Pre-marital sexual relations. Spousal choice. Adultery. Incest. Rape. Secret marriages. Divorce. Palabra de casamiento. Deposito was used to control female sexuality-- a social control mechanism to punish unacceptable female behavior. 82 cases studied. In Mexico, casas de depósito functioned as one of a broad sweep of protective and punitive institutions for adolescent and adult women during the colonial period and throughout much of the nineteenth century. The depósitos were houses of good reputation where magistrates placed problematic females so that they could benefit from the "decent" example of their hosts. Some women were confined so that they would enjoy safe harbor during ecclesiastical divorce proceedings or engagement; others were placed in compulsory custody because they had failed to abide by norms regulating appropriate female behavior. Sometimes these females were removed from their customary social networks and spaces by ecclesiastical and civil officials because they had failed to fulfill their proper roles as daughters, señoritas, mothers or wives; other times women voluntarily interned themselves so as to facilitate change in their own lives.
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.2 (2001) 225-257
Manuela Sáenz has not suffered the fate of many women throughout history: she has not been forgotten. But the image of her that has lived on, for all its vivid color, is strangely flat. She is remembered as the lover of Simón Bolívar, the renowned leader of South America's independence from Spain. Novels and biographies alike depict her as the passionate beauty to whom Bolívar wrote, "I also want to see you, and examine you and touch you and feel you and savor you and unite you to me through all my senses." Her passions extended into the public sphere, where she dramatically defended the image of Bolívar. When his political protégé, Francisco de Paula Santander, turned rival and displayed satiric statues of Bolívar and Sáenz in a 1830 procession, Sáenz and her servants, dressed as men, charged the parade to remove the effigies. Yet, such political actions primarily enhanced her romantic rather than political image. Sáenz undoubtedly would have liked to be remembered as both the lover and defender of Bolívar. After the latter's death in 1830, she exclaimed in a letter, "I loved the liberator; dead, I venerate him." But Sáenz had already begun participating in the movements for independence from Spain before she met Bolívar in 1822 and her activism continued after his death in 1830 and her exile from Colombia and Ecuador by his political opponents. By shifting the focus to the writing of Sáenz in exile in Peru, which has been ignored by her biographers, it becomes clear that she not only continued her political activities but also developed a discourse of friendship to justify the influence of women in the new nations. A role for elite women as friends, rather than primarily wives and mothers, provides an alternative to both the dominant ideology of that period as well as to the central emphasis in the historiography on "republican motherhood."
The dramatic actions of Sáenz earned her a place among the pantheon of heroines of Spanish America. Although much analysis remains to be done, historians have compiled the stories of numerous women who were active in the wars of independence. The assumption of women's apolitical nature, at least in the early years, allowed many the cover to act as smugglers, spies, and seducers who convinced soldiers to switch sides. In addition, elite women donated money and jewels to the cause and participated in tertulias (salons) where politics were discussed and conspiracies planned. Those of a more humble background followed their husbands, fathers, and brothers on the battlefields, providing essential support services and occasionally picking up arms themselves when necessary. Though we know what women did, however, we know much less about what they thought. Most evidence indicates that women had chosen the patriot (or royalist) cause for the same reasons as men -- rather than from a female consciousness -- and made no claims for suffrage or citizenship. The lack of either a social or intellectual history of women after independence is even more glaring. Some of the ideas proposed in this essay, therefore, are of necessity tentative but offered in the hope of stimulating discussion and further research.
In contrast to the French and North American revolutions, there are few studies that analyze even dominant gender ideologies in the early nineteenth century, particularly the ideas of the leaders of the independence movements in Latin America. No prominent officials or intellectuals of the new nations advocated granting women full citizenship rights, although their attitudes ranged from harshly criticizing political active women to praising those who fostered domestic virtues. Vicente Rocafuerte justified his order to exile Sáenz from Ecuador by asserting that "It is the women who most promote the spirit of anarchy in these countries." Bolívar, on the other hand, acknowledged the contributions of women to the independence struggles and relied upon the astute advice of his sister Manuela Antonia. Yet, in a 1826 letter to the latter, he also warned her not to participate in politics: "A woman should be neutral in public matters. Her family and...
During a brief period of democratic renovation in Cuba in the 1930s and early 1940s, legislators included a clause in the new 1940 Cuban Constitution that enabled citizens in consensual unions to ask the courts to declare their extra-legal partnership equivalent to a legal marriage. This clause, unprecedented in Latin America at the time, gave the same rights and benefits that legally married citizens enjoyed to citizens who previously could not have claimed them because they were considered immoral and not worthy of legal protection. The resulting legal process, called equiparacin de matrimonio civil, held serious financial and social consequences not only for the persons engaged in the consensual union in question but also for their children of non-legitimate birth status.
