Edges of Empire

KNW 2399: Edges of Empire

Market Activity and Exchange Across the Globe


Overlooking the market house at Guadalajara, Mexico.

Title: Overlooking the market house at Guadalajara. Mexico

Photographer: Unknown

Date: 1901

This photograph is the daily market activity seen in Guadalajara during the year 1901. There is a lot of activity in this outdoor market with people walking along the stands looking for a variety of items like food or other goods. Similarly to 1901, in almost every city in Mexico today has a market of some kind. Some of these markets may be covered or simply in the open air outside. One thing is certain; many would consider public markets like this to be a staple in Mexico where people of all ages and status visit to get a taste of the rich history Mexico has to offer. Spanish colonization of Mexico contributed to much of the food and cuisine we see today in the markets. Although Mexico is known for their taste in spice, many of the classic recipes we see today have Spanish influences.

Following my analysis of this open market are two questions: Did the Spanish ever tried to enter in their own authentic food into this marketplace? What other goods were traded in this market besides food?


The Cotton Market Bombay

The Cotton Market Bombay

Title: The Cotton Market, Bombay

Photographer: William Johnson, William Henderson

Date: 1855-1862

This photograph is a still in time during the mid 19th century in Bombay. As we can observe, there are several men taking a break from what appears to be a gathering and weighing of cotton. India at the time was the leader in cotton production and trade. It is no wonder as to why the British would colonize in India and try to financially gain from this trade of goods and services. Similarly to Mexico, the British left behind their own influence in this market system. The British brought a lot of taxing and violence; however, it also connected much of the trade routes through railroads. India was never the same again. Trading since the industrialization has catapulted to a whole new level with India still being a large power house.

Following my analysis of this picture, I end up with two questions: Were these men under the heavy watch of the East India Company at the time this picture was taken? Did the East India Company possibly stage this picture to show their economic prosperity?

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