Centering the margins: Capitalism and the Pacific World in mid-nineteenth century Arequipa

Dublin Core


Centering the margins: Capitalism and the Pacific World in mid-nineteenth century Arequipa


Trade policy and regulation were central to the emergent Peruvian state (ca. 1821-1879). The intersection of trade and geopolitical reconfigurations warranted the transition from “Spanish lake” to Pacific World in the nineteenth century. In this paper I examine the rise of the Pacific World from its margin of the Arequipa coast, emphasizing the effects of capitalism through the lens of maritime cultural landscapes. After independence (1821-1824), new ports were established; operation of certain coves sanctioned; and extractive activities shaped the region. The ports on the Arequipa coast supplied markets across the Andean south and Bolivia, and were a necessary and desired stop for North Atlantic ships sailing the Pacific. The Peruvian and Arequipa governments actively incorporated the coast into the inland urban markets of Cuzco, Moquegua, Puno, and the largest market, the city of Arequipa. Their efforts included the construction of roads and, way stations, and piers, thus providing infrastructural support to the regional trade and efforts against contraband. The economic networks that operated throughout here encompassed a vast portion of the population in different degrees of legitimacy. This region was strategic for the mercantile classes across the Andean south, the national government and foreign dignitaries in charge of the Peruvian trade. Contention among them arose from the regulation of trade, weighing on the power balance between the new Peruvian state, its citizens, and foreign powers. Data collected from archaeological and historical sources are combined to understand how these engagements and the pulses of capitalism impacted the Arequipa maritime cultural landscape from a multiscalar perspective. Close examination of globalizing processes reveals that the expansion of capitalism depended heavily on the transformations and continuities that the former had in small places and marginal areas, and that the imposition of a globalized market was accompanied by its involvement in local economies.


Maria Fernanda Boza Cuadros


The Museum of Underwater Archaeology




Maria Fernanda Boza Cuadros




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