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Class 8


The Spanish possessions in the Americas were extensive, from Mexico (including ... In addition, Sor Juana wrote love notes on commission for members of the court. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Class 8

Class 8- Colonial Latin America, Sor Juana Inés
de la Cruz and the Independence Movements
The age of the Viceroys Spains control over
Spanish America lasted over 300 years, beginning
in 1492. The mainland territories of the empire
in North and South America gained independence
during the first two decades of the 19th century,
while in the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico
remained under Spanish control until 1898.
Havana harbor
The Spanish possessions in the Americas were
extensive, from Mexico (including the current
southwest of the U.S.), through Central America,
to South America. Its territories were much
greater than the other major colonial powers in
the area (England or Portugal). Communication
with Spain could take up to several months.
Nevertheless, Spanish control over its colonies
was guaranteed by three important institutions
the Viceroy, the armed forces, and the Catholic
The Viceroy was the kings representative in the
New World (the Spanish word is virrey, which
means in place of the king). The Viceroy
governed a Viceroyalty. At the beginning of the
colonial period there were two viceroys, in
Mexico and Perú. By the 18th century, two more
viceroys were appointed for South America (in the
regions of modern-day Colombia and Argentina).
Assisting the viceroys were the armed forces of
Spain, the army and the navy. While the Spanish
armadas began to lose their power in 17th and
18th centuries (challenged by the powerful
English Navy, and by pirates), the soldiers of
the viceroy were able to maintain control of
Spanish territories until the outbreak of the
wars of independence after 1800.
A third main institution of the Spanish colonial
period was the Catholic Church. Its main goal was
to insure the conversion of the indigenous
peoples to Christianity and the persecution of
heretics through the Inquisition. The Church,
the armed forces, and the Viceroy usually worked
together closely to insure the smooth operation
of the empire.
Cathedral (Lima, left) above, a trial of the
The Jesuits and their expulsion The Jesuits had
accumulated extensive lands and dominance in the
area of education by the the 18th century. King
Charles III banished them from the Americas in
1767, fearing the rising power of this militant
order, as well as others coveting the possessions
of the Jesuits. Perhaps the indigenous
populations lost the most, for the Jesuits in
many areas of Spanish America defended the rights
of native people and are great educators.
Charles III of Spain
Loosely based on historical events of the
expulsion of the Jesuits is the film The Mission.
It portrays the final days of the religious order
in the Americas as they attempt to delay the
arrival of Spanish troops as well as serve the
Guaraní people under their charge (who in the
18th century were concentrated in Brazil and
The system of the encomienda was initially
established by the Spanish crown and enforced by
the Viceroys. Under this system, favored Spanish
settlers were given large tracts of land and
people to work the fields, mines, and waters
nearby. Although the government attempted to
abolish the encomienda system by the 18th
century, because of the abuse of the natives,
some landowners continued to control the lives of
families living on their land.
Reenactment of Spanish Colonists (New Mexico)
The Caste System The Spanish colonial period is
also marked by a rigid social stratification.
The most privileged class were the Spaniards, who
held the important government and church posts.
The children of the Spanish born in the New World
were called criollos (creoles). While still a
privileged class, the criollos increasingly
complained about newcomers from Spain and more
and more wanted to participate in the governing
of the Spanish state in the Americas.
Spanish colonists of New Mexico (reenactment)
The next group were the mixed groups, well
defined by a pigmentocracy or a stratification
based on the color of the skin
Artistic rendition of the caste system
Three main divisions
  • Spaniardpeninsular or
  • creole
  • Indianencomendado
  • or free
  • African or
  • mulatto

  • Spain Better marriage than burning low
    percentage of illegitimates
  • New Spain Better to live with someone than be
    alonehigh percentage of illegitimates

The Castes as a Racial System
  • Pigmentocracy
  • Who determines the caste?

Castes as a Cultural System
  • Rights
  • The Predominance of mestizos and mestizo culture

