Changes in the Land: William Cronon

William Cronon’s Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983) looks at environmental change and human landscaping in pre-Columbian and colonial New England. Cronon argues that what we think of as “nature” on the so-called American frontier was not an untouched and pristine wilderness, but a heavily landscaped environment where… Read More Changes in the Land: William Cronon

Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Steve Stern

Stern, Steve J. Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982. Steve Stern’s Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 centers on colonial Huamanga, a strategic military and economic region along the route between Lima and Potosí. It was… Read More Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Steve Stern

Slave over Master in Colonial Colombia and Ecuador: David Chandler

David Chandler’s “Slave Over Master in Colonial Colombia and Ecuador” (1982) looks at the development of the institution of slavery and the legal rights of enslaved Africans in the colonial Andes. Chandler argues that slavery as it was practiced in relatively peripheral parts of the Spanish Americas, like Colombia and Ecuador, was different than in… Read More Slave over Master in Colonial Colombia and Ecuador: David Chandler

Demografía y Asentamientos Indígenas en la Sierra Norte del Ecuador en el Siglo XVI: Horacio Larraín

Horacio Larraín Barros’ Demografía y Asentamientos Indígenas En La Sierra Norte Del Ecuador En El Siglo XVI: Estudio Etnohistórico de Las Fuentes Tempranas, 1525-1600 (1980) is an ethnohistory of the northern Andean región in the Incan and Spanish colonial periods which sheds light on the impact of Incan attempts to reorganize life in what became… Read More Demografía y Asentamientos Indígenas en la Sierra Norte del Ecuador en el Siglo XVI: Horacio Larraín

Sublevaciones Indigenas en la Audiencia de Quito: Segundo Moreno

Segundo Moreno Yánez’s Sublevaciones Indigenas En La Audiencia de Quito. Desde Comienzos Del Siglo XVIII Hasta Finales de La Colonia (1977) looks at ten riots, protests and other tumultos in colonial Quito between 1760 and 1803. Moreno argues that conflicts over labor and a lack of trust between Andean communities and the colony’s Creole elite… Read More Sublevaciones Indigenas en la Audiencia de Quito: Segundo Moreno

Conquest and Agrarian Change: Robert Keith

Robert Keith’s 1976 Conquest and Agrarian Change: The Emergence of the Hacienda System on the Peruvian Coast, explored the rise of Spanish plantations in seven valleys along Peru’s southern coast in the second half of the sixteenth century. Keith emphasized the legacy of pre-Colombian societies in the development of the hacienda, arguing that in addition… Read More Conquest and Agrarian Change: Robert Keith

Economic Organization of the Inka State: John Murra

John Murra developed his now-famous theory of the Andean “vertical archipelago” in Formaciones Económicas y Políticas del Mundo Andino (1975, trans. Economic Organization of the Inka State, 1980), which grew out of his research in the Peruvian highlands between 1958 and 1973. Murra argued that pre-Columbian societies in the Andes sought to control a range of ecological zones… Read More Economic Organization of the Inka State: John Murra

Andean Rural Proletarians: Thomas Greaves

Anthropologist Thomas Greaves’ 1972 article, “The Andean Rural Proletarians” examined the critical role played by labor syndicates in the organization of regional peasant movements in the Ecuadorian highlands during the twentieth century. Greaves applies Sidney Mintz’s concept of the “rural proletarian” to the Andes to narrow what was then thought to constitute the so-called peasant… Read More Andean Rural Proletarians: Thomas Greaves

The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas: Muriel Crespi

Anthropologist Muriel Crespi’s 1971 article, “Changing Power Relations: The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas,” explored the disruptive consequences of agrarian capitalism on rural authority structures in the mid-twentieth century. Focusing on the expropriation of Church-owned haciendas and the rise of Marxist-inspired peasant unions in the Ecuadorian highlands near Cayambe, Crespi argued that… Read More The Rise of Peasant Unions on Traditional Ecuadorian Haciendas: Muriel Crespi