Economy & Politics

The mountain whose silver made Europe rich

Potosí is Bolivia’s highest city. It is more than 4000 meters above sea level, in an area where paid work is difficult to find and where the natural forces of the Andes are the all-determining constants. Nevertheless, Potosí has ​​made wealth – so much wealth that the saying “un potosí” in Bolivia still stands for someone who is incredibly rich. Even if the prosperity of Potosí is now a thing of the past.

It was in 1545, around 50 years after the arrival of the Europeans on the American double continent, when the Spaniards began to mine the silver of the Cerro Rico mountain. They shipped the silver in gigantic quantities to Spain, where it was the economy there


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