Article Review Example: Migration Toward the New World

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Article review
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This article is an excerpt from Chapter five of a book that was authored by Ida Altman. It covers the events that occurred during the movement of people from Extremadura to the Indies. The intent of the author here was to examine the how the people moved between Spain and America during the sixteenth Century. According to Altman, the emigrants differed in their pursuits and achievements.

In my analysis, the author appears to be hugely biased on the scope of his study. The people whose migratory behavior was being studied had common origins and also moved to similar destinations. They were relatives, neighbors, and friends and thus their acquittances were apparently known to one another. The nature of biases dissuades the reader from getting exposed to the social behavior of other migratory groups that also existed at that particular time.

The figures and ideas of this paper are based on quite some resources. Among the sources used primarily include: Peter Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobio grafico de cuarenta mil Pobla Dores espanoles de America en el siglo XVI, 2 vols. (Bogota, 1964, Mexico, 1968) and the Catalogo de pasajeros a Indias Durante los siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII, 5 vols. (Seville, 1940-1946, 1950). Altman also used materials from archives that supplied additional terms of the emigrants, for example, Archivo General de Indias (AGI). Moreover, it is reported that some files were sourced from James Lockhart.

Contribution attributed to this literature rests on the fact that it has taken an in-depth study of the context of the movement of the Spanish emigrants. As a result, the paper provides a framework of how immigrants carried themselves together as they moved in a colony. The shortcoming of this article is however evident to the fact that the author's focus is based on "immigration." Many critics have cast doubts on that concept since it is a modern vocabulary that did not exist the sixteenth century. Further studies need to clarify the general characteristics for emigrants that hold across the globe.

Extremenos in the New World

Like the previous article, this is another chapter of the same book written by Ida Altman. The author seeks to analyze the nature of a particular group of emigrants named Extremenos, who made it to the New World. This article is a continuation of Altman's study, and its position is still based on addressing a unique feature similar to the preceding chapter. The group under study exhibited typical social connections; they were from the Extremenos had a common origin, family relationships, and kinships.

Among the primary sources that the author refers to include Men of Cajamarca, 27-31, 40, 77 by Lockhart and "Resena historica," pp. 1, 189-196 (Pasto, 1942) by Jose Rafael Zarama. Used, here again, was Lockharts Spanish Peru. It is from the sources that the author has reviewed his literature and found a research gap that he attempts to fill by his study. As part of her contribution, the study has provided insights and understanding of how Spanish-American Society came into existence.

The drawback of Altman's study about this literature is that it lacks clarification on how the emigrants who returned home influenced their culture. How were they perceived? What was their main reason for going back while others were still moved to the new world? All these vital questions remain unanswered. Therefore, further studies should address the fate of those of emigrants who returned to their homeland and how they were affected.

Key to the Indies

It is surprisingly coincident that this article is also written by the one, Ida Altman. Her narrative revolves around the episodes that ensued Spanish movements across the Caribbean port towns. The events of that period were hostile; they entailed several expeditions, mainly slave-raiding. Altman has directed her focus on the cities and towns to elucidate the manner in which they portrayed a unique contextual outlook of the islands. The aspect of biases in this particular paper, however, is very minimal. It appears that the author is biasedly objective in studying the small towns in the ports merely because many scholars had ignored them. She has touched on what had been done to the bigger cities.

The sources for Altmans study include but not limited to, The Early History of Cuba (New York, 1916), 6364 by A. Wright; AGI Santo Domingo 1121, L. 2 (1534); and AGI Santo Domingo 9. The article succeeds in exploring the nature of the society and life lived in the ancient port towns. This contribution is fairly a major one since no scholarly study had been done on it before. No erroneous details have been spotted on this work. However, further investigations should be conducted on the colonial interference and its impact on the ports.

Indian Justice and Law Empire in Colonial Mexico

This book explores effectiveness with which the principles of the Spanish Law took its course after the end of 1600 conquest. Brian Owensby (the author of this book) reveals how the people of India perceived the law as practically and morally binding tool for the society. Many legal aspects of settling disputes and reinforcement of human rights have also been widely covered. The author's primary focus is based on the core of the viceroyalty. The fact that Owensby concentrates entirely on the aspects law without connecting them to other ethical doctrines reflects biases.

The primary sources on which he has relied on are the documents drawn from the Archivo General de la Nacion in the City of Mexico. He has enriched his work with lots of information regarding conflicts and mechanisms of resolutions that were recorded in the colonial era. The authors contribution in this field heavily banks on the virtue of demonstrating how much the Indians succeeded to understand, internalize and manipulate Spanish political and juridical principles. I must admit that Brian Owensby did a splendid work on this study, it is error free. However, future research needs to check on how the colonial legal principles have so far been transformed since the seventieth century and how they relate to the current laws.



Altman, Ida. 1989. "Emigrants And Society: Extremadura And America In The Sixteenth Century.". International Migration Review Chapter 5, "Movement to the New World" (2): 33. doi:10.2307/2546298.

Altman, Ida. 1989. "Emigrants And Society: Extremadura And America In The Sixteenth Century.". International Migration Review Chapter 6, "Extremenos in the New World" (3): 26. doi:10.2307/2546298.

Altman, Ida. 2016. "Key To The Indies: Port Towns In The Spanish Caribbean: 14931550". The Americas: A Quarterly Review Of Latin American History 74 (01): 5-26. doi:10.1017/tam.2016.79.

Owensby, Brian P. 2008. "Empire Of Law And Indian Justice In Colonial Mexico." Choice Reviews Online 46 (04): 32. doi:10.5860/choice.46-2257.


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