Möglichkeitsräume und Sagbarkeitsgrenzen –
Konsum als politisches Motiv in Reiseberichten des 16. Jahrhunderts
Spaces of possibilities and limits of speaking – Consumption as a political motif of travel reports of the 16th century
In this essay French and Spanish travel reports from the 16th century are used as sources of history of consumption. The travel reports all dealt with a new continent named “America” which was equated with visions of a new society. The article identifies three patterns of interpretation which show different variations of acquirement. The first model is orientated on a Christian prototype of man, the native without needs. The second model depicts the organisation of complex Indian societies in Middle- and South-America. The last model contains an economic founded dream of a cultivated landscape. All models show an intention to verify traditional systems of social life in Europe and are by this means typically “political”.