Francisco Pizarro

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pages: 790 words: 150,875

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Lippershey, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, Pearl River Delta, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

During the sixteenth century, the work of colonizing the Americas was left almost entirely to the people of the Iberian peninsula. While Englishmen still hankered after conquering Calais, mighty native American empires were being subjugated by Spanish adventurers. In Mexico the bloodthirsty Aztecs were laid low by Hernán Cortés between 1519 and 1521. And in Peru, just over a decade later, the lofty Andean empire of the Incas was laid low by Francisco Pizarro. Pizarro had no illusions about the relationship between the risks and rewards of conquest. It took two expeditions in 1524 and 1526 even to locate the Inca Empire. In the course of the second, when some of his less tenacious brethren were faltering, Pizarro spelt out that relationship by drawing a line in the sand: Comrades and friends, there lies the part that represents death, hardship, hunger, nakedness, rains and abandonment; this side represents comfort.

The key, in short, was social mobility – the fact that a man like Abraham Smith could arrive in a wilderness with literally nothing and yet within just a few years become both a property-owner and a voter. In seven out of thirteen future American states on the eve of the American Revolution, the right to vote was a function of landownership or the payment of a property tax – rules that remained in force in some cases well into the 1850s. In the Spanish colonies to the south, land had been allocated in a diametrically different way. In a cedula (decree) dated 11 August 1534, Francisco Pizarro granted Jerónimo de Aliaga and another conquistador named Sebastián de Torres a vast domain – an encomienda – called Ruringuaylas, in the beautiful valley of Callejón de Huaylas in the Peruvian Andes. The valley was fertile, the mountains full of precious ore. The question facing de Aliaga was how to exploit these resources. The answer was quite unlike the one devised by John Locke for North America.

., ‘Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Context of West African History’, Journal of African History, 10, 3 (1969), 393–404 Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: History’s Age of Hatred (London, 2006) Fernández-Armesto, Felipe, The Americas: A History of Two Continents (London, 2003) Findlay, Ronald and Kevin H. O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Princeton, 2007) Gabai, Rafael Varón, Francisco Pizarro and his Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru (Norman, 1997) Graham, R., Patronage and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Brazil (Stanford, 1990) Haber, Stephen, ‘Development Strategy or Endogenous Process? The Industrialization of Latin America’, Stanford University working paper (2005) Hamnett, Brian R., ‘The Counter Revolution of Morillo and the Insurgent Clerics of New Granada, 1815–1820’, Americas, 32, 4 (April 1976), 597–617 Hemming, J., The Conquest of the Incas (London, 1993) Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civil (London, 1651) Jasanoff, Maya, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (forthcoming) King, James F., ‘A Royalist View of Colored Castes in the Venezuelan War of Independence’, Hispanic American Historical Review, 33, 4 (1953), 526–37 Klein, Herbert F. and Francisco Vidal Luna, Slavery in Brazil (Cambridge, 2010) Langley, Lester D., The Americas in the Age of Revolution, 1750–1850 (New Haven/London, 1998) Lanning, John Tate, Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies (Port Washington, NY/London, 1969) Locke, John, Two Treatises of Government: In the former, The false Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, And his Followers, are Detected and Overthrown.

pages: 632 words: 159,454

War and Gold: A Five-Hundred-Year History of Empires, Adventures, and Debt by Kwasi Kwarteng


accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Etonian, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, market bubble, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, quantitative easing, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

He spoke to his men in a steady, unruffled tone which often proved inspirational.11 Cortés’s exploits in Mexico were rivalled by those of Francisco Pizarro in Peru. Both men, like the other conquistadors, endured uncommon hardships in the pursuit of their calling, but they were often cruel. The ‘physical toughness’ and ‘sheer determination’ of the conquistadors have ‘certainly never been surpassed . . . Nor can we readily call to mind their equals in duplicity, greed, and utterly callous and unbridled cruelty.’12 The success Pizarro enjoyed in Peru was even more spectacular than Cortés’s triumphs in Mexico, though Pizarro had far fewer soldiers. But, regardless of the relative merits of the military campaigns in Peru and Mexico, the result was a considerable flow of gold and particularly of silver into Spain which, over the coming decades, would transform the economy of Western Europe. Francisco Pizarro had been born in Trujillo, a town in Extremadura in Castile, in the late 1470s.

Referring to Charles V, Pedro Mexía wrote in his Historia del emperador Carlos V (1545) that ‘God kept for this prince the great favor and good fortune of discovering the provinces of Peru, where such a great treasure of gold and silver was hidden, the like of which past centuries have never seen, nor do I think that the coming ones will believe.’6 The circumstances under which the gold and silver of the Americas had poured into Spain had been extraordinary. A handful of Spanish adventurers, in the first decades after the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, had conquered and practically enslaved an entire continent, unknown to Europeans in previous centuries. The Spanish discovery of the New World has been called the ‘greatest event in history’.7 Its protagonists, men such as Hernando Cortés and Francisco Pizarro, became celebrated in their own lifetimes. Among the native populations, the Spanish were regarded as supermen, endowed with magical powers and equally superhuman greed. ‘Even if the snows of the Andes turned to gold still they would not be satisfied,’ observed Manco, the Inca noble who encountered Pizarro in the 1530s. In Mexico, Cortés told the Aztecs that he and his men ‘suffered from a disease of the heart which is only cured by gold’.8 The initial impetus behind the voyages of discovery had been to find gold, coupled with the sheer lust for adventure which young men in many different cultures have felt.

