Wealth and Poverty in the Americas (MA History)

Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University

Period 2-3: 2010, 2011

The repressive and extractive features of Spanish colonial rule, in contrast to the cooperative and liberal features of British colonial rule, have long been taken as the conventional explanation for the ‘reversal of fortune’ in the American hemisphere. In recent years this view has been attacked by scholars arguing that Spanish institutions were different, but not necessarily ‘inferior’, nor ‘bad’ for growth. In this research seminar students review the academic debate, the hypotheses and the available evidence to gain a deeper understanding of the historical determinants of global inequality.