Ethnic rebellions continually disrupted the Pax Colonial, Spain's three-hundred-year rule over the Native peoples of Mexico. Although these uprisings varied considerably in cause, duration, consequences, and scale, they collectively served as a constant source of worry for the Spanish authorities. This meticulously researched volume provides both a valuable overview of Native uprisings in New Spain and a stimulating reevaluation of their significance. Running counter to the prevailing scholarly tendency to emphasize similarities among ethnic revolts, the seven contributors examine episodes of rebellion that are distinguished by their ethnic, geographical, and historical diversity, ranging culturally and geographically across colonial New Spain and spanning the last two centuries of Spanish rule. Unparalleled access to colonial archival sources also enables the writers to more fully consider indigeus perspectives on resistance and explore in greater detail than before the precipitating factors and effects of different forms of protest. A provocative concluding essay balances this line of inquiry by investigating how a shared cultural disposition toward violence in colonial New Spain contributed to the atmosphere of ethnic tension and rebellion.
Susan Schroeder is a professor of history at Loyola University. She is the author of Chimalpahin and the Kingdom of Chalco and the coeditor of the forthcoming Indian Women in Early Mexico.