Author: Andrew Konove
This article examines three eighteenth-century projects to replace shopkeeper tokens in Spanish America with copper coins minted in Spain. The proyectistas (projectors) argued that copper coins would promote commerce, alleviate poverty, and restore the king’s monopoly on minting in his American possessions. They encountered opposition, however, from local officials and colonial elites and gained little traction before the outbreak of the wars for independence in the early nineteenth century. In tracing these projects and the responses they generated, this article argues that Spain’s American subjects held diverse understandings of money and value and that their divergent views highlight the uneven bonds of trust that linked Spanish Americans to the Crown and to one another in the late-colonial era.
In search of a decent coin: the value of small change in Bourbon Spanish America,” 30:4 Colonial Latin American Review (2021), 589-610,“