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

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

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

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.

Excerpt

SETTING THE STAGE

In this work, I will attempt to present a macrohistorical overview of Spanish America within the context of the Catholic Monarchy of Castile. Macrohistory is the study of the past, emphasizing the “big picture”—the great movements and interrelations of peoples, countries, ideas, economies, and civilizations. In effect, my book will place Spanish America’s historical evolution in a global perspective, which is only appropriate for a universal state such as Spain. Unfortunately, in a treatment such as this one, much detail is sacrificed as well as analysis in order to delineate the overall flow of events. Over the last fifty years, many particular monographic studies have appeared in academic publications; they cover almost every aspect of Spanish American history. The time has, therefore, arrived to stand back and take stock of what has been accomplished, then proceed to some major conclusions. It is my hope that this concise but insightful survey will show the way towards placing Spanish America in the mainstream of world history.

A general survey of so large a topic is, of course, built on the work of others, most of whom are greater scholars than the author. In order to give credit to my sources, I have listed every work consulted in the preparation of this manuscript. I have, however, dispensed with standard footnoting, because most of the ideas and facts incorporated in the book are well known to scholars and the learned public— much of the information is also of a general nature; I have cited author and date within the text. By the Sword and the Cross is a synthesis, relying primarily on secondary sources, but these in turn rest on primary research.

By the Sword and the Cross is also an ideological history in two senses. First, the historical development of Spanish America is studied primarily within the context of the Indies’ changing relationship to the Castilian metropolis. The evolution of Spain’s theory of empire, church-state relations, and the emergence of Creole . . .

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