Author: Robert Himmerich y Valencia
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2009-08-17
While the Spanish conquistadors have been stereotyped as rapacious treasure seekers, many firstcomers to the New World realized that its greatest wealth lay in the native populations whose labor could be harnessed to build a new Spain. Hence, the early arrivals in Mexico sought encomiendas—"a grant of the Indians of a prescribed indigenous polity, who were to provide the grantee (the encomendero) tribute in the form of commoditiesand service in return for protection and religious instruction." This study profiles the 506 known encomenderos in New Spain (present-day Mexico) during the years 1521-1555, using their life histories to chart the rise, florescence, and decline of the encomienda system. The first part draws general conclusions about the actual workings of the encomienda system. The second part provides concise biographies of the encomenderos themselves.
Part I. New Spain's original sin -- Tlatocayotl and Hidalguia -- Original sin: -- Part II. Courtly government -- Viceroys and magnates -- Republic of Spaniards -- Republic of Indios -- Part III. "Another Jerusalem" -- Political ideals -- Constructing New Spain
Author: John F. Schwaller
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Release Date: 2014-05-23
The founding of la Villa Rica de la Veracruz (the rich town of the True Cross) is prominently mentioned in histories of the conquest of Mexico, but scant primary documentation of the provocative act exists. During a research session at the Spanish archives, when John Schwaller discovered an early-sixteenth-century letter from Veracruz signed by the members of Cortés's company, he knew he had found a trove of historical details. Providing an accessible, accurate translation of this pivotal correspondence, along with in-depth examinations of its context and significance, The First Letter from New Spain gives all readers access to the first document written from the mainland of North America by any European, and the only surviving original document from the first months of the conquest. The timing of Cortés's Good Friday landing, immediately before the initial assault on the Aztec Empire, enhances the significance of this work. Though the expedition was conducted under the authority of Diego Velázquez, governor of Cuba, the letter reflects an attempt to break ties with Velázquez and form a strategic alliance with Carlos V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. Brimming with details about the events surrounding Veracruz's inception and accompanied by mini-biographies of 318 signers of the document—socially competitive men who risked charges of treason by renouncing Velázquez—The First Letter from New Spain gives evidence of entrepreneurship and other overlooked traits that fueled the conquest.
Author: Bernal Diaz del Castillo
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
Release Date: 2012-03-15
This rugged new translation--the first entirely new English translation in half a century and the only one based on the most recent critical edition of the Guatemalan MS--allows Diaz to recount, in his own battle-weary and often cynical voice, the achievements, stratagems, and frequent cruelty of Hernando Cortes and his men as they set out to overthrow Moctezuma's Aztec kingdom and establish a Spanish empire in the New World. The concise contextual introduction to this volume traces the origins, history, and methods of the Spanish enterprise in the Americas; it also discusses the nature of the conflict between the Spanish and the Aztecs in Mexico, and compares Diaz's version of events to those of other contemporary chroniclers. Editorial glosses summarize omitted portions, and substantial footnotes explain those terms, names, and cultural references in Diaz's text that may be unfamiliar to modern readers. A chronology of the Conquest is included, as are a guide to major figures, a select bibliography, and three maps.
