Encomienda or Slavery? The Spanish Crown's Choice of Labor Organization in Sixteenth-Century Spanish America

@article{Yeager1995EncomiendaOS,
  title={Encomienda or Slavery? The Spanish Crown's Choice of Labor Organization in Sixteenth-Century Spanish America},
  author={Timothy J. Yeager},
  journal={The Journal of Economic History},
  year={1995},
  volume={55},
  pages={842 - 859}
}
  • Timothy J. Yeager
  • Published 1 December 1995
  • Economics, History, Political Science
  • The Journal of Economic History
When the Spaniards conquered the New World, they resorted to a form of native labor organization called the encomienda. The encomienda differed from slavery in that the Crown imposed inheritance, trading, and relocation restrictions on encomenderos. Such restrictions cost the Crown revenue by providing incentives for colonists to deplete more quickly the stock of native labor and by keeping native labour in areas of low-revenue productivity. This loss of revenue makes the Crown's Preference for… 

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