Francisco Pizarro had been born in Trujillo, a town in Extremadura in Castile, in the late 1470s. He was in fact a distant cousin of Hernan Cortés, whose grandmother, Leonor, had been a Pizarro. As he was the illegitimate son of a soldier, Francisco Pizarro’s prospects were unfavourable, and reports that he had been a swineherd in his youth are plausible, since pigs were important in the local economy.13 Despite being illiterate and poor, he was bold and determined. As early as 1502, he had left Spain to travel to the New World and had, over the years, made a fortune in the new Spanish colony of Panama. In 1532, accompanied by a mere 168 men, he arrived in Peru. These men were mostly in their mid-twenties to early thirties; they constituted more of a gang than a regular battalion of soldiers, and there was ‘the spirit of a gold rush’ about the expedition, combined with the ‘conviction of a crusade’.

pages: 497 words: 153,755

The Power of Gold: The History of an Obsession by Peter L. Bernstein


Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, central bank independence, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, Francisco Pizarro, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, large denomination, liquidity trap, long peace, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, random walk, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

There was gold in central Hispaniola, where the Spaniards worked both the mines and the Indians so hard that by 1519 only two thousand of an original population of more than one hundred thousand remained and slaves were already being imported from Africa to do the nuning.15 Nevertheless, rumors were rife in Darien about vast supplies of gold somewhere to the south, perhaps near a sea whose uncertain existence might lead to the gold. When Balboa arrived in Darien, he became close friends with an illiterate swordsman, also from Estramadura, whose name was Francisco Pizarro. Pizarro, like Balboa, was a man who did not flinch at danger if a venture promised a commensurate reward. The move to Darien did nothing to solve Balboa's financial problems. One day in September 1513, still frustrated and in trouble with the law, Balboa was weighing some gold when a barbarian chieftain came up, scattered the glittering metal around the room, and cried, "I can tell you of a land where they eat and drink out of golden vessels, and gold is as cheap as iron is with you."16 This was all Balboa needed to prompt him to lead a great enterprise he expected would bring him to King Ferdinand's attention.

Some time after the discovery of the Pacific, at a moment when Balboa was making plans to sail southward on his newly discovered sea toward Peru in search of more gold, the governor of Darien accused him of treason and ordered him to be beheaded. The governor, who had been sent out with fifteen hundred men by the king of Spain after receiving the electrifying news of Balboa's discoveries, happened to be Balboa's father-in-law; the executioner assigned by the governor to this task was none other than Francisco Pizarro. Pizarro was an illegitimate child, abandoned by his mother on the church steps of the town where he was born. He grew up tough, a man of great endurance and strong leadership skills. At a time when most men rationalized their mistreatment of the Indians as motivated in some way to improve their lot and bring them the blessings of Christianity, Pizarro refused to mask his goals. After the victory in Peru, when a priest asked him to do more to convert the natives, Pizarro's response was, "I have not come for any such reasons.

He was accompanied by Felipillo, the Indian interpreter. The chaplain announced that he had come to set forth to the Inca the articles of true faith, which he proceeded to do at great length. He finished by explaining the role of the pope, who had commissioned the Spanish emperor, "the most mighty monarch in the world, to conquer and convert the natives in this western hemisphere.... [His] general, Francisco Pizarro, had now come to execute this important mission."24 Atahualpa exploded. "I will be no man's tributary," he announced. "I am greater than any prince on earth.... For my faith, I will not change it. Your God, as you say, was put to death by the very men whom he created." He halted to point to the sun, then just beginning to set behind the mountains, and added, "But my God still lives in the heavens and looks down on his children."

Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies by Jared M. Diamond


affirmative action, Atahualpa, British Empire, California gold rush, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, discovery of the americas, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, invention of movable type, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Maui Hawaii, QWERTY keyboard, the scientific method, trade route

That radiation can serve as a model for the longer, larger-scale, and less understood radiation of societies on different conti- nents since the end of the last Ice Age, to become variously hunter-gatherer tribes and empires. The third chapter introduces us to collisions between peoples from dif- ferent continents, by retelling through contemporary eyewitness accounts the most dramatic such encounter in history: the capture of the last inde- pendent Inca emperor, Atahuallpa, in the presence of his whole army, by Francisco Pizarro and his tiny band of conquistadores, at the Peruvian city of Cajamarca. We can identify the chain of proximate factors that enabled Pizarro to capture Atahuallpa, and that operated in European conquests of other Native American societies as well. Those factors included Spanish germs, horses, literacy, political organization, and technology (especially ships and weapons). That analysis of proximate causes is the easy part of this book; the hard part is to identify the ultimate causes leading to them and to the actual outcome, rather than to the opposite possible outcome of Atahuallpa's coming to Madrid and capturing King Charles I of Spain.

But those Norse visits had no discern- ible impact on Native American societies. Instead, for practical purposes the collision of advanced Old World and New World societies began abruptly in A.D. 1492, with Christopher Columbus's “discovery” of Carib- bean islands densely populated by Native Americans. The most dramatic moment in subsequent European-Native American relations was the first encounter between the Inca emperor Atahuallpa and the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro at the Peruvian highland town of Cajamarca on November 16, 1532. Atahuallpa was absolute monarch of the largest and most advanced state in the New World, while Pizarro represented the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (also known as King Charles I of Spain), monarch of the most powerful state in Europe. Pizarro, leading a ragtag group of 168 Spanish soldiers, was in unfamiliar terrain, ignorant of the local inhabitants, completely out of touch with the nearest Spaniards (1,000 miles to the north in Panama) and far beyond the reach of timely reinforcements.

