Here is an intriguing exploration of the ways in which the history of the Spanish Conquest has been misread and passed down to become popular knowledge of these events. The book offers a fresh account of the activities of the best-known conquistadors and explorers, including Columbus, Cort s, and Pizarro.Using a wide array of sources, historian Matthew Restall highlights seven key myths, uncovering the source of the inaccuracies and exploding the fallacies and misconceptions behind each myth. This vividly written and authoritative book shows, for instance, that native Americans did not take the conquistadors for gods and that small numbers of vastly outnumbered Spaniards did not bring down great empires with stunning rapidity. We discover that Columbus was correctly seen in his lifetime--and for decades after--as a briefly fortunate but unexceptional participant in efforts involving many southern Europeans. It was only much later that Columbus was portrayed as a great man who fought against the ignorance of his age to discover the new world. Another popular misconception--that the Conquistadors worked alone--is shattered by the revelation that vast numbers of black and native allies joined them in a conflict that pitted native Americans against each other. This and other factors, not the supposed superiority of the Spaniards, made conquests possible. The Conquest, Restall shows, was more complex--and more fascinating--than conventional histories have portrayed it. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest offers a richer and more nuanced account of a key event in the history of the Americas.
In 1625, Martin de Arana built six Atlantic warships for the Spanish crown. The author traces the ships from their construction through a decade of service, incorporating a history of Spain's Golden Age. This book was awarded the Spain and America in Quincentennial Year of Discovery prize.
Insightful and accessible, A Social History of Modern Spain is the first comprehensive social history of modern Spain in any language. Adrian Shubert analyzes the social development of Spain since 1800. He explores the social conflicts at the root of the Spanish Civil War and how that war and the subsequent changes from democracy to Franco and back again have shaped the social relations of the country. Paying equal attention to the rural and urban worlds and respecting the great regional diversity within Spain, Shubert draws a sophisticated picture of a country struggling with the problems posed by political, economic, and social change. He begins with an overview of the rural economy and the relationship of the people to the land, then moves on to an analysis of the work and social lives of the urban population. He then discusses the changing roles of the clergy, the military, and the various local government, community, and law enforcement officials. A Social History of Modern Spain concludes with an analysis of the dramatic political, economic, and social changes during the Franco regime and during the subsequent return to democracy.
Portugal was the pioneer of the transatlantic slave trade, the ruler of both Brazil and Angola -- the all time champions of that trade --, and one of the last western countries to decree the abolition of slaving institutions. Paradoxically, and in spite of the overwhelming number of works devoted to the problems of slavery produced in recent decades, little was known about the way Portugal dealt with the twilight of the age of slavery and, most of all, with abolitionism. This book offers the first study of the abolition of the Portuguese slave trade, covering the period from the end of the eighteenth century to the mid-1860s, and bringing to life a dark and silenced corner in the history of the odious commerce. Based on a thorough examination of Portuguese and British historical sources -- most of them never used before --, and on his awareness of the international scholarship in the field in which he writes, it investigates not only the Portuguese pro and anti-abolitionist attitudes but also the underlying ideologies, and whether and how those attitudes and ideologies changed over time and in the light of events in the political, economic and social spheres.
From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound. This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G. Payne draws on his half-century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present. Who were the first "Spaniards"? Is Spain a fully Western country? Was Spanish liberalism a failure? Examining Spain's unique role in the larger history of Western Europe, Payne reinterprets key aspects of the country's history.
Topics include Muslim culture in the peninsula, the Spanish monarchy, the empire, and the relationship between Spain and Portugal. Turning to the twentieth century, Payne discusses the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War. The book's final chapters focus on the Franco regime, the nature of Spanish fascism, and the special role of the military. Analyzing the figure of Franco himself, Payne seeks to explain why some Spaniards still regard him with respect, while many others view the late dictator with profound loathing.
Framed by reflections on the author's own formation as a Hispanist and his evaluation of the controversy about "historical memory" in contemporary Spain, this volume offers deeply informed insights into both the history and the historiography of a unique country.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
In the sixteenth century, the Spaniards became the first nation in history to have worldwide reach--across most of Europe to the Americas, the Philippines, and India. The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change--a time when Spain learned to rule the world.It was also a time of great turbulence and transition, which fueled an exceptional flourishing of art and literature and inspired new ideas about international law, merchant banking, and economic and social theory. Chronicling the lives and achievements of a cast of legendary characters--great soldiers like the Duke of Alba, artists and writers like El Greco, Vel zquez and Cervantes, and the powerful monarchs who ruled over them--Robert Goodwin delves into previously unrecorded sources to bring this tumultuous and exciting period to life. Spain is a revealing portrait of an empire at the height of its power and a world at the dawn of a new age.
