Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization
Ivonne del Valle, et al.
Vanderbilt University Press
VU Station B 351813, Nashville, TN 37235-1813
9780826522528, $69.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Iberian Peninsula is located in the southwest corner of the European continent. The peninsula is principally divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory, as well as a small area of France (the French Cerdagne), Andorra and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Iberia is an area of approximately 596,740 square kilometres (230,400 sq mi) and has a population of approximately 53 million.
Through interdisciplinary essays covering the wide geography of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, "Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization" investigates the diverse networks and multiple centers of early modern globalization that emerged in conjunction with Iberian imperialism.
"Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization" argues that Iberian empires cannot be viewed apart from early modern globalization. From research sites throughout the early modern Spanish and Portuguese territories and from distinct disciplinary approaches, the essays collected in this volume investigate the economic mechanisms, administrative hierarchies, and art forms that linked the early modern Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
"Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization" also demonstrates that early globalization was structured through diverse networks and their mutual and conflictive interactions within overarching imperial projects. To this end, the essays explore how specific products, texts, and people bridged ideas and institutions to produce multiple centers within Iberian imperial geographies. Taken as a whole, the authors also argue that despite attempts to reproduce European models, early Iberian globalization depended on indigenous agency and the agency of people of African descent, which often undermined or changed these models.
"Iberian Empires and the Roots of Globalization" thus relays a nuanced theory of early modern globalization: the essays outline the Iberian imperial models that provided templates for...