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Authors: Physioc, Felice Marie
Advisors: CandianiAdelman, Vera Jeremy
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: Colonial Andes
Inca road
Postal service
Viceroyalty of Peru
Subjects: Latin American history
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Beginning in the last decade of the sixteenth century, the Viceroyalty of Peru, in collaboration with the Carvajal family, reformed the colonial postal administration. Over the preceding decades, the conflicts and civil wars in the Andes left the pre-Hispanic roadway system in disarray but still functional. Rehabilitating the estimated 50,000 kilometers of Incan roadway networks, waystations, and communal courier labor from Quito to Córdoba was crucial for postal functioning. Andean communication infrastructure, maintained and managed by indigenous leaders for the entire colonial period, provided the material and social basis for Spanish commercial circuits, essential to imperial rule in the region. Andean overland infrastructure provided the foundation for colonial mobility and markets. Repurposed over the colonial period as a nexus of commercial exchange and imperial taxation, the roadway provided a setting that bridged the Spanish and indigenous worlds. The postal administration, as it turns out, moved more than just correspondence: hired couriers moved minted and unminted precious metals, jewelry, and regional and imported goods. Following roadway infrastructure and the comings and goings of indigenous and Hispanic merchants and muleteers, I show the internal functioning of commercial taxation, revenue transport, and exchange. The project shows how the colonial Andean economy was created around and through roadway expansion. This dissertation maps the ecological disruptions and social transformations a mule-based communication infrastructure introduced between Córdoba and the coast of Lima between 1590 and 1820. I argue that Hispanic and indigenous social organizations were not incompatible. Hispanic private ownership and production coexisted alongside indigenous communal ownership and production. Hispanic commercial and financial relationships included and indeed relied on indigenous communities without effectively destroying their way of life. The incorporation of mules as a crucial means to transport goods, however, introduced new communal priorities and ecological disruptions that challenged indigenous organization.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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