Semester Writing Assignment
In Lyman L. Johnson’s, “Workshop of Revolution: Plebeian Buenos Aires and the Atlantic World, 1776-1810”, he writes about the working class during Buenos Aires’ colonial period. Johnson examines the movement for revolution through his research of the artisans, free laborers, and slaves that worked within Buenos Aires. In my essay I will discuss and analyze the themes of race and ethnicity, social class structure, and economics and population growth and how they impacted the collapse of the craft guilds in Buenos Aires’, which started the struggle for independence. These themes show how the interactions of the working class had much larger impacts on the world than what many historians realize; which is one of the main ideas of the study of Atlantic World history.
There is not much information that can be found in regards to the details of Lyman L. Johnson’s life. According to his book however, he states that he never intended to research the topics that are discussed throughout this work. Johnson was simply researching the organizational structure of crafts during Buenos Aires’ colonial period. He only began researching the working classes involvement in the revolution after coming across criminal cases from the colonial city. Johnson says that his purpose for writing this book was to, “reinterpret and reframe the origins of popular support for independence in this crucial Spanish colonial capital city and to place May 25, 1810, firmly in the context of Atlantic history”. He conducted his research in Argentina, Spain, and the United States with the help of many colleagues, archivists, librarians, universities, and foundations. Johnson received his PhD. at the University of Connecticut in 1974 and he is interested in researching the social history of colonial Latin America, and the economic history of Latin America.
The historical setting discussed in Johnson’s book is the colonial era in Buenos Aires starting around 1776...