1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

Charles C. Mann

Language: English

Pages: 720

ISBN: 0307278247

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A deeply engaging new history of how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the world, from the bestselling author of 1491. Presenting the latest research by biologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the post-Columbian network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City—where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted—the center of the world. In this history, Mann uncovers the germ of today's fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars. In 1493, Mann has again given readers an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.

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not mean an end to discrimination, poverty, and anti-maroon violence. The nation’s maroon communities continued to conceal themselves, staying so far out of official sight that by the middle of last century most Brazilians believed that quilombos no longer existed. In the 1960s, the generals who then ruled Brazil looked on their maps and observed to their displeasure that about 60 percent of the country was blank (actually, it was filled with Indians, peasant farmers, and quilombos, but the

confusing. I am sure that I have made mistakes; readers who wish to tell me about them can contact me at charlesmann.org. Despite its problems, this scheme has the virtue of allowing me to avoid another intractable issue: race. Race is part of any discussion today of the interactions of people of European, African, Asian, and Indian descent. But at the dawn of globalization modern concepts of race didn’t exist. Fighting off the yoke of African Islamic empires, the inhabitants of the Iberian

1989; 1968:203–08 (48–67 percent, 203; “of the European,” 207); Hirsch 1883–86:vol. 1, 220 (malaria in Antilles). Many of the original figures are in Tulloch 1847, 1838. 247 Geography of malaria: My discussion follows McNeill 2010; Webb 2009:chap. 3; Packard 2007:54–78. 248 Falciparum line: Author’s interview, National Weather Service (temperatures); Strickman et al. 2000:221. 249 Plantations and South: The debate is summarized in Breeden 1988:5–6. Tara was supposedly in Georgia. 250

unforeseen wealth, misery, social upheaval and the modern world.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A fascinating survey.… A lucid historical panorama that’s studded with entertaining studies of Chinese pirate fleets, courtly tobacco rituals, and the bloody feud between Jamestown colonists and the Indians who fed and fought them, to name a few. Brilliantly assembling colorful details into big-picture insights, Mann’s fresh challenge to Eurocentric histories puts interdependence at the origin

would disembark from their cubicles, blinking in the sun, looking for an agent from their extended family. Agents knew how much silver was in the most recent galleon and could raise or lower prices quoted to the Spaniards accordingly; they also had contacts necessary to bribe colonial inspectors. For their services they charged 20 to 30 percent of the sales price. Only after all the Yuegang traders had chosen agents would the ship be inspected by customs agents, who collected a tax—“three percent

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