Loading...

HIST221: Colonial Latin and South America

Unit 6: Trans-Atlantic Empires   Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas formed part of a broader global empire administered by the Spanish and Portuguese states.  Consequently, wars and political conflicts in Europe often had a significant impact on political and economic life in the colonies.  During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Hapsburg monarchy controlled Spain and expanded its military and political influence throughout much of western and central Europe.  Gold and silver production in the colonies funded Spanish military victories and provided ample financial resources for the Spanish state.  By the end of the 17th century, though, a series of weak Hapsburg rulers and poor management of the royal treasury had brought Spain to the brink of political collapse.  The War of Spanish Succession ended Hapsburg control of Spain and brought the French Bourbon family to the Spanish throne.  Bourbon rulers instituted a number of major political and economic reforms in the colonies in an attempt to restore colonial stability and profitability.  Despite these efforts, Spanish colonies faced increasing military threats from English and Dutch settlements in the Americas over the course of the 18th century.  In this unit, we will examine how the transition from Hapsburg to Bourbon rule in Spain altered political, economic, and social life in Spain’s colonies.  We will also look at the political relationship between Spain and Portugal and discuss how this relationship shaped colonization and settlement patterns in Brazil.  Finally, we will discuss how Spanish and Portuguese colonies fit into the broader Atlantic World economy at the end of the 18th century.     

Unit 6 Time Advisory
Time Estimate: This unit will take you 10.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 3 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Assess the status of Latin and South American colonies in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires of the 17th and 18th centuries. - Identity how European conflicts affected political and economic life in the colonies, in particular the War of Spanish Succession, and the rise of the Bourbon monarchy in Spain. - Describe and analyze the increment in English, French, and Dutch challenges to the Spanish mercantile power. 

6.1 The Hapsburg Empire in the 16th and 17th Centuries   6.1.1 The Reign of Charles V (Charles I of Spain)   - Lecture: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “Hapsburg Rule in Spain” Link: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “Hapsburg Rule in Spain” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please listen to or watch the entirety of the lecture (12 minutes), which details the Hapsburgs’ rule of Spain and explores Spain’s growing problems in the midst of its expanding empire.  It also addresses the increasing European (British, Dutch, and French) incursions.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Philip II Expands Spanish Domination   - Reading: Southern Methodist University, Peter Bakewell’s transcription of “The City of Nombre de Dios to the Crown, May 14, 1573” Link: Southern Methodist University, Peter Bakewell’s transcription of “The City of Nombre de Dios to the Crown, May 14, 1573” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this text in its entirety.  In this letter from the municipal council of Nombre de Dios, a Spanish city on the Atlantic coast of Panama, to King Phillip II of Spain, city leaders complain about a raid by English and French pirates of the town’s gold and silver reserves.  They note that the pirates stole over two million pesos worth of gold and silver from the royal treasury and killed 300 persons during the raid.  They ask Phillip to send military reinforcements to their community so that they will be able to resist any future assaults.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.3 Spanish Power in Europe and the Americas  

  • Reading: I.E.S. Isaac Albéniz: “The Empire where the sun never sets: Philip II” Link: I.E.S. Isaac Albéniz: “The Empire where the sun never sets: Philip II” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link for the text “The Empire where the sun never sets: Philip II” and download the PDF.  Read the document in its entirety, paying special attention to the information on the administration of the empire.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.4 Decline of Spain at the End of the 17th Century   - Reading: University of Wisconsin Madison: Professor Johann P. Sommerville's “The Decline of Spain” Link: University of Wisconsin Madison: Professor Johann P. Sommerville's “The Decline of Spain” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page in its entirety. Professor Sommerville offers a very concise review of the main social, economic, intellectual, religious, cultural, and political causes for Spain’s decline.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2 The Bourbon Empire   6.2.1 War of Spanish Succession   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Eric Solsten’s (ed.) Spain: A Country Study: “Bourbon Spain” and “War of the Spanish Succession” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Eric Solsten’s (ed.) Spain: A Country Study: “Bourbon Spain”(HTML) and “War of the Spanish Succession” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of these two pages.  Pay special attention to how the Spanish Succession affected the American colonies.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
           
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.2 Rise of the Bourbon Monarchy in Spain   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Eric Solsten’s (ed.) Spain: A Country Study: “The Enlightenment” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Eric Solsten’s (ed.) Spain: A Country Study: “The Enlightenment” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this page to gain an understanding of how the reforms brought by the Enlightenment affected Spain.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
           
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.3 The Bourbons and the American Empire   - Lecture: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “Bourbon Reforms–New Administrative Approaches” Link: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk's “Bourbon Reforms–New Administrative Approaches” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please listen to or watch the entirety of the lecture (approximately 45 minutes).  Professor Volk looks at the 18th century reforms in colonial Spanish America. He also discusses how this reforms, which were designed to allow the Spanish monarchy a greater control over the colonies, backfired and created a more self-conscious criollo class and increased criollo resentments.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.2.4 Imperial Control and Rebellion   - Lecture: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk: “The Great Rebellions of the Andes, 1720-1790” Link: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk: “The Great Rebellions of the Andes, 1720-1790” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please listen to or watch the entirety of the lecture (approximately 25 minutes).  Professor Volk discusses the two most important 18th century revolts in the Andes: the 1742-1752 uprising by Juan Santos Atahualpa, and the 1780-1782 Tupac Amaru II revolts.
 
