A History of Colonial Latin America from First Encounters to Independence is a concise and accessible volume that presents the history of the Iberian presence in the Americas, from the era of exploration and conquest to the disruption and instability following independence.
This history of the Iberian presence in the Americas contains stories of curiosity, vision, courage, missed communication, miscalculation, insatiability, prejudice, and native collaboration and resistance. Beginning in 1492, Ramirez establishes the context for the era of exploration and conquest that follows. The book then surveys the activities of Cortes and Pizarro and the impact on native peoples, Portuguese activity on the eastern coast of South America, the demographic collapse of the native population, the role of the Catholic Church, and new policy initiatives of the Bourbons who inherited the throne in 1700. The narrative involves Spaniards, Native Americans of innumerable ethnic groups, Moorish, native, and black slaves, and a whole new category of people of mixed blood, collectively known as the castas, acting in the steamy tropics of the lowlands, marching across parched deserts, trekking to oxygen-low mountain summits, and settling all the ecological niches in between.
The book includes important primary documents and maps to provide students with even more context to this important part of Latin American history. It will be of interest to students and scholars of Latin American history and culture.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Encounter 1. 1492 – The Enterprise of the Indies 2. Encounters of a New Kind: Cortes’ Triumphs over the Mexica or Aztecs 3. Pizarro and the Inca Atahualpa in Cajamarca and Its Aftermath Part II: The Hapsburg Centuries 4. The Construction of Power 5. The Economic Bases of Colonialism 6. The Contours of Colonial Society Part III: The Consequences of Top-Down Change 7. The Bourbon Era 8. Independence Part IX: Portuguese America 9. Brazil Part X: Documents
Susan Elizabeth Ramírez holds the Neville G. Penrose Endowed Chair of History and Latin American Studies at Texas Christian University, USA. Her research focuses on land tenure and Indigenous peoples during the colonial era.