc h an ts w ere w ell- e n tr e n ch ed in L is b o n an d m an y o f th em “fin an ce d a n d j o in ed t h e P ortu guese o n t h e e arlie st v en tu re s t o t h e I n die s d urin g t h e f ir st q u arte r o f t h e six te en th c e n tu ry .” 121 T he S outh G erm an c o m merc ia l h ouse s h ad s tr o ng o rg an iz a tio nal s tr u ctu re s a n d work ed th ro ugh ca rte l arra n gem en ts w it h o ne an oth er. 122 T hey “am asse d ca p it a l fa r b ey ond th e ca p ab ilit y of an y F lo re n tin e m erc h an t- b an ker,” 123 so th at ev en at th is ra re fie d le v el th ere w ere in te re stin g d if fe re n ce s. C onsid era b ly b elo w th ese g ia n t c a p it a lis ts w ere th e r ic h er ca sa d os o f C och in , se ttle rs o f P ortu guese o rig in , w ho a t v ario us tim es a cte d a s fin an cie rs to th e Esta d o a n d d om in ate d Coch in ’s co asta l tr a d e. 124 B etw een 1 570 an d 1 600 th e ca sa d os , “ a p o w erfu l m erc a n tile g ro up w it h co nsid era b le c a p it a l r e so urc e s,” “ v ir tu ally t u rn ed C och in in to o ne o f t h e b ig gest e n tr e p ô ts o f A sia .” 125 Their in te re sts ex te n ded all o ver th e In dia n O ce an . 126 H ow ev er, fr o m th e se co nd d eca d e o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , th ere w as a m ass e x o dus o f ca sa d o tr a d ers f r o m C och in to th e o ppo sit e c o ast, a s th e la tte r p art o f th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry s a w d w in dlin g s u pplie s o f p ep per th an ks to m ass d is a ffe ctio n am ong S t. T hom as C hris tia n s w ho h ad s e en t h eir b is h op a rre ste d t w ic e ( a n d d ie i n R om e i n 1 569) a n d “b eg un t o c o opera te w it h t h e t r a d ers o f t h e g hat r o ute ” in r e ta lia tio n. 127 F in ally , M ala b ar’s o w n n ativ e Muslim s, th e M ap pila s, w ere a m ong th e “ la rg est fin an cie rs o f P ortu gal’s im peria l p ro je ct in A sia ” 128 an d w ere d oubtle ss a ctiv e in m uch o f th e tr a d e th at e sc a p ed P ortu guese c o ntr o l, th e v ast a m ounts o f pep per t h at c ro sse d t h e g hats t o m ak e i t s w ay t o t h e e ast c o ast, f r o m w here i t w as w id ely e x p o rte d . In e co nom ic t e rm s, t h e f r a g ile b asis o n w hic h P ortu gal’s a rm ed t h ala sso cra cy r e ste d w as o bv io us t o mem bers o f it s é lit e . I n 1 563 th e O tto m an s o ffe re d th e P ortu guese a fr e e tr a d e a g re em en t, w it h th e la tte r b ein g g iv en th e r ig ht to “ esta b lis h tr a d in g h ouse s in B asra , C air o , a n d A le x an dria a n d to tr a d e fr e ely in a ll th e O tto m an -c o ntr o lle d p o rts o f b o th th e P ersia n G ulf a n d th e R ed S ea,” in r e tu rn fo r sim ila r fr e ed om s fo r O tto m an m erc h an ts to tr a d e th ro ughout th e In dia n O ce an , w it h th e rig ht to esta b lis h c o m merc ia l a g en cie s o f t h eir o w n “ in S in d, C am bay , D ab u l, C alic u t, a n d a n y o th er p o rt t h ey desir e d .” 129 A gain st th is q u it e re m ark ab le p ro po sa l o ne fid alg o is su ppo se d to h av e a rg ued , “ if th e Turk s w ere a llo w ed t o t r a v el f r e ely t o I n dia , a n d e sta b lis h f a cto rs, a n d t r a d e in m erc h an dis e w here v er th ey w is h ed , n ot o nly w ould Y our M aje sty ’s o w n p ro fit s s u ffe r g re atly , b u t t h e r e st o f u s w ould b e l e ft co m ple te ly e m pty h an ded , b eca u se all o f t h e b u sin ess [ h and le d b y t h e P ortu guese ] w ou ld i m med ia te ly f a ll to t h e T urk s .” T here w as a c le ar r e fe re n ce h ere to P ortu guese priv a te c a p it a l. H e w en t o n to s a y , “ A s fo r [th e sta te m onopo ly in ] p ep per an d o th er co ntr o lle d sp ic e s, th is w ould als o b e th re ate n ed b y allo w in g th e T urk s to e sta b lis h fa cto rs in I n dia . Even n ow , w hen th ey h ave n ot b een a llo w ed to o p en ly co m pete a g ain st th e P ortu guese , it is k now n th at th ey co nduct a tr a d e in se cre t, ca rry in g sp ic e s to Horm uz, t o B asra , a n d t o B en gal, P eg u, C hin a, a n d o th er la n ds, a n d e sp ecia lly t o t h eir o w n m ark ets , desp it e th e g re at ris k s in volv ed . T hus, [if a llo w ed to o pera te fr e ely , th eir tie s w it h ] lo ca l M uslim s would le a ve th em e v en b ette r in fo rm ed a nd b ette r o rg aniz e d , su ch th at b y m ean s o f th e [R ed S ea a n d Persia n G ulf ] t h ey c o uld s e n d a s m uch [ p ep per] a s t h ey w an te d , and b eco m e m aste rs o f t h e l io n ’s s h are o f th e t r a d e in s p ic e s .” 130 H ere it w as a n e n tr e n ch ed n etw ork o f tr a d in g c o m munit ie s th at w as s e en a s th e big gest p o te n tia l “ co m petit iv e a d van ta g e” t h e O tto m an s w ould h av e i f c o m merc e w as c o m ple te ly f r e e, th at i s , n ot d ete rre d b y t h e p erm an en t t h re at a n d a ctu al u se o f v io le n ce f r o m t h e P ortu guese s id e. 131 In h is g re at His to ry o f I ta ly , F ra n ce sc o G uic cia rd in i s a w P ortu gal’s b re ak in g o f th e V en etia n s p ic e monopo ly a s “ th e m ost m em ora b le t h in g t h at h as h ap pen ed in t h e w orld f o r m an y c e n tu rie s.” 132 T his was w rit te n la te in t h e 1 530s a n d w as a r e m ark ab ly a ccu ra te a sse ssm en t, n ot o nly b eca u se c o m merc ia l po sit io ns th at V en ic e h ad b u ilt u p o ver ce n tu rie s w ere (m om en ta rily ) p lu nged in to d ep re ssio n a n d dra stic a lly a ffe cte d b y t h e n ew t r a d e r e g im e, 133 b u t m ore o bv io usly b eca u se P ortu gal’s o pen in g o f th e Atla n tic r e co nfig ure d t h e w hole s h ap e o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a lis m a s t h e w orld h ad k now n it t ill t h en . I t open ed th e w ay f o r a n ew c a p it a lis m w hic h w ould s o on b e r e fle cte d in th e c o m merc ia l d om in an ce o f th e D utc h in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry a s w ell a s E ngla n d’s e x p an sio n in t h e s a m e c e n tu ry . I n 1 519 t h e Ven etia n s w ere p erfe ctly a w are o f P ortu gal’s d ev asta tin g im pact o n th e L ev an t p ep per tr a d e, a n d f o r th e n ex t te n y ears th ey w ere to ta lly a t th e m erc y o f th e P ortu guese a s g lo bal s u pplie s o f p ep per w ere co rn ere d b y th e la tte r. 134 B ut B ra u del rig htly in sis te d th at V en ic e re m ain ed a fo rm id ab le e co nom ic fo rc e th ro ughout th e s ix te en th c e n tu ry . A s la te a s 1 585 th ere w ere s till s o m e fo ur th ousa n d V en etia n fa m ilie s “ sc a tte re d th ro ughout th e c it ie s a n d la n ds o f I sla m ” a s fa r a w ay a s H orm uz. 135 N or w as th e Red S ea r o ute e v er c o m ple te ly s tif le d . I n 1 560 th e P ortu guese a m bassa d or a t R om e r e ce iv ed r e p o rts th at e n orm ous q u an tit ie s o f p ep per a n d s p ic e w ere a rriv in g a t A le x an dria . 136 I n 1 593 t h e F uggers w ere sim ila rly to ld th at A le x an dria w as su pply in g V en ic e w it h as m uch p ep per as L is b o n re ce iv ed . 137 How ev er, b y t h e s e co nd d eca d e o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry V en ic e ’s p rim acy i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean w as fin ally o ver. 138 T he Ita lia n cris is o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry h as b een ch ara cte riz e d as a “ g ra d ual in tr o versio n o f t h e n orth ern I ta lia n b o urg eo is ie ,” a “ p ro gre ssiv e c lo su re t o t h e w orld b ey ond I ta ly .” 139 If s o , G uic cia rd in i’s j u dgem en t w as e v en m ore p ro ph etic . DUTC H P R IM ACY The f a ll o f A ntw erp i n A ugust 1 585 t r ig gere d a v ast e x o dus o f r e fu gees f r o m t h e s o uth ern p ro vin ce s o f th e N eth erla n ds to th e N orth , w it h m ajo r co nse q u en ce s fo r A m ste rd am an d D utc h co m merc e . Am ste rd am ’s p ro sp erit y a fte r 1 600 w as b u ilt b y ém ig ré s fr o m A ntw erp . 140 O ver h alf th e D utc h E ast In dia C om pan y/ V ere en ig de O ostin dis c h e C om pag nie or V O C’s sta rtin g ca p it a l of 6.4 2 m illio n guild ers w as su bsc rib ed in A m ste rd am , bu t am ong A m ste rd am in vesto rs th e big gest in div id ual in vestm en ts w ere m ad e by m en lik e Isa ac le M air e an d B alt h asa r C oym an s, all ém ig ré s fr o m Antw erp . 141 T hey w ere W allo on o r F le m is h e x ile s a n d p ro vid ed c lo se t o 4 0 p erc e n t o f t h e C om pan y’s to ta l c a p it a l. 142 I t w as t h eir “ v ast w ealt h a n d in te rn atio nal c o nnectio ns” 143 t h at e n ab le d H olla n d’s r a p id bre ak th ro ugh i n to t h e r ic h t r a d es o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean a n d A sia . The s e v en te en th c e n tu ry w as d om in ate d b y t h e c o m petit io n b etw een E nglis h a n d D utc h c a p it a l. T he tr a je cto ry o f D utc h c a p it a lis m ru ns fr o m it s ra p id e x p an sio n in th e e arly se v en te en th c e n tu ry to it s declin e in th e s e co nd q u arte r o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , w it h a p eak in th e d eca d es a ro und 1 647– 72, desc rib ed b y J o nath an I sra el a s t h e z e n it h o f t h e R ep u blic ’s “ w orld -tr a d e p rim acy .” 144 D utc h t r a d e w it h Asia h ad f a r o uts tr ip ped t h at o f t h e P ortu guese p o ssib ly a s e arly a s 1 601. 145 T he c la sh w it h E ngla n d f o r maste ry of th e M ed it e rra n ean tr a d e ex p lo ded in th e la te 1640s, pro m ptin g th e fir st of se v era l “N av ig atio n A cts ” b y w hic h E nglis h ca p it a l so ught to cu rb D utc h d om in an ce . In 1661 C olb ert assu m ed t h e d ir e ctio n o f c o m merc ia l a ffa ir s in F ra n ce , a n d b y t h e la te s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h e F re n ch had e m erg ed a s a m ajo r c o m merc ia l p o w er, 146 w it h th e la st q u arte r o f th e c e n tu ry d om in ate d b y a co nfr o nta tio n b etw een t h em a n d t h e D utc h . 147 T he 1 680s w as a ls o w hen t h e V O C w as a t t h e p eak o f i t s su cce ss a s a n A sia n p o w er. 148 The c ru sh in g I ta lia n s u pre m acy o f t h e t w elf th t o f if te en th c e n tu rie s h ad e n ca p su la te d a c a p it a lis m o f netw ork s , t h e o nly k in d in dig en ous t o t h e M ed it e rra n ean c o untr ie s a n d t h e w id er w orld o f I sla m . T he new ca p it a lis m o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry w as d riv en , in co ntr a st, by jo in t- sto ck co m pa nie s th at em erg ed f r o m t h e m arit im e f r in ge o f n orth w este rn E uro pe a n d e n jo yed t h e s tr o ng b ack in g o f t h e s ta te (a s, in deed , V en etia n ca p it a l h ad ). T hey w ere ca p it a lis t en te rp ris e s o f a h ig her po w er th an th e im perfe ct “ ro yal c a p it a lis m s” o f I b eria , b u t lik e th em th ey r e ta in ed a p u blic o r se m i- p u blic c h ara cte r th at e m bo die d a q u asi- fo rm al d ele g atio n o f s o vere ig nty t h at m ad e t h em f o rm id ab le c o m petit o rs. 149 T he main E ast I n dia C om pan ie s ( E nglis h , D utc h , a n d F re n ch ) w ere th e m ost p o w erfu l o f th e jo in t- sto ck co m pan ie s in th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th c e n tu rie s, a n d th e c o m petit io n b etw een th em w as s u ch th at D av id H um e, in a n e ssa y p u blis h ed in 1 742, c o uld f a m ously s a y , “ T ra d e w as n ev er e ste em ed a n affa ir o f s ta te t ill t h e la st c e n tu ry .” 150 T he h ead -o n c la sh b etw een t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h g en era te d th e d octr in e th at c a m e to b e c a lle d “ je alo usy o f tr a d e.” 151 T ow ard th e e n d o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry Adam S m it h a g re ed w it h H um e t h at t r a d e h ad c h an ged E uro pean p o lit ic s in t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . In Wea lt h o f N atio n s h e r e fe rs to “ m erc a n tile je alo usy ” w hic h “ in fla m es, a n d is it s e lf in fla m ed b y th e vio le n ce o f n atio n al a nim osit y .” 