The Countryside in Colonial Latin America
Our ideas about colonial Latin America are often tied to urban scenes. But this collection of eleven original essays, the first overview of rural ... Show synopsis Our ideas about colonial Latin America are often tied to urban scenes. But this collection of eleven original essays, the first overview of rural life in colonial Latin America, shows the many ways in which the countryside rather than the city dominated colonial life in Brazil and throughout Spanish America. Over 80 percent of the population lived in rural areas, earning their livelihood from raising crops and livestock. Most were labourers, with Indian peasants or black slaves. Land owners and church officials comprised a tiny elite that enforced social control, provided capital and linked haciendas to city markets. The racial and occupational characteristics of each of these social groups are carefully delineated in individual essays. These essays also examine the rural economy, material culture and ecosystems of the countryside.