As surprising to us today as Atahuallpa's behavior leading to his capture is his behavior thereafter. He offered his famous ransom in the naive belief that, once paid off, the Spaniards would release him and depart. He had no way of understanding that Pizarro's men formed the spearhead of a force bent on permanent conquest, rather than an isolated raid. Atahuallpa was not alone in these fatal miscalculations. Even after Ata- huallpa had been captured, Francisco Pizarro's brother Hernando Pizarro deceived Atahuallpa's leading general, Chalcuchima, commanding a large army, into delivering himself to the Spaniards. Chalcuchima's miscalcula- tion marked a turning point in the collapse of Inca resistance, a moment almost as significant as the capture of Atahuallpa himself. The Aztec emperor Montezuma miscalculated even more grossly when he took Cor- tes for a returning god and admitted him and his tiny army into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.

pages: 295 words: 92,670

1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown


Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, charter city, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Peace of Westphalia, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, UNCLOS

According to Noble David Cook in Born to Die, disease killed as much as 90 per cent of the population in some regions and was “the greatest human catastrophe in history, far exceeding even the disaster of the Black Death of medieval Europe.” The floodgates to the wealth of the Americas were now flung wide open. Roving bands of privately funded adventurers scoured the Americas from Florida to Peru, searching for another source of easy treasure. The Mayan city-states in the Yucatán Peninsula and Guatemala were subjugated by Pedro de Alvarado in 1523, and Francisco Pizarro led his band of privateers south to Peru in 1531. By 1533, Pizarro had defeated the Inca Empire and conquered the city of Cuzco by treacherously capturing Emperor Atahualpa. In Florida, Hernando de Soto led an expedition in search of the Fountain of Youth and the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1539. In all these endeavours, the native peoples of the Americas—enslaved, starved, displaced and ravaged by disease—suffered horribly.

{ timeline } 1418—1420 Portuguese mariners discover and settle the Madeira Islands in the Atlantic Ocean 1425 Enrique of Castile born 1434 Gil Eannes sails south along the African coast past Cape Bojador, beginning the Portuguese naval exploration of Africa and the slave trade under Henry the Navigator 1439 Portuguese mariners discover and settle the Azores 1440 Probable date for Gutenberg's first printing press 1451 Isabella of Castile born; Christopher Columbus born 1452 Pope Nicholas V issues the bull Dum Diversas, which provides the moral authority for the slave trade 1453 Constantinople falls to the invading armies of Mehmet the Conqueror 1454 Enrique becomes king of Castile 1455 Pope Nicholas v issues the bull Romanus Pontifex, establishing Portuguese monopoly along the African coast — King Enrique marries Juana of Portugal 1462 Juana la Beltraneja born 1464—1468 War for the Castilian succession 1469 Isabella and Ferdinand secretly wed in Toledo 1474 King Enrique IV dies in Madrid, Isabella proclaimed queen of Castile; war with Portugal 1476 Battle of Toro — Christopher Columbus washed ashore in Portugal after shipwreck 1477 A new translation of Ptolemy's Geography published in Bologna 1478 Papal bull of Sixtus IV establishes the Inquisition in Castile 1479 Treaty of Alcáçovas ends war between Castile and Portugal 1480 Ferdinand Magellan born 1481 King Afonso V of Portugal dies; his son João becomes king — Pope Sixtus IV issues Aeterni Regis, sanctioning the terms of the Treaty of Alcáçovas and affirming Portuguese claims south and east in the Atlantic Ocean 1484 Columbus first proposes his “Enterprise of the Indies” to João II 1486 Rebuffed in Portugal, Columbus travels to Castile to persuade Isabella and Ferdinand 1488 Bartolomeu Dias rounds the southern tip of Africa for Portugal 1492 Rodrigo Borgia becomes pope — Fall of the Kingdom of Granada — Christopher Columbus sails across the Atlantic Ocean for Isabella and Ferdinand — Beginning of the expulsion of the Jews from Castile 1493 Pope Alexander vi issues the bull Inter Caetera and other bulls, dividing the world between Spain and Portugal 1494 The Treaty of Tordesillas is signed between Portugal and Spain 1497 English King Henry vii funds the voyage of John Cabot 1504 Queen Isabella dies 1506 Columbus dies 1513 Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crosses the Isthmus of Panama and beholds the Pacific Ocean 1517 Martin Luther nails his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg 1519 Ferdinand Magellan sets off to circumnavigate he world for Charles i of Spain — Hernán Cortés launches expedition to conquer Mexico 1521 Martin Luther excommunicated 1523 Pedro de Alvarado subjugates the Mayans in the Yucatán 1524 Badajoz Conference to determine the Tordesillas Line in the Pacific 1529 Treaty of Zaragoza; Spain cedes the Spice Islands to Portugal 1533 Francisco Pizarro conquers the Inca Empire 1537 Pope John ii rescinds the papacy's support of slavery 1558 Elizabeth becomes queen of England 1562 Sir John Hawkins and the first English privateering voyage to the Caribbean 1565 Andrés de Urdaneta pioneers the Pacific route from Manila to Acapulco 1568 Inquisition declares the three million people of the United Provinces, who have strongly embraced Calvinism, to be heretics and condemned to death 1571 Battle of Lepanto; destruction of Ottoman naval power in the Mediterranean 1570s—1580s English privateers inspired by the famous voyages of Sir Francis Drake 1581 Philip II of Spain becomes king of Portugal, uniting the countries and creating a near-monopoly on oceanic trade from Europe 1583 Hugo Grotius, “the Father of International Law,” born in Delft 1588 Spanish Armada fails to conquer England 1600 English East India Company founded 1602 Dutch East India Company founded; Amsterdam stock exchange founded to deal in the company's stocks and bonds — The Portuguese ship Santa Catarina captured by a Dutch privateer 1609 Henry Hudson sails up the Hudson River for the Dutch East India Company — Hugo Grotius anonymously publishes Mare Liberum, “The Free Sea” 1610 Vatican places Mare Liberum on its Index of prohibited and banned books 1613 Scottish challenge to Mare Liberum by William Welwood: Abridgement of All Sea-Lawes 1618 John Selden writes Mare Clausum 1618—1648 Thirty Years War devastates central Europe 1620 Mayflower pilgrims arrive at Cape Cod and Plymouth Rock 1623 Dutch East India Company employees kill English East India Company employees during the Massacre of Amboyna 1625 Seraphim de Freitas publishes Imperio Lusitanorum Asiatico to challenge Grotius 1655 English forces capture Jamaica and turn it into a buccaneer haven 1670 In the American Treaty, Spain recognizes the legitimacy of the British colonies in North America 1702 Cornelius Bynkershoek publishes De Domino Maris, establishing the concept of territorial waters and the cannon shot rule 1750 Treaty of Madrid between Spain and Portugal recognizes Portuguese sovereignty over Brazil and effectively annuls the Treaty of Tordesillas 1757 The Battle of Plassey; English East India Company rule in India begins 1768—1761 Lieutenant James Cook leads his first voyage of discovery in the Pacific 1775—1783 The American War of Independence 1776 Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations 1994 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea { acknowledgements } TURNING A manuscript into a beautiful book is not a lone endeavour.

