HIS 346K • Colonial Latin America
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the social, cultural, economic, and political development of colonial Spanish America between 1492 and 1821. Spanish imperial control over its American colonies lasted for three hundred years. How do we explain the longevity of Spanish control? When the Spanish American colonists fought for their independence why did the insurgent movements occur in the early nineteenth century and not before? Between Spanish invasion, conquest, and eventual loss of empire, what kind of societies were created in Spanish America? We will pay close attention to the interrelationships between ethnic groups - Spaniards, indigenous peoples, and African populations - and how these relationships affect the shaping of Spanish colonial rule. Other key topics which we will explore include the impact of Spanish conquest and colonialism on gender relations and shaping of racial hierarchies, the roles of the Church as both complicit in colonialism but also as a voice of criticism and dissent, the impact of the New World on European understandings of humanity and the world, the formation of colonial economies, and the shaping of local patriotic identities.