The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule: A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico 1519-1810

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Author: Charles Gibson (1920-1985) from the library of Professor George Foster

Year: 1964

Publisher: Stanford University Press

Place: Stanford, CA


x+657 pages with frontispiece, 12 maps, 17 figures, 15 plates, appendixes, bibliography and index. Royal octavo (9 1/2" x 6 1/2") bound in original publisher's black cloth with gilt lettering to spine in original pictorial jacket. From the library of Professor George Foster. First edition.

This is the history of the Indians of the valley of Mexico, one of the two most important indigenous groups in the Spanish empire in America, from the conquest to Independence in the early nineteenth century. Based upon ten years of research, this study casts new light on many of the great themes of Spanish Colonial history: the early promise of a cultural accord between the Spaniards and Indians; the growing divisions within the two societies, as well as between them; and the steady increase in the exploitation of the Indians, largely unchecked by the Spanish crown. The focus throughout is on the effect of Spanish institutions on Indian life at the local level: the early fragmentation of the Aztec empire into many semi-independent towns, the complex relations between head towns (caberceras) and subject towns, and the changes in local economies, especially as seen in agriculture, trade, finance, labor and the division of land. Social and religious changes in the Indian communities are also closely analyzed, so that the progressive dissolution of a great native empire into clusters of demoralized and exploited people emerges with clarity and fullness. The final chapter deals with the special case of the Indians of Mexico City. The text is supplemented by six Appendixes which present hitherto unexploited data on encomiendas, cabecera-sujeto relations, political jurisdictions and population figures.

George McClelland Foster, Jr born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on October 9, 1913, died on May 18, 2006, at his home in the hills above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as a professor from 1953 to his retirement in 1979, when he became professor emeritus. His contributions to anthropological theory and practice still challenge us; in more than 300 publications, his writings encompass a wide diversity of topics, including acculturation, long-term fieldwork, peasant economies, pottery making, public health, social structure, symbolic systems, technological change, theories of illness and wellness, humoral medicine in Latin America, and worldview. The quantity, quality, and long-term value of his scholarly work led to his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1976. Virtually all of his major publications have been reprinted and/or translated. 


Foster's stamp to front end paper. Light edge wear. Jacket with light edge wear else near fine like jacket.

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