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date: 10 August 2022

The Promise and Peril of Gold Mining on Spanish and Portuguese Imperial Frontierslocked

The Promise and Peril of Gold Mining on Spanish and Portuguese Imperial Frontierslocked

  • Heidi V. ScottHeidi V. ScottDepartment of History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Summary

Between 1796 and 1809, an array of pro- and anti-mining discourses unfolded in response to a proposal to mine gold in the former Jesuit mission territories of Chiquitos. In the last years of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, Chiquitos, in addition to being a region formerly known for its network of Jesuit missions, was a frontier of colonial settlement on a transimperial boundary characterized by an ambiguous jurisdictional status. These geographical particularities molded in significant ways the arguments presented by supporters as well as detractors of gold mining. Whether they inclined to the negative or positive, colonial discourses relating to mines and mineral extraction were tethered to geography and shaped in relation to ideas and beliefs about the characteristics of particular territories.

Subjects

  • Environmental History
  • Colonialism and Imperialism

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