pages: 471 words: 124,585

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson


Admiral Zheng, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, Atahualpa, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deglobalization, diversification, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, iterative process, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour mobility, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Parag Khanna, pension reform, price anchoring, price stability, principal–agent problem, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spice trade, structural adjustment programs, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War

Labour was the unit of value in the Inca Empire, just as it was later supposed to be in a Communist society. And, as under Communism, the economy depended on often harsh central planning and forced labour. In 1532, however, the Inca Empire was brought low by a man who, like Christopher Columbus, had come to the New World expressly to search for and monetize precious metal.c The illegitimate son of a Spanish colonel, Francisco Pizarro had crossed the Atlantic to seek his fortune in 1502.4 One of the first Europeans to traverse the isthmus of Panama to the Pacific, he led the first of three expeditions into Peru in 1524. The terrain was harsh, food scarce and the first indigenous peoples they encountered hostile. However, the welcome their second expedition received in the Tumbes region, where the inhabitants hailed them as the ‘children of the sun’, convinced Pizarro and his confederates to persist.

The passage was a translated extract from ‘Les Amis de Quatre Millions de Jeune Travailleurs’, Un Monde sans Argent: Le Communisme (Paris, 1975-6): 2 Indeed, Marx and Engels had themselves recommended not the abolition of money but ‘Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly’: clause 5 of The Communist Manifesto. 3 JuanForero,‘Amazonian Tribe Suddenly Leaves Jungle Home’, 11 May 2006: 4 Clifford Smyth, Francisco Pizarro and the Conquest of Peru (Whitefish, Montana, 2007 [1931]). 5 Michael Wood, Conquistadors (London, 2001), p. 128. 6 For a vivid account from the conquistadors’ vantage point, which makes it clear that gold was their prime motive, see the November 1533 letter from Hernando Pizarro to the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo, in Clements R. Markham (ed.), Reports on the Discovery of Peru (London, 1872), pp. 113-27. 7 M.

A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz


airport security, Atahualpa, back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Colonization of Mars, Columbian Exchange, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, trade route, urban renewal

Not until 1508 did colonists start exploiting nearby islands the Admiral had found—Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba—where they repeated the grim cycle of subjugating natives and importing Africans when Indian labor gave out. Then, beginning in 1513, Spain’s small realm exploded out of the Caribbean. Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific; Ferdinand Magellan crossed it, after rounding South America. Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec of Mexico, Francisco Pizarro the Inca of Peru. By 1542, the fiftieth anniversary of Columbus’s first sail, Spain had laid claim—and often laid waste—to an empire larger than Rome’s at its peak. One engine behind this extraordinary conquest was Spain’s crusading zeal. The vanquishing of Muslim armies at home had infused Iberians with a confidence and fervor that spilled over to America. “As Christians,” Cortés told his men in the midst of battle against the Aztec, “we were obliged to make war against enemies of our faith.”

