This introduction summarizes the main ideas that this book develops, which are central to understanding American globalization from the perspective of the history of consumption. It points out the relevant role of states and political economies, maybe greater than in Europe, in the distribution and introduction of European, Asian and African products in the New World, which partly explains why this process is characterized by the combination of coercion, commercial transactions and emulation. But this research also emphasizes the agency of the original American peoples in the hybridization of consumption patterns resulting from the conquest and colonization, as well as the relevance of “horizontal” relationships among the subalterns themselves, due especially to the crucial role played by enslaved populations of African origin. However, the interactions among so many populations led not to homogeneous fusion but instead to great social and regional disparities. Given the depth and dramatic character of the transformations underway, these changes in consumption patterns must also be associated with profound alterations in the original ecosystems.