CENTURY LATIN AMERICA
FRONTIERS IN NORTH AND LATIN AMERICA
Late colonial “reform”
If think back to when we left off with Spanish empire, some broad similarities in
conditions across empire, because laws etc. set in Spain
Indians separate from whites, own communities
fades out; Indians more burdened by tribute to state and church
Indians developed coping mechanisms:
-local community the unit of solidarity
-set of institutions developed: folk Catholicism; syncretism; hierarchy of offices
Things got worse in 18
century, largely because colonialism got more efficient, esp.
with Bourbons, dynasty after 1713
Famous for “reforms”.
Tighten up system.
Throw out Jesuits, too independent minded.
Take much of their property.
Local militias to counterbalance royal army.
Get economy going after long slump.
What were the results?:
-Rule much more direct. Indians now reported to a
-More efficient, less leeway.
-Took control of local funds.
-Funds go less to local needs.
Bishops and secular leaders siphoning off,
esp. with funds that went to things hard to defend, like fiestas, even though they
were important for community solidarity.
Also Indian communities being pressed. Haciendas surrounding. Indian population
Independence from Spain
If late colonial period worse, often even worse with independence from Spain.
Huge historical change, cannot cover in depth here.
Complex causes: influences from abroad, like North American rebellion, European
Even more disaffection of Creoles, i.e. American-born Spanish.
Napoleonic wars in Spain.
Complicated changes, loss of loyalty.
Encouraged rebellion in Americas.
What did it mean for Indians?
Indians sometimes participated in independence
movements, sometimes not.
It was an exciting period for Indians, possibility of improvement in their lives.
But things went back and forth: tribute payments abolished 1811, reinstated 1814,
abolished again 1820.
New world revolts often pretty conservative, and even when not, sometimes meant
strengthening of power over Indians.
Indians participated in first great movement in Mexico, 1810, under Father Martín
Hidalgo, but failed.
Creoles frightened by popular power.