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"Spanish Conquest: Indigenous Allies & Politics of Empire" Topic


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180 hits since 12 Aug 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2017 9:52 p.m. PST

"Myths of the Spanish conquest prove surprisingly durable. Matthew Restall's aptly titled Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest is one of the best places to begin debunking. Restall highlights the importance of indigenous allies both during the Spanish conquest and throughout colonization. This points the way to a different kind of history. The Spanish Conquest is a contingent outcome rather than inevitability.

This debunking work is enormously important. After tackling why European polities acquired the ability to launch overseas adventures–see Geography, States, Empires–the colonization of the Caribbean and the Americas is a most critical episode in how the world becomes global and modern. It is where western Europe emerges as "The West." This entailed what Michel-Rolph Trouillot describes as a geography of management and geography of imagination:

Colonization became a mission, and the Savage became absence and negation. The symbolic process through which the West created itself thus involved the universal legitimacy of power–and order became, in that process, the answer to the question of legitimacy. To put it otherwise, the West is inconceivable without a metanarrative. Since their common emergence in the sixteenth century, world capitalism, the modern state, and colonization posed–and continue to pose–the issue of the philosophical base of order to the West. What language can legitimate universal control? Here again the geography of imagination and the geography of management appear to be distinct yet intertwined, both empirically and analytically…"
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Puster Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2017 3:49 a.m. PST

The review claims:

the colonization of the Caribbean and the Americas is a most critical episode in how the world becomes global and modern. It is where western Europe emerges as "The West."

Rather not.

The discovery and use of the searoute towards the Indian ocean – and thus contact (communication, commerce, conquest, colonization) established wit the "East" – Eastern Africa, India, China and all the lands between – plays a far greater role in the regard of becoming the "west" then the discovery, conquest and subsequent colonization of the "new world".
I fail to see how a book labeled "7 myth on the Spanisch Conquest" can tackle that aspect when the claim is to explain the creation of the "west".

On the other hand – its the review that puts up that claim, not the book…

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