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Unformatted text preview: n and Pierre Yared (2005)
“From Education to Democracy?” American Economic Review, 95, 44-49. Latin America
Large amount of information about literacy of conquistadors.
James Lockhart (1972) The Men of Cajamarca provides a detailed
analysis of those who accompanied Pizzaro. 76.6% could sign their
name (this is the basic test for literacy in the pre-modern world) other
information suggests that 53% of them could de…nitely read and
Colombian historian José Ignacio Avellaneda in a series of books
(starting with (1990) Los Compañeros de Federmann. Cofundadores
de Santa Fe de Bogotá) examined the conquistadors in 5 di¤erent
expeditions to New Grenada (Colombia). Average literacy was 78%.
Much other evidence consistent with this. Literacy in Spain was
lower, around 50%. But (a) conquistadors mostly came from urban
areas, Castille and Andalucía which had higher literacy, (b) many
were hidalgos, second and third sons of nobles who could not inherit
land under Spanish law. Preponderance of these people and those
with trades and pr...
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