This vividly written and authoritative book shows, for instance, that native Americans did not take the conquistadors for gods and that small numbers of vastly outnumbered Spaniards did not bring down great empires with stunning rapidity.
Another popular misconception--that the Conquistadors worked alone--is shattered by the revelation that vast numbers of black and native allies joined them in a conflict that pitted native Americans against each other. The Conquest, Restall shows, was more complex--and more fascinating--than conventional histories have portrayed it.
Working within the tradition of New PhilologyRestall questions several notions which he claims are widely held myths about how the Spanish achieved military and cultural hegemony in Latin America. A professor at Pennsylvania State University, the author debunks one tired myth after another.The book grew from undergraduate lectures at Penn State University; the "book's seven-part structure seemed justified by the fact that the number seven has deep roots and symbolic significance in the history of the Americas, both Native American and Spanish. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest hardcover ed. Chapter 7 deals with what Restall calls "The Myth of Superiority" — the belief that the success of the Spanish conquest was due to either the supposed technological superiority of the Spaniards or a kind of inherent cultural superiority — and that Spanish victory was therefore inevitable. By distilling these events into seven distinct yet overlapping myths that the author sees perpetuated That every conquistador was white and Spanish. Restall claims that in fact the conquistadors did not necessarily see themselves as Spanish but rather identified as Andalusians, Castilians, Aragonese, Basque, Portuguese, Galician, and even Genoese, Flemish, Greek, and Pardo half-black. Very recommended! That the conquistadores were men of the King's Army, members of Spain's infantry and professional soldiers all. It was also interesting that Restall didn't stop at myth-busting but also included his own theory on why the Conquista was largely successful and different from other colonial enterprises in its long-term outcome. It was only much later that Columbus was portrayed as a great man who fought against the ignorance of his age to discover the new world. He shows that the colonization of the Americas did not happen as one fell swoop, but rather as a historical process starting centuries before the magic years of and and ending several centuries after.
Very recommended! Restall shows that instead, the techniques of conquest and colonization used by the early Spanish explorers had been developed throughout at least a century of colonial expansion by Spain and Portugal and were in fact mostly standard procedure.
Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest offers a richer and more nuanced account of a key event in the history of the Americas. That the Conquest was achieved and completed in record time, vini, vidi, vinci style.
From Chiapas to the Bolivian highlands, the Conquest is still being contested culturally and politically by people who never accepted the terms of occupation with heads bowed.
Restall claims that contrary to this belief pockets of indigenous peoples living without having been conquered subsisted for several centuries after the conquest - and arguably to this day.He also shows that there were several conquistadors of African and Moorish descent — dispelling the idea of the conquest as a victory of the "white Europeans" over the "red Indians". Restall is among those who would apply this lesson to Native studies. We discover that Columbus was correctly seen in his lifetime--and for decades after--as a briefly fortunate but unexceptional participant in efforts involving many southern Europeans. A professor at Pennsylvania State University, the author debunks one tired myth after another. Another Conquest myth has it that the Aztecs were duped, that their enemies triumphed through superior powers of communication and sheer cunning. Editions[ edit ] Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest was first published in cloth hardcover edition by OUP, with a paperback edition released the following year. From Chiapas to the Bolivian highlands, the Conquest is still being contested culturally and politically by people who never accepted the terms of occupation with heads bowed. Using a wide array of sources, historian Matthew Restall highlights seven key myths, uncovering the source of the inaccuracies and exploding the fallacies and misconceptions behind each myth. Over the last half-century, many writers on the Spanish conquest of the Americas have confronted such
Much the same debate has occurred in recent decades about the history of slavery, so that the bulk of research today explores how Africans and their ancestors resisted and survived enslavement, not how they were crushed by it. Using a wide array of sources, historian Matthew Restall highlights seven key myths, uncovering the source of the inaccuracies and exploding the fallacies and misconceptions behind each myth.