152 S ta te a n d c a p it a l n ow h ad a u nif y in g “ n atio nal” i n te re st i n s e cu rin g o r re ta in in g c o m merc ia l d om in an ce . I n “ O f t h e J e alo usy o f T ra d e” ( 1 752) H um e w ro te “ N oth in g i s m ore usu al, a m ong s ta te s w hic h h av e m ad e s o m e a d van ce s i n c o m merc e , th an . . . t o c o n sid er a ll t r a d in g s ta te s as t h eir r iv a ls .” 153 I n t h e la te n in ete en th c e n tu ry G usta v v on S ch m olle r e x p re sse d t h is m ore f o rc e fu lly . “C om merc ia l c o m petit io n, e v en in tim es n om in ally o f p eace , d eg en era te d in to a s ta te o f u ndecla re d hostilit y : it p lu nged n atio ns in to o ne w ar a fte r a n oth er, a n d g av e a ll w ars a tu rn in th e d ir e ctio n o f tr a d e, i n dustr y , a n d c o lo nia l g ain . . . . ” 154 To J o sia h C hild w ho b eca m e g overn or o f th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y in 1 681, th e e sse n tia l ch ara cte ris tic o f t h e D utc h m odel w as i t s p ecu lia r i n te g ra tio n o f s ta te a n d c a p it a l. A t t h e t o p o f C hild ’s lis t o f r e aso ns f o r D utc h e co nom ic s u cce ss “ w as t h e f a ct t h at D utc h C ouncils o f S ta te , t h e l a w -m ak in g bo die s, w ere c o m po se d o f tr a d in g m erc h an ts w ho h ad liv ed a b ro ad m ost o f th eir liv es a n d w ho h ad gre at p ra ctic a l a n d th eo re tic a l k now le d ge o f c o m merc ia l m atte rs.” 155 I n Obse rv a tio n s u pon th e U nit e d Pro v in ce s o f th e N eth erla nd s ( 1 673), S ir W illia m T em ple w ould lik ew is e n ote th is p artic u la r f e atu re o f th e D utc h R ep u blic ; a m ong i t s s tr e n gth s, h e c la im s, w as “ [a ] G overn m en t m an ag ’d e it h er b y m en t h at tr a d e, o r w hose F am ilie s h av e r is e n b y it , o r w ho h av e t h em se lv es s o m e I n te re st g oin g in o th er m en ’s Tra ffiq u e, o r w ho a re b o rn a n d b re d in T ow ns, T he so ul a n d b eein g w here o f c o nsis ts w holly in tr a d e.” 156 In oth er w ord s, th e V O C an d it s pre d ece sso r co m pan ie s “ty pif ie d th e hig h deg re e of in te ra ctio n o f ru lin g o lig arc h y w it h p riv a te e n te rp ris e w hic h c h ara cte riz e d m uch , if n ot m ost, o f D utc h overse as c o m merc e .” 157 T he V O C w as “ th e c re atio n o f th e D utc h s ta te a s m uch a s o f th e m erc h an ts who h ad a ctu ally o pen ed u p t h e E ast I n dia t r a ffic ,” 158 a n d, l ik e i t s l a te r, A tla n tic , c o unte rp art, t h e W est In dia C om pan y, “ in tim ate ly e n tw in ed ” w it h th e c o untr y ’s “ re g en t o lig arc h y.” 159 I n s h ort, th e n ex u s betw een s ta te a n d c o m merc ia l c a p it a l w as a lt o geth er m ore d ir e ct h ere th an a n yth in g r e fle cte d in th e “str o ng s o cia l a n d c o m merc ia l t ie s b etw een t h e m erc h an ts a n d f in an cie rs o f t h e C it y o f L ondon a n d t h e Brit is h s ta te a n d a ris to cra cy ” 160 t h at w ere c o ev al w it h i t . The sh eer effic ie n cy of D utc h ca p it a l ste m med fr o m th e re m ark ab le effic ie n cy of it s sh ip pin g in dustr y , t h e m assiv e c o nce n tr a tio n o f c a p it a l i n A m ste rd am ’s e x ch an ge-b an k, e sta b lis h ed i n 1 609 ( o ne early e ig hte en th -c e n tu ry e stim ate p u t t h e b an k’s h old in gs a t a ro und t h re e h undre d m illio n g uild ers), 161 th e t e ch nic a l s o ph is tic a tio n a n d f le x ib ilit y o f t h e D utc h f in e-c lo th i n dustr y , 162 a n d t h e “ so ph is tic a tio n o f Dutc h m eth ods an d te ch nolo gy” 163 m ore g en era lly . B ut b ey ond th ese fa cto rs, all esse n tia l, w as a co m merc ia l s tr a te g y d efin ed b y it s s in gle -m in ded c o nce n tr a tio n o n t h e r ic h t r a d es o f E uro pe a n d A sia , by f a r-re ach in g v ertic a l in te g ra tio n in to s o urc e -m ark ets a n d, m ost s tr ik in gly , b y th e s h eer s c a le o f it s Asia n tr a d e n etw ork 164 ( u nm atc h ed b y th e E nglis h ) 165 a n d th e w ay th e V O C w as a b le to in te g ra te it s lo ca l, in te r-A sia n t r a d e in to a la rg ely s e lf – c o nta in ed if e x p an din g c ir c u la tio n o f c a p it a l t h at m in im iz e d th e n eed f o r p ay m en ts i n s ilv er. 166 I n m ost w ay s, it w as t h e A sia n p art o f t h is s tr a te g y t h at s h ow ed ju st how m uch t h e D utc h e n tr e p ô t w as h arn esse d t o t h e a ctu al m ach in ery o f t h e D utc h s ta te , 167 s in ce D utc h co m merc e in A sia w as “ h eav ily a rm ed ” f r o m t h e o uts e t. 168 B y 1 623, t h e D utc h h ad n in ety s h ip s in t h e East I n die s a n d t w o t h ousa n d r e g ula r t r o ops p o ste d i n t w en ty f o rts ! 169 Ralp h D av is ex p la in ed w hy D utc h sh ip pin g w as m ore effic ie n t. B efo re th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry Dutc h s h ip bu ild ers d id n ot h av e to lo ok o ut fo r th e d efe n sib ilit y o f th eir s h ip s b u t s im ply c a rry in g ca p acit y a n d c o st o f o pera tio n. “ T hey e v olv ed h ull fo rm s th at m ax im is e d c a rg o s p ace in r e la tio n to overa ll d im en sio ns.” B eca u se th ey w ere fla t- b o tto m ed , “ th ey d ra w e n ot s o e m uch w ate r a s o ur s h ip s do,” w ro te t h e E nglis h e x p lo re r G eo rg e W ay m outh i n 1 609, “ . . . a n d t h ere fo re m ust h av e le ss M asts , Say le s, T ack lin g a n d A nch ors, t h an o urs h av e; and a re th ere fo re a ble to s a yle w it h o n e th ir d p a rt o f m en le ss th an o u rs , o r th er a bou ts .” “ T hus, b y th e a d van ta g e th ey g ay n o f u s in b u rd en , a n d b y th e c h arg e th ey sa v e in m arrin ers w ag es, an d v ic tu als , th ey are ab le to ca rry th eir fr a ig ht b ette r ch eap th an wee.” 170 Wit h in E uro pe a n d l a rg e p arts o f t h e M ed it e rra n ean , b arte r w as w id ely u se d a s a m erc a n tile s tr a te g y beca u se it w as alw ays “ m ore p ro fit a b le t o t r a d ers t o e x p o rt g oods r a th er t h an m oney .” 171 H ow ev er, in Asia th e c ru cia l c o nstr a in t o n E uro pean tr a d e, a s th e P ortu guese ra p id ly d is c o vere d , w as E uro pe’s “in ab ilit y t o s u pply w este rn p ro ducts a t p ric e s t h at w ould g en era te a l a rg e e n ough d em an d” t o p ro vid e th e n ece ssa ry r e v en ue fo r th e p u rc h ase o f A sia n g oods. “ T he o nly m ajo r it e m th at E uro pe w as in a po sit io n to p ro vid e A sia [w it h ] w as p re cio us m eta ls .” 172 (E ven d ow n to th e e n d o f th e se v en te en th ce n tu ry , “tr e asu re ” acco unte d fo r 70 to 90 perc e n t of th e E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y’s to ta l ex p o rts .) 173 T he re su rg en ce o f eco nom ic co nflic t b etw een S pain an d th e D utc h in 1621 an d th e em barg o o n D utc h sh ip pin g in Ib eria n p o rts 174 w ere th ere fo re p o te n tia lly d is a str o us to co ntin ued Dutc h ex p an sio n in A sia , b eca u se th ey ch oked th e tr a n sfe r o f S pan is h A m eric a n b u llio n to th e Neth erla n ds a n d c re ate d a n e n dem ic sh orta g e o f sp ecie th ere ; th e V O C in p artic u la r re q u ir e d “ an im men se re g ula r in pu t o f b u llio n to se ttle it s b ala n ce s in th e E ast In die s.” 175 In ste ad o f se ek in g in fu sio ns o f c a p it a l f r o m A m ste rd am , t h e V O C’s g overn or-g en era l a t B ata v ia , J a n P ie te rsz o on C oen , ev olv ed a c o m merc ia l s tr a te g y o r “ m aste r p la n ” t h at e n co ura g ed t h e D utc h t o p artic ip ate ex te n siv ely i n th e t r a d e o f t h e I n dia n O ce an . 176 N o o th er E uro pean c o m merc ia l p o w er d id t h is o n q u it e t h e s a m e s c a le or w it h th e so ph is tic a tio n an d ru th le ssn ess dem onstr a te d by th e D utc h th ro ugh m ost of th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry . W it h th eir p re co cio us b ase in T aiw an , th ey c o m man ded a m ajo r sh are o f th e Nag asa k i tr a d e ( b asic a lly , a n e x ch an ge o f C hin ese s ilk y arn fo r J a p an ese s ilv er), w hic h m ean t th at a la rg e p art o f th eir A sia n o pera tio ns c o uld b e fin an ce d w it h J a p an ese silv er a n d, to a le sse r d eg re e, Chin ese g old . “ In 1 652, f o r e x am ple , t h e V O C e x p o rte d f r o m N ag asa k i 1 ,5 55,8 50 g uild ers ( e q u iv ale n t to 1 7,0 22 k gs.) o f J a p an ese s ilv er” o f w hic h l e ss t h an 9 p erc e n t a rriv ed a t t h e C om pan y’s h ead qu arte rs in B ata v ia , t h e r e m ain der e n din g u p i n C hin a. 177 Yet b u llio n s to ck s w ere n ev er e n ough t o r e so lv e t h e p ro ble m o f f in an cin g c o m merc ia l a ccu m ula tio n in A sia n m ark ets , a n d th e V O C w ould e v en tu ally c re ate a v ast c o ntin en ta l s y ste m o f b arte r w hic h , re d uce d to it s s im ple st e le m en ts , e m bo die d a n e x ch an ge o f I n donesia n s p ic e s f o r I n dia n te x tile s. T his is th e s e n se i n w hic h “ th e s a le s o f s p ic e s f o rm ed t h e b asis o f C om pan y e x p an sio n i n o th er s p h ere s o f t r a d e in A sia ” 178 a n d t h e r e aso n w hy t h e d ir e cto rs c o uld s ta te i n 1 648, “ T he c o untr y t r a d e a n d t h e p ro fit f r o m it are th e s o u l o f th e C om pa ny w hic h m ust b e lo ok ed a fte r c a re fu lly .” 179 T he C om pan y b eca m e a n A sia n tr a d er o n a l a rg e s c a le , 180 w it h m ajo r p o sit io ns a t o ne t im e o r a n oth er i n e v ery th in g f r o m C hin ese s u gar an d J a p an ese s ilv er t o J a p an ese c o pper, s p ic e s f r o m t h e A rc h ip ela g o, i n dig o f r o m B ay an a a n d G uja ra t, co tto n c lo th fr o m th e C oro m an del, p ep per fr o m M ala b ar, c in nam on fr o m C ey lo n, ra w silk , D acca muslin s a n d o piu m f r o m B en gal, s ilk f r o m P ersia , c o ffe e f r o m M och a, a n d s o o n. I n 1 619 w hen C oen se n t h is b lu ep rin t o f th e A sia n tr a d e to th e d ir e cto rs in A m ste rd am , th e C om pan y alr e ad y h ad a “p erm an en tly c ir c u la tin g c a p it a l” o f b etw een ƒ 2.5 a n d ƒ 3.5 m illio n i n t h e E ast I n die s a n d C oen w an te d more . 181 A fte r 1 647 th e r e su m ed f lo w o f S pan is h s ilv er to A m ste rd am r e v erse d th e d eclin e o f b u llio n re m it ta n ce s t o t h e e ast, 182 a n d b y t h e m id dle o f t h e c e n tu ry t h e E ast I n dia f le et w as r e tu rn in g h om e w it h ca rg oes w orth b etw een f if te en a n d t w en ty m illio n g uild ers, r o ughly e q u iv ale n t t o t h e c o m bin ed v alu e of th e C ad iz a n d S m yrn a fle ets ! 183 B y 1 673 S ir W illia m T em ple w ould r e fe r to th e “ v astn ess o f th e Sto ck tu rn ’d w holly to th at T ra d e” a n d to th e V O C “ en gro ssin g th e w hole C om merc e o f th e E ast- In die s.” 184 Ren ew ed a cce ss t o S pan is h s ilv er in t h e la te 1 640s a n d a b o om in L eid en ’s t e x tile in dustr y t r ig gere d by c o nversio n t o t h e e x p en siv e f a b ric s k now n a s c a m le ts a n d la ken m ean t r a p id D utc h d om in atio n o f Med it e rra n ean m ark ets , 185 w it h T urk ey n ow a b so rb in g a t h ir d o f L eid en ’s o utp u t. F or t h e E nglis h t h is sp elle d a s u dden c ris is a s “ m assiv e q u an tit ie s o f f in e g oods b eg an t o b e lo ad ed o n t o D utc h v esse ls a t Liv orn o f o r th e E nglis h a s w ell a s f o r th e D utc h m ark et.” 186 I t w as th is “ su dden m arit im e c ris is ” th at fo rm ed th e “ b ack gro und o f th e f ir st th oro ughly w ork ed o ut p ie ce o f E nglis h p ro te ctiv e le g is la tio n— th e N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 651— an d o f t h e F ir st A nglo -D utc h W ar.” 187 T he o rd in an ce o f 1 651 e sta b lis h ed a m odel fo r th e tig hte r N av ig atio n A ct o f 1 660, w hic h “ re m ain ed a t th e h eart o f E nglis h m arit im e po lic y f o r n early t w o c e n tu rie s,” p ro vid in g t h at “ all g oods im po rte d t o E ngla n d s h ould c o m e d ir e ctly fr o m t h eir p la ce o f p ro ductio n ( th us e lim in atin g t h e D utc h e n tr e p o t) ” a n d t h at “ n o f o re ig n ( i.e . D utc h ) sh ip s s h ould t r a d e w it h E nglis h c o lo nie s.” 188 T he y ears f r o m 1 651 t o 1 672 h av e b een d esc rib ed a s “ th e peak o f A nglo -D utc h c o m merc ia l riv alr y .” 