LAS 366 • CONQUEST/COLONIALISM MEX & PERU
1:00 PM-2:00 PM
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the problems of the co-existence of Spaniards and Indians in Spanish America in the aftermath of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and Peru. What type of society was created, and how did it change over three hundred years of Spanish rule? This course explores the "conquest' of Mexico and Peru, and the social, cultural, political, and economic processes which were set in motion by the Spanish invasion of the indigenous empires of the Aztecs and the Incas. We will examine primary accounts of conquest and the recent historical literature which seeks to understand the complexities of conquest and the formation of colonial society. How do we account for the Spanish military victory and for the consolidation of Spanish power in these regions? What roles do the Catholic Church, Spanish settlers, and indigenous elites play in the consolidation of colonialism? In what ways is indigenous society (political structures and power relationships, gender relations, economic organization, religious practices and beliefs, etc.) affected by conquest? How do the post-conquest indigenous societies of Peru and Mexico differ in their responses to Spanish conquest? The conquest of Mexico and Peru had global repercussions, not only in economic terms but also in cultural and intellectual terms. How did Spanish discovery of unknown peoples and places affect thinking about humanity and the world? Particular attention will be paid to the question of what primary sources (written and visual) are available to historians and how they use them to reconstruct the cultural, social, economic and political changes generated by Spanish conquest and imperial expansion. Class assignments include weekly written reviews of assigned readings, analysis of selected primary sources, and a final analytical review essay. A knowledge of Spanish is preferred but not mandatory.