Traces the history of South America from preconquest times to the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century and analyzes labor, family life, and social structure during the period
In this lively and very readable history, two eminent historians provide a concise yet comprehensive study of the Iberian colonies in the New World from the pre-conquest background through European exploration, conquest, and colonization, to the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century. Colonial Latin America examines the Spanish and Portuguese empires in the Americas, and analyzes demographic change, labor systems, the colonial economies, and trade, while featuring a unique study of society, family, and daily life in the region. After a special section that provides a thorough treatment of the final century of colonial rule, the authors, in a concluding chapter, discuss independence, the colonial legacy, and the myriad problems that faced the newly formed nations. Numerous photographs and maps lend immediacy to the narrative, and biographical examples of both conquerer and conquered illustrate colonial life. Written in clear and engaging prose, this extremely well-balanced book is an accessible and invaluable aid for readers who want to learn about Latin America's colonial legacy and difficult transition into the modern era.