The decadence of Spain in the 18th and 19th
centuries By 1800 the Spanish empire in the
Americas was ripe for change. Spain had
increasingly come under the influence of France
in 1808 Napoleon invaded Spain and installed his
brother (José I) as king (causing much
dissatisfaction in the Spanish colonies and war
in Spain). Moreover, both the American
Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution
(1789) gave new hope especially the the criollos,
who wanted to govern their lands without the
interference of Spain.
Family of King Charles IV, 1800 ( Goya)
One of the most important figures of the entire
Spanish colonial period was the Mexican nun Sor
(Sister) Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695).
Looking back today at her literary achievements
and her defense of the role of women in society,
many critics agree that she was a person whose
ideas were much in advance of her time.
Born Juana Inés de la Cruz de Asbaje y Ramírez
near Mexico City, Sor Juana initially had many
social obstacles against her. First, she was
illegitimate, a great stigma that would normally
limit her role in colonial society. Her mother,
Isabel Ramírez, was an independent woman who
managed various farmlands. An important figure
in Sor Juanas young life was her grandfather,
Pedro Ramírez de Santillana he had an extensive
library by six, Sor Juana had read all the books
of his collection.
Soon Sor Juanas family realized that she was a
precocious youngster. She wanted to attend the
University in Mexico City disguised as a man,
since women were not permitted to attend, but
whether she succeeded is not known. Her good
fortune came when she was noticed by the court of
Viceroy Mancera and his wife, Leonor. At the age
of 16, Sor Juana served Leonor and her
intellectual achievements astounded the
philosophers, scientists, and courtesans.
In 1667, Sor Juana entered the convent of the
Discalced Carmelites, but this order was too
strict and she moved to the more permissive
order of St. Jerome. Much has been speculated as
to why Sor Juana did not marry, but it is a fact
that the convent of St. Jerome allowed Sor Juana
to continue her studies, meet with scholars and
members of the court, and conduct scientific
experiments. In the area of science, Sor Juana
is said to have corresponded with the English
mathematician Sir Isaac Newton.
Following a Baroque style, Sor Juana also wrote
poetry, essay, and drama (including her most
famous play, Trials of a Noble House, in Spanish
Los empeños de una casa, 1683). In addition, Sor
Juana wrote love notes on commission for members
of the court. As to her own love life, Sor Juana
seems to have had an intense relationship with
the first Viceroys wife, Doña Leonor and then a
close relationship with the next consort of the
following Viceroy (Doña María Luisa, the wife of
Viceroy Laguna). Whether these attachments
reflected merely friendship or intimacy, no one
knows. However, what is certain is that both
women protected Sor Juana.
Sor Juana needed powerful sponsors and defenders.
She was a nun, yet conducted her studies and
wrote in a convent during an age in which women
were not allowed a public forum (especially in
religious orders). When Viceroy Laguna and Doña
María Luisa leave Mexico in 1688, Sor Juana no
longer has noble protectors. She is soon
forbidden to write and forced to sell her library
(said to be over 4,000 volumes) by church
authorities. Sor Juana dies in 1695 during a
plague, caring for other sisters of her convent.
Sor Juana wrote one fairly extensive
autobiographical account in her life. This text
today can be found in a document that Sor Juana
wrote (The Answer, La respuesta) that is a strong
defense of her academic activity.
Octavio Paz, one of Mexicos greatest poets and
essayists of the twentieth century, wrote an
extensive analysis of the life and work of Sor
Juana (the Spanish title is Sor Juana de la Cruz
o las trampas de la fe).
More recently, Alicia Gaspar de Alba has written
a brilliant historical novel about the life of
Sor Juana in 17th century Mexico (Sor Juanas
Second Dream). Using all historical documents
available, the author recreates the loves and
conflicts of Sor Juana in a society which is
basically hostile to her genius. Part of our
reading for this class comes from this novel.
Discussion questions concerning Sor Juana Inés de
la Cruz, Verses against the Injustice of Mens
Comments about Women, from The Voices of
Latino Culture (127-130).
  • Give examples from this, Sor Juanas most famous
    poem, about the double standard applied to women
    and men in her culture.
  • Who are Thais and Lucretia ( page 129 look up
    these names if necessary) why does Sor Juana use
    the example of these two famous women?

Answer the following questions concerning The
Final Confession of Sor Juana (From Sor Juanas
Second Dream, by Alicia Gaspar de Alba), in The
Voices of Latino Culture (131-133).
  • Summarize Sor Juanas inner thoughts as the judge
    of the Inquisition reads a list of her crimes and
    her upcoming punishment.
  • What is Sor Juanas greatest crime?

During the first two decades of the 19th century,
most of Spanish America achieved independence
through such leaders as Miguel Hidalgo (Mexico),
Simón Bolívar (Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia,
Ecuador), and José de San Martín (Argentina).
Miguel Hidalgo (by Orozco)
Simón Bolívar
José de San Martín
Latin America in the 19th Century
  • The Spanish decadence
  • Influences
  • France
  • The United States

Frances Influence in the Independence of the
  • The French Revolution Liberty, Equality,
  • The Free Thinkers
  • Rousseau
  • Voltaire
  • Napoleon

The United States
  • The Revolution
  • The Thinkers
  • Thomas Paine
  • Common Sense

Mexican Independence
  • Miguel Hidalgo
  • El Grito at Dolores
  • José Marí Morelos
  • 15 and16 of September
  • 1826

Other Important Liberators
  • José de San Martín
  • Antonio José de Sucre

South America
  • Simón Bolívar El Libertador
  • (1783-1830)

Cultural and Political Concepts from the
Formation of Nations
  • Nationalism
  • Regionalism
  • Panamericanism
  • National Search for Identity
  • Individualism

  • Formulas
  • Rituals and Ceremonies
  • The Flag
  • The National Anthem
  • The Political and Legal System
  • Names

La Ciudad de México (El Distrito Federal)
Plano de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Emphasis on national or regional customs
  • Emphasis on regional problems
  • Folklore

Panamanian dancers
  • Solidarity with the Continent
  • Nativism
  • Anti Europeanism

Search for National Identity
  • Introspection
  • Study of a nations psyche and ethos

  • Types and stereotypes particular to a nation
  • Representatives of the national spirit
  • Specific elements particular to a nation

Precolumbian architecture (Mexico and Guatemala)
Coffee as the quality product of Colombia
The Gaucho in Argentina and Brazil
Cuban Music
Symbols and Emblems Mexico
Soldiers with Argentine flag the Casa Rosada
Eva Perón
Iguazú Falls and a Gaucho