Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose - Article Review Paper Example

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1149 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Article review
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This article has been authored by Jane Landers, who is a historian of the Colonial Latin America. Jane Landers specializes in the history of Africans and their generation in the world. In this article, the author expresses his intent in exploring the fate of Africans and how they endured the circumstances imposed on them by the European rulers under the Spanish American. The author addresses explicitly issues on how the Africans became tolerable to the hardship they were facing to a point when they converged as a group which led to the rise of Fort Mose Town. The article is biased in a way that it only focuses on the Africans who had settled in the so-called "Black Town" of Florida. I believe millions of Africans were taken for slave trade not just in this area alone.

Among the primary sources used by the author in this compilation include African Experience by Rout, Urbanization in Latin America by Jorge Hardy and Treatment of Slaves by Genovese. Secondary sources, on the other hand, include The Colored Militia by Klein and The Governorship of Spanish Florida by John Jay, These sources form the foundation of this particular study.

In her contribution to the field of History, Landers manages to clarify how the town of Fort Mose came into being and while having Africans as the majority population. The article envisages the progressive transformations that occurred from harsh treatments of African slaves to the liberation point where the masters had to respect them. The freedom never came on a silver plate, but it was out of struggle; the Africans fought for their human rights. Even though the author has managed to shed light on the development of that town life with Africans in Florida, she has not touched on the other sections of black slaves. Future studies, therefore, should consider that aspect under investigation.

Black Conquistadors

The author of this particular article is Mathew Restall. He discusses matters regarding the Africans in the Colonial Spanish America. Restall pursues three major goals (as his intents). The author intends to collect and organize evidence scattered around the topic of study to expand the scope and make it simple as well. Secondly, he is inclined to identify the observable patterns regarding the role of the black conquest and reveal how Africans participated in the phases of Spanish Expansion. Finally, the author intends to defend his argument as to why the roles identified above should be regarded within the context of colonialism in the long-term. Some slight bias arises from the general point that the article portrays Africans in this colonial context merely as slaves who had no any other privilege granted.

Regarding the sources used by the author, we find a compilation of primary materials, majorly, a collection of chronicles. The author also used secondary materials which include some essays that were recently done by Gerhard. It is from a couple of sources that the author based his sound examination and eventually managed to identify a research question which in turn drove him to pursue further studies on the topic. As a matter of contribution, the author manages to explore the circumstances that transpired during the time of the conquest. He succeeds in illustrating all that the Africans encountered in the colonial Spanish America. However, the article has a touch of drawbacks. Although the author considers focusing on the armed auxiliary of African ancestry, he confesses that he lacks evidence to justify his arguments. Any visionary researcher interested in this area should consider addressing such problems in their future studies.

The Black Blood of New Spain

This article is based on gendered power, blood purity, and racial violence in the early colonial Mexico. The author of the article is Maria Elena Martinez. Specifically, the principal intent of Maria in this article is to examine the correlation between race, religion, and gender in Mexico in the colonial period. Additionally, the author intends to establish the connection amid the discourses around Jews in the Iberian Peninsula and the blacks in New Spain. Unfortunately, the article is biased by giving too many negative views towards the Africans because of their complexion.

Primary sources used by the author include an account that was done by Chimalpahin, a report directed to the Indies Council from New Spain, and colonial correspondence. Other sources include The African in Latin America by Ann Pescatello and also The Baroque Times in Old Mexico by Irving Leonard. These sources reveal that the power had taken both positive and negative shape in favor of the blacks. The author manages to do a successful analysis of how the creation of historical accounts involved power at different stages. As a result, future research on this area needs to be more exhaustive on the topic to clarify what aspects that could be missing.

Black Belizeans and Fugitive Mayas

This article is authored by Mark W. Lentz. The context of this study is based on the union between the runaway African slaves and the Maya women, which prompted some of the leaders to raise complaints. The officials were against such unions for they did not want the African blood to mix with the whites' through intermarriage. Despite this attempt, the marriages continued. The author is therefore interested in establishing the circumstances and factors that facilitated the interracial marriages which had, in turn, resulted in a new group of people, black Americans. However much the element of racial bias is attempted to be limited, the problem remains a pressing issue.

Among the reference sources used by the author to back up, his arguments are Gudmundson and Wolfes "Blacks and blacks in Central America," Ben Vinson's The Racial Profile of the Rural Mexican Province and the work of Andrew Fisher, "Creating and Contesting Community." The policy of segregating the escaped slaves from associating with Mayas led to the rise of a "new pueblo for blacks covered to the faith." The author has succeeded in shedding light on the relationships between the black isolates and Mayas who were, in one way or another, barely conquered or went on to skip Spanish rule. A slight shortcoming in this study arises from lack of adequate evidence showing how the intermarriage affected the rulership of the Spanish America as a whole. Therefore, future research in this field needs to explore the impact of intermarriage between the blacks and Mayas on the Spanish American system of governance.


Landers, Jane. 1990. "Gracia Real De Santa Teresa De Mose: A Free Black Town In Spanish Colonial Florida." The American Historical Review 95 (1): 9. doi:10.2307/2162952.

Lentz, Mark W. 2014. "Black Belizeans And Fugitive Mayas: Interracial Encounters On The Edge Of Empire, 17501803". The Americas 70 (4): 645-675. doi:10.1353/tam.2014.0047.

Martinez, Maria Elena. 2004. "The Black Blood Of New Spain: Limpieza De Sangre, Racial Violence, And Gendered Power In Early Colonial Mexico." William And Mary Quarterly 61 (3): 479. doi:10.2307/3491806.

Restall, Matthew. 2000. "Black Conquistadors: Armed Africans In Early Spanish America." The Americas 57 (2): 171-205. doi:10.1353/tam.2000.0015.

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