His conquest also deepened Spaniards’ sense of themselves as invincible Christian warriors, and provided them a potent model. The riches of the Aztec exceeded the wildest rumors that had circulated since Columbus’s landing in America. With a small but determined force, led by a hidalgo as bold and ruthless as Cortés, what fortunes remained to be found in lands the Spanish had not yet conquered? LIKE MOST AMERICANS, I’d learned a little about Cortés in grade school, along with his most famous successor, Francisco Pizarro, the illiterate pig farmer who became conqueror of Peru. As a teenager, I listened to Neil Young wail “Cortez the Killer” and watched my loinclothed brother play a guard to the Inca emperor Atahualpa in The Royal Hunt of the Sun. But “conquistador” was a term I associated with Mexico and Peru. It wasn’t until I began my reeducation campaign that I realized how much of North America the Spanish had invaded, too.

pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom


Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, peer-to-peer, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

They barricaded the roads, preventing any food from entering the city, and they blocked off the aqueducts. Within eighty days, 240,000 inhabitants of the city starved to death. By 1521, just two years after Cortes first laid eyes on Tenochtitlan, the entire Aztec empire—a civilization that traced its roots to centuries before the time of Christ—had collapsed. The Aztecs weren't alone. A similar fate befell the Incas. The Spanish army, led by Francisco Pizarro, captured the Inca leader Atahuallpa in 1532. A year later, with all the Inca gold in hand, the Spanish executed Atahuallpa and appointed a puppet ruler. Again, the annihilation of an entire society took only two years. These monumental events eventually gave the Spanish control of the continent. By the 1680s, the Spanish forces seemed unstoppable. With the winds of victory at their backs, they headed north and encountered the Apaches.

pages: 273 words: 83,186

The botany of desire: a plant's-eye view of the world by Michael Pollan


back-to-the-land, clean water, David Attenborough, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Francisco Pizarro, invention of agriculture, Joseph Schumpeter, mandatory minimum, Maui Hawaii, means of production, paper trading, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steven Pinker

Artificial selection is thus a continual local process, each new potato the product of an ongoing back-and-forth between the land and its cultivators, mediated by the universe of all possible potatoes: the species’ genome. The genetic diversity cultivated by the Incas and their descendants is an extraordinary cultural achievement and a gift of incalculable value to the rest of the world. A free and unencumbered gift, one might add, quite unlike my patented and trademarked NewLeafs. “Intellectual property” is a recent, Western concept that means nothing to a Peruvian farmer, then or now.* Of course, Francisco Pizarro was looking for neither plants nor intellectual property when he conquered the Incas; he had eyes only for gold. None of the conquistadores could have imagined it, but the funny-looking tubers they encountered high in the Andes would prove to be the single most important treasure they would bring back from the New World. • • • May 15. After several days of drenching rain, the sun appeared this week, and so did my NewLeafs: a dozen deep green shoots pushed up out of the soil and commenced to grow—faster and more robustly than any of my other potatoes.

pages: 339 words: 83,725

Fodor's Madrid and Side Trips by Fodor's


Atahualpa, call centre, Francisco Pizarro, glass ceiling, Isaac Newton, traffic fines, young professional

With its poor soil and minimal industry, Extremadura never experienced the kind of modern economic development typical of other parts of Spain, but no other place in Spain has as many Roman monuments as Mérida, capital of the vast Roman province of Lusitania, which included most of the western half of the Iberian Peninsula. Mérida guarded the Vía de la Plata, the major Roman highway that crossed Extremadura from north to south, connecting Gijón with Seville. The economy and the arts declined after the Romans left, but the region revived in the 16th century, when explorers and conquerors of the New World—from Francisco Pizarro and Hernán Cortés to Francisco de Orellana, first navigator of the Amazon—returned to their birthplace. These men built the magnificent palaces that now glorify towns such as Cáceres and Trujillo, and they turned the remote monastery of Guadalupe into one of the great artistic repositories of Spain. Top Reasons to Go El Greco’s Toledo: You can’t help but get lost in Toledo’s labyrinthine streets, but make an effort to find some of El Greco’s famous paintings.

pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

The laws that were applied in the New World were those of Castile alone, not other parts of the empire, despite the fact that many conquistadores and settlers were born elsewhere. Cortés began his conquest of Mexico in 1519, the year before the outbreak of the great comunero revolt; as a result of the outcome of that struggle, the political institutions transferred to the Americas would not include a strong Cortes or other types of representative bodies. The only early bid for political independence was the revolt of Francisco Pizarro’s brother Gonzalo, who tried to set himself up as an independent king of Peru. He was defeated and executed by royal troops in 1548, and no further challenges to central authority from the New World Spaniards occurred until the wars of independence of the early nineteenth century. The Spanish authorities did transfer their Roman legal system, establishing high courts or audiencias in ten places, including Santo Domingo, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, and Bogotá.

