Section Information for Fall 2012This course examines the role of American commodities such as chocolate, cocaine, cochineal, cotton, emeralds, salt, sugar, and tobacco from the colonial period to the present. Although the focus will be on Latin America we will look at commodities from other parts of the Americas as well. Commodities have linked American regions to each other and to other world regions through mercantilism and other forms of trade, and American commodities have influenced the development of cultural, social, and economic systems all over the world. The desire for commodities has also justified colonialism, created significant trade imbalances, and led to the exploitation of land and labor within and outside of the Americas. We will read monographs by historians and anthropologists and discuss their perspectives on these issues.
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Investigates selected problems in global and comparative history, covering multiple countries or world regions.
May be repeated for credit when topic is different.