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Week 2 Notes

by: Lily Taffet

Week 2 Notes LAST1010-03

Lily Taffet

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Encounter Pre Columbian Latin America and European Colonization
Introduction to Latin American Culture
Amy Medvick
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lily Taffet on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LAST1010-03 at Tulane University taught by Amy Medvick in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Latin American Culture in Latin american studies at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
9/5/16 Unit 1: Encounter Pre Colombian Latin America The concept of “Race”  Race is a social construct  Europeans did not colonize/enslave people because they were a different “race” because back then the idea of “race” didn’t exist yet when (Latin) American colonization and the enslavement of Africans began o What existed was a slave trade, which already existed in Africa. Africans enslaved other Africans. Even same “races” were enslaving each other. The system of slavery that got established in the America was familiar in Africa and Europe. It had very little to do with Race. Elite Europeans established strong relationships and collaborated with Elite Africans in order to obtain slaves. o As people began to question the ethics of the slave trade, they realized their economies depended on it so they couldn’t get rid of it. So they had to justify it. So then they began to look at race and say these people are inherently different, we can enslave them. o Both the people who benefited from the salve trade (European colonists) and those who did not (colonized/enslaved Native Americans, Africans) came to believe that racial categories were “natural”  Everyone came to except the idea of race. o Racial stereotypes vary greatly between different places o The idea of race has been such an important justification and basis on which people act. Therefore we cant be colored blind. WE just have to know it’s a social and culture category not a biological category. Indigenous Inhabitants of Latin America  Three basic modes of subsistence and social organization o Non-sedentary o Semi-sedentary o Fully sedentary Non sedentary  Small nomadic groups that move within a region  Follow resources from place to place  Hunter gatherers  Highly egalitarian social structures-wasn’t really a class hierarchy or gender roles  Low-impact on local environment. They had a very sustainable way fo life  Their numbers had to stay small in order to live with that relationship with the environment-“tribes”  Isolated populations with many different ethnic identifications and languages  Located along the Atlantic coast and southern cone of south America, in northern Mexico, and throughout the Caribbean islands Semi-Sedentary  Small groups  Hunt and gather but they have a few crops that they cultivate around their camp  They settled into an area and cultivated it for several years until soil was depleted (“slash and burn) and then they would move somewhere else  Often lived in forests because forests could really help nurture these crops  These groups would impact the environment for a time but after relocated the depleted area would be regenerated  We see social stratification or division along age, gender, and tribe. Still, we don’t see any social classes or empires.  Tupi of Amazon/Caribs of Antilles Fully Sedentary  We are fully sedentary  Depend entirely on agriculture and a domesticated lifestyle  You have to develop fertilizer to regenerate that soil  Composed of Large, complex, socially stratified societies featuring large cities and surrounding agricultural areas worked by peasant underclass. (city has a hierarchy-lower-class help city run while peasants offer resources for that city)  Cities are often ruled by a royal lineage with elaborate religious systems, which justified the social inequality/hierarchy.  Usually empires, which conquer large areas. Empires draw resources and power from these places  Located in central America, southern part of Mexico and the northwestern edge of South America  Inca Empire, Aztec Empire, and Mayan civilization  Few places were fully sedentary The indigenous during European Colonization  Settlement patterns had a huge impact on the processes of colonization in different areas of Latin America  In fully sedentary areas, colonists deposed previous imperial leaders and ruled the remaining populations themselves, using the people as labor forces. Easier for them to enslave here because they didn’t know where to run to. They were used to staying.  In Non-sedentary/semi-sedentary areas, indigenous groups were either pushed onto other unoccupied territories or aggressively pursued and exterminated by European colonizers o Attempts to enslave Natives were not successful and eventually abandoned. o This is because the natives were used to running so they just relocated. o European diseases also decimated these populations.  