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Volume 50 / Humanities


Colonial Period

MICHAEL T. HAMERLY, Associate Professor of Library Science, Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam
SUSAN M. SOCOLOW, Professor of History, Emory University
KATHY WALDRON, Citibank, N.A., New York

HISTORICAL PRODUCTION on colonial Venezuela remains more or less constant. It is increasingly more mature. The Academia Nacional de la Historia has begun to publish well-documented studies of new topics in addition to the customary collections of documents. See, for example, Celestino Andres Arauz Monfante's El contrabando holandés en el Caribe (item bi 89006129) or Virgilio Tosta's Historia de Barinas (item bi 89006173). Although the Academia looms large in Venezuelan historiography, some significant work is done outside of its halls, or for that matter outside of Venezuela. Not necessarily representative of extramural studies but certainly noteworthy are the articles by Gary M. Miller on the military in the late colonial period (item bi 89006153) and by Eugenio Piñero on the cacao trade (item bi 88003258), both of which appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review.

The volume of writings on colonial Colombia also continues to be substantial, but many of the works in question are poorly done. The bicentennial of the Mutis expedition, however, prompted several interesting studies (see items bi 89006180, bi 89006181, bi 89006183, and bi 89006191) and a welcome reedition of the botanist's diaries (item bi 89006193). If any genre may be said to prevail, it is that of local history. The best recent work in this category is María del Carmen Mena García's book on Santa Marta (item bi 89006192), a community usually overlooked. But of all the new studies on Nueva Granada, the most outstanding is that of Mario Aguilera Pena on Los comuneros (item bi 89006176), a monograph that reflects not only considerable original research but the newer approaches to crowd movements. Several general works also merit mention: the tomes by Luis Martínez Delgado, Juan Manuel Pacheco C. and Roberto María Tisnés on Church history in the Academia Colombiana de Historia's Historia extensa (item bi 89006189); and Miquel Izard's comparative history of Venezuela and Colombia from their discovery and conquest through the recent present (item bi 89006119).

Significant work on the former Presidency of Quito has declined. Less than half as many works as in HLAS 48 are annotated below. Two are especially important, both by members of the Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos. María Luisa Laviana Cuetos' Guayaquil en el siglo XVIII (item bi 89006215), a revision of her Ph.D. dissertation, builds on and supplements Michael T. Hamerly's Historia social y económica de la antigua Provincia de Guayaquil (see HLAS 36: 2443). Francisco Javier Ortiz de la Tabla Ducasse's "De Hidalgo Castellano a Empresario Colonial" (item bi 89006221), is an admirable analysis of an early encomendero which whets our appetite for his forthcoming book on the encomenderos of Quito.

Publications on colonial Peru continue to proliferate and for the most part to be significant. Those included in this Handbook consist of the usual mixed bag, ranging from archival guides such as the inventories of the Real Aduana series in the National Archives (item bi 89006269), of interest only to a few specialists, through sophisticated studies such as Rolena Adorno's book on Guaman Poma (item bi 88000434) or David Brading's article on Garcilaso de la Vega (item bi 89006230), both of interest to colonialists at large. This is not the place to review the recent historiography of colonial Peru - a task accomplished admirably albeit not completely by Fred Bronner in "Peruvian Historians Today" (item bi 89002808) and Leon G. Campbell in "The Historical Reconquest of 'Peruvian Space'" (item bi 89006232). But we would be remiss in not indicating the new works (three books and one article) which are the most important. The books are Ronald Escobedo Mansilla's Control fiscal en el Virreinato Peruano (item bi 89006122), a polished as well as pioneering study of a major institution, the Tribunal Mayor de Cuentas; the probably already well-known Resistance, rebellion, and consciousness in the Andean peasant world, edited by Steve J. Stern (item bi 89003121), an anthology that exemplifies how much remains to be learned about native uprisings in the Andes while at the same time considerably advancing our knowledge and understanding thereof (see items bi 89002812, bi 89002852, bi 89003071, bi 89003119, and bi 89003147); and the poorly-known Jaime Rios Burga, Ciclos productivos en el espacio peruano colonial (item bi 89006272), a seminal sketch of economic cycles in Upper and Lower Peru. The article is Bernard Lavalle's model as well as novel "Divorcio y Nulidad de Matrimonio en Lima" (item bi 89006259).

Appreciably fewer than in HLAS 48, recent contributions on colonial Bolivia - all of which are articles - are well researched and written. And almost without exception they add new data to the increasingly multifaceted as well as detailed portrait of Alto Peru being drawn by the small but fortunately hardy band of Bolivians and Bolivianists producing year in and year out. Ann Zulawski's article on the labor force of Oruro (item bi 89006287) merits particular attention. In the first place, it is an entirely original study, at least insofar as the place and the period are concerned. And in the second, Ms. Zulawski is the only new North American Andeanist historian to appear in this Handbook.

Although few in number, almost all of the new works on colonial Chile are of high caliber. One work that really shines is Walter Hanisch's beautifully written and highly informative book on 17th- and 18th-century Chiloé (item bi 89006330).

Historical output on colonial Argentina and Paraguay, especially the former, has increased. Furthermore, there has been a marked improvement in the quality of articles dealing with the Río de la Plata, particularly those treating economic and/or social aspects of the final decades of the colonial period. Of marked interest are the studies by Raúl Osvaldo Fradkin (item bi 89006357), Juan Carlos Garavaglia (items bi 89006359, bi 89006360, and bi 89006361), Carlos A. Mayo (items bi 89006561), and the team of María del Rosario Prieto and Carlos Fernando Wuilloud (item bi 89006566). All of the aforementioned articles demonstrate increasing sophistication in the use of sources and methodology. Several of the articles in question appeared in two new journals: Cuadernos de Historia Regional, edited by Daniel J. Santamaría; and Anuario IEHS, edited by Garavaglia. Several traditional historians are also doing fine work: Abelardo Levaggi (items bi 89006475 and bi 89006476) and José María Mariluz Urquijo (items bi 89006516 and bi 89006559), for example. Jerry W. Cooney continues to enlighten us on colonial Paraguay (item bi 89000576) and has also begun to add to our knowledge of trade and navigation (items bi 89006350 and bi 89006353).

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