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The Spanish frontier in North America by…
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The Spanish frontier in North America (original 1992; edition 1992)

by David J. Weber

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250282,402 (4.18)2
In 1513, when Ponce de Leon stepped ashore on a beach of what is now Florida, Spain gained its first foothold in North America. For the next three hundred years, Spaniards ranged through the continent building forts to defend strategic places, missions to proselytize Indians, and farms, ranches, and towns to reconstruct a familiar Iberian world. This engagingly written and well-illustrated book presents an up-to-date overview of the Spanish colonial period in North America. It provides a sweeping account not only of the Spaniards' impact on the lives, institutions, and environments of the native peoples but also of the effect of native North Americans on the societies and cultures of the Spanish settlers. With apt quotations and colorful detail, David J. Weber evokes the dramatic era of the first Spanish-Indian contact in North America, describes the establishment, expansion, and retraction of the Spanish frontier, and recounts the forging of a Hispanic empire that ranged from Florida to California. Weber refutes the common assumption that while the English and French came to the New World to settle or engage in honest trade, the Spaniards came simply to plunder. The Spanish missionaries, soldiers, and traders who lived in America were influenced by diverse motives, and Weber shows that their behavior must be viewed in the context of their own time and within their own frame of reference. Throughout his book Weber deals with many other interesting issues, including the difference between English, French, and Spanish treatment of Indians, the social and economic integration of Indian women into Hispanic society, and the reasons why Spanish communities in North America failed to develop at the rate that the English settlements did. His magisterial work broadens our understanding of the American past by illuminating a neglected but integral part of the nation's heritage.… (more)
Member:jsmolenski
Title:The Spanish frontier in North America
Authors:David J. Weber
Info:New Haven: Yale University Press, c1992. xx, 579 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
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The Spanish Frontier in North America by David J. Weber (1992)

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I remember reading this during my teaching days, but apparently lacked the time to make notes about it, since I only found in my journal a mention I read it. Overall, it is a thick history book. While the subject was interesting, the prose was very slow. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
I got the brief edition of this book by accident, and in a way I regret it, though in terms of available reading time it may be just as well. It gives a good overview of the entire period of Spanish rule in North America north of Mexico, from early explorers (I knew of Coronado and Cabrillo, but not, for instance, Estevao Gomes who found the site of Bangor, Maine) through the early attempts at colonies to the establishment of New Mexico and Florida as more or less solid foundations, despite the Pueblo Revolt (which, at least in this version, gets limited coverage) . He makes clear that the devastating English raids by Governor Moore and his Native allies around 1700 effectively reduced what had been a fairly stable network of mission/Native settlements in Florida to a handful of garrisons, which it remained thereafter. On the other hand, the adoption of a more intelligent policy that "bad peace is better than good war" by the Galvez and other late 18th century leaders restablized the Texas/New Mexico frontier after the impact of the Comanche and Apache adoption of horses and guns had given them serious tactical advantages. He also describes the mixed impact of the Spanish on the Natives of California. His version of the Adams/Onis Treaty says less about Andrew Jackson's military pressure on Florida than some accounts. He has a brief chapter on the rival hostile and romantic accounts of Spanish influence in later American culture, seeing the romantic image (adopted largely for tourist purposes) largely absorbing the hostile version. He treats the survival of genuine Spanish culture as virtually non-existent outside New Mexico, and says very little of the revival of Hispanic culture with the 20th century Mexican immigration, though he briefly mentions of Chicano Aztlan movement. ( )
  antiquary | Jul 11, 2018 |
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In 1513, when Ponce de Leon stepped ashore on a beach of what is now Florida, Spain gained its first foothold in North America. For the next three hundred years, Spaniards ranged through the continent building forts to defend strategic places, missions to proselytize Indians, and farms, ranches, and towns to reconstruct a familiar Iberian world. This engagingly written and well-illustrated book presents an up-to-date overview of the Spanish colonial period in North America. It provides a sweeping account not only of the Spaniards' impact on the lives, institutions, and environments of the native peoples but also of the effect of native North Americans on the societies and cultures of the Spanish settlers. With apt quotations and colorful detail, David J. Weber evokes the dramatic era of the first Spanish-Indian contact in North America, describes the establishment, expansion, and retraction of the Spanish frontier, and recounts the forging of a Hispanic empire that ranged from Florida to California. Weber refutes the common assumption that while the English and French came to the New World to settle or engage in honest trade, the Spaniards came simply to plunder. The Spanish missionaries, soldiers, and traders who lived in America were influenced by diverse motives, and Weber shows that their behavior must be viewed in the context of their own time and within their own frame of reference. Throughout his book Weber deals with many other interesting issues, including the difference between English, French, and Spanish treatment of Indians, the social and economic integration of Indian women into Hispanic society, and the reasons why Spanish communities in North America failed to develop at the rate that the English settlements did. His magisterial work broadens our understanding of the American past by illuminating a neglected but integral part of the nation's heritage.

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300059175, 0300140681

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