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th CENTURY LATIN AMERICA FRONTIERS IN NORTH AND LATIN AMERICA (4/08/04) 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 Encomienda 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 th 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 local Spaniard. -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 growing. 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 enlightenment. 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.
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Liberal reforms New independent governments impoverished. Had to get funds. So ended special rights as well as duties for Indians. Sold off Indian brotherhood lands, and collective Indian lands, declared them vacant. Encouraged plantations, haciendas. Often looked to Northern Europe for inspiration: cult of progress, science, development. Chaotic, back and forth. Sometimes breathing space for Indians. In 1870s esp., many Latin American governments abolished collective landholding, parceled out Indian lands individually. Sometimes Indians effectively participated in redistribution and kept lands individually. Liberals genuinely believed in change, but often redistribution was pretext to screw them out of their land. Indians had new challenges.
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course ARCH 4.401 taught by Professor Utemetabauer during the Fall '06 term at MIT.

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