I explore the Cuban Constituent Assembly debates about consensual unions and equiparacin, and the related issue of categorization by birth status, and contrast those debates with ordinary citizens’ claims to their new rights in Cuban judicial courts. Some Assembly members considered the writing of the new constitution an opportunity to erase from Cuban legal structures existing privileges and protections based upon outdated notions of sexual propriety and race-based hierarchies. Other legislators vehemently objected, arguing that issues of the “family” did not belong in a constitution. After the ratification of the new constitution, some ordinary Cubans filed for equiparacin to claim the financial and social rights and benefits they felt they deserved. To do so, they had to prove that their consensual unions were models of sexual propriety. This paper links the history of the family, law, and state formation to broader narratives of historical change and the production and reproduction of social hierarchies based upon race, class, and gender in modern Latin America.
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.3-4 (2001) 449-490
Writing in 1972, Ann Pescatello bemoaned the underdevelopment of Latin American women's studies, a field so much in its infancy that it was difficult to identify major trends and authors, much less conduct research. Seven years later, Asunción Lavrin observed that historians still lagged behind social scientists in filling in the gaps and pointed out directions that Latin American women's history might take. Scholars have since followed the paths Lavrin indicated, provoking a steady flow in work that focuses on women, and since the mid-1980s, and a great surge of studies that use gender as a category of analysis. Twenty-odd years after Lavrin's prophetic essay, the field that she and a small group of Latin American and Latin Americanist colleagues pioneered is again exceedingly difficult to review. The problem now, however, is the large quantity of significant work, the variety of topics, theoretical approaches and methodologies, and the multiple ways in which this scholarship has influenced how we understand Latin American history.
This essay will not attempt to cover all of these topics, approaches and methods, much less all of the significant works in the field. It will leave to a future historian, for instance, the task of evaluating whether gender analysis has moved "from margin to center" in the ways historians have integrated it, or at least mentioned it, in studies that do not specifically focus on gender or women. Although this trend is as significant as the outpouring of publications with "gender" in the title (or, more commonly, in the subtitle), this essay will be largely limited to what I consider exemplary and representative studies that use gender as a primary, or at least major, tool of analysis.
Emphasis on books in which gender is a primary analytical category brings with it a second limitation: a focus on scholarship published in the United States, where over the past six years there has been a torrent of monographs that deal primarily with gender. Gender analysis has not been as central a concern in the different national historiographies in Latin America. This is despite the existence of an extraordinarily rich and broad-ranging Latin American scholarship on the kinds of topics that are especially attractive to gender historians, such as the family, sexuality, and racial or ethnic mixture, as well as a wealth of literature on women's roles in labor, politics, and everyday life. The analytical methods that Latin American scholars bring to these topics are diverse, emerging as they do from national and local historiographies with their own trajectories and different relationships to North American and European scholarship. This is not to say that Latin American work is more provincial than that produced outside the region. On the contrary, Latin American scholars, especially those who work in the larger nations (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico) with well-developed research centers, including centers dedicated to research on women or gender, are vigorous participants in international scholarly dialogues. Recent multivolume collections on the history of private life in Brazil or the history of mentalities in Mexico, with obvious reference to French literature in these areas, are good illustrations of the different placement of topics and issues that would certainly undergo more explicit gender analysis -- and the works might well include "gender" in the titles -- if published in the United States.
The best of the scholarship produced in the United States both builds on the respective national historiography and participates in an international dialogue. Yet, as Mary Kay Vaughan has noted in her recent essay on the "new" cultural history in Mexico, there is a lamentable lack of dialogue between U.S. and Latin American scholars. North American scholars rely upon Latin American empirical research, which is frequently "incorporated" into U.S. theoretical and scholarly agendas, not vice versa. Latin Americans, for their part, do not generally view "Latin America" as a coherent regional field, and, especially in the case of Brazil, are more likely to read French, British, or U.S. scholarship than that of other Latin American nations. Of course, the explanation for the difference in North American and Latin American conceptions of...
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.3-4 (2001) 689-729
This essay is both a historiographical review of male homosexuality in Latin America and a historical synthesis of the intellectual and cultural traditions of attitudes, mores, and laws regarding homosexuality. The topic of male homosexuality is a powerful lens through which historians can address and problematize the dilemmas of reconstructing the social past. Taken originally as a corrective against overly diplomatic and political history, the new social history of the 1970s still bears crucially on the subject of homosexuality because the available scholarship still struggles with the basic issues of reconstruction.
The history of homosexuality bears centrally on the nature of sexual relations, reproduction, marriage, and family, all central components of social values. Unfortunately, the scarcity of extant sources and the nascent quality of its historiography render the study of homosexuality in Latin America difficult. Scholars of this subject wrestle quite consciously over the dilemma of "realistic reconstruction" of action as opposed to the study of collective representations. The lack of narratives by gay men, the issues of "filtration" of sources through those who wrote about the "objects" of crime and sin, and the overall scarcity of material contribute to this dilemma. As a result, the use of espistemology as a framework retains strong allure for many scholars working on Latin American homosexuality. Precisely because there is scant documentation of the actual social behavior and cultural worlds of homosexuals in Latin America, scholars have understandably been drawn to theoretical models of gender and sexuality.
