In 1492, Christopher Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic linked Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. As Columbus’ sponsor, Spain became the first European Power to use the peoples, resources, and lands of the Americas and the Caribbean as the basis for its Atlantic Empire.
How did this empire function and what wealth was Spain able to extract from these peoples and lands?
In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World, Molly Warsh, an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and author of American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700 (University of North Carolina Press and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2018), helps us investigate answers to these questions by showing us how Spain attempted to increase its wealth and govern its empire through its American and Caribbean pearl operations.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Ben Franklin’s World is an award-winning podcast. It’s for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with a historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past. It is a production of the Omohundro Institute.