189 H ow ev er, fr o m th e m id -1 660s C olb ert’s m erc a n tilis m beca m e th e p iv ot o f a n ew str u ggle fo r M ed it e rra n ean d om in an ce , th is tim e b etw een F ra n ce an d Holla n d, w it h th e F re n ch ta rif fs o f 1667 u nle ash in g a co m merc ia l w ar in w hic h C olb ert’s “ cle ar obje ctiv e w as t o c a p tu re t h e r ic h t r a d es,” w re stin g c o ntr o l f r o m t h e D utc h . 190 B y t h e 1 690s t h e F re n ch co uld m ak e r a p id in ro ad s in to th e O tto m an m ark et, a n d b y 1 701 w ere s e llin g m ore fin e c lo th th ere th an t h e D utc h . 191 T he D utc h h ad d om in ate d S m yrn a f o r m ost o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry . 192 A s la te a s 1680 s ilv er r e m it ta n ce s t o t h e L ev an t w ere r u nnin g a t w ell o ver t w o m illio n g uild ers a y ear. 193 I n 1 675 th e m ajo rit y o f E uro pean s in S m yrn a w ere r e p o rte d t o b e D utc h . 194 H ow ev er, b etw een 1 688 a n d 1 719 th e n um ber o f D utc h m erc h an t h ouse s t h ere f e ll d ra stic a lly f r o m ca . tw en ty -fiv e t o o nly s ix , 195 c le arin g th e w ay f o r t h e o verw helm in g F re n ch d om in atio n t h at c h ara cte riz e d t h e L ev an t f o r t h e g re ate r p art o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry . R ic h elie u an d C olb ert re fle cte d id eas th at o vertly alig ned th e in te re sts o f co m merc ia l ca p it a l to th ose o f th e sta te . In th e w ord s o f th e F re n ch d ip lo m at N ic o la s M esn ag er, Ric h elie u “ d id n ot f in d a n y m ean s m ore e ffe ctiv e t o in cre ase t h e p o w er o f t h e k in g a n d t h e w ealt h o f th e s ta te t h an t o i n cre ase n av ig atio n a n d c o m merc e .” 196 Much of th e pré cis ab o ve is base d on Jo nath an Isra el’s tig htly -a rg ued his to ry of th e D utc h co m merc ia l s y ste m , w hic h e n ds b y s u ggestin g th at “ th e b asic r e aso n fo r th e d ecis iv e d eclin e o f th e Dutc h w orld -tr a d in g s y ste m in t h e 1 720s a n d 1 730s w as t h e w av e o f n ew -sty le in dustr ia l m erc a n tilis m whic h s w ep t p ra ctic a lly t h e e n tir e c o ntin en t f r o m a ro und 1 720.” 197 A “ co m pre h en siv e i n te rv en tio nis m ” to ok h old o f n orth ern E uro pe, w it h fa ta l c o nse q u en ce s fo r D utc h e x p o rt m ark ets a n d in dustr ie s. 198 Wit h in E uro pe, th e D utc h ric h tr a d es w ere “ d ev asta te d ” d urin g th ose d eca d es, an d in In dia th e Englis h E ast I n dia C om pan y “ h ad d ecis iv ely o verta k en t h e D utc h ” i n m ost p arts o f t h e c o untr y w here th ey w ere p re se n t b y 1 740. 199 T he esse n tia l v it a lit y o f th e se v en te en th -c e n tu ry en tr e p ô t h ad b een la rg ely d estr o yed b y t h e m id dle o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 200 EN GLA N D’S R IS E T O D OM IN AN CE In E ngla n d th e “ co nsc io us u se o f sta te p o w er fo r c o m merc ia l e n ds” 201 fir st c a m e to th e fo re in th e re v olu tio nary d eca d es in th e m id dle o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry , ro ughly a w hole c e n tu ry afte r th e Eliz a b eth an c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n b eg an . T hat e x p an sio n, a s B re n ner s h ow ed , w as d riv en b y t h e r a p id gro w th o f th e im po rt tr a d es a n d h ad n oth in g to d o w it h E nglis h c lo th m erc h an ts lo okin g fo r n ew mark ets . 202 T he re m ark ab le fe atu re of th e im po rt tr a d es of th e la te six te en th ce n tu ry is th eir in te rlo ck in g str u ctu re , w it h th e sa m e g ro ups o f en tr e p re n eu rs d om in atin g th e v ario us co m pan ie s flo ate d b etw een 1 573 a n d 1 592. 203 E nglis h o verse as c o m merc e w as th us h ig hly c o nce n tr a te d a n d o f co urse re m ain ed so a s lo ng a s it w as o rg an iz e d a s a c lu ste r o f c o m merc ia l m onopo lie s ru le d b y a han dfu l of big L ondon m erc h an ts . A “clo se -k nit gro up of V en ic e C om pan y m erc h an ts w it h wid esp re ad o pera tio ns” h elp ed o rg an iz e t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 592, a n d t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y i n tu rn , w hen i t w as f o unded i n 1 599, “ w as d om in ate d b y t h e L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts .” S ev en o f t h e orig in al fif te en d ir e cto rs w ere L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts . 204 “ L ev an t C om pan y m em bers p ro vid ed betw een o ne-fo urth a n d o ne-th ir d o f t h e t o ta l f u nd in veste d in t h e f ir st, t h ir d , a n d f o urth jo in t s to ck s” of t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y. 205 B y 1 630 t h e t o ta l c o m bin ed v alu e o f I ta lia n , L ev an tin e, a n d E ast I n dia n im po rts w as £ 527,0 00, in 1 634 £ 689,0 00, a n d in 1 669 £ 1,2 08,0 00, sh ow in g w here th e d ynam is m o f Engla n d’s tr a d e la y fo r m uch o f th e fir st h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry in to th e e arly y ears o f th e Resto ra tio n. N oth in g b ette r d em onstr a te s t h e d om in an ce o f t h e i m po rt t r a d es ( in b o th E ngla n d a n d t h e Neth erla n ds) t h ro ughout t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry t h an t h e f a ct t h at ex ports w ere v ery l a rg ely a f u nctio n of th e n eed to fin an ce th ese s u bsta n tia l a n d r is in g le v els o f im po rts ; fo r e x am ple , E nglis h m erc h an t im po rte rs “ in cre ase d t h eir c lo th e x p o rts in o rd er t o p a y f o r in cre a se d im ports , a n d t h ey g en era lly f e ll f a r beh in d.” 206 I t w as t h is t h at c a u se d m ajo r c o nce rn a b o ut t h e b ala n ce o f t r a d e i n E ngla n d. The im po rt b o om o f th e se co nd q u arte r o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry 207 fu ele d a ste ad y in cre ase in re ex ports f r o m t h e 1 630s o nw ard s. 208 I n f a ct, t h e g ro w th o f a r e ex p o rt t r a d e w as t h e c h ie f in novatio n o f th e l a te r S tu art p erio d 209 a n d b o und u p b o th w it h t h e m onopo ly c re ate d b y t h e N av ig atio n A cts a s w ell as th e n ew m ass p ro ductio n in dustr ie s lin ked to th e c o lo nia l tr a d es in p la n ta tio n p ro duce . 210 B etw een th em i m po rts a n d r e ex p o rts s u sta in ed a n ew , g ig an tic w av e o f e x p an sio n o f E nglis h m erc h an t s h ip pin g, esp ecia lly i n t h e y ears 1 660– 89. 211 N ot o nly d id t h e L ev an t t r a d e r a n k h ig h i n t h e o verse as c o m merc e o f Resto ra tio n L ondon, 212 b u t th e s a m e y ears s a w a n ear-d oublin g o f E ngla n d’s p la n ta tio n to nnag e ( th e dead w eig ht to nnag e o f th is sh ip pin g se cto r). 213 T obacco im po rts h ad re g is te re d a fiv efo ld in cre ase betw een 1 620 a n d 1 640, l e ad in g t h e w ay t o s u gar. 214 L ondon’s s u gar i m po rts t r e b le d b etw een t h e 1 660s an d 1 680s, w it h s ix h undre d im po rte rs a ctiv e in t h e t r a d e in 1 686. 215 I n t h e s a m e y ear t h ere w ere 1 ,2 83 merc h an ts tr a d in g to th e W est In die s, o f w hom tw en ty -e ig ht, w it h tu rn over ex ce ed in g £ 10,0 00, acco unte d f o r ju st o ver 5 0 p erc e n t o f t o ta l im po rts b y v alu e. 216 T hey w ere am on g th e b ig gest c o lo nia l merc h an ts a n d c o uld “ accu m ula te s u ffic ie n t c a p it a l t o d iv ersif y in vestm en t a ro und t h eir c o re b u sin ess in to sh ip -o w nin g, jo in t- sto ck s, in su ra n ce , w harf- le ase s, a n d in dustr y .” 217 L ondon a cco unte d fo r 8 0 perc e n t o f c o lo nia l im po rts a n d 8 5 p erc e n t o f a ll re ex p o rts ca . 1700, a n d in th e la st d eca d es o f th e se v en te en th c e n tu ry “ E ngla n d e sta b lis h ed a la rg er sta k e in th e A tla n tic th an a n y o th er c o untr y in North ern E uro pe.” 218 T obacco , su gar, an d In dia n ca lic o es acco unte d fo r th e bu lk of E ngla n d’s re ex p o rts a n d p re fig ure d t h e m ass m ark ets o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry . 219 B y 1 700 t h e E nglis h p la n te rs i n Barb ad os, J a m aic a , a n d th e L eew ard s w ere su pply in g c lo se to h alf th e su gar c o nsu m ed in W este rn Euro pe. 220 Of t h e 1 70 L ondon m erc h an ts c la ssif ie d b y Z ah ed ie h a s “ b ig c o lo nia l m erc h an ts ,” t w o-th ir d s a re s a id to h av e h ad a “ su bsta n tia l tr a d e in th e C arib bean .” 221 T hat w ould m ak e a ro und 1 10 m erc h an ts w it h su bsta n tia l s ta k es, w hic h m ak es t h e A tla n tic t r a d es v astly m ore a cce ssib le t h an a n y o f t h e t r a d es t o t h e east, L ev an tin e, o r E ast I n dia n . B y it s c h arte r o f 1 592, th e L ev an t C om pan y w as r e str ic te d to fif ty – th re e p erso ns, a n d r e cru it m en t t o t h e L ev an tin e t r a d e r e q u ir e d b o th w ealt h a n d f a m ily c o nnectio ns. 222 The ric h est an d m ost activ e tr a d ers w ere , in B re n ner’s w ord s, “ jo in ed in a ra m if ie d n etw ork o f in te rlo ck in g fa m ily r e la tio nsh ip s, th e m em bers o f w hic h c o ntr o lle d a m ajo r s h are o f th e tr a d e.” 223 I n th e E ast I n dia C om pan y, th e la rg est o f th e jo in t- sto ck v en tu re s, tw en ty -fo ur d ir e cto rs “ cla im ed th at th ey h eld m ore sto ck th an fo ur h undre d o f th e g en era lit y .” 224 A gain , it is u se fu l to co nce p tu aliz e London’s c o m merc ia l c a p it a l in te rm s o f “ cla sse s o f c a p it a l,” w it h th e e astw ard -tr a d in g c o m bin e th at fo rm ed t h e h eart o f L ondon’s c o m merc ia l e sta b lis h m en t 225 f o rm in g a s u bsta n tia lly m ore p o w erfu l l a y er th an th e “ m id dlin g s tr a tu m ” fr o m w hic h th e v ast m ajo rit y o f c o lo nia l m erc h an ts d eriv ed . 226 O n th e oth er h an d, in te rm s o f c o m merc ia l c o nce n tr a tio n, th e tw o tr a d e se cto rs w ere n ot v astly d if fe re n t. Durin g 1 627– 1635, w hen th e tr a d e to th e L ev an t ra n b etw een £ 200,0 00 a n d £ 300,0 00 a y ear, so m e tw en ty -fo ur Lev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts co ntr o lle d 54 perc e n t of th e tr a d e, 227 w hic h is not dra m atic a lly h ig her t h an t h e 5 0 p erc e n t s h are c o ntr o lle d b y t h e b ig gest t w en ty -e ig ht m erc h an ts t r a d in g to th e W est I n die s w ho w ere m en tio ned p re v io usly . R eg ard le ss o f w heth er tr a d es w ere r e se rv ed o r open , e co nom ic c o nce n tr a tio n w ork ed i n t h e s a m e w ay . In t h e M ed it e rra n ean in t h e e arly p art o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry E ngla n d’s m ain c o m merc ia l r iv als , th e V en etia n s a n d t h e F re n ch , b o th l o st g ro und r a p id ly . T he V en etia n s w ere “ u nderso ld a n d d riv en o ff th e s ta g e,” th eir a g en ts c o m pla in in g o f th e lo w p ric e o f th e c lo th s e n t o ut b y th e E nglis h . 228 B y th e 1620s L iv orn o h ad e m erg ed a s t h e p rim e c o m merc ia l b ase f o r E ngla n d’s t r a d e w it h s o uth ern I ta ly a n d th e L ev an t. “ In 1 629,” W ood re p o rts , “ th ere w as sa id to b e fo ur m illio n c ro w ns w orth o f E nglis h goods l y in g o n t h e q u ay s o f L eg horn ( L iv orn o).” 229 I n The T re a su re o f T ra ffic k e ( 1 641) L ew is R oberts note d th at a m illio n d uca ts in c a sh w ere e x p o rte d fr o m L iv orn o a n nu ally . 230 T he “ m ost m odern a n d fu lly e q u ip ped p o rt i n t h e M ed it e rra n ean ,” 231 i t p la y ed a c ru cia lly im po rta n t p art in t h e L ev an t t r a d e a s a c e n te r w here E nglis h e x p o rts a n d re ex p o rts c o uld b e c o nverte d in to c u rre n cy . 