Transatlantic Obligations: Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain

Paperback | January 14, 2016

byJane E. Mangan

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The sixteenth-century changes wrought by expansion of Spanish empire into Peru shaped the ways of being a family in colonial Peru. Even as migration, race mixture, and transculturation took place, family members fulfilled obligations to one another by adapting custom to a changing world.Family began to shift when, from the moment of their arrival in 1532, Spaniards were joined with elite indigenous women in political marriage-like alliances. Almost immediately, a generation of mestizos was born that challenged the hierarchies of colonial society. In response, the Spanish Crownbegan to promote the marriage of these men and the travel of Spanish women to Peru to promote good customs and even serve as surrogate parents. Other reactions came from wives in Spain who, abandoned by husbands, sought assistance to fulfill family duties. For indigenous families, the pressures of colonialism prompted migration to cities. By mid-century, the increase of Spanish migration to Peru changed the social landscape, but did not halt mixed-race marriages. The book posits that late sixteenth-century cities, specifically Lima and Arequipa, werehost to indigenous and Spanish families but also to numerous "blended' families borne of a process of mestizaje. In its final chapter, the legacies for the next generation reveal how Spanish fathers sometimes challenged law with custom and sentiment to establish inheritance plans for their children.By tracing family obligations connecting Peru and Spain through dowries, bequests, legal powers, and letters, Transatlantic Obligations presents a powerful call to rethink sixteenth-century definitions of family.

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The sixteenth-century changes wrought by expansion of Spanish empire into Peru shaped the ways of being a family in colonial Peru. Even as migration, race mixture, and transculturation took place, family members fulfilled obligations to one another by adapting custom to a changing world.Family began to shift when, from the moment of th...

Jane E. Mangan is Professor of History and Latin American Studies at Davidson College. She is the author of Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosi and co-author of Women in the Iberian Atlantic.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:January 14, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199768587

ISBN - 13:9780199768585

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Matchmaking: Law, Language, and the Conquest-Era Family Tree2. Removal: For the Love and Labor of Mixed-Race Children3. Marriage: Vida Maridable in a Transatlantic Context4. Journey: Family Strategies and the Transatlantic Voyage5. Adaptation: Creating Custom in the Colonial Family6. Legacy: Recognition, Inheritance, and Law on the Transatlantic Family TreeConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Transatlantic Obligations is a masterwork of social history. Jane Mangan exploits a wealth of untapped sources on both sides of the Atlantic to paint an entirely new, composite portrait of the early colonial Peruvian family. As Mangan shows, 'blended families were mainstream,' not only amongthe first generation of conquistadors and Inca princesses, but also among the middling classes of artisans, merchants, petty indigenous nobles, and even among the poor. Colonial demographic realities clashed with Spanish law and indigenous tradition at many junctures, but Mangan also findsconsiderable evidence of 'tender ties' amid the tension. Most significantly, Mangan demonstrates that no simple 'colonial family' die was cast in the sixteenth century. In Peru especially, this period was marked instead by unexpected twists as a wide array of individuals and clans resisted thelegislative push toward separate 'republics' of Indians and Spaniards." --Kris Lane, Tulane University