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Author MacLachlan, Colin M., author.

Title Imperialism and the origins of Mexican culture / Colin M. MacLachlan
Published Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, [2015]
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (340 pages) : map
Contents Introduction -- Mesoamerican civilizations : the evolution of Mesoamerica -- The formation of Euro-Spanish culture : Iberia enters history -- Moors and Christians : a fateful encounter -- Creating mestizo Mexico : the philosophical challenge of America -- Conclusion
Summary "This is a wide-ranging interpretive history of two imperialisms--Indian Mesoamerica and Old World Spain leading to New Spain (Mexico today, though New Spain of course covered a significant portion of what is now the United States)--and how mestizo culture was created when the two collided in the sixteenth century. Colin MacLachlan traces the long history of each empire, from tribal origins to vast political entities that spread far beyond their borders, encompassing and absorbing other cultures. Each empire, with justification, believed itself to be the carrier of a great civilization. The peoples of the two civilizations turned to a religious framework to understand their existence, organize life at all levels, and legitimize their land and rule. The author argues that when the Spanish conquerors arrived in the New World, Mesoamerica was at a critical turning point, on the verge of developing a feudal society not unlike the one that developed in Europe. The destruction of Tenochtitl√°n, the discrediting of the indigenous gods, and the onslaught of epidemic diseases allowed the Spanish, in a relatively short time, to establish not only physical but also psychological control across Mesoamerica, where the ruling Aztecs concluded that their gods had deserted them. By putting in place a Christian paradigm, Spain radically reoriented Indo-Mexico's historical trajectory. The various elements of pre-Spanish Indo-Mexico had to be fitted with those of a Castile just emerging from the Reconquista, with the fall of Granada in 1492. Christianity was foundational to Spain's imperial identity at the time, and was exported to New Spain. Full Christianization failed from a doctrinal standpoint, though it succeeded in disrupting the belief system"--Provided by the publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Imperialism.
Indians of Mexico.
Mestizos -- Mexico.
HISTORY -- Europe -- Spain & Portugal.
HISTORY -- Latin America -- Mexico.
Indians of Mexico.
Mexico -- History -- To 1810.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2014039140
ISBN 0674286413