By Herman L. Bennett
Read Online or Download Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640 PDF
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Additional info for Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640
Yet the ease with which indigenous persons could pass as mestizos and the proclivities of the clergy make marriage records a problematic though impressionistic source with regard to de¤nitional precision. Most persons of indigenous descent who formed liaisons or petitioned for a marriage license with non-Indians de¤ned themselves for pecuniary, if not other, reasons as mestizos or were characterized as such. Also, one cannot ignore the static views that governed Spanish perceptions of who constituted an Indian.
58 For the period 1521–1639, this amounted to a little more than 900 per year. This 22 Africans in Colonial Mexico longitudinal perspective, however, obscures the vicissitudes of the slave trade. Spaniards received more enslaved Africans during the ¤rst four decades of the seventeenth century than they had throughout the entire sixteenth century. Ebbs and ®ows also characterized the seventeenth-century slave trade (1595– 1639), which roughly corresponded to the union of the Portuguese and Spanish Crowns.
The pioneering studies of colonial Spanish American slavery acknowledged the Siete Partidas and its importance as a mediating factor in the master-slave relationship, but these studies isolated that legal code from canon law. Roman law, of course, de¤ned the master-slave relationship. But in adjudicating over human affairs, even when individuals were de¤ned as masters and slaves, crown and clergy assumed primacy. In the course of their evolution, ecclesiastical and royal laws competed for jurisdiction in most affairs and steadfastly encroached on the master’s domain.