232 T hat th e L ev an t Com pan y c o uld r e p eate d ly a tta ck th e E ast I n dia C om pan y fo r it s e x p o rt o f b u llio n to I n dia s u ggests th at th e L ev an t tr a d e it s e lf w as la rg ely a b arte r tr a d e, th at is , o ne w here th e b u lk o f im po rts w as fin an ce d b y t h e e x p o rt o f c lo th , t in , s p ic e s, a n d s o o n. T hom as M un c la im ed , “ O f a ll E uro pe t h is n atio n dro ve th e m ost p ro fit a b le tr a d e to T urk ey b y r e aso n o f th e v ast q u an tit ie s o f b ro ad c lo th , tin , & c., whic h w e e x p o rte d th it h er; en ou gh to p u rc h ase a ll th e w are s w e w ante d in T urk ey — where a s a b a la nce in mon ey is p a id b y th e o th er n atio n s tr a d in g th it h er .” 233 O n t h e o th er h an d, in t h e “ cu rra n t is la n ds” w here th e E nglis h p u rc h ase d a b o ut t w o-th ir d s o f t h e c ro p, t h ere w as “ p ra ctic a lly n o m ark et f o r E nglis h g oods an d p ay m en t h ad to b e m ad e in r e ad y m oney .” 234 I n 1 629 th e V en etia n a m bassa d or r e p o rte d th at th e Lev an t C om pan y, “ h av in g a c o nsid era b le c a p it a l, bu y u p b efo re h and th e p ro duce o f th e p o ore st o f th e in hab it a n ts o f th ese is la n ds . . . so th at fo r th em th e p ric e s a re a lm ost a lw ays th e sa m e .” 235 A dvan ce pay m en ts w ere u se d t o e n su re l o w s ta b le p ric e s. I n I ta ly , E nglis h m erc h an ts r a n a d efic it o n t h e t r a d e i n goods w it h a ll I ta lia n s ta te s th ro ugh m ost o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , w hic h th ey c o uld s u cce ssfu lly tr a n sfo rm in to a tr a d e su rp lu s th an ks to th e su rp lu s on “in vis ib le s,” th at is , net earn in gs fr o m sh ip pin g, 236 in su ra n ce , a n d th e c o m mis sio ns c h arg ed o n E nglis h e x p o rts . 237 It w as th is co m merc ia l str a te g y t h at w ould l a te r f o rm t h e h eart o f t h e C it y ’s e co nom ic d om in an ce i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . The L ev an t C om pan y w as n ot a j o in t- sto ck , m em bers t r a d ed i n dep en den tly o n a “ re g ula te d ” b asis . 238 Facto rs w ere r e cru it e d a s a p pre n tic e s o n s e v en -y ear t e rm s, a fte r w hic h t h ey w ere p aid a c o m mis sio n o n all g oods th ey h an dle d th at v arie d fr o m 2 to 4 p erc e n t. O f c o urse , a s w it h th e E ast I n dia C om pan y’s se rv an ts in In dia , “ fa cto rs m ad e a g ood d eal o f p ro fit fr o m th eir o w n p erso nal tr a d in g.” 239 W ood’s His to ry o f t h e L ev a nt C om pa ny s u ggests t h at t h e t h re e f a cto rie s a t C onsta n tin ople , S m yrn a, a n d A le p po “re ach ed th eir g re ate st p ro sp erit y a n d s iz e in th e la tte r h alf o f th e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry .” 240 H ow ev er, th e b u lk o f t h e c o m merc e w as c o nce n tr a te d o nly in t h ose f a cto rie s a n d t h ere w as a s tr o ng t e n den cy t o dis c o ura g e e x p an sio n a t o th er tr a d in g s ta tio ns. 241 B y th e 1 680s b o th th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a n d th e Fre n ch h ad b eco m e m ajo r so urc e s o f c o m petit io n. T he L ev an t m erc h an ts w ould c o m pla in b it te rly ab o ut t h e im po rt o f I n dia n r a w s ilk a n d s ilk g oods b y t h e f o rm er, b u t “ th e c ro w n c o nsis te n tly b ack ed th e E ast I n dia C om pan y a g ain st it s c rit ic s.” 242 M ean w hile , C olb ert’s r e v iv al o f th e L an gued oc c lo th in dustr y m ad e t h e F re n ch e v en m ore f o rm id ab le r iv als , a s t h ey p ro ved t o b e f o r t h e D utc h a s w ell. B y th e e n d o f t h e c e n tu ry , F re n ch i m po rts f r o m t h e L ev an t w ere s o arin g, a n d b y t h e 1 720s s ig ns o f a r a p id declin e b eca m e v is ib le i n t h e f o rtu nes o f t h e E nglis h c o m pan y. 243 The eig hte en th ce n tu ry sa w th e decim atio n o f E nglis h tr a d e in th e L ev an t, 244 th e re su lt b o th o f Fra n ce ’s d om in atio n o f t h e t e x tile m ark et a n d o f t h e C om pan y’s o w n f a ta l p o lic y “ to c u rb a tte m pts a t ex p an sio n a n d t o d is c o ura g e t h e o pen in g o f n ew m ark ets .” 245 I t w as le ft t o t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y t o note , in 1 696, “ it h as a lw ay s b een o bse rv ed t h at t h e p artic u la r t r a d ers in a r e g ula te d c o m pan y c o nte n t th em se lv es t o g o t o a c e rta in k now n p la ce i n t r a d e, e v er t a k in g a m easu re o f t h eir p ro fit a n d l o ss b efo re th ey g o o ut . . . .” 246 I n a d dit io n t o w hic h , t h ro ughout t h e la te e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t r a d e w as h am pere d by a C om pan y r e g ula tio n f o rc in g m erc h an ts t o m ak e a ll p u rc h ase s i n t h e L ev an t b y t h e b arte r o f g oods ex p o rte d fr o m E ngla n d a n d fo rb id din g th e e x p o rt o f c o in o r b u llio n to T urk ey , w here as F re n ch a n d Dutc h m erc h an ts “ca rrie d la rg e q u an tit ie s o f co in to th e L ev an t,” w here lo ca l tr a d ers p re fe rre d outr ig ht s a le s t o b arte r. 247 B y t h e 1 730s o nly s o m e f if ty o r s ix ty L ev an t C om pan y m erc h an ts r e m ain ed activ e t r a d ers, “ an d i t w as w id ely b elie v ed t h is h an dfu l o f m onopo lis ts d elib era te ly c u rb ed a ll i n it ia tiv e, en te rp ris e , a n d e x p an sio n in p u rsu it o f h ig h p ro fit s o n a lim it e d b u sin ess.” 248 A gain , th e C om pan y’s fa cto rs w ere c ru cia lly d ep en den t o n J e w is h b ro kers in th e O tto m an m ark ets , b u t th e f e ar o f p o te n tia l co m petit io n fr o m th em s u sta in ed s tr o ng r e sis ta n ce to th e a d m is sio n o f J e w s to th e C om pan y. W hen th ey fin ally w ere ad m it te d (in th e 1750s) Je w is h m em bers o f th e C om pan y w ere ban ned fr o m em plo yin g f e llo w J e w s a s f a cto rs i n t h e L ev an t! 249 In th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry w ell o ver h alf th e se ab o rn e tr a d e b etw een E uro pe a n d th e M id dle E ast ca m e to b e c o ntr o lle d b y th e F re n ch m erc h an ts o f M arse ille s, 250 a n d F re n ch c o m petit io n w as w id ely ack now le d ged t o b e t h e m ain c a u se b eh in d t h e c o lla p se o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y. I f t h e M ed it e rra n ean had b een t h e s e m in al g ro und o f E ngla n d’s c o m merc ia l e x p an sio n i n t h e l a tte r p art o f E liz a b eth ’s r e ig n, by t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t h e d ecis iv e c e n te rs o f g ra v it y h ad f ir m ly s h if te d t o t h e A tla n tic a n d t h e E ast In die s. B y 1 750 a lm ost h alf o f E ngla n d’s m erc h an t f le et w as e n gag ed i n t h e t r a n sa tla n tic t r a d e. 251 F ro m th e 1 730s th ere w as a h uge in cre ase in th e v olu m e o f c a p it a l a d van ce d to th e c o lo nie s b y sp ecia lis t gro ups o f c o m mis sio n a g en ts . 252 J a m aic a n e sta te s tr ip le d in v alu e a n d p la n te rs lik e P ete r B eck fo rd co uld d ie le av in g fo rtu nes w orth £ 300,0 00. 253 S ugar b eg an to b e fin an ce d b y lo nger-te rm le n din g o n mortg ag e, a n d w hen H en ry L asc e lle s d ie d i n 1 753, h e h ad ca . £194,0 00 ( ste rlin g) o ut o n lo an t o c lie n ts in B arb ad os a n d Ja m aic a . 254 L asc e lle s h ad fin an ce d h is lo an s b y b o rro w in g fr o m L ondon b an k ers, whic h s h ow s u s th at N ew W orld s la v ery w as tig htly in te g ra te d in to fin an cia l a n d c o m merc ia l w eb s ce n te re d in L ondon. 255 B y a ro und 1 770 th e to ta l su m o w in g to L ondon m erc h an ts b y W est In dia n su gar p la n te rs w as i n t h e r e g io n o f s e v era l m illio n p o unds. 256 D oubtle ss t h e s a m e w as t r u e o f A m eric a n pla n te rs. I n 1 784 T hom as J e ffe rso n d esc rib ed t h em a s “ a sp ecie s o f p ro p erty a nnex ed t o c e rta in m erc a ntile hou se s in L on d on ”! 257 B y th e 1 770s th e A m eric a n c o lo nie s p ro vid ed 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit is h im po rts a n d to ok o ver 4 0 p erc e n t o f B rit a in ’s d om estic e x p o rts . 258 The tr a n sfo rm atio n o f th e E ast In dia C om pan y fr o m a p u re ly co m merc ia l o rg an iz a tio n in to a “p o lit ic a l p o w er” 259 w as o f c o urse it s m ost d is tin ctiv e fe atu re h is to ric a lly . H ow ev er, a n in ord in ate str e ss o n w hat J o hn B re w er h as c a lle d t h e “ p riv atiz e d i m peria lis m o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y” 260 r u ns a double r is k , b o th o f d is tr a ctin g a tte n tio n f r o m t h e f a ct t h at t h e C om pan y w as a lw ay s r u n “ b y a g ro up of e x tr e m ely r ic h c a p it a lis ts ” 261 and o f fa ilin g to s e e, o r n ot s e ein g s u ffic ie n tly , th at it s tr a n sfo rm atio n fr o m a p u re ly c o m merc ia l e n tit y in to a n im peria lis t o ne r e d efin ed th e fr a m ew ork w it h in w hic h n ew fo rm s o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a l p ro lif e ra te d f r o m t h e e n d o f t h e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry t o s p aw n t h e p o w erfu l co m merc ia l lo bbie s o f th e n in ete en th , s u ch a s th ose w hic h la y b eh in d th e O piu m W ars. I n th e p ag es th at f o llo w t h e f o cu s i s t h us o n t h e p u re ly c o m merc ia l o r c a p it a lis t a sp ects o f t h e C om pan y’s o pera tio ns sim ila r t o t h ose t h at K . N . C hau dh uri f o re g ro unded in h is s u bsta n tia l m onogra p h The T ra d in g W orld of A sia a nd t h e E ng lis h E ast I n d ia C om pa ny . The E nglis h E ast In dia C om pan y w as a tig htly ce n tr a liz e d bu sin ess org an iz a tio n w here th e in vestm en t d ecis io ns w ere m ad e b y th e C ourt o f D ir e cto rs w ork in g th ro ugh th e c e n tr a l m an ag eria l co m mit te es in L ondon. C ap it a l su m s w ere assig ned to in div id ual “ fa cto rie s” fr o m L on d on . 262 T he bu sin ess m odel w as o f c o urse im po rt- d riv en , w hic h in tu rn im plie d ( a ) a m assiv e e x p o rt o f c a p it a l to fin an ce im po rts a n d ( b ) th e v it a l p art p la y ed b y th e r e -e x p o rt tr a d es “ in c lo sin g th e g ap th at w ould oth erw is e h av e o pen ed u p in B rit a in ’s v is ib le t r a d e b ala n ce .” 263 I n t h e E IC ’s c a se , c a p it a l e x p o rts t o ok th e fo rm , o verw helm in gly , o f p re cio us m eta ls , w hic h w ere p u rc h ase d in it ia lly in L ondon fr o m th e gold sm it h -b an kers an d la te r, fr o m th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , on th e co ntin en t (in C ad iz an d Am ste rd am ). 264 T he C om pan y’s A sia n im po rt p o rtf o lio w as “ so f in ely d if fe re n tia te d t h at it t o ok m ore th an t w o h undre d p ag es i n t h e L ed ger B ooks t o l is t t h em ,” 265 b u t b y a n d l a rg e i m po rts w ere d om in ate d by a fe w k ey c o m modit ie s su ch a s c o tto n a n d silk p ie ce g oods, ra w silk , p ep per, te a, a n d so o n. Dis tr ib u tio n a t t h e L ondon e n d t o ok t h e f o rm o f q u arte rly s a le s a tte n ded b y i n div id ual m em bers o f t h e Com pan y w ho w ere th em se lv es s u bsta n tia l e x p o rte rs a s w ell a s b y w hole sa le d eale rs fr o m H olla n d, Germ an y, a n d e ls e w here , 266 w it h o rd ers fo r fu tu re s u pplie s b ein g a d ju ste d o n th e b asis o f th e a ctu al pric e s r e ce iv ed a t t h ose a u ctio ns. At th e In dia n e n d, th e a d van ce c o ntr a cts h ad to b e m ad e in a n tic ip atio n o f th e e x act o rd ers a n d fin an cia l r e so urc e s t h at w ere t o c o m e f r o m E ngla n d. T he p o st- R esto ra tio n p erio d s a w c a lic o es r a p id ly gain in g in p o pu la rit y , a n d b y th e 1 680s th e C om pan y w as im po rtin g m ore th an a m illio n a n d a h alf pie ce s, w it h th e te x tile sh are o f to ta l im po rts e x ce ed in g 8 0 p erc e n t b y v alu e. 267 T o se cu re th is v ast su pply t h e C om pan y r e lie d o n s u bsta n tia l lo ca l m erc h an ts a ctin g a s b ro kers w it h t h e p o w er t o e n su re th at o rd ers w ould b e f u lf ille d o n t im e. “ [T ]h e C om pan y’s s e rv an ts a d voca te d t h e u se o f m id dle m en o n th e g ro und th at if th ey d ealt d ir e ctly w it h th e w eav ers, ‘a tt th e y eare s e n d, w hen w e e x p ecte d to b e in veste d o f o ur g oods, w e s h ould u ndoubte d ly c o m e s h orte o f h alf o ur q u an tit y e.’” 268 I n o th er w ord s, th e r is k o f d efa u lt b y t h e w eav ers w as s h if te d t o t h e s h ould ers o f t h e m erc h an ts . C hau dhuri n ote s, “ A ll co m merc ia l ris k s w ere to b e b o rn e b y th e In dia n m erc h an ts , a n d if th e la tte r m ad e a lo ss o n th e Com pan y’s b u sin ess t h ey w ere s till e x p ecte d t o c a rry o n c o ntr a ctin g f o r g oods a s b efo re .” 