North Korea Northrup, Linda Norway Novgorod, republic of Nubia Nuer Nueva Recopilacion Oceania Ogedei, Great Khan Old Regime and the Revolution, The (Tocqueville) oligarchy; in China; in England; in France; in Hungary; in Mexico; in Spain; in United States Olson, Mancur On the Origin of Species (Darwin) Orange Revolution Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Oriental despotism Orthodox Christianity, see Eastern church Osman Ostrom, Elinor Ottoman Empire; agrarian society in; census in; corruption in; decay of; European wars of; Hungary conquered by; legacy of; Mamluk sultanate defeated by; military slavery in; rule of law in; Russia compared to; sanjaks of; state as governing institution in; sultan’s elite troops in, see Janissaries Oxford, University of Pakistan Paleolithic era Palestine Pandyas Papua New Guinea (PNG); Big Man in; tribal law in Paris, University of Park Chung Hee Parlement de Paris Parliament, English; in Civil War; Enclosure Movement of; solidarity in; taxation and Parliament, Indian Parsons, Talcott Partido Justicialista, Argentine Pascal, Blaise Paschal II, Pope Pashtuns Passover Patriarchal caliphate patrilineal societies; see also agnation patrimonialism; in Africa; in China ; in Catholic church; in England; feudalism and; in France; in Hungary; in India; in Latin America; in Mamluk sultanate; of Mauryas; in Ottoman Empire; in Prussia; in Russia; in Spain; see also repatrimonialization patronage; Catholic church and; in China; in England; in India; in Mexico; in Russia; in United States Pauite Indians Paulet, Charles peasants; in China ; in Denmark; in England; in feudal and early modern Europe; in France; in Hungary; in India; in Mamluk state; in Ottoman Empire; in Russia; in Scandinavia; uprisings of; see also serfdom People’s Liberation Army, Sudan People’s Republic of China; collectivization in; corruption in; Cultural Revolution in; economic growth of; legal system in; progressive radicalization in Pepys, Samuel Péron, Juan Perry, Commodore Matthew Persia; absolutism in; in Ghaznavid empire; Indo-Aryan tribes in; in Mauryan empire; patrimonialism in; under Safavids Peru Peter I (the Great), Tsar of Russia Philip II, King of Spain Philip III, King of Spain Philip IV, King of Spain Philippines Pinker, Steven Pinochet, Augusto Pipes, Daniel Pirenne, Henri Pizarro, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo plagues Plato Poitiers, Battle of Poland Political Order in Changing Societies (Huntington) Pollock, Frederick Pompey Pontchartrain, Louis Phélypeaux, comte de Pool, Ithiel de Sola Portugal Praetorian Guards Prince, The (Machiavelli) Pritchett, Lant private property; agriculture and; in communist theory; kinship and; offices as; tragedy of the commons and; see also property rights property rights; in China, in China; in England; in France; intellectual; in Malthusian economy; in Mexico; in Muslim world; in Spain; rule of law and; in Russia Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, The (Weber) Protestantism; see also Reformation Prozac Prussia; rule of law in; serfdom in Pueblo Indians Puritans Putin, Vladimir Qadisiyyah, Battle of Qaim, Caliph al- Qalawun, Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri, Sultan Qiang tribe Qin, state of; kinship in; military success of; Shang Yang’s reforms in; see also Qin dynasty Qin Dynasty; common culture developed by; Confucian resistance to; Great Wall of; Legalism of; repatrimonialization following; unification of China under 144 Qing Dynasty Qin Shi Huangdi qiu system Quakers Quraysh tribe Rajasthan, gana-sangha chiefdoms of Rajputs Reagan, Ronald Rectification of Names Red Eyebrows uprising Red Turban uprising Reformation; in Denmark; invention of printing press and; rule of law and; Russia insulated from; Weber on economic framework based in Religion of China (Weber) Renaissance repatrimonialization Republic, The (Plato) republicanism, classical Republican Party, U.S.

pages: 342 words: 88,736

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries


agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, double helix, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, out of africa, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade

These engines of the trade winds are sometimes called the Hadley cells, a name honoring the English amateur meteorologist George Hadley, who noted the link between the rotating Earth and the trade routes of his era in 1735. The trade winds carried Columbus westward, where he landed in the Bahamas in October 1492. He returned via the northward loop of a Hadley cell that blows winds eastward toward Europe. The New World that Columbus opened to other conquistadors and explorers—Hernando Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, and Vasco Nuñez de Balboa—during the wind-powered Age of Discovery had little resemblance to the Old World. Reconstruction of Columbus’s diaries note his observation that “all the trees are as different from ours as day from night; and also the fruits and grasses and stones and everything.” This difference was not to last. Alfred Crosby, the historian who coined the term for the “Columbian Exchange,” the transcontinental transfer of species following Columbus’s voyages, wrote of the day that Columbus landed ashore on the Bahamas: “The two worlds, which were so very different, began on that day to become alike.

pages: 356 words: 105,533

Dark Pools: The Rise of the Machine Traders and the Rigging of the U.S. Stock Market by Scott Patterson


algorithmic trading, automated trading system, banking crisis, bash_history, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computerized trading, creative destruction, Donald Trump, fixed income, Flash crash, Francisco Pizarro, Gordon Gekko, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, High speed trading, Joseph Schumpeter, latency arbitrage, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, market microstructure, pattern recognition,, Ponzi scheme, popular electronics, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Sergey Aleynikov, Small Order Execution System, South China Sea, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stochastic process, transaction costs, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

People could buy a box of cereal for $2.45, but they couldn’t buy a stock for the same price. It all went back to the eighteenth century, when the Spanish dollar, buoyed by conquests in the Americas, served as the world’s currency. Spanish merchants often sliced up doubloons into eight pieces as forms of payment—so-called pieces of eight. Hence, U.S. stock prices traded in eighth-of-a-dollar slices because conquistadors such as Hernando Cortés and Francisco Pizarro hacked their way across North and South America centuries before. Levine thought the convention was not only antiquated, it was outright theft. It made spreads artificially wide, handing outsize profits to market makers and specialists. It was as if a car dealer who bought a Mustang from Ford for $30,000 could only resell it for $35,000. A competitor who wanted to sell the same model Mustang for $32,500 couldn’t, according to the Street’s centuries-old rules.