Responses to colonization were varied o A lot of natives resisted conquest through raids and ambushes. o Sometimes different Europeans and Native ethnic groups formed alliances because they had mutual enemies. They teamed together to aid each other in longstanding conflicts with other Europeans and Native Americans. o Sometimes (rarely) there was peaceful trade and cohabitation and sharing of resources.  Colonizers also employed many nonviolent ways to control regions o They sent missionaries and other educators to convince natives that Europeans culture and Christianity was the correct way to live. They guilted Natives to conform to their culture. o Many mail colonists took indigenous wives and mistresses (usually forcible). Problem is they would have all of these offspring with mixed loyalty. o They used trade. Indigenous demanded European goods o If you had mixed children they weren’t necessarily considered indigenous. Therefore this could foster loyalty to the Europeans Colonists. The Myth of Indigenous Caribbean Extinction  Dominant historical view is that native inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands were completely killed off by disease and violent conflict. Others will say that their population were greatly diminished and that the rest of them were assimilated and absorbed into other populations through interbreeding. They didn’t really belong to that native indigenous group at this point.  New activists are contesting this interpretation  They argue that partial descent is grounds for Native Status.  They also are arguing that cultural continuity as grounds for Native Status. If they have maintained a certain culture, then the DNA isn’t that important. This shared culture and values and beliefs should be grounds enough for Native Status.  How do we define Native Status? o Mode of subsistence (hunter-gathers, traditional farming methods) o Cultural practice (clothing, language, religion, art, and music) o DNA testing o Phonotypical appearance. o Personal identification o Etc.  Should the Jíbaro ethnic group in Puerto Rice be entitled to US government’s Federal benefits since Puerto Rico is an American possession? 9/8/16 European Colonization What makes colonization possible? Why did they participate when they benefited very little and often suffered very much?  Chasteen’s idea of hegemony-rule by consent, rather than by domination.  It’s a lot easier to control people if you can convince people to agree to let you control them.  They kind of come to accept their place  The people with power spread a certain cultural perspective about society works that justified that social hierarchy and when everyone is educated in such way, people believe that it makes sense and is inevitable. Political timeline of Iberian Peninsula  The territories of present day Spain and Portugal (collectively called Iberia) have been controlled by various powers throughout history. o 1 Carthaginians ruled o 2 ndRomans ruled o 3 Visigoths ruled (Christianized everyone) o 4 Moors ruled (practice Islam) (where in control for a long time) Reconquista  A process of resistance to Moorish rule by Christian kings who were ruling at a lower level and then overruled by the Moor’s in Spain and Portugal  The resistance started immediately  It was a slow process of gaining territory, pushing from the north of the peninsula to the south. Took 700 years.  Completed by Portugal in mid 1200’s and by Spain in 1492.  The Kingdom of Castile was the most powerful kingdom  Portugal managed to maintain its independence quicker. 1492  Completion of the Reconquista by Spain-got rid of the Moors  Also the year Christopher Columbus accidentally landed in the Americas o These new territories were “discovered” at a moment of political confidence and unity, especially for Spain. Why did European nations colonize the “New World”?  To spread Christianity  To gain power  To gain fortune  To obtain more land  Their culture encouraged exploration Types of Colonialism  Extractive or Exploitation colonialism: goal is to extract resources for the Colonial power (ex. Portugal, Spain, France)  Settler colonialism: goal is to populate colony with citizens of the Colonial nation.  Plantation colonialism: is always exploitative but may not involve large –scale settlement depending on the availability of indigenous labor or labor imported from a third location  Surrogate colonialism: settler colony in which most settlers do not come from the mainstream of the Colonial power  Internal colonialism: a colony like system of exploitation between areas or regions within a single nation state. Who carried out the process of Colonization in Latin America?  The initial explorers and people setting up these colonies were businessmen seeking trade (for personal financial interests) with minimal submit from the crown. The crown was more interested in trade routes with Asia, Africa, and Middle East.  Later European colonists included missionaries, settlers coming to start planation’s or mines (still very much for personal benefits), and people hoping to make a “fresh start” (often convicted criminals seeking to escape their reputation back home).  