The Colonial Spanish-American City: Urban Life in the Age of Atlantic Capitalism

Paperback | May 1, 2005

byJay Kinsbruner

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The colonial Spanish-American city, like its counterpart across the Atlantic, was an outgrowth of commercial enterprise. A center of entrepreneurial activity and wealth, it drew people seeking a better life, with more educational, occupational, commercial, bureaucratic, and marital possibilities than were available in the rural regions of the Spanish colonies. Indeed, the Spanish-American city represented hope and opportunity, although not for everyone.

In this authoritative work, Jay Kinsbruner draws on many sources to offer the first history and interpretation in English of the colonial Spanish-American city. After an overview of pre-Columbian cities, he devotes chapters to many important aspects of the colonial city, including its governance and administrative structure, physical form, economy, and social and family life. Kinsbruner's overarching thesis is that the Spanish-American city evolved as a circumstance of trans-Atlantic capitalism. Underpinning this thesis is his view that there were no plebeians in the colonial city. He calls for a class interpretation, with an emphasis on the lower-middle class. His study also explores the active roles of women, many of them heads of households, in the colonial Spanish-American city.

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The colonial Spanish-American city, like its counterpart across the Atlantic, was an outgrowth of commercial enterprise. A center of entrepreneurial activity and wealth, it drew people seeking a better life, with more educational, occupational, commercial, bureaucratic, and marital possibilities than were available in the rural regions...

JAY KINSBRUNER is Professor Emeritus of History at Queens College, City University of New York. A distinguished scholar of Latin American history, he is the author of several books, including Independence in Spanish America: Civil Wars, Revolutions, and Underdevelopment; Not of Pure Blood: The Free People of Color and Racial Prejudice ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.75 inPublished:May 1, 2005Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292706685

ISBN - 13:9780292706682

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionA Note about the Terms "Town Council," "Stores," and "Shops"Chapter 1. The Colonial City by Definition and OriginChapter 2. The Pre-Columbian CityChapter 3. The Colonial City Ordained and StructuredChapter 4. The Administration of the Colonial CityChapter 5. The City VisualizedChapter 6. The Urban EconomyChapter 7. Urban SocietyChapter 8. Caste and Class in the Urban ContextChapter 9. The Urban FamilyChapter 10. The Urban DialogueChapter 11. Conclusion: The ParadoxEpilogueAppendix. A Comparison of Key Elements in the Ordenanzas of 1573 and in VitruviusNotesGlossarySelected BibliographyIndex