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A “Silver Bank” refers to the institution that purchased silver from the producers, but also, metaphorically, to the mountain of Potosí and its economic, social and political dynamics. The documentation of the Bank or related to it, constitute a privileged window to rethink the renaissance of mining in the 18th century.

The Bank emerged in the context of the previous demands of the azogueros, the chartered companies and the early Bourbon reforms. It reveals the “renaissance” of Potosí but also the heterogeneous world of production. The Bank made visible diverse actors that otherwise would have gone largely unnoticed like. The article analyzes all of them although it privileges the small and medium-sized producers. The quantitative reports of silver sold to the Bank, the diverse accounts of the k’ajchas and trapiches (independent producers), visits to artisanal mills, reports from miners and stewards, and books of daily purchases allows an approach to them. Last, but not least, I propose to rethink in the reasons and causes of the recovery of Potosí in the eighteenth century, that need to be linked to the Bourbon policies and the drive of heterogeneous sectors.

In: Potosí in the Global Silver Age (16th—19th Centuries)
While the social history of Europe and North America has been the subject of many scholarly publications, the social history of Asia, Africa, and Latin America has been more neglected. Furthermore, these societies are often studied in isolation from the global context. The series Studies in the Social History of the Global South offers a platform for the social history of these three continents with the specific intention of redressing the balance in terms of the perceived dominance of studies on the global north. This series welcomes publications of case studies at the local, regional and continental level. Studies in Social History of the Global South, as a sub-series of Studies in Global Social History, shares the aims and scope of the main series.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals or full manuscripts to the series editors Touraj Atabaki, Rossana Barragán, and Stefano Bellucci, or to the publisher at Brill, Alessandra Giliberto.

Brill is in full support of Open Access publishing and offers the option to publish your monograph, edited volume, or chapter in Open Access. Our Open Access services are fully compliant with funder requirements. We support Creative Commons licenses. For more information, please visit Brill Open or contact us at
In: Potosí in the Global Silver Age (16th—19th Centuries)
Volume Editors: and
Potosí (today Bolivia) was the major supplier for the Spanish Empire and for the world and still today boasts the world's single-richest silver deposit. This book explores the political economy of silver production and circulation illuminating a vital chapter in the history of global capitalism. It travels through geology, sacred spaces, and technical knowledge in the first section; environmental history and labor in the second section; silver flows, the heterogeneous world of mining producers, and their agency in the third; and some of the local, regional, and global impacts of Potosí mining in the fourth section.

The main focus is on the establishment of a complex infrastructure at the site, its major changes over time, and the new human and environmental landscape that emerged for the production of one of the world´s major commodities: silver. Eleven authors from different countries present their most recent research based on years of archival research, providing the readers with cutting-edge scholarship.

Contributors are: Julio Aguilar, James Almeida, Rossana Barragán Romano, Mariano A. Bonialian, Thérèse Bouysse-Cassagne, Kris Lane, Tristan Platt, Renée Raphael, Masaki Sato, Heidi V. Scott, and Paula C. Zagalsky.