269 W eav ers, of co urse , re fu se d to w ork w it h out su bsta n tia l ad van ce s w hic h C hau dhuri co nfu sin gly ca lls th eir “w ork in g c a p it a l,” 270 w hen t h e a d van ce s, t h e ca pit a l l a id o ut o n l a b o r a n d o n r a w m ate ria ls , c a m e f r o m th e C om pan y. T he “ w ork in g c a p it a l” w as s tr ic tly th at o f th e C om pan y, s in ce th e d is b u rse m en ts o f ca sh m ad e th ro ugh th eir b ro kers (a n d la te r, m ore d ir e ctly th ro ugh th e ag en ts ca lle d gum ash ta s ) in volv ed a c ir c u la tio n o f t h at p art o f t h e C om pan y’s c a p it a l w hic h w en t i n to e n ab lin g t h e l a b o r p ro ce ss, in clu din g r e p ro ductio n o f w eav ers’ l a b o r p o w er. In th e 1 720s A le x an der H um e n ote d , “ T he E nglis h a n d D utc h , w ho a re th e g re ate st T ra d ers in th is co untr y (B en gal) , d o th eir b u sin ess w holly b y th eir B ro kers, w ho a re th eir p rin cip al M erc h an ts .” 271 Forw ard co ntr a cts w it h la rg e w hole sa le m erc h an ts w ere th e ru le b o th in th e C oro m an del an d in Ben gal, 272 w it h m erc h an ts w ho c o ntr a cte d fo r th e in vestm en t fr e q u en tly b o rro w in g “ la rg e su m s o f money to c a rry it o n” a n d w ealt h y b an kers a ctin g a s th eir g uara n to rs. 273 T he C om pan y w ould n’t alw ay s se cu re su ch g uara n te es. “ T he w ealt h y m erc h an ts liv in g in H ugli o r K asim baza r h ab it u ally re fu se d th e C om pan y’s dem an d fo r fin an cia l se cu rit y as th eir cre d it an d bu sin ess sta tu s w ere unim peach ab le .” 274 H um e s ta te s in t h e s a m e m em oir t h at t h e g re ate r t h e a d van ce t h e m ore c e rta in t h e Com pan y w as o f r e ce iv in g th e g oods o n tim e, w hic h is p ro bab ly w hy in B en gal th e g ro up k now n a s dad ni o r dad an m erc h an ts w ere u su ally p aid a s m uch a s 5 0 to 7 5 p erc e n t o f th e c o ntr a ct v alu e in ad van ce . 275 F ro m t h e 1 750s, w it h l a rg e p arts o f I n dia r e elin g u nder t h e i m pact o f t h e M ara th a i n cu rsio ns an d t h e d am ag e i n flic te d o n m erc a n tile f o rtu nes, t h e s u bsta n tia l m erc h an ts w ho a cte d a s b ro kers f o r t h e Com pan y f o und it le ss a n d le ss p o ssib le t o g uara n te e d eliv ery a n d t h e s y ste m b ro ke d ow n. T he dad an merc h an ts w it h dre w fr o m th e C om pan y’s tr a d e, th us fo rc in g it to e sta b lis h m ore d ir e ct c o ntr o l o ver pro duce rs, a d riv e th at c u lm in ate d in a s e rie s o f r e g ula tio ns ( b etw een 1 773 a n d 1 793) th at s o ught to re d uce w eav ers to th e sta tu s o f C om pan y em plo yees, w it h re str ic tio ns o n th eir m obilit y , tig hte r su perv is io n o f l o om s, a n d a m ore o vertly c o erc iv e u se o f d eb t. 276 I n deb te d ness b eca m e a n “ in te g ra l p art of p ro ductio n fo r th e C om pan y” in th e fin al d eca d es o f th e eig hte en th ce n tu ry , an d ab sc o ndin g work ers w ere p u rsu ed r e m orse le ssly . 277 Dutc h e x p o rts fr o m th e C oro m an del r a n a t a lm ost tw o m illio n g uild ers b y th e la te 1 660s, 278 w hile to ta l E IC e x p o rts w ere o fte n i n e x ce ss o f £ 1 m illio n a y ear a c e n tu ry l a te r. 279 V olu m e p ro ductio n m ean t th at th e E uro pean c o m pan ie s d ealt w it h w hole c lu ste rs o f w eav in g v illa g es, e it h er o n th eir o w n o r more u su ally t h ro ugh t h eir b ro kers ( “ p rin cip al m erc h an ts ” ), o n a m odel b ro ad ly s im ila r t o t h e w id ely dis p erse d Verla g n etw ork s th at S outh G erm an co m merc ia l fir m s lik e th e F uggers h ad b u ilt th eir pro sp erit y o n in th e th ir te en th to s ix te en th c e n tu rie s. 280 F or m ost o f th e s e v en te en th a n d e ig hte en th ce n tu rie s th e C om pan ie s w ere cru cia lly dep en den t on lo ca l m erc h an t ca p it a lis ts 281 w ho had th e re so urc e s to ru n th eir o w n co m merc ia l n etw ork s an d ev en fin an ce p ro ductio n o n b eh alf o f th e Com pan y. B oth t h e E nglis h a n d t h e D utc h u se d t h e b ig m erc h an ts o f K asim baza r f o r t h eir s ilk b u yin g in N orth B en gal. 282 B en gal silk , C oro m an del c a lic o es, A gra a n d B ay an a in dig o, e tc . w ere a ll, lik e Mala b ar p ep per, h ig hly c o m petit iv e m ark ets ; f o r e x am ple , “ th e c o ntr a ct p ric e f o r s ilk w as a n o bje ct o f in te n se barg ain in g betw een th e (B en gal) m erc h an ts an d th e Euro pean tr a d in g co m pan ie s.” 283 How ev er, b y th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry th e c o m petit io n o f priv a te , m ostly E nglis h , m erc h an ts in je cte d a new d im en sio n in to th e c o m merc ia l d ynam ic s o f th e E ast I n dia C om pan y. B rit is h p riv ate c a p it a l a n d it s in volv em en t in th e c o m merc e o f I n dia s a w a s te ad y e x p an sio n in th e e arly p art o f th e e ig hte en th ce n tu ry an d th en a b ig ger an d m ore ra p id ex p an sio n in th e la te r eig hte en th ce n tu ry , fo llo w in g dev elo pm en ts th at qu ic k ly open ed th e in la n d tr a d e of B en gal to priv ate ca p it a l an d sa w th e co nte m po ra n eo us c a p tu re o f S ura t i n 1 759. Alr e ad y b y t h e l a te r s e v en te en th c e n tu ry ( th e 1 660s, i n f a ct) t h e C om pan y e x te n ded a “ w id e m easu re of o ffic ia l to le ra tio n” to th e p riv ate sh ip pin g th at e m erg ed in In dia n p o rts w it h siz e ab le E uro pean tr a d in g co m munit ie s over w hic h th e B rit is h had so m e co ntr o l. 284 M asu lip atn am (n ot a B rit is h se ttle m en t b u t a c o sm opo lit a n p o rt) , 285 M ad ra s a n d C alc u tta b eca m e, in tu rn , th e m ajo r h ubs o f a bu rg eo nin g “ co untr y tr a d e” th at w as p ro gre ssiv ely d om in ate d b y p riv ate c a p it a l. In th e c o nte x t o f Com pan y d om in an ce , t h e t e rm “ p riv ate c a p it a l” is o f c o urse a m biv ale n t, s in ce it w ould h av e t o c o ver th e p riv ate tr a d in g a ctiv it ie s o f o ffic ia ls lik e th e G overn ors o f M ad ra s w ho w ere b ig -tim e p riv ate tr a d ers a t th e s ta rt o f th e e ig hte en th c e n tu ry , o th er C om pan y s e rv an ts w it h c o m merc ia l in te re sts o f th eir o w n, as w ell as th e g re ate r m ass o f so -c a lle d fr e e m erc h an ts w ho w ere en tir e ly o uts id e th e Com pan y. I n 1 681 c a m e th e C om pan y’s “ d ra m atic a n d s u dden d ecis io n to w it h dra w fr o m th e lo ca l tr a d e o f th e In dia n O ce an ,” 286 an d a p o te n tia lly v ast fie ld o pen ed u p fo r th e ex p an sio n o f n on- Com pan y c o m merc ia l c a p it a l, w here t h e m ain c o m petit io n s te m med n ot f r o m t h e C om pan y it s e lf b u t fr o m in dig en ous A sia n c a p it a ls t r a d in g t o t h e R ed S ea a n d t o m ark ets lik e A ch eh a n d t r a d in g b etw een th e m ain c o asta l re g io ns o f In dia . In th e tr a d e b etw een S ura t a n d B en gal, th e fr e e m erc h an ts w ho ev en tu ally gain ed co ntr o l of C alc u tta ’s sh ip pin g fa ce d “fo rm id ab le co m petit io n fr o m A sia n sh ip o w ners.” 287 Y et B rit is h d om in an ce o f In dia ’s c a rry in g tr a d e w as sw if t, a n d b y th e 1 730s A sia n – ow ned s h ip s h ad la rg ely c e ase d to tr a d e b etw een B en gal a n d S ura t. 288 B y th e 1 780s fr e e m erc h an ts were g ro w in g r a p id ly i n n um bers a n d w ealt h , 289 b eg an t o s u pply a l a rg e p art o f t h e C om pan y’s e x p o rts of t e x tile s ( in t h e D hak a ara ng s v astly m ore t h an e it h er t h e C om pan y o r it s C om merc ia l R esid en t) , 290 an d t o ok t h e le ad in o pen in g u p n ew a re as f o r t r a d e. 291 O ne u psh ot o f t h is s u rg e o f p riv ate c o m merc e was th at a s m uch a s ca . £15 m illio n c o uld b e s e n t h om e in r e m it ta n ce s o ver th e tw en ty -se v en y ears betw een 1 757 a n d 1 784. 292 B y t h e 1 790s t h e m assiv e e x p an sio n o f B en gal in dig o, m uch o f w hic h c a m e fr o m A wad h a n d f u rth er a fie ld , w as d om in ate d b y p riv ate m erc h an ts . 293 T heir c h ie f c o ntr ib u tio n t o t h e co m merc ia l h is to ry o f b o th B rit a in a n d I n dia w ere th e “ h ouse s o f a g en cy ” w hic h C alc u tta -b ase d f r e e merc h an ts w ere la rg ely r e sp o nsib le f o r e sta b lis h in g. I t w as th is la y er o f c a p it a l th at h elp ed to d estr o y th e m onopo ly o f t h e E ast I n dia C om pan y e arly i n t h e n in ete en th c e n tu ry . 294 The tr a n sa tla n tic tr a d es w ere ro ughly a ce n tu ry ah ead o f B rit is h p riv ate en te rp ris e in A sia in in novatin g t h e c o m mis sio n s y ste m a s t h e c h ie f m eth od o f t r a d in g t y pic a l o f c o m merc ia l c a p it a ls i n t h at se cto r. T he r e aso n s h ould b e o bv io us: p riv ate c a p it a l w as d om in an t in t h e c o lo nia l t r a d es b y t h e m ain part o f t h e s e v en te en th c e n tu ry , in deed it n ev er f a ce d t h e c h alle n ge o f t h e b ig “ C om pan y m erc h an ts ” ex ce p t fo r th e R oyal A fr ic a n C om pan y’s sh ort- liv ed m onopo ly o f th e sla v e tr a d e. T his p re co cio us dev elo pm en t o f n on-m onopo ly , p riv ate e n te rp ris e w as sig nif ic a n t b eca u se a lr e ad y b y th e 1 660s th e co lo nia l tr a d es w ere “ am ong th e g re ate st o f E nglis h tr a d es.” 295 In In dia , H ouse s o f A gen cy o nly ev olv ed f r o m t h e 1 770s a n d t h en m ore r a p id ly f r o m t h e 1 790s, f o llo w in g C orn w allis ’s b an o n s e rv an ts of th e E ast In dia C om pan y e n gag in g in p riv ate c o m merc ia l e n te rp ris e . 296 B ut th e C alc u tta a g en cy house s a re th e m ost p alp ab le lin k b etw een th e tw o m ain p erio ds o r “ ep o ch s” o f B rit is h c o m merc ia l ca p it a lis m , w hose d iv id in g lin e lie s a t th e s ta rt o f th e “ lo ng n in ete en th c e n tu ry ” ( 1 784– 1914), in th e years afte r 1784 w hic h sa w th e en din g o f th e A m eric a n W ar o f In dep en den ce , a b o om in n ew co m mis sio n h ouse s, 297 a n d a r a d ic a lly n ew e co nom ic c o nju nctu re t h at s a w b an kin g r e v olu tio ns o n b o th sid es of th e A tla n tic , a dra m atic ex p an sio n of th e co tto n in dustr y in B rit a in , an d a su rg e in man ufa ctu re d ex p o rts to th e U S an d o th er in te rn atio nal m ark ets . M ean w hile , th e E IC ’s tr a d in g monopo ly w as f o rm ally t e rm in ate d i n 1 813, t h at o f t h e L ev an t C om pan y i n 1 825.
