Agriculture[ edit ] Through history, since the colonial periodthe export of natural resources has been key factor for South America's economy.
The Spanish nobility started taking shape around the ninth century in classic military fashion, occupying land as warriors on horseback. They were to continue the process for more than five hundred years, clawing back sections of the peninsula from its Moorish occupiers, and a nobleman demonstrated his pedigree by holding up his sword arm to display the filigree of blue-blooded veins beneath his pale skin—proof that his birth had not been contaminated by the dark-skinned enemy—Robert Lacey, Aristocrats The historical Spanish obsession with the purity of blood evolved into an elaborate caste system which reached its apogee with the colonization of South America and the subsequent intermingling of settlers with both South American Indians and imported African slaves, all of whose mixed offspring needed a separate classification, of course.
It was an intricate system—designed to pit sections of society against each other and play on the subsequent fear of overthrow by the lower classes, so that Spain could continue to exert its top-down control.
But it also signified the relative social importance of the caste members, usually in a pejorative sense, meaning that only certain rights, occupations, and institutions were open to them. If you had been born in Spain, then you automatically qualified as a member of the elite. However, if your ancestors had the temerity to dally with the Indians or blacks, then a complicated algorithm was brought to bear.
The four primary groups were the peninsulares Spanish-born whitesfollowed by the criollos who were also white, and of Spanish descent, but who had been born in South Americathe indios a catch-all term for any member or descendant of the various indigenous groups of South Americaand the negros black Africans or their descendants, usually slaves or freed slaves.
This however is a simplification, and the colonial authorities were anything but simplistic in their discrimination. Being more fluid than labels suggest, the various castes intermingled—a situation exacerbated by the gender imbalance of Spanish settlers—causing the colonial administration a huge headache.
It was solved with a simple bureaucratic sleight of hand: Mestizo was the label given to products of the union of a Spaniard and an Indian.
Those who were half-black and half-Spanish, were mulattos. Spain attempted to regulate intermarriage, but with little success.
The result of all these rigorously calculated ruttings was a population with varying elements of the genetic smorgasbord of South America and beyond.
As seen in the painting at the top, artists traveled to the New World to capture this elaborate system of castes, and the descriptions attached to the paintings revealed the racial biases of the time. This intricate system was most clearly visible in colonial Peru.
Even by the time the independence wars spread its shores inPeru was still a feudal society—in racial and social terms at least. Indios slaved in the minesand negros toiled in the low-lying coastal farms which fed the country. The peninsulares held all the positions of power and influence.
The criollos acted as their subordinates, or often made up the professional and business classes. The educated criollos had a lot to gain from an independent Peru: However, Spain knew that the best way to control a populous country like Peru was by setting sections of society against themselves.
Out of one million souls, the whites barely numbered one hundred and fifty thousand. And since the successful slave revolt in Haiti in they had even more reason to be afraid. For them, a free Peru could mean death. Spain relentlessly exploited this fear to suppress the liberal ideals which had been gaining popularity since the revolutions in France and the United States.
And it was a successful strategy, until Napoleon seized the Spanish throne, Madrid lost its grip on the colonies, and an age of revolution was born. While independence for Peru and the rest of Spanish America saw the abolition of both slavery and the caste system, colonial racial ideology took a little longer to dissipate.
As for the labels, they live on and many are still in use today—although mostly stripped of their pejorative connotations.§ Implementation of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies, High School, Beginning with School Year The provisions of §§ of this subchapter shall be implemented by school .
Definitions. Social theory by definition is used to make distinctions and generalizations among different types of societies, and to analyze modernity as it has emerged in the past few centuries.: 10 Social theory as it is recognized today emerged in the 20th century as a distinct discipline, and was largely equated with an attitude of critical thinking and the .
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Packingham got in. Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state.