Readings in Hispanic American History

Readings in Hispanic American History

Readings in Hispanic American History

Readings in Hispanic American History

Excerpt

One of the strangest things in the world, yet, after all, one of the most natural, is the sureness with which Time drives his bargains and forces an interest in historical movements. Who would have had the rashness, even as late as a quarter of a century ago, to predict the present widespread interest in the United States in the history of the Hispanic American countries? Of course it would be an exaggeration to assert that interest in those countries is an entirely new thing, for most decidedly it is not. But that interest was of the few rather than of the many. Few students, a comparatively short while ago, thought of majoring in the history of the lands south of the Anglo-Saxon republic. Today it is a commonplace. Not only has the history of Hispanic America become a main study, but in ever-increasing proportion men and women are making its teaching their life work.

It is easy to account for this deepening of interest. It has come about through the rapid development during the last fifty years of the Hispanic American countries. The old interest in Hispanic America was in large measure dependent on its European beginnings and background. Now, while these European beginnings are even more intensively studied than formerly, we are led to that study rather because of the Hispanic American countries themselves. That is to say, those countries have themselves become entities. The European expression has become subordinated to the American expression.

During the period when Hispanic American patriots were struggling in the field and in parliamentary halls for their independence, statesmen and politicians in the United States, as well as the people at large (if these last thought about the matter . . .

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