HISA01 Oct. 1
Notice about assignment:
If it is an obvious quote from the documents, no need for reference
If you unsure whether it’s obvious or it isn’t obvious at all, cite.
Cite textbook and companion
o However, document should be enough for assignment. Grading is based
on ability to back up arguments.
Weighing of money
o No common currency at that timeí
o Face value of coins was relatively useless
Focused on coin
o Focus on wealth, trade
o Focus no longer on religion (as shown by
ignoring of religious painting)
Lighting suggest that this is approved by God
Vermeer c. 1664
Part 1: Silver
Some scholars have written of ‘silver century’ beginning around 1570.
A ‘River of Silver’ from the Americas
Mining in the Americas
Located in what was Peru, now part of Bolivia
Spanish first arrived in 1545
Mining (silver) was not done by the locals before the arrival of the Spanish. The
mines were at high altitude that made it difficult to work.
Small population of natives lived in Potosí
o In 1570, 25 years after arrival of Spanish, 150 – 160 thousand people
lived there. This is the equivalent of a European capital. HISA01 Oct. 1
At first the natives were paid for their labour (albeit poorly). That ended and the
natives were forced into slavery
The work was dangerous, difficult to mine. These conditions, poor nutrition, and
disease led to many deaths.
Silver from Potosí went:
o 1/3 went straight to Europe
o 2/3 were filtered through Manila before the rest of the world
It was already established as trading site for China
o It was not controlled by the Chinese but by the Muslims, with Rujah
Suleiman as ruler
Ox hide trick (1581):
o The Spanish told Suleiman that they wanted land the size of an ox hide
(this is not very big). Suleiman agreed then the Spanish cut the hide into
thin strips and tied it together. Thi