pages: 483 words: 134,377

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly


air freight, Andrei Shleifer, battle of ideas, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, Edward Glaeser,, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, M-Pesa, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, place-making, Ponzi scheme, risk/return, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, World Values Survey, young professional

Chinese peasants were sufficiently nonstatic to introduce a new technology that increased the calories, vitamins, and nutrients produced by a given amount of land, thus sustaining a larger population for a given amount of land. The new technology was called the potato. The Spanish had borrowed the potato from the South American Andes (in what is now Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile) after the conquest by Francisco Pizarro in 1532, and other Europeans learned about it from the Spanish. Chinese farmers learned about the potato from Dutch traders in the 1600s. The potato made it possible for farmers to plant in mountainous areas previously unsuitable for agriculture. Chinese farmers also substituted the potato for other crops that produced less food value per hectare, like barley, oats, and wheat. It was partly due to the potato that China’s masses became what the comic strip Doonesbury once called “friendly but teeming.”

The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux


anti-communist, Atahualpa, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Francisco Pizarro, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcontinental railway

They are faded and broken, but some with porticoes and balconies are still lovely, and those that have not been boarded up and left to rot are turned into dance halls and bars, and what looks like a bread-line is a mob of Peruvians waiting for the doors of a once-elegant mansion to open and admit them to a violent movie or (in the middle of the afternoon) a dance. But I had the impression that Peruvian disgust was so keen that Paul Theroux The Old Patagonian Express, By Train Through the Americas Page 150 if it were to be combined with wealth the city of Lima would be destroyed and rebuilt to match the misguided modernity of Bogotá. I walked from the Cathedral (the mummy on view is not that of Francisco Pizarro: his skeleton has recently been found in a lead box in the crypt) to the University Park, and then made a circuit of the city, finally stopping at the Plaza Bolognesi where I sat and reflected on the melodrama of General Bolognesi's monument. It was the most bizarre statue I had seen so far. It was eighty feet high, and at its front was a copy of the Winged Victory; soldiers marched on its panels, and on one ledge was the statue of a man falling from a horse - the horse was there, life-sized, twisted onto its side.

Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States by Francis Fukuyama


Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, crony capitalism, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

Historians commonly think that the institutions of modern Latin America reflect the organization of the society created after 1492 by the Spanish conquistadores.31 The Spanish were interested in the extraction of gold and silver, and then later in taking tribute and raising taxes. The colonial societies that emerged were authoritarian and concentrated political power in the hands of a small group of Spanish elites, who created a set of economic institutions designed to extract wealth from the indigenous population and a set of political institutions designed to consolidate their power. After Francisco Pizarro conquered the empire of Tawantinsuyu in Peru and Bolivia, and following the model developed a decade earlier in Mexico by Hernán Cortés, he imposed a series of institutions designed to extract rents from the newly conquered natives. The main institutions that eventually emerged were the encomienda (which gave Spanish conquistadores the right to native labor), the mita (a system of forced labor used in the mines and for public works), and the repartimiento (the forced sale of goods to the native people, typically at highly inflated prices).

The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David C. Korten


Albert Einstein, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, death of newspapers, declining real wages, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, new economy, peak oil, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Project for a New American Century, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, source of truth, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, trade route, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, World Values Survey

Adventurers Most of us know the period of Europe’s drive for colonial expansion primarily by the names of the great adventurers commissioned and financed by their sovereigns to carry out great voyages of discovery, plunder, and slaughter. In search of a westward sea route to the riches of Asia, Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) landed on the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) in the West Indies in 1492 and claimed it for Spain. Hernando De Soto (1496–1542) made his initial mark trading slaves in Central America and later allied with Francisco Pizarro to take control of the Inca Empire based in Peru in 1532, the same year the Portuguese established their first settlement in Brazil. De Soto returned to Spain one of the wealthiest men of his time, although his share in the plunder was only half that of Pizarro.3 By 1521, Hernán Cortés had claimed the Mexican Empire of Montezuma for Spain. Spain ultimately extracted so much gold from South and Central America that it ruined its own economy and fueled inflation throughout 128 PART II: SORROWS OF EMPIRE Europe.

pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Angered by the Egyptians, Albuquerque contemplated laying waste to the country by diverting the course of the Nile! On his return voyage after taking Ormuz in 1515, he died at sea. Commanders like Albuquerque had more in common with medieval Crusaders than modern merchants, as his sobriquet, “the Portuguese Mars,” suggests. The Spanish conquests had a similarly aristocratic and military cast. Ardent, fearless adventurers like Christopher Columbus, Hernando Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Juan Ponce de León, and Ferdinand Magellan planted the Spanish flag from the Canaries to the Philippines. Blocked in their effort to reach the fabulous riches of the East by a westward route, the Spanish began to explore the land they had discovered. The Spanish crown moved in quickly after Columbus’s exploratory voyages to establish settlements throughout the Caribbean. After the conquests of the Aztecs and Incas in Mexico and Peru in the first half of the sixteenth century, the Spanish fell into a gold mine—many gold and silver mines.