Two concerns are woven together into a strand of social, cultural, and intellectual history; in other words, homosexuality conjures the dilemma between behavior and proscription. On the one hand, there exist intellectual and cultural traditions of attitudes, mores, and laws regarding homosexuality. Taken in their broadest terms, Michel Vovelle defines this territory as both ideology and mentality. In this model, ideology represents the more formalized discussions that bear on a particular subject. Consequently, law, theology, military sanction, governmental policy, and propaganda constitute ideology. Mentalities are less definable, more fluid, and, as the famous annaliste historian Marc Bloch understood them, derive from collective representations. For our purposes here, mentality concerning homosexuality includes popular attitudes, social customs, response to Church teachings, reaction to law, as well as the beliefs, customs, and concerns of homosexual and bisexual men.
This essay is divided into several sections because the scholarship is fragmented along geographical and epochal boundaries: section 1 focuses on the Spanish colonial period, drawing on Mexican and Iberian theological and legal traditions to provide a fuller understanding of colonial attitudes toward homosexuality; section 2 offers a critical overview of the historiography of colonial Brazil; the third section is a speculative discussion of the period from roughly 1700 to 1870, a period marked by a near-complete absence of historiographic attention for the subject under review. Studies of the so-called period of modernization that followed showcase a growing body of scholarship on homosexuality. For the most part, such work tends to show how attitudes toward homosexuality gained a positivist and psychiatric distinction. The essay concludes with a discussion of the works of anthropologists and sociologists, from 1940 to 2000.
The long-cherished assumptions of patriarchy and male-dominated sexuality have guided the historiography of homosexuality in Latin America. Two theoretical models inform this classification. First, the honor-shame paradigm of Latin American and Mediterranean society suggests that sexuality is a key component of the system of honor and shame. A classic formulation of this paradigm is Julian Pitt-Rivers's discussion of the sexual honor in the Mediterranean. Pitt-Rivers argues that penetration is the overriding metaphor for such honor; thus before marriage, a woman needed to be a virgin in order to protect her honor and man should not have been sexually penetrated. Numerous Latin Americanists who specialize in gender studies have shown that this system is indeed endemic to domestic and marital culture, but the problem for the subject of homosexuality is that sexual metaphors and the honor-shame model do not always map neatly onto male-male sexual interaction. The result is that numerous scholars have taken the male-female honor-shame paradigm as a strict...
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.3-4 (2001) 519-553
--Clara Rosa González, "Al Combate," El Acrata, May 15,1901
--Juan Levadura, "Tu eres como el limón," El Comunista, August 6, 1921
The paradox of the Chilean labor movement under the Parliamentary Republic is not that so little attention was given to women, but rather that there was so much. As foreign labor ideology and modes of organization reached Southern Cone countries via tides of working-class immigrants -- and, in the case of Chile, through translated foreign pamphlets that circulated among workers -- the question of what to do about "the woman question" provoked considerable concern among working-class activists. Amidst the growing influence of anarchist ideology and the proliferation of the "resistance societies" (sociedades de resistencia) that they promoted, anarchists were among the first working-class organizers to draw attention to the topic of female subordination. When Clara Rosa González read her poem Into Battle to a large audience of men and women gathered at a union hall in downtown Santiago in April 1901, she joined prominent male anarchists in a program dedicated to the topic of the woman question, illustrating the level of attention anarchists generally dedicated to it at the turn of the century. González's brimming optimism about women's imminent transformation from victims of capital into agents of revolution reflects what Chilean anarchist leaders were writing and saying about women's emancipation; most anarchist writings on the woman question in Chile prior to World War I emphasized, as González did, that libertarian education alone could free women from their historic slavery to men and capital. Such utopian claims may have seemed less so to working-class listeners in the context of anarchist propaganda, which triumphantly recorded the proliferation of women's and mixed-sex resistance societies among working women in Santiago and Valparaíso after the turn of the century.
By the third decade of the twentieth century, however, attention to women in anarchist newspapers and union broadsides revealed anarchists' relatively greater skepticism about women's revolutionary potential. The publication of diatribes such as "You are like a lemon" signaled a turn to more aggressive, sarcastic rhetorical strategies after 1918, as some anarchist writers publicly upbraided women for their intransigent passivity and blamed them for the declining participation of male workers in anarchist unions. These writers no longer rendered working-class women as the incarnation of revolutionary hope, but rather as a symbol of the regressive, slavelike mentality that betrayed the revolutionary aspirations of their working-class brothers. On the one hand, the ferocity of these attacks suggests the very real frustration that anarchists might have felt in the postwar period, as marxist unionization efforts came to outstrip those of anarchists, particularly among women industrial workers. On the other, the inversion of the symbolic function of "woman" in anarchist rhetoric of the 1920s also testifies to the contradictory and unstable nature of anarchist sexual politics throughout this 30-year period, a topic that has not been sufficiently addressed in existing literature on Chilean anarchist movements.
This study examines anarchist discourses on women and revolution in Chile in these two...