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Global Political Economy This page intentionally left blank GLOBAL POLITICAL ECONOMY EVOLUTION & DYNAMICS ROBERT O’BRIEN & MARC WILLIAMS EDITION 5 TH © Robert O’Brien and Marc Williams 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The authors have asserted their rights to be identified as the authors of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First edition 2004 Second edition 2007 Third edition 2010 Fourth edition 2013 Fifth edition 2016 Published by PALGRAVE Palgrave in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of 4 Crinan Street, London, N1 9XW. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Palgrave is a global imprint of the above companies and is represented throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN 978–1–137–52312–9 hardback ISBN 978–1–137–52311–2 paperback This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. To our daughters Isabella and Louisa The world is yours to explore and improve This page intentionally left blank List of Boxes, Tables, Figures and Maps x Preface to the Fifth Edition xiii List of Abbreviations xiv Introduction 1 Part 1 Theoretical Perspectives 5 1 Theories of Global Political Economy 6 Understanding the Global Political Economy 6 The Economic Nationalist Perspective 8 Key actors 8 Key dynamics 9 Conflict and cooperation 10 Economic nationalism today 10 The Liberal Perspective 12 Key actors 13 Key dynamics 13 Conflict and cooperation 13 Liberalism today 14 The Critical Perspective 16 Key actors 17 Key dynamics 17 Conflict and cooperation 18 Critical theory today 18 Contending Perspectives: A Summary 19 Further Reading 21 2 International Political Economy and its Methods 22 Locating the Field 22 Economics 23 Political science 24 Political economy 24 International relations 25 Methodological Issues 26 Case studies and large n studies 26 Rational choice 27 Institutionalism 28 Constructivism 30 Contents Trends in Contemporary GPE Theory 32 Consolidation 32 Integration 33 Expansion 34 Approach of the Book 36 Further Reading 38 Part 2 Evolution 39 3 Forging a World Economy: 1400–1800 40 Regions of the World Economy 41 The Middle East 42 China 43 India 44 Africa 45 The Americas 45 Europe 46 European Expansion 51 Into the Americas 51 Along Africa: the triangular trade 54 On the peripheries of Asia 56 Conclusion 58 Further Reading 62 4 Industry, Empire and War: 1800–1945 63 The Industrial Revolution 64 What was the Industrial Revolution? 64 Why Britain? Why then? 66 What did the others do? 67 Pax Britannica 68 The gold standard and capital flows 68 Free trade 71 Balance of power 71 Renewed Imperialism 74 War and Economic Disorder 77 The world wars 77 Interwar economic failure 79 Conclusion 82 Further Reading 85 viii Contents 5 Growing a Global Economy: 1945–2015 86 The Cold War Era: 1945–89 86 The US-led Western political economy 86 The communist political economy 89 The southern political economy 89 The Post-Cold War Era: 1990–2015 91 Competing capitalisms and state transformation 91 The information revolution 93 International organizations and governance 95 Conclusion 97 Further Reading 100 Part 3 Dynamics 101 6 International Trade 102 Definitions 102 Theoretical Perspectives: Free Trade and Protectionism 103 Proponents of free trade 104 Critics of free trade 105 Major Developments 108 Growth and protectionism 108 Changing institutional arrangements 112 Key Issues 115 Developing country interests 115 Regional trade agreements 120 Legitimacy 122 Conclusion 124 Further Reading 124 7 Transnational Production 125 Definitions 127 Theoretical Perspectives: Explaining the Growth of TNCs 128 Major Developments 131 The globalization of production 131 Changing organizational principles 135 Key Issues 138 Re-evaluating the benefits of FDI 138 State–firm interactions 142 Regulating capital 145 Conclusion 146 Further Reading 147 8 The Global Financial System 148 Definitions and Background 148 Theoretical Perspectives: The Mundell- Fleming Model 151 Major Developments 153 IMS: from fixed to floating and regional currencies 153 Credit: financial innovation and repeated crises 157 Key Issues 166 Global credit crisis 166 Future of the US dollar 168 The European sovereign debt and euro crisis 170 Corporate and individual tax abuse 173 Conclusion 177 Further Reading 178 9 Global Division of Labour 179 Definitions 179 Theoretical Perspectives: Adam Smith and his Critics 181 Major Developments 184 Changes in the production process 185 From the new international to the global division of labour 186 Key Issues 187 Global restructuring: the rise of China and India 188 The struggle for workers’ rights in a global economy 191 The division of labour and global stability 193 Conclusion 196 Further Reading 197 10 Gender 198 Definitions and Background 198 Theoretical Perspectives: GPE as if Gender Mattered 200 Major Developments 203 Women in the world economy: employment trends and prospects 203 Gender and global public policy 205 Key Issues 210 The feminization of poverty 210 Globalization of reproductive work 211 Gender and global restructuring 214 Conclusion 216 Further Reading 216 11 Economic Development 217 Definitions 218 Contents ix Theoretical Perspectives on Growth and Development 222 Major Developments 226 Development and national capitalism, 1947–81 227 Development, neoliberalism and beyond, 1982–2015 229 Key Issues 232 The organization of development 232 Debt and debt relief 235 North–South conflict 237 Conclusion 239 Further Reading 240 12 Global Environmental Change 241 Definitions and Background 242 Theoretical Perspectives: IPE and Environmental Studies 244 IPE debates 244 Environmental studies’ debates 246 Major Developments 249 Bringing the environment in 249 Mainstreaming environmentalism 251 Key Issues 253 Sustainable development 253 Climate change 256 Transnational land acquisitions 259 Conclusion 260 Further Reading 261 13 Ideas 262 Definitions 262 Theoretical Perspectives: Ideas about Ideas 263 Major Developments 266 The information revolution and the information society 266 The rise and stall of the Washington Consensus 268 Key Issues 271 Technological diffusion 271 Property rights and life (HIV/AIDS) 272 Ideas, interests and the global financial crisis 274 Conclusion 277 Further Reading 278 14 Security 279 Definitions: Three Views of Security 279 The traditional state-centric approach 279 New security studies 280 Human security 281 Theoretical Perspectives: Integrating Security and Political Economy 282 Major Developments 285 The Cold War security structure 285 The post-Cold War security structure 286 Key Issues 290 Economic statecraft and security 290 Transnational crime and corporate espionage 293 Disease, pandemics and security 296 Conclusion 298 Further Reading 298 15 Governing the Global Political Economy 299 Definitions 299 Theoretical Perspectives: Whither the State? 300 Major Developments 301 Proliferation of governance levels 302 Proliferation of actors 305 Rise of the BRICS 307 Twenty-First-Century Challenges 310 Development and growth 310 Equality and justice 311 Democracy and regulation 313 Conclusion 316 Further Reading 316 Bibliography 317 Index 342 W hy do we inhabit a world where there are such great inequalities of wealth and life chances between regions? Why do some countries seem to be caught in a trap of producing products whose value declines over time, such as sugar or coffee? What accounts for the racial hierar – chies in countries such as the US and South Africa? Why do some societies and countries seem suspicious of the foreign and economic policies of Western states, corporations and civic associations? The answers to these questions are partially rooted in the origins of the global economy. Indeed, a full understanding of today’s global economy requires a familiarity with patterns that were initiated hundreds of years ago. Croce’s argument that ‘however remote in time events there recounted may seem to be, the history in reality refers to present needs and present situations wherein those events vibrate’ (Croce, 1941, p. 19) implies that history is constantly rewritten in light of existing debates and sensibilities. New histories often tell us as much about the times in which they were written as they do about the historical events themselves. An interesting example of this can be seen in the last decade of the 20th century when several prominent scholars engaged in a debate about the ‘rise of the West’. They tried to explain why political and economic power was concentrated in the hands of several Western states (western Europe and the US). On one side of the debate were those who congratulated today’s winners in the global economy by arguing that the rich were wealthy because they had the most virtuous social, economic and political institutions. We can call this the ‘cultural approach’. The rich are rich because they have a culture that supports success. A prominent exponent of this view is Harvard historian David Landes in his book The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998). The other side of the debate argued that Western success was accidental and temporary, built on force and expropriation as much as any positive cultural attributes. We can call this the ‘global historical approach’, because it stresses the role of other civilizations and refutes the histori – cal claims of the culturalists. Such an approach challenges the notion that history has ended because Western states have discovered the ultimate model for struc – turing economic, social and political relations. A prominent illustration of this approach is Hobson’s The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization (2004). The debate between cultural and global historical explanations about the ‘rise of the West’ became heated because it concerned the present and the future as much as it did the past. Participants claimed that they had discovered the secrets to why some are rich and others are poor. Such knowledge can be used by others to restructure their societies in the hope of similar success. The practical implica – tions are immense. The culturalists see the cause of poverty as the behaviour of the poor, while the global historicist side sees it as a result of the relationship between the poor and the rich. The policy implications of the first view are that Chapter 3 Forging a World Economy: 1400–1800 Regions of the World Economy 41 European Expansion 51 Conclusion 58 Further Reading 62 Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 41 the poor are themselves primarily responsible for improving their position, while the implication of the second view is that the system of political and eco – nomic relations must be changed to create greater equity. The first message offers comfort to those already enjoying economic success, while the second urges mobilization and change. How far back in history should we go to gain a better understanding of today’s patterns of inequalities and wealth generation? In his bestselling book Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies , Diamond (1997) argued that we need to go back 11,000 years to find the ultimate causes of differences in economic development between people and regions. In his view, environmental and geographic factors such as differ – ences in plant and animal species, rates of migration and diffusion within and between continents and total area/population size of continents privileged the peo – ples of Europe and Asia over people in other parts of the world. The ability to produce food and domesticate animals allowed for the creation of civilizations that overwhelmed societies with less complicated divisions of labour. Our investigation will begin in the late 1400s when Spanish adventurers forcefully integrated sections of the Americas into an intercontinental economy that already linked parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. This chapter focuses on the period when the major regional economies in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas were brought into increased contact through the persis – tence of European expansionism. It is the beginning of the first truly worldwide or global economy. This will be accomplished in two steps. First, we will provide a brief overview of the major economic areas before the Spanish conquest of the 1500s. This will give us an understanding of the diversity of political economy arrangements around the world and will lay the groundwork for understanding the varying pattern of European–non-European interaction in subsequent centuries. Second, we will look at the pattern of Euro – pean engagement with other parts of the world from the 1490s until the early 1800s. The conclusion analyses the historical record in terms of the key