From Colony to Nationhood in Mexico

From Colony to Nationhood in Mexico : Laying the Foundations, 1560-1840

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In an age of revolution, Mexico's creole leaders held aloft the Virgin of Guadalupe and brandished an Aztec eagle perched upon a European tricolor. Their new constitution proclaimed 'the Mexican nation is forever free and independent'. Yet the genealogy of this new nation is not easy to trace. Colonial Mexico was a patchwork state whose new-world vassals served the crown, extended the empire's frontiers and lived out their civic lives in parallel Spanish and Indian republics. Theirs was a world of complex intercultural alliances, interlocking corporate structures and shared spiritual and temporal ambitions. Sean F. McEnroe describes this history at the greatest and smallest geographical scales, reconsidering what it meant to be an Indian vassal, nobleman, soldier or citizen over three centuries in northeastern Mexico. He argues that the Mexican municipality, state and citizen were not so much the sudden creations of a revolutionary age as the progeny of a mature multiethnic empire.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 13 b/w illus. 3 maps
  • 1139026259
  • 9781139026253

Review quote

"Sean McEnroe's deeply-researched and ambitious study recovers the evolution of hybrid Spanish and Indigenous political institutions over three centuries in Mexico's dynamic and ethnically complex northeastern frontier. This is borderlands history in the service of big problems: citizenship, national identity, and the colonial origins of the modern state. A splendid, important book." -Brian DeLay, University of California, Berkeley "Sean McEnroe has given us a masterful treatment of the history of the northeast of Mexico. He writes luminously about how Spanish colonists, sedentary natives, and nomadic indigenous peoples became citizens of Mexico. McEnroe's main achievement is to dig deeply into the archives and the same time rise above the din of data to offer sweeping explanations and panoramic views." -Andres Resendez, University of California, Davis "McEnroe's book is an ace. In a deft stroke of precision scholarship he is able to reveal how Tlaxcalans, Chichimecs, and Spaniards forged the Mexican northeast, as well as to tell us something new about empire, nation, and identity in Latin America. An impressive and most welcome addition to the literature." -Matthew Restall, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History, Pennsylvania State University "McEnroe skillfully demonstrates how both Europeans and indigenous groups, particularly Tlaxcalans, used notions of the past and diverse understandings of the present to forge a multiethnic empire in Mexico. From Colony to Nationhood in Mexico is a fascinating read that not only rethinks Mexico, but also the intellectual and social roots of colonialism." -Charles Walker, Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, University of California, Davis
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About Sean F. McEnroe

Sean F. McEnroe is an historian of Spanish America and the broader colonial world. His previous publications address frontier diplomacy in colonial Mexico, the encounters between Spaniards, North Americans and indigenous peoples in the Philippines and the place of Mexico in the Atlantic world. His work has appeared in Ethnohistory, the Oregon Historical Quarterly and Oxford Bibliographies Online. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a graduate degree in education from Lewis and Clark College. He is an Assistant Professor of Latin American and Atlantic History at Southern Oregon University and a contributing editor for the Library of Congress's Handbook of Latin American Studies.
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Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Tlaxcalan vassals of the north; 3. Multiethnic Indian republics; 4. Becoming Tlaxcalan; 5. Exporting the Tlaxcalan system; 6. War and citizenship; 7. Modern towns and casteless towns; 8. Conclusion.
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