The author presents data on the aboriginal population of Peru in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The data were collected from various archives in both Europe and America. A description of the various early attempts at conducting censuses is provided and the quality of the data is assessed. (ANNOTATION)
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.3-4 (2001) 623-651
During the 1880s, Francisco Guerrero, aka "El Chalequero" or "Antonio el Chaleco," committed a long series of violent crimes, including at least two murders, against women who worked in the northern suburbs of Mexico City. The Mexican press compared him with Jack the Ripper, who killed five prostitutes in London in late 1888. However, unlike his British contemporary, whose true identity is unknown, Guerrero did nothing to hide his, and for several years he remained active and unpunished. He was finally arrested in 1888 and sentenced to death. President Porfirio Díaz commuted his sentence to 20 years in prison, and Guerrero was released early in 1904. In 1908 Guerrero was arrested again and convicted for the homicide of another woman; he died in 1910 awaiting execution. While Jack the Ripper has inspired many a mystery narrative, the story of El Chalequero straightforwardly displayed violence against women -- sexual violence in particular -- as part of Mexico City's everyday life.
This article presents multiple facets of El Chalequero's life between 1888 and 1908 -- as a street thug, pimp, and criminal suspect. The perspectives of criminologists discussed in the latter part of this article shed more light on the larger meanings of El Chalequero than those offered by the police or judiciary. Science was involved in the investigation of Jack the Ripper's identity. In Mexico, criminologists and psychiatrists were summoned to explain Guerrero's behavior during his trial, and their reports concluded that he was not a pathological case, but a rather normal example of sexual conduct among the poor. By stating this, they took part in a discussion about the criminal nature of male sexual attackers, who international specialists preferred to not typify as criminals.
On 18 October 1887 the police retrieved the body of a woman, partially covered with brush, from the Consulado River. According to forensic doctors, the victim was approximately 40 years old when her throat was slit. Two months later, another corpse with similar characteristics and wounds appeared in a ditch close to the same river. The word out was that such findings were common in the northern limits of Mexico City, including the new settlements (colonias), Peralvillo and Santa Ana, Calzada de Guadalupe, and the proximity of the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Other bodies had appeared in previous years, and several women had been raped and robbed near the Consulado River and the Calzada de Guadalupe. The culprit(s) had not been discovered.
These were still scarcely populated areas, although characterized by an intense movement of carts and porters entering the city through the Peralvillo gate. Travelers, pilgrims going to and from the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and merchants -- all lacking the means to use the train -- patronized the many inns, pulquerías, and prostitutes of the area. Each December, during the celebrations of the Virgin, traffic and public parties increased beyond the ability of authorities to maintain order. Vending and washing laundry at the river were other important activities, both largely conducted by women. More densely populated colonias between downtown and Peralvillo, such as La Bolsa and Tepito, were feared as zones of crime and vice. As with other new lower-class settlements in a city undergoing a process of rapid growth, these areas lacked the traditional social networks of older barrios near the center of the city, especially necessary in the absence of police protection. This was hardly a problem for authorities and writers who associated the working women of the area with the hygienic and moral perils of prostitution.
The author of these crimes was compared with Jack the Ripper (el destripador), whose crimes became internationally known in late 1888. Liberal newspaper El Siglo Diez y Nueve called him "The mysterious man who repeated in Mexico the same scenes that Jacques the Ripper [sic, suggesting the French sources of the journalist] in the London neighborhood of Whitechappel." The similarities seemed obvious: the victims were prostitutes in London and women who worked in the streets in Mexico; all had been attacked at night in public spaces; all were around 40 years old...
This new edition reflects the major changes in Bolivia since publication of the first edition: the collapse of the Bolivian economy; the rise of an illegal economy based on cocaine; the strengthening of the democratic regime; and the growth in the political and social power of the `Mestizos' in the middle class (the mixed Indian-white population), a new phenomenon in Latin America.
Offering a rare pan-Caribbean perspective on a region that has moved from the very center of the western world to its periphery, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism journeys through five centuries of economic and social development, emphasizing such topics as the slave-run plantation economy, the changes in political control over the centuries, the impact of the United States, and the effects of Castro's Cuban revolution on the area. The book integrates social analysis with political narrative, providing a unique perspective on the problems of nation-building in an area of dense populations, scarce resources, and an explosive political climate. New to this Edition * A fresh contextualization of Caribbean history * Up-to-date and revised scholarship, bringing the history to 2010 * New information on indigenous societies and the contact period * A short bibliography of suggested readings for each chapter * Expanded discussion on the Haitian and Cuban Revolutions and their universal impact * Revised and updated chronology and informational tables on the Caribbean
In this paper we present historical evidence and a theoretical analysis of the origins of political stability and instability in Colombia for the period 1850-1950, and their relationship to political, particularly electoral, institutions. We show that the driving force behind institutional change over this period, specifically the move to proportional representation (PR), was the desire of the Conservative and Liberal parties to come up with a way of credibly dividing power to avoid civil war and conflict, a force intensified by the brutal conflict of the War of a Thousand days between 1899 and 1902. The problem with majoritarian electoral institutions was that they did not allocate power in a way which matched the support of the parties in the population, thus encouraging conflict. The strategic advantage of PR was that it avoided such under-representation. The parties however could not initially move to PR because it was not `fraud proof' so instead, in 1905, adopted the `incomplete vote' which simply allocated 2/3 of the legislative seats to the winning party and 1/3 to the loser. This formula brought peace. The switch to PR arose when the Liberals became confident that they could solve problems of fraud. But it only happened because they were able to exploit a division within the Conservatives. The switch also possibly reflected a concern with the rising support for socialism and the desire to divide power more broadly. Our findings shed new light on the origins of electoral systems and the nature of political conflict and its resolution.
