By Enrique Tandeter
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Extra info for Coercion and market: silver mining in colonial Potosí, 1692-1826
Although the crown regulated the "price" of silver by establishing a uniform monetary equivalent for each unit of metal in all of the mints in the Americas, including Potosí, silver producers still received an inferior price at the hands of the aviadores or silver merchants, who provided the necessary credit for mining enterprises in exchange for the promise of silver produced at a later date. 33 Silver production in Potosí in the first quarter of the eighteenth century was spurred in this way.
40 In 1719-20, a proposal was made to reduce the tax to compensate for the projected elimination of the mita. In March 1723, Page 11 news arrived in Potosí that the royal advocate (fiscal) of the Council of the Indies had produced an opinion in favor of the desired tax reduction. Though it was hoped that King Luis I would approve the measure, his sudden demise postponed any action. 41 Finally, the 10 percent tax level was conceded by a Royal Cédula issued from El Prado on 28 January 1735. 43 On one hand, if, as we have seen, the increase in demand for silver was translated into the price paid by merchants to producers, this was only a spasmodic stimulus, dependent upon the fortuitous arrival of trading ships.
Includes bibliographical references and index. )History. )History. Title. 2'7421'098414dc20 93-14687 CIP Translated by Richard Warren © 1993 by the University of New Mexico Press. All rights reserved. First edition Page v For Dorita, for so many reasons Page vii Contents Preface xi 1. The Resurgence of Silver Production 1 Silver Production in Potosí 1 European Demand 5 The 1730s 10 2. The Potosí Mita 15 Forced Labor and Seasonal Migration 15 The Mita in the Colonial System 17 The "Numbers" of the Mita 24 The "Arrangement" of the Mita 36 Mita Rent and Profitability 47 The Weight of Exploitation 52 Exemptions and Commutations, Caciques and Enteradores 62 3.