This book offers a view of shifts in labour relations in various parts of the world over a breathtaking span, from 1500 to 2000, with a particular emphasis on colonial institutions. How did growing demand for colonial commodities affect labour in the Global South? How did colonial interference with land and labour markets affect developments in labour relations? And what were the effects of the introduction of colonial currencies? The contributors to this volume answer those questions and more, combining global perspectives with impressively detailed case studies.