Hispanic American Historical Review 82.4 (2002) 780-782
The Jews and the Expansion of Europe is a splendid collection of essays on the role of the Jews in the New World colonies and the impact that the American (chiefly the West Indies and South America) environment had upon them. This study of Europe's expansion to the West encompasses two-and-a-half centuries, thousands of miles of land, and an international convergence of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and future United States Jews and New Christians interacting and influencing each other and influencing and being influenced by their countries of origin. The essays are grouped in seven sections differentiated by chronology and nationality of colony and home country. The opening section is a discussion of the impact of the New World upon European, and especially, European Jewish consciousness. Next is presented the identity crisis and reshaping of Judaism among conversos and marranos in Spanish America. Part 3 focuses on the experience of these enclaves in Portuguese Latin America. Part 4 retains much of the same subject matter in the context of trade in France and Caribbean French America. We next encounter the colonial Sepohardim in Dutch America. American Jews and New Christians resurface in the international slave and sugar trade in section 6. The book concludes with an essay on Jews in colonial British America.
The contributions include demography and family, political and economic analysis, and explorations of religious belief and practice, myth, and architectural style. In short, they encompass a vast variety of historical fields and methods and range from conceptual to descriptive, from superb to serviceable. None, however, is dubious or useless and even those devoted to descriptive detail ("The Participation of New Christians and Crypto-Jews in the Conquest, Colonization, and Trade of Spanish America, 1521-1660," "Crypto-Jews and New Christians in Colonial Peru and Chile," "Atlantic Trade and Sephardim Merchants in Eighteenth-Century France: The Case of Bordeaux," "Jewish Settlements in the French Colonies in the Caribbean. . . and the 'Black Code'") inform on little-known aspects of Jews in the New World.
The Jews and the Expansion of Europe begins impressively with essays by James Romm, Noah J. Efron, and Benjamin Schmidt on the biblical and messianic significance of the New World for the Jews. To contemporaries, Jewish and otherwise, the new discoveries and adventures evoked collective and mythic memory and utopian hope. David S. Katz engagingly traces such yearnings for the past and future to the present. In the felicitous first section, Patricia Seed examines the contributions to navigation of early modern Jewish scientists, and even more illuminatingly, accounts for their relative anonymity.
Several essays in subsequent sections are worthy of mention. Rachel Frankel's exploration of Jewish synagogues and cemeteries in "Jodensavaane," a Jewish settlement in the Dutch colony of Suriname, combines the practical and theoretical, the passionate and analytic, in a stimulating speculation on the anthropological, historical, and religious meaning of the colonial architecture in that place. Seymour Drescher's assessment of the participation of Jews and New Christians in the Atlantic slave trade addresses a historical issue with current ideological ramifications. In an essay distinguished by its nuanced clarity, Drescher shows how the role of these groups was conditioned by different geographical and chronological phases of the trade and how these factors, in turn, interacted with social backgrounds and legal distinctions.
Notwithstanding the high quality of the book, a few problems arise. Repetition is unavoidable. In setting the historical context for their subjects several authors necessarily refer to the same historical events and developments. Substantive problems were rare, but occasionally did appear. An important theme in "New Christians/'New Whites': Sephardic Jews, Free People of Color, and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue, 1760-1789," is that "Sephardic merchants and planters provided a model for another group whose place in colonial society was equally ambiguous: Saint-Domingue's free people of color" (p. 314). John Garrigus demonstrates that both groups...
Hispanic American Historical Review 81.1 (2001) 157-158
Sevilla y las flotas de Indias: La gran armada de Castilla de Oro (1513-1514). By MARÍA DEL CARMEN MENA GARCÍA. Seville: Universidad de Sevilla; Fundación El Monte, 1998. Plates. Tables. Graphs. Notes. Bibliography. Index. 458 pp. Cloth.
This ambitious, beautifully illustrated volume informs the reader about everything she/he will want to know, and perhaps more, about the assembly, organization, and character of the fleet that Governor Pedrarias Dávila commanded in Spain's attempt to establish a permanent colony at Castilla de Oro, which eventually came to be known as Darién. This massive undertaking involved a fleet of 17 ships and 2,000 men and women and preparations based in Seville that stretched out over 7 months at a cost of 10,300,383.5 maravedis to the Royal Treasury. Given the complexities that they embodied, the preparations of this expedition afford a fascinating insight into the capacity of the monarchy to project its power to the New World during the latter years of Ferdinand the Catholic.
