Heavenly influences : the cosmic and social order of New Spain at the turn of the seventeenth century
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This is the story of Spanish belonging in New Spain and the creation of New Spaniards. Tracing Spanish perceptions of place, the body, belonging, and Indian mortality, as well as constructions of “nativeness” and “Spanishness” from the conquest, this work does three things. First it examines the ideological constructs behind Spanish belonging, and the ideas that Spaniards brought with them about their bodies and their relationship to the environment. Second it follows the progression of these ideas through the first three generations of Spanish colonization, paying particular attention to the way that political rivalries, the exigencies of the crown, and Indian mortality affected discourse on belonging and identity. Finally, it captures a moment at the turn of the seventeenth century, when residents of New Spain began to re-imagine their belonging and their relationship to the land and its original inhabitants.