‘This Mixed Species of Population Will Consume’: Atlantic Expectations about Spanish American Consumers in the Age of Revolutions, 1780–1831


  • Por: Ana María Otero
  • Páginas:
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X19000312
  • Publicación: 2021

This article explores how late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century ideas of the Spanish American consumer took shape. It argues that Atlantic debates on consumption, on the one hand, and on racial difference, on the other, provided a common ground on which foreign visitors, diplomats and commentators, as well as Colombian elite intellectuals, could jointly create a positive idea of the Spanish American consumer. The article demonstrates that, in the eyes of those who had either political or economic interest in the region, it was possible for Spanish American Indians, Blacks and ‘mixed races’ to gradually overcome their ‘backwardness’ by adopting new practices of consumption. The consumption of new necessities by the Spanish American popular sectors became, for many of these commentators, an irrefutably civilising force.