Carmen Mena argues that the Pedrarias venture was essentially a colonization attempt that built upon the experiences gained earlier in mounting the Ovando expedition and elaborately planned to serve as a pilot project for future undertakings. Pedrarias's instructions embodied the latest royal thinking regarding Indian policy. The lavish material support afforded through the newly established Casa de la Contratación was truly impressive. Mena leaves few details unattended. She treats the number and occupations of the passengers, the number and regional origins of the crews, the sizes and characteristics of the ships, the types of artisans and laborers who serviced them, their salary scale, and the provisioning of the fleet. Tables and graphs abound, ranging in subject from the geographic origins of the officers and crews to the prices of basic commodities and services.
The wealth of information amassed in this volume derived from the Archivo General de Indias and an impressive bibliography. Especially useful to the author were the materials contained in the Libros de armada in Contratación. Finally, the numerous plates illustrating the several themes treated in the volume are simply extravagant. Carmen Mena is to be congratulated for her exhaustive achievement in bringing into view the ambitious royal attempt to colonize Castilla de Oro.
Allan J. Kuethe, Texas Tech University
Hispanic American Historical Review 83.2 (2003) 389-390
This book is one of several recent studies of colonial Michoacán focusing on the process of evangelization, and the historiography of that process, using a form of postmodern or poststructuralist critical analysis. It has appeared at a time when a flourishing of more traditional historical studies is taking place at regional institutes of history in Michoacán, especially the Colegio de Michoacán (Zamora) and the Universidad Michoacana (Morelia). While these institutes have promoted archival research in Spain and Mexico to enlarge the corpus of relevant texts and have published new editions of major colonial works, the use of postmodern critical analysis to reanalyze the documents has largely been undertaken by non-Mexican scholars, including the author of this book, James Krippner-Martínez.
In Rereading the Conquest, the author examines the way four texts from colonial Michoacán were constructed and later used by historians to create the myths of early and complete evangelization of the Tarascan people (the Puréhpecha) and the benevolence and significance of Vasco de Quiroga in that process. The texts used include the Relación de Michoacán (1539-41), a native oral text recorded by a Franciscan friar; the Proceso contra Tzintzincha Tangaxoan (1530) by Nuño de Guzmán, produced to defend his execution of the last Tarascan king; the writings of Vasco de Quiroga (1530-65); and the Crónica de Michoacán (1788), by Franciscan Fray Pablo Beaumont. These documents were produced by some of the major players in the construction of colonial society, representing the missionaries (here the Franciscans), the conquistadors (Nuño de Guzmán and Cortés), and the civil and religious institutions (at one point dually represented by Vasco de Quiroga). The other major players—the native nobility and commoners—are only indirectly included, as the analysis of the Relación de Michoacán focuses on the account of the treatment of the last Tarascan king by Nuño de Guzmán and the relationship of the nobles dictating the Relación to the Franciscan missionaries. The book concludes with a study of the creation of the legend of Vasco de Quiroga in the last two centuries. In the author's words, "[T]hese essays demonstrate the inevitable influence of power and politics on the history and historiography of early colonial Michoacán" (p. 6).
In the spirit of postmodern analysis, I need to make clear that I am an anthropologist, specifically an archaeologist, who has used these and other colonial documents, in concert with primary archaeological data, to understand the prehispanic societies of this region; thus I am not in a position to mount a detailed critique of the specifics of this analysis. There is a tone, however, that occasionally verges on the polemic in criticisms of contemporary historians or the politics of colonial documents. For example, it is stated that the first section of the Relación de Michoacán, dealing with native religion, was destroyed, probably because it offended colonial authorities (p. 54). The section is certainly missing, but the circumstances of its loss are unknown; this portion may well have been used by later authors or by officials arguing cases before the Inquisition and then misfiled or destroyed inadvertently. Assigning agency—and malevolent agency in this case—may be valued in poststructuralist analysis, but in this case it's misleading, unless the author has evidence he has not yet presented. In a similar vein, I am not at all surprised that the author disagrees with some interpretations of other contemporary historians, but I do disagree that this is uniformly the result of unreflexive, noncontextual analysis. This book reminds me of the early literature in processual archaeology of the 1960s, which dismissed anything produced earlier, and the Marxist literature of the 1980s that labeled as imperialist and collaborationist any archaeological research not focused on inequality and the evils of capitalism (as if archaeology was the best means...
Hispanic American Historical Review 83.1 (2003) 176-177
This book fills an important gap for students and nonspecialists on the colonial history of indigenous Andean peoples. Andrien draws freely on a tremendous outpouring of recent scholarship by historians, anthropologists, literary scholars, and art historians in Europe and the Americas. In particular, he introduces students to the vivid historical figures who make this subject so exciting for those who study it, from the early colonial chronicler Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, to Tupac Amaru II and his generation of eighteenth-century rebels.
