This article focuses on the historiography of abolition and antislavery. Abolitionism is an idea, articulated through language that emerged in the eighteenth century and propelled people to act. It ultimately changed the world. People came to believe that God had endowed all humans with the inalienable right to be free and that slavery was an intolerable evil that must be abolished. Most scholars agree with this basic definition of abolitionism. But they have long disagreed about its significance and the process by which the idea led to action and political change. The discussion covers the age of gradual abolitionism (1770s–1820s), gradual abolition in the British Caribbean and French Caribbean, the age of immediate abolitionism (1820s–1860s), the French abolition movement, and the road to civil war and emancipation in the United States.
Bethany Turner-Livermore and Barbara R. Hewitt
This chapter discusses research by the authors among Inca populations from two sites in Peru. Machu Picchu was a royal Inca estate, close to the imperial capital of Cuzco and inhabited by a permanent group of servants, while Túcume is a large site on the northern coast of Peru, in the hinterland of the empire, but with an elite burial context including a number of female attendants. Characterization of both light and heavy isotopes in the bones and teeth of individuals from both sites has permitted the authors to estimate the social status (mitmacona, yanacona, acllacona/mamacona) of the servants at both sites, and to better characterize their geographic origins and diet. When interpreted against an ethnohistorical and archaeological backdrop, isotopic bioarchaeology results discussed here indicate that the acllacona in particular represent a variety of possible manifestations in the archaeological record, reflecting the variety of roles they played in the empire.
Cameron B. Wesson
This chapter examines the nature of Native American societies immediately prior to the advent of sustained contacts with Europeans in the late fifteenth century. Touching on the broad issues of social organization, politics, trade, religion, and identity, the chapter provides a general framework for understanding the uniqueness of indigenous Native American cultures. The precontact Native cultures of North America were far more diverse and complex than any of the theories archaeologists have previously devised to understand them. In addition to the knowledge gained from ever new archaeological investigations of precontact sites in North America, there is ample evidence that an emphasis on scholarly engagement with descendant communities holds the potential to reveal even more about pre- and postcontact Native American experiences.
Edward J. Davies, II
This article discusses the history of the Americas from 1450 to 2000. It describes the Americas before European contact; disease and death brought by the European arrival in 1492 due to new bacteria and viruses they carried; conquest, colonization, and settlement by the Europeans; the building of transatlantic economies; revolutions in the Americas from 1760 to 1830; revolutions and new republics that were formed; the rise of industrial economies in the Americas; migration and labor demands; the Great Depression and World War II; the global cold war from 1941 to 2000teh global economy; and globalization in the late twentieth century.
This chapter presents an overview of pre-Inca states in the Andes, describing patterns of statecraft that came before the Inca Empire. The earliest evidence for Andean urbanism and statecraft appeared on the north coast of Peru, where Mochica polities built on earlier processes. A period of local development followed the disintegration of Mochica states, and the Chimú Empire spread across parts of the region in the centuries before Inca incorporation. In the Andean highlands, the Wari and Tiwanaku empires developed their own urban centers and extended administrative centers and enclaves into other highland areas. As archaeologists explore the pre-Inca Andean states more intensively, focusing more attention on peripheral and non-elite contexts, it is clear that these societies used distinct strategies to integrate their core regions and to extend their power more widely.
Robert W. Slenes
This article reviews scholarship on the history and historiography of slavery in Brazil. Brazil possessed a more varied slave economy with a much larger sector producing for the internal market than scholars had previously thought. The already large slave population of Minas Gerais increased dramatically from 168,543 in 1819 to 381,893 in 1872. Minas Gerais consisted of an intricate mercantile system based on slave labour that not only supplied foreign markets with hides, tobacco, and the products of a revived mining and incipient coffee sector, but also satisfied the domestic demand of Minas and of the rapidly growing Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo plantation complex for cheese, hogs, cattle, and homespun cotton cloth. An elite group of merchants in the ports — often descendants of representatives of Portuguese mercantile houses who had married into large landowning and slaveholding families — came to dominate Brazil's trade with Africa as well as its coastal commerce.
Based on available archaeological and ethnohistorical data, this chapter examines the nature of Inca presence in the norther portion of the empire. Located in present-day Ecuador, this region had a singular importance in the last phases of Inca imperial expansion. This contribution provides an overview of the Inca occupation and the different forms of integration that the populations dwelling in the sierra, coast, and tropical oriente experienced. The discussion also highlights the importance of the Inca centers of Tomebamba and Quito in the imperial politics, and the system of defensive fortifications along the imperial frontiers. It also discusses the complex relations that the Inca established with competing polities like the Caranqui and Cañari among many others. Altogether, this illustrates the complexity of the complexity of the Inca conquest in the Northern region, and the remaining work to be done in the future.
Melissa S. Murphy
A growing body of bioarchaeological research into the biocultural effects of Spanish colonialism on native Andean communities shows that traditional and popular narratives emphasizing the roles of epidemic disease and Spanish military superiority in the conquest of the Inca Empire are oversimplified. Bioarchaeologists are now interrogating the intricacies and etiologies of native mortality and depopulation, differential fertility, migration, and population recovery, as well as successful native adaptation. Their work demonstrates considerable variability and complexity in native responses to life under Spanish colonial rule, but these results are limited to the coastal valleys, and additional study is required from the other areas of the Inca Empire, especially the Yucay and the highland regions.
Nicholas A. Robins
This article explores the genocides of conquest and colonization in Latin America, highlighting the shortcomings of conventional definitions of genocide. According to some interpretations of the 1948 UN Convention on genocide, it is possible to have a ‘genocide’ free of death. Actions causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group are legally considered genocide, yet can be interpreted as not necessarily involving mass killing even when the object is the destruction of a group. Likewise, although in a broader intellectual context, deliberate cultural destruction, or ethnocide, and the deliberate elimination of languages, or linguicide, are also often considered genocide. On the other hand, the unintended extinction or near extinction of a people from disease, a literal genocide and what could also be termed ‘collateral genocide’, is not considered genocide according to the UN Convention.
Lyman L. Johnson and Susan M. Socolow
This article covers Spanish South America, particularly the Andean core of the empire but also a surprisingly rich historical literature on the River Plate, long a marginal corner of the Spanish Empire. The relative lack of surviving documents written in Quechua or other South American indigenous languages has prevented the development of a philological historiography analogous to that of New Spain. But increasingly informed by the work of archeologists, anthropologists, and ethnographers, historians of colonial South America have also revealed the remarkable endurance of native social, cultural, and even political practices during three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.