pages: 650 words: 203,191

After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin


agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade

Their system of taxation, designed to accumulate large quantities of produce as well as precious metals, sustained a standing army, rewarded local and regimental elites, and was more complex and efficient than anything seen in Mexico. The wealth that it yielded and the conscription of labour under the mit’a system enabled the Incas to construct a remarkable network of roads, fortresses, magazines, bridges, terraces and irrigation works, as well as a magnificent imperial capital at Cuzco with a population of between 100,000 and 300,000 people.18 This was the empire that Francisco Pizarro entered in 1532 with 167 followers – the ‘Men of Cajamarca’. Like some of the later entradas into Central America, Pizarro’s expedition had been paid for by the profits from the looting of Amerindian treasure. This was how Gaspar Espinosa, Pizarro’s main backer, had made his fortune and become the richest settler in Panama.19 Pizarro, like Cortés, enjoyed the advantage of surprise and had weaponry unknown to his American opponents.

pages: 807 words: 225,326

Werner Herzog - a Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations With Paul Cronin by Paul Cronin


Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Francisco Pizarro, land reform, out of africa

The text you hear is an invented diary of the monk on the voyage, though a real monk with the same name – one of the first to have travelled down the Amazon – did actually exist and wrote a diary of a totally different expedition. Historians are always asking me where I found the documents; I tell them it was in this and that book, but unfortunately can’t remember the title. Some of the other characters were invented, or if they did exist weren’t on the expedition as portrayed in the film. Gonzalo Pizarro, for example, the brother of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, died a few years before the story takes place. I made up characters based on the names I read in the handful of real documents I could find. The script is pure invention. It’s my interpretation of history, like Brecht’s retelling of Galileo and Shakespeare’s Henry V. Real events acquire unreal qualities. There is an inner flow to most of my films, one that can’t be followed with just a wristwatch.

pages: 828 words: 232,188

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy by Francis Fukuyama


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of the printing press, iterative process, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, life extension, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, means of production, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, open economy, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, Port of Oakland, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, price discrimination, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

In contrast to the nomadic tribal societies that existed in North America, or groups like the Mapuches who resisted white settlers in Argentina and Chile, the Aztecs and Incas were organized into complex, state-level societies and projected centralized authority over tremendous distances. And yet the speed and completeness with which their power collapsed—as told by authors from William Prescott to Jared Diamond—is astonishing.9 Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca king Atahualpa, who commanded an army of perhaps 80,000 soldiers, with 168 Spanish troops of his own, and did not suffer a single casualty. Diamond attributes this success to a number of technological factors, such as the Spanish use of horses, muskets, and steel swords, none of which were possessed by the Incas, as well as a healthy dose of tactical surprise. The Spanish brought with them Old World diseases, as is well known, which devastated native populations and eventually killed as many as 90 percent of the local inhabitants.10 This account of the Aztec-Inca collapse is not, however, entirely convincing.

pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map,, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Clarke of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame once observed, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Nowhere is this more true than in war. Time and again, warring sides have used new technologies not only to kill more efficiently than their foe, but also to dazzle them into submission. The case of Atahuallpa, unlucky enough to become emperor just before the arrival of Francisco Pizarro and his tiny band of Spanish conquistadors, is a powerful example of just how shocking and powerful new weapons of war can be. Cannon, armor, swords, muskets, and horses were particularly devastating to the Inca as they lived in a time when communication was difficult and information was hard to come by. This was not merely their first contact with such weapons, but they had never even conceptualized the very possibility of such fearsome technologies before.

pages: 775 words: 208,604

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality From the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, corporate governance, cosmological principle, crony capitalism, dark matter, declining real wages, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, fixed income, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, John Markoff, knowledge worker, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, means of production, mega-rich, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population, zero-sum game

Later changes were limited to the top, most notably when Mexican independence in 1821 resulted in the ejection of Spanish hacendados and their replacement by local elites who largely preserved existing institutions. Landownership became even more concentrated during the nineteenth century, leading up to the revolution described in chapter 8.33 Much the same happened in Peru, where the Inca empire had likewise granted land and revenue to elite families and high officials. Francisco Pizarro and his officers were given the first encomiendas, and he himself claimed the right to assign land and control over its cultivators. Large tracts of land were awarded in this peremptory manner, and local residents were moved to the mines, both in contravention of royal injunctions. Some redistribution occurred only when Pizarro’s resistance to imposing caps of land grants goaded him into an unsuccessful rebellion.

pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock,, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

Ivan the Terrible gave the Stroganov family a monopoly on everything east of the Urals in return for a cut of the takings; Spain’s kings gave more or less anyone who asked the right to keep whatever they could find in the Americas so long as the Habsburgs got 20 percent. In both Siberia and America tiny bands of desperadoes fanned out, scattering stockades built at their own expense across mind-boggling expanses of unmapped territory and constantly writing home for more money and more European women. Where fur fever drove Russians, bullion fever drove Spaniards. Cortés set Spain on this path by sacking Tenochtitlán in 1521, and Francisco Pizarro speeded them further along it. In 1533 he kidnapped the Inca king Atahualpa and as ransom ordered his subjects to stuff a room twenty-two feet long, seventeen feet across, and nine feet high with treasure. Pizarro melted the accumulated artistic triumphs of Andean civilization into ingots—13,420 pounds of gold and 26,000 pounds of silver—and then strangled Atahualpa anyway. The relatively easy pickings ran out by 1535, but dreams of El Dorado, the Golden King of a realm where treasure lay all around, kept the cutthroats coming.