It used to be said that the sun never set on the empire of the King of Spain. It was therefore appropriate that Emperor Charles V should have commissioned from Battista Agnese in 1543 a world map as a birthday present for his sixteen-year-old son, the future Philip II. This was the world as Charles V and his successors of the House of Austria knew it, a world crossed by the golden path of the treasure fleets that linked Spain to the riches of the Indies. It is this world, with Spain at its center, that forms the subject of this book. J.H. Elliott, the pre-eminent historian of early modern Spain and its world, originally published these essays in a variety of books and journals. They have here been grouped into four sections, each with an introduction outlining the circumstances in which they were written and offering additional reflections. The first section, on the American world, explores the links between Spain and its American possessions. The second section, "The European World," extends beyond the Castilian center of the Iberian peninsula and its Catalan periphery to embrace sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe as a whole. In "The World of the Court," the author looks at the character of the court of the Spanish Habsburgs and the perennially uneasy relationship between the world of political power and the world of arts and letters. The final section is devoted to the great historical question of the decline of Spain, a question that continues to resonate in the Anglo-American world of today.
"With all due respect to Orwell, Spain in Our Hearts should supplant Homage to Catalonia as the best introduction to the conflict written in English. A humane and moving book." -- ew Republic "Excellent and involving . . . What makes Hochschild's] book so intimate and moving is its human scale." --Dwight Garner, New York Times For three years in the 1930s, the world watched, riveted, as the Spanish Civil War became the battleground in a fight between freedom and fascism that would soon take on global proportions. Confronting a right-wing coup led by Francisco Franco and heavily aided by Hitler and Mussolini, volunteers flooded in to support Spain's democratic government. Among them were nearly three thousand Americans, called by their convictions to lend a hand in a brutal conflict their government wanted no part of. In Spain in Our Hearts, Adam Hochschild weaves together the stories of some dozen foreigners to reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war. Among them are a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman on her honeymoon whose experience in revolutionary Barcelona became the high point of her life, a pair of rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the fighting from opposite sides, and a widely admired American couple on the war's front lines whose inspiring, heartbreaking love story threads through this account. We still have many lessons to learn from this chapter in history, and Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best. "An unusually well-written narrative, full of telling detail and vignettes that capture great human drama." -- Wall Street Journal "After reading Hochschild's book, it's impossible to feel anything but admiration -- and awe." -- San Francisco Chronicle
Long viewed as Spain's "most Moorish city," Granada is now home to a growing Muslim population of Moroccan migrants and European converts to Islam. Mikaela H. Rogozen-Soltar examines how various residents of Granada mobilize historical narratives about the city's Muslim past in order to navigate tensions surrounding contemporary ethnic and religious pluralism. Focusing particular attention on the gendered, racial, and political dimensions of this new multiculturalism, Rogozen-Soltar explores how Muslim-themed tourism and Islamic cultural institutions coexist with anti-Muslim sentiments.
England and the Netherlands, Spain's imperial rivals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, imagined Spain as cruel and degenerate barbarians of la leyenda negra (the Black Legend), in league with the powers of "blackest darkness" and driven by "dark motives." In Spain's Long Shadow, Maria DeGuzman explores how this convenient demonization made its way into American culture - and proved essential to the construction of whiteness. DeGuzman's work reaches from the late eighteenth century - in the wake of the American Revolution - to the present. Surveying a broad range of texts and images from Poe's "William Wilson" and John Singer Sargent's "El Jaleo" to Richard Wright's "Pagan Spain" and Kathy Acker's Don Quixote, Spain's Long Shadow shows how the creation of Anglo-American ethnicity as specifically American has depended on the casting of Spain as a colonial alter ego. The symbolic power of Spain in the American imagination, DeGuzman argues, is not just a legacy of that nation's colonial presence in the Americas; it lives on as well in the "blackness" of Spain and Spainards - in the assigning of people of Spanish origin to an "off-white" racial category that reserves the designation of white for Anglo-Americans.By demonstrating how the Anglo-American imagination needs Spain and Spainards as figures of attraction and repulsion, DeGuzman makes a compelling and illuminating case for treating Spain as the imperial alter ego of the United States. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary, ambitious in its chronological sweep, and elegant in its interpretation of literary and visual works, DeGuzman's book leads us to a powerful new understanding of the nature - and history - American ethnicity.