Note on the Lecture: This video lecture is authored by Professor Steven Volk, Director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at University of Missouri.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3 Portugal and Brazil   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “The Indigenous Population” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “The Indigenous Population” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this excerpt in order to get a sense of the indigenous peoples who made Brazil their home before the Portuguese invasion.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Frontier Expansion that Shaped Brazil” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study:Frontier Expansion that Shaped Brazil” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage in order to learn about Portugal’s early exploration of Brazil.
     
    This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.1 Portuguese Settlements   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “Early Colonization” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study:Early Colonization” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the whole excerpt in order to get a sense of early contact between indigenous peoples and the Portuguese settlers.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.2 Spanish and Portuguese Alliances and Conflicts in Brazil   - Reading: Stanford University: G.O.M. Jameson's “A Short History of Spain and Portugal” Link: Stanford University: G.O.M. Jameson's “A Short History of Spain and Portugal” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please download the PDF lecture titled “A Short History of Spain and Portugal,” and read chapters 9 (“Spain’s ‘Golden Age’ (the 16th Century): The Union with Portugal”) and 10 (“The Decline of Spain: Portugal Recovers her Independence”) in their entirety.  The “Iberian Union” of the crowns of Portugal and Spain led to a diversion of wealth from Portugal by the Habsburg monarchy to help support the Catholic side of the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), although Portugal did benefit from Spanish military power in helping to retain Brazil and in disrupting Dutch trade.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.3.3 Consolidating Control   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “French and Dutch Incursions” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: Rex A. Hudson’s (ed.) Brazil: A Country Study: “French and Dutch Incursions” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage, which explains how Portugal fended off military and commercial threats from the Dutch and French in Brazil.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.4 Iberian Colonies in an Atlantic World   6.4.1 English, French, and Dutch Challenges to Spanish Mercantile Power   - Reading: Elizabethan-era.org: Linda Alchin’s “Famous Pirates” Link: Elizabethan-era.org: Linda Alchin’s “Famous Pirates” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page and the links embedded in their entirety. Pay special attention to the differentiation between pirates and privateers.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.4.2 The Slave Trade in the Americas   - Reading: Liverpool Museums’ International Slavery Museum: “Arrival in the Americas” Link: Liverpool Museums’ International Slavery Museum: “Arrival in the Americas” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this article for a brief overview of what happened to enslaved Africans once they arrived in the New World.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Liverpool Museums: Dr. Marcus Rediker’s “The Floating Dungeon: A History of a Slave Ship” Link: Liverpool Museums: Dr. Marcus Rediker’s “The Floating Dungeon: A History of a Slave Ship” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Also available in:

    HTML

    Mp3
     
    Instructions: Please listen to and read the transcript of Dr. Rediker’s lecture, which will give you a detailed portrait of life and death on board a slave ship.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Arizona State University History Department’s “The Slave Trade, Part 1” Link: iTunes U: Arizona State University History Department’s The Slave Trade Part 1 (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please listen to the entire audio lecture using iTunes U.
     
    In this lecture, an An Arizona State University History professor discusses the origins and development of the transatlantic slave trade.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Emory University: Digital Library Research Initiative’s “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database Voyages”: “Introductory Maps” Link: Emory University: Digital Library Research Initiative’s “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database Voyages”: “Introductory Maps” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please study these nine maps, and make sure to read their descriptions in their entirety.  These maps were first published in David Eltis and David Richardson’s Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Yale University Press: New Haven, 2010).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.4.3 Incursions on the Periphery   - Reading: Library of Congress Country Studies: “The Dutch Settle in Guyana” and “British Take Over” Link: Library of Congress Country Studies: “The Dutch Settle in Guyana”(HTML) and “British Take Over” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read these texts in their entirety.  Dutch Guiana–also known as Dutch Guyana–was created by the Dutch West India Company, and consisted of the land between the Orinoco and Amazon rivers.
 
This website contains electronic texts of previous publications printed by the Library of Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army from 1986-1998.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.4.4 The Colonies at the End of the 18th Century   - Web Media: Bronx Community College: Digital Library Initiative’s “eHerodotus”: “Spanish and Portuguese Settlements in America at the end of the 18th Century” Link: Bronx Community College: Digital Library Initiative’s “eHerodotus”: “Spanish and Portuguese Settlements in America at the end of the 18th Century” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please study this map, which shows the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the American continent at the end of the 18th century, and compare it to the inset showing the political boundaries after the revolutions.  This map was first published in Sir Adolphus William Ward, et al., ed.’s The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (Cambridge University Press: New Haven, 1912).
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.