Articles Review Example on Early Latin American History

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Harvey Mudd College
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Article review
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Encomienda and Hacienda

This an excerpt of James Lockharts Of Things Of The Indies." According to the author, the primary purpose for writing this paper is to establish the relationship between the distinct histories of hacienda and encomienda. The intent is purposefully aimed at advancing various interpretations that other scholars had previously covered. However, some element of biasedness arises from the fact that the author dwells too much on the encomienda narratives compared to the hacienda.

The author has used many sources in his study. The mostly emphasized ones are: De encomienda y Propiedad territorial by Silvio Zavala and Borda Orlando Falls' local study conducted in the highland community of Colombia. These sources helped the author to carry out a vertical analysis of the previously done works from which he manages to identify a research gap. Here, therefore, comes up with his newly structured research question that he addresses throughout the chapter.

James Lockhart through this chapter, contribute to the field of history by demonstrating the incidental legal connection in the titles of the encomienda. Additionally, the author succeeds in illustrating how the encomienda participated in labor provision at their places of work. However, the drawback of this study is to the effect that it fails to clarify how the encomienda succeeded or managed to prosper in their trading activities. Further studies should aim at eliminating the identified biasedness and achieving clarity of the information regarding the trade in which the encomienda was engaged.

Laboring Above the Ground

This is an article authored by Dana Velasco Murillo. His primary intent aims at examining the activities of native women through varied corpus. The article is highly biased in its argument by discriminating gender. More specifically, the author is a male chauvinist since he disregards the role of women as a little family responsibility that could not be discussed in the context of mining. In other words, he does not recognize the responsibility of women as labor.

The primary sources for this study include Silver Mining and Society by Bakewell and Coercion and Market by Enrique Tandeter. In addition to these, the author uses Spanish records to analyze native women's work. Other secondary sources for the study include marriage petitions and ecclesiastical censuses which added more evidence on the role of women.

Concerning the author's contribution, he succeeds in examining apparently the impact of the growth of labor pool (the migrant Indians). He also finds out and illustrates how the indigenous women participated in mining production indirectly. The author, however, fails to demonstrate the measurement of labor that women provided. He instead narrates shallowly what other scholars had previously investigated. Therefore, future studies in this area should focus more on the research gap and provide a clear solution to the problem.

Working Silver for The World

Rossana Barragan authors this piece of article Barragan. The author intends to perform analysis on the interaction between free and coerced labor and to establish their relationship with the self-employed workers. The study is biased since it is based on the first-person point of view that entirely relies on the author's judgment. Such arguments are usually not fair.

Among the primary sources used by the author in this particular work include documents addressing matters bout free labor. Also, the author solicited help from his colleagues such as James Dunkerley, Ulbe Bosma, Tristan Platt, and Karin Hofmeester. From the sources, he gets informed on the pressing issues to address in this study.

The authors contribution in this field is to the effect that he manages to identify various research gaps on the previous studies regarding this topic and successfully addresses them to the latter. Unfortunately, the author fails to elaborate the relationship between the three categories of workers and their general influence on the economy. Therefore, any future study in this area needs to explore the relationship between the three types of labor and their contribution to the economy deeply.

Chinos in Mexico City

This is an excerpt from "Asian Slaves In Colonial Mexico: From Chinos To Indians" authored by Joseph C. Miller. The author intends to explore what chino slaves had experienced in Mexico City as far as their contribution to the economy was concerned. This article is biased in the sense that it addresses slavery of the chinos as though they were outcast members of the society.

The primary source of information for this study is a work that was done by Linda Newson "The Demographic Impact of Colonization." From the information gathered, Miller manages to perform his analysis successfully. His contribution to the field is that he manages to demonstrate how the chinos were enslaved and also how they related with their masters and eventually got freedom. The shortcoming of the study is that it fails to disclose important details about work experiences of various individuals. Future studies should focus on this area to shade light on the unrevealed information which is vital for records.



Barragan, Rossana. 2017. "Working Silver For The World: Mining Labor And Popular Economy In Colonial Potosi." Hispanic American Historical Review 97 (2): 193-222. doi:10.1215/00182168-3824041.

Lockhart, James. 2001. "Of Things Of The Indies: Essays Old And New In Early Latin American History." Sixteenth Century Journal 32 (3): 884. doi:10.2307/2671583.

Miller, Joseph C. 2017. "Asian Slaves In Colonial Mexico: From Chinos To Indians." Ethnohistory 64 (1): 146-147. doi:10.1215/00141801-3688455.

Murillo, D. V. 2013. "Laboring Above Ground: Indigenous Women In New Spain's Silver Mining District, Zacatecas, Mexico, 1620-1770". Hispanic American Historical Review 93 (1): 3-32. doi:10.1215/00182168-1902778.


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