Andrien organizes his book thematically: following a general introduction to Andean culture at the time of the conquest, each chapter takes one area of colonial life and follows it from the beginning to the end of the period. He makes the most of this structure to present a series of tightly organized narratives. However, in doing so, he sacrifices the coherence that an overarching chronological structure would have provided, leaving the book less accessible to students encountering this material for the first time.
Andrien's first chapter, on native Andeans' relationship with the colonial state, describes three successive stages: a first century of intensive exploitation and heavy-handed rule, a second century of relatively benign neglect, and finally a renewed attempt at intensified control following the eighteenth-century Bourbon Reforms. The next chapter focuses on the colonial economy, beginning with James Lockhart's metaphor of trunk line and feeder lines branching out from Potosí in the sixteenth century, and continuing to explore the more diversified economy that followed. Another chapter addresses literature and art, including the writings of Guaman Poma and el Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the Cuzco School of painting, and the iconography of native textiles (with good black-and-white illustrations); it draws especially from the work of Rolena Adorno and Tom Cummins. The fourth chapter deals with Andean popular religion through the lens of Catholic anti-idolatry campaigns, studied by Pierre Duviols and Kenneth Mills. The final chapter addresses native resistance to Spanish rule. Beginning with the last Incas of the sixteenth century, fighting their rear-guard guerrilla war from the eastern jungles, the chapter proceeds to the eighteenth-century visionaries who fought to restore an Inca utopia in the Andes: Juan Santos Atahualpa, Tupac Amaru II, Tomás Katari, and Tupac Katari. Andrien tells this exciting story very well.
Andrien does an excellent job of synthesizing the best original scholarship (including his own on colonial administration), while always bringing out the most interesting anecdotes and characters. However, the book sometimes fails in trying to address both a student and a scholarly nonspecialist audience. Unwilling to leave out any important topic, Andrien sometimes introduces a concept (for example, Andean "vertical archipelagos") without adequately explaining it. The book might succeed more fully either as a textbook—introducing concepts more selectively and developing them more fully—or as a longer, more scholarly survey. Overall, the book is a pleasure to read and should have considerable success with both audiences.
jeremy mumfordYale University
Hispanic American Historical Review 84.1 (2004) 146-147
Several years ago, during an Easter celebration in Cuzco, I witnessed members of one cofradía tossing fruit to the gathered crowd of worshipers and onlookers as they left the church with their "Virgin." I asked one of the locals who these people (mainly of mestizo and indigenous background, if appearances can be trusted) were. He replied that they were fruit retailers from the local market who had formed a cofradía to provide themselves with a much needed degree of unity and organization, recognizing that the roles of cofradías extend far beyond the religious realm alone. In his book on the indigenous people of the Lima Valley during the colonial period, Paul Charney explores how self-identifying indios used cofradías, as well as other political and social institutions, to promote their interests and maintain a sense of identity even in that most Spanish of all places in Peru, the city and region of Lima.
Charney covers the entire colonial period, focusing on such issues as identity, the changing nature of regional society, land tenure, indigenous communities and leadership, religion and thecofradía, and families. His central argument is the nonethnic nature of indigenous identity in the Lima region. Lima was a receiving area for a large migrant population of indigenous peoples. But with the decline or weakening of older ethnic ties, identity focused on simply being indio, rather than being from a particular ethnic group, as was more common in the highlands. Charney argues that "the contrived label and status 'indio' actually became a template with which Indians could promote social reproduction. . . . [W]hat constituted Indian-ness . . . became increasingly complex as the Indians maneuvered to find a place in the valley" (p. 27).
Charney is careful to nuance these statements by noting that class remained important within Indian society and that some indigenous nobles made much of their names and ethnic origins. They often managed to continue their power as curacas or, when the ability to exert control over land and labor declined, in the new Spanish-created position of gobernador. It is noteworthy that in Lima some non-Indians wanted, and needed, to pass as Indians to claim racialized titles of nobility and the benefits that came with that status. Charney also argues that native people, confronted with racial discrimination by Europeans, used Spanish law to assure certain rights and offices, such as procuradores, militia members, office holders, and members of guilds. At the same time, however, they often prohibited or restricted Spanish participation in their guilds or cofradías. In doing this "they acted less as colonized peoples and more like competitors for power and prestige, not so much in Spanish society but in the Indian one" (p. 102). In other words, they took the idea of the two republics and did what they could to make the best of it for themselves.
The hallmark of indigenous survival in the Lima area was flexibility. In many ways, Charney's account has these people living in line with the maxim that "if things are going to stay the same, things have to change." For instance, in discussing access to land, he notes that indigenous people had to readjust or give up Andean practices of endogamy while at the same time adopting Spanish legal practices in order to assure viable access to land. "In wrestling with and accepting an externally imposed ethnicity, Indians demonstrated an admirable degree of resilience and independence throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries" (p. 67).
Charney's work supports other research on colonial indigenous society, and he makes good use of the pioneering work of María Rostworowski, as well as more recent scholarship on the coast and Lima. While he brings the reader face-to-face with many historical actors, the scope of the work does not allow for the full development of the flavor of society and its interactions. For instance, one learns of the existence...
