Essay on Spaniards in the Colonial Empire: Creoles vs. Peninsulars?

Essay on Spaniards in the Colonial Empire: Creoles vs. Peninsulars?

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In Spaniards in the Colonial Empire, Burkholder discusses the differences between peninsulars and creoles. He argues that life in Spanish America since the arrival of Columbus 1492 up until its independence was characterized by the inequality of creoles: persons of Spanish blood born in America, versus the favored status held by peninsulars: persons born in Spain. Travel to the Indies was driven by a desire for wealth accumulation. Rivalries between creoles and peninsulars began in the church, which was a major source of employment and revenue during colonial times. Age requirements for creoles were higher than those for peninsulars and available positions were more frequently given to the former. Women electing to join convents were granted entry based on racial and socioeconomic factors proving their limpieza de sangre. Native daughters, children of peninsulars that were taken to Spanish America at a young age, often married peninsular men and vice-versa, typically for status because peninsulars held power and wealth. This limited the movement of upward mobility sought by lower classes because power and wealth were held among peninsulars.
Burkholder goes on to explain that after cities had been established with the creation of schools, churches, governmental offices, and a military, the crown would send peninsulars to America and place them in positions of higher rank. This ensured loyalty to the crown and made way for further dissent among creoles. America-born Spaniards had several advantages compared to peninsulars. They were more educated, having spent more time in school. Also, they were knowledgeable in the indigenous language which allowed for improved communication with the indigenous people. Another factor...


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...ore ineffective than otherwise. It took several weeks to travel to and from America and the fact that people didn’t question the crowns authority because of these numerous factors causes me to question the book and sources altogether. Peninsular placements of offices creoles deserved led to governmental corruption and an inability to rule righteously. Creoles did more than just question the establishment of peninsulars in offices meant for creoles, they argued their case time and time again, stating that they had knowledge of the indigenous language(s), familiarity of the landscape, and were more educated. Spain disregarded creoles and native sons and once the latter grew tired of submitting to the Spanish monarchy, it fought back.


Works Cited

Burkholder, Mark A. Spaniards in the Colonial Empire: Creoles vs. Peninsulars? Wiley-Blackwell: United Kingdom, 2013.

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