Early settlers also included many Iberian Jews seeking to escape the inquisition  Spanish, Portuguese and French Crowns only promoted the emigration of large numbers of their Catholics subjects to settle in their colonies after those colonies were well established by others (people who were acting out of individual interest). They wanted to make sure they could really start a life there. Colonial Geography  Colonization began in the Caribbean  Columbus first encountered an island which he named “Hispaniola” which is the location of present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic  Hispaniola and Cuba became centers of Spanish colonialism. Then Spain spread out to present day Mexico and Peru (unlike the Caribbean with indigenous nomadic groups, in Mexico and Peru they found very intricate well established giant cities and empires) (mining was main activity here).  Portuguese explorers landed in the northeastern part of Brazil and then expanded their territory  French possessed isolated “chunks” in and around the Caribbean (more focus on Africa) Colonial Economies  The exploitation or extractive stage included: o Traded with Natives for local materials (brazil wood) o Mined for precious metals and ores in present-day Mexico and Peru o Sugar plantations and Peru in Brazilians northeast. Colonial Labor  Mines required free/paid but harsh underpaid labor or slave labor (laborers were indigenous who usually came from really far areas)  Plantations used imported slave labor from Africa (indigenous people could have fleed)  Colonists employed free (there were a lot of free people of color who were able to accumulate a certain amount of power in their communitiessocial hierarchy of labor) or enslaves indigenous/African servants in their home instead of European servants  Europeans occupied administrative positions  Lower-status European settlers sometimes worked as artisans or in service positions. Colonial Social Structures  The Ecomienda system o Was used back during Reconquista to conquer remaining Moors o Conquistadores were rewarded with people-in the case of Latin America they were awarded with Native American people o Conquistadores were responsible for ruling, and Christianizing and “civilizing” their awarded people. But really they just used the indigenous people for labor  Spanish colonial officials were cultivating amicable relations with indigenous nobility. IF they could appease the local nobility and maintain good relationships, it was then easier to control the lower classes within that society. o Usually this meant intermarriage with Indigenous nobles.  Those subjected to encomienda weren’t the nobles but rather people who would have been considered lower class in their previous societies  In areas where non- and semi-sedentary people had lived, they were killed by war and disease, pushed into nearby areas not occupied by colonists, or kind of absorbed into the colonial population through intermarriage.  In both Spanish and Portuguese America, social structures eventually came to conform to similar hierarchies as those found in Europe (as well as those already found in Aztec and Incan Empires. (Complex hierarchical structures-even familiar to slaves coming from Africa). People were kind of accustomed to this social structures  Patriarchy: “the rule of the fathers” o Patriarchs (adult and usually older married men) had ultimate power o Husbands/fathers had power over the lives of their wives and children. Women in Colonial Latin America  Very few European woman or African woman came to Latin America  Most women in early Latin America were indigenous women  Colonists often took Indigenous women as wives or mistresses (not always voluntary for the women) (usually arranged marriage type of deals)  Later on as European and African women bean to arrive in Latin America, male colonists preferred to marry European women to strengthen their hierarchy o Still, they would take Indigenous and African mistresses (violently/forced usually) o Offspring form these unions were “Racially” mixed. This created an intricate racial hierarchy. o These unions between colonists and African/indigenous woman were at some points much more sanctioned.  High emphasis in European culture on sexual “honor” o A woman was supposed to protect that honor o If a woman didn’t protect her sexual “honor” it ruined their reputation. o This created an intense social and sexual hierarchy developed among women based on developing notions of race, social class, and sexuality.  View that non-white woman were more sexual.  Elite woman (descended or directly from Europe) were expected to marry and have children or become nuns. o Being a nun offered them the opportunity to get an education and gain independence o Lower-status women was expected to marry but also had to work outside the home o Enslaved women were often coerced into being a mistress. Sometimes they were allowed to marry among the indigenous/African population  Women resisted the restriction imposed upon them through “witchcraft”  They were often punished for their witchcraft in Witch Trials  Becoming a nun was viewed as the elite equivalent to this resistance. It was a way to adopt a role other a wife or a mother through religion and spirituality.


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