Hispanic American Historical Review 83.1 (2003) 168
The editors of this book (both professors at Santa Clara University) have assembled an interlocking series of documents that concern Spanish and Mexican California. These include more than 60 items by explorers and colonizers. Among them are letters, journals, official reports, proclamations, and interrogations. Some are translated into the English language for the first time. The annotations that accompany each document are first-rate.
Among these manuscripts are Juan Cabrillo's official 1542 report describing conditions in Ensenada (today's Baja California) and also at San Diego, further to the north. This account is followed by a translation of Sebastián Vizcaíno's 1602 sea voyage to California. Other representative documents include a 1697 account by Italian Jesuit Juan (Giovanni) María de Salvatierra entitled "A Permanent Spanish Presence in California." A number of such European priests came to Spain's North American frontier from Europe. The famous Fray Eusebio Kino traveled from his native province of Ticino, in today's Italy, first to China before his assignment to the North American wilds.
The settlement of California is chronicled by Governor Pedro Fages's 1773 description of conditions at the provincial capital, Monterey. Other accounts carry the story into the Mexican era. Life on the ranchos during the 1840s is the subject of José del Carmen Lugo's revealing memoir. Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo describes the American invasion posed by the arrival of the first overland wagon trains. These are only a few such testimonios selected by the editors.
What emerges is a documentary portrayal of a far-from-static colonial society. Early California is usually chronicled as a backward pastoral colony. However, daily conditions there were far from sleepy. Though isolated (even from the rest of Spain's New World empire), the conflicts between its Franciscan missionaries and soldier garrisons were incessant.
The editors of this book have created a superb product. Its 85 illustrations (some in color), and accompanying maps, are drawn from sources as far away as the National Library of the Czech Republic and the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid.
In our age of political correctness, scholars have sidelined the history of exploration and colonization in favor of gender, race, and class. The editors of this book provide an important alternative. Their selections concern such wider issues as the politics and economics of imperial and colonial governance.
Andrew Rolle,The Huntington Library
Hispanic American Historical Review 82.2 (2002) 353-354
This is a basic, straightforward, and well-documented narrative history of the Wichitas' relations with other Indians and especially non-Indians. It spans the years from the arrival of Spaniards to the U.S.-Mexico War.
The term "Wichitas" refers to related but autonomous Caddoan-speaking groups who lived in villages in the southern Great Plains. These groups moved, combined, and/or split as their relations with other groups changed. The Wichitas' relations with the Osages, Comanches, Lipan Apaches, Cherokees, Spaniards, French, Mexicans, and Texans, among others, created an ever-dynamic situation in which trading, raiding, warfare, gifts, loyalty, and revenge were abundant. In contrast, well-deserved trust between groups was rare. Thus, while the Wichitas certainly sought trade, the title of this volume highlights only one aspect of their relations with other groups, as this book clearly shows.
In addition to being an eminently readable narrative, this work is well documented. Smith cites archival sources in French, Spanish, English, and recent archaeological research. He reports specific encounters involving diplomacy, trade, raiding, and warfare in wonderful detail. When the author generalizes or extrapolates from the documentary or archaeological evidence, he gives clear accounts of his reasoning, especially when making the ever-perilous population estimates.
Smith concentrates on Wichitas' relations with non-Indians and how these affected their relations with other groups, whether Indian or non-Indian. This book also stresses how changes in these relations led Wichita groups to move about, sometimes over fairly large distances. Here is one prosaic example he provides: "Because of Osage pressure and their desire for French trade," one subgroup of Taovaya Wichitas moved from the Verdigris River to join two subgroups of Guichita and Iscani Wichitas along Deer Creek, and the French called them all Panis Piques (p. 25).
The division of chapters reflects both the book's strictly chronological organization and its concentration on relations with non-Indians. Fittingly, the title of each chapter refers to a country and a time period, for example, "The Wichitas and Mexican Texas, 1821-1835." Smith might stress more fully how peripheral the Wichitas were from the perspective of Spanish, French, Mexican, and U.S. leaders (not Texan) during most of this period. Still, local representatives of these colonial powers had a surprising amount of interest in and interaction with the Wichitas, and the narration leads the reader, perhaps errantly, to suspect that the Wichitas perceived their influence to be nearly central.
While Smith carefully distinguishes among Wichita groups and even subgroups, he unfortunately does not delve much into how the Wichitas' internal relations and practices changed with these changing fortunes. For example, how did their religious practices evolve? Indeed, we get more information about the attitudes, changing organization, and global context of non-Indians than of the Wichitas. This is likely due in large part to the nature of the documentary evidence, but archaeological evidence, ethnographic analogy, oral histories, and informed conjecture can help to address such issues. Readers should not expect an overtly analytical or critical framework.
In short, this is a fine, if modest, introductory work. As Smith notes, it leaves plenty of topics for other researchers to flesh out or react to. It should appeal particularly to historians—academic or not—who have interest in the further reaches of northern New Spain, Louisiana, or early Mexico; in independent Texas; or in the Indian groups of the southern Plains.
Tracy DuvallUniversity of Arizona