Awards and Service
Fulbright research grant, 1990
- Banco Nacional de Mexico Medal for Silver Mining and Society in
Colonial Mexico, 1988
- Conference on Latin American History, Herbert Eugene Bolton Book Prize for Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico,1973
- Grant from the Social Science Research Council (London), 1971-73
Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, 1968-72
Professor Peter Bakewell reveals new aspects of the economy and government of significant areas of colonial Spanish America by investigating the production of silver. His prize-winning first book, Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico, Zacatecas 1546-1700 was the first thorough study of one of the prime sources of silver in the Spanish empire. Although his work on mining is focused on Spanish America, it also has implications for world history.
After publishing Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico, Bakewell spent nearly two years in Bolivia, doing research in archives in Potosi and Sucre on the larger and more famous Spanish silver mines in the region that later became Bolivia. Miners of the Red Mountain and Silver and Entrepreneurship in Seventeenth-Century Potosi tell how this region came to yield about half of the vast amount of silver flowing out across the world from the Spanish American colonies between 1550 and 1650.
At the invitation of Blackwell Publishers in 1989, Bakewell wrote a volume on Latin America for their History of the World Series. A History of Latin America. Empires and Sequels, c.1450 to the Present, now in its second edition, is a comprehensive treatment of Middle and South America spanning five centuries.
Bakewell’s current project looks at the administration of Viceroy Don Francisco de Toledo in Peru from 1569 to 1581. Toledo was one of the most active administrators of any part of the Spanish American empire at any time in its three-hundred year span. He was given the task of organizing Peru, an area that then embraced much of the western half of South America, for the benefit of Spain.
The justice of some of his measures, such as the organization of native people for forced mine labor, is hotly debated by historians and politicians to this day.
Bakewell and his wife, art historian Susan Bakewell, are working together on an
illustrated study of the sixteenth-century sculptures in the cloister of the Dominican monastery of St. Stephen in Salamanca, Spain.
He recently returned to a childhood interest in flight, publishing an essay on aviation in early twentieth-century France and teaching an SMU course on the history of flight.