frameworks used in Part 3 – trade, production, finance, labour, gender, devel – opment, environment, ideas, security and governance. The chapter has two major arguments. First, the regional political economies that were connecting dur – ing this period varied greatly in terms of social, political and economic organization. Second, this heterogeneity created a variety of interactions from free exchange to open warfare and slavery. A third point, explored in fol – lowing chapters, is that these interactions would have long-lasting effects. Regions of the Wo Rld economy This section provides a snapshot of several areas of the world prior to European contact with the Americas, which created the first truly worldwide political econ – omy. In the year 1400, there was little hint that the resi – dents of Europe would have such an influence on the majority of people who lived in other regions. As the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English and French stead – ily moved outwards from their own continent, they encountered a variety of people and social organiza – tions. Rather than expanding into a vacuum, the Euro – peans interacted with established civilizations, economic systems and military forces. There are several points to keep in mind. First, with few exceptions, economic activity was on a local level. Agricultural production was the norm and this was usually centred on a market town with an agricultural hinterland of about 30 kilometres (Schwartz, 1994, p.  13). Second, despite the predominance of this local activity, intercontinental trade routes moving luxury goods had existed for thousands of years. Third, at the heart of these trade routes lay very different civiliza – tions with distinct political economies. Indeed, some approaches to international relations and global history take different civilizations as their starting point (Brau – del, 1994; Cox, 1996). Janet Abu-Lughod (1989) has provided an interest – ing account of the world system before Europeans began their transatlantic voyages. Her research reveals a system of trade and economic exchange reaching from China to Europe. The system was composed of eight overlapping regions. Economic activity was concen – trated within these regions, but they were linked to neighbouring regions, allowing products to move from eastern Asia to western Europe. Map 3.1 reproduces Abu-Lughod’s diagram showing the regions, but it also adds four additional regions that will be discussed below under ‘Africa’ and ‘the Americas’. Moving from west to east on the Eurasian continent, the first area is the region that brought together northern and southern 42 Part 2 EVol UT ion Europe. The second region sits above the Mediterra – nean, crossing the divide between Christian southern Europe and the Islamic centres of Egypt. This Mediter – ranean region overlapped with three central regions. Region 3 covered the overland trade routes that stretched across central Asia to China and were main – tained by the Mongols. Region 4 included the territory around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (modern-day Iraq) down to the Persian Gulf. Region 5 also joined the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, but through Egypt and the Red Sea. Products making their way into the Indian Ocean were then transported across Region 6, which covered the Arabian Sea, linking Ara – bia with the western coast of India. Region 7 linked India with South-east Asia, while Region 8 finished the route by taking in China and South-east Asia. This meant that there were three routes for products to move from China to Europe. The northern route moved goods overland from China via central Asia through the Mediterranean into the European region. Alterna – tively, products could move by sea through South-east Asia, the Indian Ocean and then into the Mediterra – nean either through the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Abu-Lughod’s work omits African trading regions, so we have added two regions that cover certain areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Region 9 brought goods from sub-Saharan Africa into northern Africa and the Medi – terranean/European world. Region 10 brought African goods into the Middle East and Asia via the Indian Ocean. Our map also includes two regions in the Amer – icas that were not joined to the African-European- Asian system. These are Region 11, which belonged to the Aztec Empire, and Region 12, ruled by the Incas. Although it would have taken years to travel around this circuit of trade in the 1400s and the volumes of trade were minuscule by today’s standards, economic activity was increasing across the system. Let’s turn our attention to each of these regions to get a brief idea of their nature. We are particularly interested in the types of economic activity and political relations that charac – terized each region. The Middle East In Abu-Lughod’s diagram of 14th-century regions, the Middle East acts as the key gateway between the Medi – terranean/European and the Eastern worlds. Indeed, the desire to get around this gateway was one of the key motivations driving European merchants into the Atlantic Ocean, around Africa and across to the Amer – icas. By the time of Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic, there had already been a 700-year history of bloody and lucrative interchange between European Christendom and Middle Eastern Islam. Islamic and Christian clashes took place from the south 11 12 9 1 2 4 5 3 6 10 7 8 Map 3.1 Regions of the 15th-century world economy Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 43 of France, through modern-day Egypt, Israel and Tur – key, to the gates of Vienna. Yet, this rivalry was balanced by many instances of cooperation, with alliances and economic interchange between Europeans and Middle Easterners. For example, the Genovese sold Christian and pagan slaves to the Mamlukes in Egypt who then trained them as soldiers to be used against the Crusaders, while the Venetians financed an Ottoman fleet to battle the Portuguese in the Red Sea. For almost 1,000 years Islamic warriors waged suc – cessful military campaigns against European forces. Behind those Middle Eastern armies stood a dynamic economy, extensive trade networks, bustling cities and great centres of learning. In retrospect, we can see that the 15th century was a period of transition in the Middle East. While the religion of Islam was dominant, forms of political authority were the objects of intense rivalry. Although ultimate political authority eventu – ally came to rest in the hands of the sultan of the Otto – man Empire, this occurred only after a period of conflict with and between Turkish tribes, Mongols, Persians and Mamlukes. The competition between rival sources of political power characteristic of Europe was not absent in the Middle East. However, by the early 1500s, the Ottoman Empire held the upper hand. It proceeded to extend its rule eastwards and westwards towards Europe. On land and at sea the Europeans had great difficulty matching the might of Islamic forces. It would not be until the second siege of Vienna in 1683 that European militaries would start to win consistent victories. The Mamlukes, followed by the Ottomans, presided over a thriving trading economy. In the 14th century, Cairo had a population of approximately half a million, which was only exceeded by one or two cities in China (Abu-Lughod, 1989, p. 212). The Mamlukes developed a structured and prosperous trading relationship with the Venetians. Through force of arms they prevented Europeans from seizing Egyptian territory that would have granted direct access to the wealth of India and China via the Red Sea. Venetians docked in Alexandria to wait for access to spices, dyes, pepper, silk, cotton and porcelains from Malaysia, India and China. Outside the Mediterranean, Arab traders pursued economic activity along the coast of eastern Africa, the western coast of India and into South-east Asia. Zanzi – bar, off the coast of eastern Africa, was occupied by Arab traders as early as the eighth century. The cultural remnants of this early commercial activity can be seen in the Muslim populations of countries such as Malay – sia and Indonesia (the largest Muslim country in the world). China Of all the great civilizations of the 15th century, China was the largest and most powerful. It produced prod – ucts that were greatly desired by the elite in other regions of the world, chief among these being ceramics and silk. China contained the world’s largest cities, advanced technology and impressive military forces. Indeed, the wonders of China were so great that when the Italian Marco Polo returned from his travels to that land in 1295, his observations were often dismissed as being fanciful. Some of his tales were exaggerated, but there is no doubt that China was a world leader in tech – nology and inventions many years before the European Renaissance (see Box 3.1). During the 14th and 15th centuries China was also undergoing dramatic changes. In 1370, the Chinese had finally succeeded in driving out Mongol rulers and re- established a Chinese emperor. This line of rulers was called the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Initially, the Mings launched several long-range trading voyages as far as the eastern coast of Africa. Their ships were five times as large as later Portuguese ships and they con – tained far more cargo space and cannons. They would have been capable of crossing the Pacific Ocean if they had attempted the task (McNeill, 1982, pp. 44–5). Indeed, had the voyages continued, it is possible that the Chinese might have sailed around Africa and reached Portugal, as well as ‘discovered’ the Americas. However, expeditions to the west (1405–33) were eventually halted by the Ming emperors and the seagoing fleet decommissioned. For the next several hundred years, the Chinese were less engaged with the outside world and fell behind, relative to the expanding Europeans. There are several possible explanations for why the naval excursions were ended. One has to do with court politics. The leader of the expeditions (Zheng He) was both a Muslim and a eunuch and eventually lost the support of the emperors. Another explanation is that although the voyages brought back interesting goods, there was little the Chinese found that they actually needed. Unlike the Europeans, who were desperate for spices and silks, the Chinese did not find anything so attractive that it would justify the expense of further 44 Part 2 EVol UT ion exploration. Finally, the centre of gravity in China shifted towards the north and internal development. The Mings moved the capital from Nanjing northwards to Beijing and became more concerned with land rather than sea threats. In addition, new locks on the Grand Canal joined the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys, securing year-round rice transport in internal waters. This greatly reduced the importance of any maritime threats to Chinese stability and hence the need for a powerful navy (McNeill, 1982, p. 47). In terms of political structures, the Ming emperor was the sole source of law. His views might be restrained by appeal to precedent and scholarly discussions or debates, but his power was absolute (Mote, 1999, p. 637). China was governed by a single political authority, unlike the rival states that fought continuously in Europe. The court sat in Beijing and governors of prov – inces reported to the bureaucracy and the court in the capital city. The emperor was supported by a well- trained bureaucracy that was selected through a pro – cess of examination. Confucian scholar-officials played the major role in running the bureaucracy and advising the emperor. Increasingly during the Ming Dynasty, eunuchs played a key role in running the court and pro – viding services to the emperor. In some cases, they advanced their interests over that of the empire and cut the emperor off from developments in his realm. India Like China, India also possessed an ancient civilization, considerable economic wealth and military might. However, India was a more diverse and decentralized political economy than China. The northern section of India had