Author: Stanley M. Hordes
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2005-08-30
In 1981, while working as New Mexico State Historian, Stanley M. Hordes began to hear stories of Hispanos who lit candles on Friday night and abstained from eating pork. Puzzling over the matter, Hordes realized that these practices might very well have been passed down through the centuries from early crypto-Jewish settlers in New Spain. After extensive research and hundreds of interviews, Hordes concluded that there was, in New Mexico and the Southwest, a Sephardic legacy derived from the converso community of Spanish Jews. In To the End of the Earth, Hordes explores the remarkable story of crypto-Jews and the tenuous preservation of Jewish rituals and traditions in Mexico and New Mexico over the past five hundred years. He follows the crypto-Jews from their Jewish origins in medieval Spain and Portugal to their efforts to escape persecution by migrating to the New World and settling in the far reaches of the northern Mexican frontier. Drawing on individual biographies (including those of colonial officials accused of secretly practicing Judaism), family histories, Inquisition records, letters, and other primary sources, Hordes provides a richly detailed account of the economic, social and religious lives of crypto-Jews during the colonial period and after the annexation of New Mexico by the United States in 1846. While the American government offered more religious freedom than had the Spanish colonial rulers, cultural assimilation into Anglo-American society weakened many elements of the crypto-Jewish tradition. Hordes concludes with a discussion of the reemergence of crypto-Jewish culture and the reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Hispano community in the late twentieth century. He examines the publicity surrounding the rediscovery of the crypto-Jewish community and explores the challenges inherent in a study that attempts to reconstruct the history of a people who tried to leave no documentary record.
An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus's journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history Born at a time when Christianity was dying out and the Ottoman Empire was aggressively expanding, Isabella was inspired in her youth by tales of Joan of Arc, a devout young woman who unified her people and led them to victory against foreign invaders. In 1474, when most women were almost powerless, twenty-three-year-old Isabella defied a hostile brother and a mercurial husband to seize control of Castile and León. Her subsequent feats were legendary. She ended a twenty-four-generation struggle between Muslims and Christians, forcing North African invaders back over the Mediterranean Sea. She laid the foundation for a unified Spain. She sponsored Columbus's trip to the Indies and negotiated Spanish control over much of the New World with the help of Rodrigo Borgia, the infamous Pope Alexander VI. She also annihilated all who stood against her by establishing a bloody religious Inquisition that would darken Spain's reputation for centuries. Whether saintly or satanic, no female leader has done more to shape our modern world, in which millions of people in two hemispheres speak Spanish and practice Catholicism. Yet history has all but forgotten Isabella's influence, due to hundreds of years of misreporting that often attributed her accomplishments to Ferdinand, the bold and philandering husband she adored. Using new scholarship, Downey's luminous biography tells the story of this brilliant, fervent, forgotten woman, the faith that propelled her through life, and the land of ancient conflicts and intrigue she brought under her command. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: David E. Whisnant
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Release Date: 2000-11-09
David Whisnant provides a comprehensive analysis of the dynamic relationship between culture, power, and policy in Nicaragua over the last 450 years. Spanning a broad spectrum of popular and traditional expressive forms--including literature, music, film, and broadcast media--the book explores the evolution of Nicaraguan culture, its manipulation for political purposes, and the opposition to cultural policy by a variety of marginalized social and regional groups. Within the historical narrative of cultural change over time, Whisnant skillfully discusses important case studies of Nicaraguan cultural politics: the consequences of the unauthorized removal of archaeological treasures from the country in the nineteenth century; the perennial attempts by political factions to capitalize on the reputation of two venerated cultural figures, poet Ruben Dario and rebel General Augusto C. Sandino; and the ongoing struggle by Nicaraguan women for liberation from traditional gender relations. Originally published in 1995. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Author: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Publisher: UNM Press
Release Date: 1983
Cabeza de Vaca came to the New world in 1527 as part of a Spanish expedition to conquer the region north of the Gulf of Mexico. His exploration party lost contact with their ships, set out northward on foot, and traveled, their numbers soon reduced from 300 to 4, across Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico for the next eight years. In addition to being one of the great true adventure stories of all time, Cabeza de Vaca's account of their travels is an unparalleled source of firsthand information on the pre-European Southwest--the variety of its climate, its flora and fauna, the customs of its natives. They were the first to see the opossum and the buffalo, the Mississippi and the Pecos, pine-nut mash and mesquite-bean flour. This book contains the first description in literature of a West Indies Hurricane. "Cabeza de Vaca was not only a physical trailblazer: he was also a literary pioneer, and he deserves the distinction of being called the Southwest's first writer....The Relación, while not fiction, possesses most of the attributes of a good novel."--William T. Pilkington