Foundations of a different American society

Colonial Latin AmericaColonial Latin America by Mark A. Burkholder and Lyman Johnson (I read the 7th edition)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Burkholder and Johnson survey the history of Latin America from before the Spanish and Portuguese conquests to the independence of most of Latin America. Along the way, they analyze labor relations, family life, social class, and much more.

There’s a ton of information in this book, with a basically chronological organization for the pre-conquest period and conquests at the beginning of the book and, at the end of the book, the expansion of the settlements and the controls by the Spanish and Portuguese governments leading up to the tumultuous period of the Napoleon’s invasion of the Iberian peninsula that led eventually to independence.

The middle was organized topically, and this would be my only complaint about the book. This section was a bit harder to follow and make links because different trends like social classes, the economy, and others were separated out from each other. That may have been unavoidable, though. I’m still in the early stages of learning and the authors have made a career of it.

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