experienced a series of invasions from Per – sian, Mongol, Turkish and Afghan tribes. In the 15th century, the northern region, known as the Delhi Sul – tanate, was ruled by descendants of invading Islamic forces, but they were constantly under attack from new waves of invaders. The sultanate was ravaged by the Mongol descendant Timur (Tamerlane) in 1388 and Delhi was sacked in 1398. Internal cohesion was diffi – cult to maintain. In 1526, Barbur, a descendant of Timur, invaded India and founded the Mughal (Mon – gol) dynasty. Many of India’s architectural wonders, such as the Taj Mahal, date from the Mughal era. Other parts of India were ruled by independent king – doms. The southern region was dominated by the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar from 1336 to 1565. It was often engaged in conflict with its neighbour, the Bahmani Sul – tanate. The eastern province of Bengal was usually con – trolled by independent rulers and the western coastal area of Gujarat also enjoyed independence. There were numerous other smaller kingdoms during this period. Ports in coastal areas of India enjoyed a great deal of autonomy from the inland empires and economic activity was conducted by a wide range of social and economic groups. In Kerala, external trade was con – ducted by Jews and Christians who had been resident since the sixth century. In other parts of India, Jains, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus were involved in trade (Bouchon and Lombard, 1987). On the western coast of India, the state of Gujarat dominated trade moving from the Middle East to the east coast of India. On the east coast, Bengal played a major part in moving goods on to South-east Asia. However, these coastal areas were relatively peripheral to the land-based empire. For Box 3.1 Ancient Chinese technology Archaeological discoveries point to the origins of Chinese civilization as early as 7,000–8,000 years ago. Traditionally, the Chinese view the greatest technological contributions of ancient China to the world as the Four Great Inventions: the compass ( ad 104 44), gunpowder ( ad 80 900), papermaking ( ad 105) and printing ( ad 868). Not only have the four discoveries had an enormous impact on the development of chinese civilization, but also a far-reaching global impact as other peoples adopted these innovations. a closer examination of china reveals a whole series of inventions that had their origins in that civilization (Needham, 195 1995). These include: ◗Metal casting (1800 bc) ◗Decimal system (1200 bc) ◗Row planting ( c. 500 bc) ◗Seed drill ( c. 202 bc ad 220) ◗Iron ploughs (202 bc ad 220) ◗Deep drilling (202 bc ad 220) ◗Ship’s rudder (202 bc ad 220) ◗Abacus (200 bc) ◗Paper money (140–87 bc) ◗Harness for horses ( ad 22 581) ◗Porcelain ( ad 58 618) ◗Mechanical clock ( ad 732). Chapter 3 Forging a World E Conomy: 1400–1800 45 example, it is reported that when the Mughal Emperor Akbar visited the recently conquered Indian ports of Cambay and Surat in the late 1500s, it was the first time he had ever seen the ocean (Risso, 1995). Reflecting on the experiences of the Middle East, China and India, it is noteworthy that while these civili – zations engaged in maritime activity, it was difficult for maritime interests to influence political power. The large land-based empires engaged in seaborne trade and established wide-ranging activity crossing the Mediter – ranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and around the seas to China. However, the Ottomans, Chinese and Mughals were primarily concerned with events within their existing empires and concentrated most of their effort in land-based expansion and defence. This was a very different pattern from the maritime-dependent Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and British Empires. Africa To Abu-Lughod’s diagram of trading networks we added two regions to cover interaction with sub-Saharan Africa (see Map 3.1). Region 9 covers land on either side of the Sahara Desert and the difficult trade across that arid territory. In western Africa, gold mines sup – plied European demand for currency while pepper was shipped north for consumption in food seasoning. This trade eventually encouraged the Portuguese to sail around the desert to establish direct trading contacts. Region 10 integrates the trade of eastern Africa with that of the Indian Ocean. In eastern Africa, trading posts exported slaves, ivory, iron, rhinoceros horn, tur – tle shell, amber and leopard skins to India and beyond. Both networks had existed for thousands of years. Africa contained a large variety of political groups (Shillington, 1995). Northern African states were integrated into the Islamic empire. In Ethiopia, a Chris – tian kingdom was founded in the fourth century and maintained its independence until the late 1930s. In the Shona state of Great Zimbabwe, 10-metre-high stone enclosures surrounded the king’s residence. Around the great lakes area of central Africa, the Luba and Lunda Empires concentrated on fishing and hunting. They purchased iron and salt from the north and copper from the south, which was made into rings, bracelets and necklaces. In summary, the large continent con – tained a number of different political economies linked together through trade. It is important that Africa is not viewed as static or stagnant in this period. Briefly we can note three main characteristics of the African political economy at that time. First, as noted above there was significant variation among different regions. Different ecological regions gave rise to differing factor endowments and thus the production of different goods and services. Second, over the period covered, commercial activity shifted as new commercial centres rose and old ones declined. For example, control over the gold trade made Hausaland a major commercial centre in the 16th century. But as gold declined in importance and the trade in people increased, Dahomey (modern day Benin) became the new hub of activity in the 17th century. Third, African economic activity was frequently disrupted by drought and fam – ine. These ‘limits to growth’ both spurred technical inno – vation and also limited consistent development. The Americas Although the existence of the Americas came as a sur – prise to Europeans, many areas were marked by advanced civilizations. Advanced civilization, in terms of intensive agricultural activity and large cities with complicated architecture, took place in two regions of the Americas. One region was the Inca Empire in the Andes in Peru and Bolivia, which stretched from Ecua – dor to Chile. The other was in Mesoamerica – Mexico and Guatemala. This was the home of the Maya who were starting to decline and the Aztecs who were in the process of creating a large empire. The Spanish encountered a well-developed empire when they began contact with the population of Mexico in 1519. The Aztecs ruled Mexico and were the successor to a series of civilizations, which included the Olmec, Teotihuacan and Toltecs. Although there were differ – ences between these civilizations, some continuities are noticeable (Davies, 1982). Similar to Old World civiliza – tions, the native Americans demonstrated an ability to build and maintain cities, erect large monuments and support sophisticated forms of art. Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, dazzled the Spanish invaders because of its large population and elaborate beauty. Its population was more than ten times that of leading Spanish cities of the same era. Unlike the Europeans and Asians, the native Americans faced greater transportation difficulties. They lacked beasts of burden, so most goods were carried on foot. Water transport was also limited due to the presence
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3 Eduardo Galeano OPEN VEINS of LATIN AMERICA FIVE CENTURIES OF THE PILLAGE 0F A CONTINENTTranslated by Cedric Belfrage 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION FOREWARD by Isabel Allende LATIN AMERICA BUREAU London 4 Copyright © 1973,1997 by Monthly Review Press All Rights Reserved Originally published as Las venas abiertas de America Latina by Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico, copyright © 1971 by Siglo XXI Editores Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publishing Data Galeano, Eduardo H., 1940- [Venas abiertas de America Latina, English] Open veins of Latin America : five centuries or the pillage of a continent / Eduardo Galeano ; translated by Cedric Belfrage. — 25th anniversary ed. / foreword by Isabel Allende. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-85345-991-6 (pbk.:alk.paper).— ISBN 0-85345-990-8 (cloth) 1. Latin America— Economic conditions. 1. Title. HC125.G25313 1997 330.98— dc21 97-44750 CIP Monthly Review Press 122 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001 Manufactured in the United States of America 5 “We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity”. –From the Revolutionary Proclamation of the Junta Tuitiva, La Paz, July 16, 1809 6 Contents FOREWORD BY ISABEL ALLENDE ………………………………………………….IX FROM IN DEFENSE OF THE WORD ………………………………………………..XIV ACKNOWLEDGEMENT… … ………………………………………………………………..X INTRODUCTION: 120 MILLION CHILDRENIN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE ……………………………………………..… ………..1 PART I :MANKIND’S POVERTY AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE WEALTH OF THE LAND 1. LUST FOR GOLD, LUST FOR SILVER … … … … … … … … … … … … … 2 2. KING SUGAR AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL MONARCHS … … … ..59 3. THE INVISIBLE SOURCES OF POWER … … … … … … ..… .… … … … .134 PART II :DEVELOPMENT IS A VOYAGE WITH MORE SHIPWRECKS THAN NAVIGATORS 4. TALES OF PREMATURE DEATH … … … … … … … … … … … .… … … .173 5. THE CONTEMPORARY STRUCTURE OF PLUNDER… … …… … … ..205 PART III: SEVEN YEARS AFTER ………………………… … … … ……………….263 REFERENCES … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …… … … … … … … 287 INDEX… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … .307 11 1.Lust for Gold, Lust for Silver ~ THE SIGN OF THE CROSS ON THE HILT OF THE SWORD When Christopher Columbus headed across the great emptiness west of Christendom, he had accepted the challenge of legend. Terrible storms would play with his ships as if they were nutshells and hurl them into the jaws of monsters; the sea serpent, hungry for human flesh, would be lying in wait in the murky depths. According to fifteenth-century man, only 1,000 years remained before the purifying flames of the Last Judgment would destroy the world, and the world was then the Mediterranean Sea with its uncertain horizons: Europe, Africa, Asia. Portuguese navigators spoke of strange corpses and curiously carved pieces of wood that floated in on the west wind, but no one suspected that the world was about to be startlingly extended by a great new land. America not only lacked a name. The Norwegians did not know they had discovered it long ago, and Columbus himself died convinced that he had reached Asia by the western route. In 1492, when Spanish boats first trod the beaches of the Bahamas, the Admiral thought these islands were an outpost of the fabulous isle of Zipango— Japan. Columbus took along a copy of Marco Polo’s book, and covered its margins with notes. The inhabitants of Zipango, said Marco Polo, “have gold in the greatest abundance, its sources being inexhaustible. . . In this island there are pearls also, in large quantities, of a red color, round in shape, and of 12 great size, equal in value to, or even exceeding that of white pearls.” The wealth of Zipango had become known to the Great Kubla Khan, stirring a desire to conquer it, but he had failed. Out of Marco Polo’s sparkling pages leaped all the good things of creation: there were nearly 13,000 islands in the Indian seas, with mountains of gold and pearls and twelve kinds of spices in enormous quantities, in addition to an abundance of white and black pepper. Pepper, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon were as prized as salt in preserving meat against putrefaction and loss of flavor in winter. Spain’s Catholic rulers decided to finance the adventure to get direct access to the sources and to free themselves from the burden