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Resources: Podcasts

Kris Lane: Corrupting the King's Blood: Interpreting the Great Potosi Mint Fraud of 1649


Date:  Monday, February 2, 2016

Presenter:  Dr. Kris Lane holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he directs the graduate program. His books include Quito 1599: City & Colony in Transition (University of New Mexico), Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires (Yale), and (with Matthew Restall) Latin America in Colonial Times (Cambridge). Lane also edits the journal Colonial Latin American Review. His current project, based in Bolivia, traces the history of the great Potosi mint fraud of 1649 and its global consequences.

Description:  In this presentation, Dr. Kris Lane discusses the great Potosi mint fraud of 1649. Historians such as Geoffrey Parker have lately reminded us that the seventeenth century was tough worldwide. Famine, plague, even glacial advance made life hard from Europe to China. In Spain and its overseas dominions, this ‘global crisis’ was made worse by a massive fraud inside the Potosi mint, high in the mountains of what is today Bolivia. What brought the great fraud about, and how was it disarticulated? What were the long-term consequences of the fraud and its aftermath? Was colonial corruption to blame?

Image: Painting from Martin de Murua. Historia general del Piru. C.1600 (Galvin ms.) by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala

For reference, please see the event flyer.