By the Sword and the Cross: The Historical Evolution of the Catholic World Monarchy in Spain and the New World, 1492-1825

Synopsis

A concise overview of Spanish America during the colonial era (1492-1825), this study attempts a synthesis of Iberian and Latin American historical narratives within the context of world history. Spanish civilization was transferred to the Americas as Spain imposed its medieval Catholic culture upon the Americas successfully replacing the elite cultures of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas. Iberian culture became indigenous by way of cross-culturalization, and Creole elites found independence inevitable once their way of life became defined by American circumstances.

Truxillo places emphasis on the big picture through examination of broad developments such as the rise and fall of Pre-Columbian civilizations, Baroque culture in Latin America, and the role of the Enlightenment in Spanish American independence. He details the career of Tlacaelel, the conquest of Mexico, European rivalry in the New World, and the crisis of government in the post-independence period both in Spain and the New World. The study also discusses developments in the fields of cultural studies and World Systems in the context of the acculturation of indigenous peoples to Iberian norms and the evolution of the Seville-based system of trade. Further, it examines the process by which the Bourbon reforms alienated Spanish American elites and prepared the way for independence.