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Contested Ground: Comparative Frontiers on the Northern and Southern Edges of the Spanish Empire (Southwest Center Series) Paperback – April 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

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"An anthology that gives readers a whole that is much greater than the sum of its uniformly excellent parts. Taken together, these essays not only present a carefully nuanced overview of the similarities and contrasts between these outer reaches of the Spanish empire but they also suggest stimulating new avenues of empirical research and theoretical inquiry." —New Mexico Historical Review"Fascinating essays . . . a healthy counterpoint to the Turnerian frontier thesis." —Western Historical Quarterly"A model of comparative history which will do much to advance the new teaching and research field of Latin American frontiers and borderlands." —The Americas"Specialists in either 'frontier' will learn much about the other from these excellent comparative histories." —Pacific Historical Review

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The Spanish empire in the Americas spanned two continents and a vast diversity of peoples and landscapes. Yet intriguing parallels characterized conquest, colonization, and indigenous resistance along its northern and southern frontiers, from the role played by Jesuit missions in the subjugation of native peoples to the emergence of livestock industries, with their attendant cowboys and gauchos and threats of Indian raids. In this book, nine historians, three anthropologists, and one sociologist compare and contrast these fringes of New Spain between 1500 and 1880, showing that in each region the frontier represented contested ground where different cultures and polities clashed in ways heretofore little understood. The contributors reveal similarities in Indian-white relations, military policy, economic development, and social structure; and they show differences in instances such as the emergence of a major urban center in the south and the activities of rival powers. The authors also show how ecological and historical differences between the northern and southern frontiers produced intellectual differences as well. In North America, the frontier came to be viewed as a land of opportunity and a crucible of democracy; in the south, it was considered a spawning ground of barbarism and despotism. By exploring issues of ethnicity and gender as well as the different facets of indigenous resistance, both violent and nonviolent, these essays point up both the vitality and the volatility of the frontier as a place where power was constantly being contested and negotiated.
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Product Details

  • Series: Southwest Center Series
  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816518602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816518609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,812,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This book should become a major contribution to Latin American studies, because it provides fresh perspectives on topics we'd thought we already knew well. It does so by relating Latin America to vital issues in history, notably recent research on frontier history, "the new Western history," & themes of race, class & gender. The chapter by Susan Socolow, discussing Argentine frontier women & thus engendering the history of the gauchos, is particularly strong, but so are most of the others. One drawback is that coverage is largely limited to the far margins of Spanish America (northern Mexico & Rio de la Plata regions), when there is plenty of work to do on the frontiers of core areas of Spain's New World empire, e.g. Peru & Bolivia. (There is some fine material on Brazil, but the book's main emphasis is on Spanish America.) Nevertheless, this work definitely advances understanding of important aspects of Latin American history.
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Format: Paperback
This book should become a major contribution to Latin American studies, because it provides fresh perspectives on topics we'd thought we already knew well. It does so by relating Latin America to vital issues in history, notably recent research on frontier history, "the new Western history," & themes of race, class & gender. The chapter by Susan Socolow, discussing Argentine frontier women & thus engendering the history of the gauchos, is particularly strong, but so are most of the others. One drawback is that coverage is largely limited to the far margins of Spanish America (northern Mexico & Rio de la Plata regions), when there is plenty of work to do on the frontiers of core areas of Spain's New World empire, e.g. Peru & Bolivia. (There is some fine material on Brazil, but the book's main emphasis is on Spanish America.) Nevertheless, this work definitely advances understanding of important aspects of Latin American history.
1 Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book should become a major contribution to Latin American studies, because it provides fresh perspectives on topics we'd thought we already knew well. It does so by relating Latin America to vital issues in history, notably recent research on frontier history, "the new Western history," & themes of race, class & gender. The chapter by Susan Socolow, discussing Argentine frontier women & thus engendering the history of the gauchos, is particularly strong, but so are most of the others. One drawback is that coverage is largely limited to the far margins of Spanish America (northern Mexico & Rio de la Plata regions), when there is plenty of work to do on the frontiers of core areas of Spain's New World empire, e.g. Peru & Bolivia. (There is some fine material on Brazil, but the book's main emphasis is on Spanish America.) Nevertheless, this work definitely advances understanding of important aspects of Latin American history.
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