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Emma Rothschild. "The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History."

Emma Rothschild, The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History. (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2011.) 
By N. H. Gill
Emma Rothschild’s Inner Life of Empires presents a “large microhistory” of the Johnstone family, eleven children, their parents, and two of their slaves, who lived and moved within influential social and intellectual circles during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.[1] This prosopography traces the children’s lives across the British Empire as well as their friendships with philosophers – including David Hume, Adam Ferguson, and the early economist Adam Smith – to illustrate a world of laissez faire as it was lived and imagined at inception.
Rothschild describes her work as a history of “ideas and sentiments.”[2] She uses the first three chapters to describe the lives of the Johnstone siblings, from their initial ventures in the British East and West Indies, their economic and political cooperation, and the balance of their lives at…

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …