Undergraduate Programs

The Inquisition, Conversos, and Early Capitalism in the Atlantic World: 1492-1700

Course Code: HIST 0710

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This course explores the rise and fall of converso (Sephardic Jews forced to convert to Christianity) trading networks in the Atlantic world. In particular, we will focus on the converso communities in Spanish America, and consider how the institution of the Inquisition was used to control, and eventually to eradicate, this trading community. While the emphasis is on Spanish America, we will nonetheless also consider converso communities in other parts of the Americas as well. Additionally, we will consider the nature of capitalism, and debate the hypothesis that these converso trading networks were an early form of capitalism.

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