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A Companion to Latin American History by Thomas H. Holloway

By Thomas H. Holloway

The Companion to Latin American History collects the paintings of top specialists within the box to create a single-source evaluate of the varied historical past and present tendencies within the learn of Latin America.

  • Presents a cutting-edge evaluate of the background of Latin America
  • Written by way of the pinnacle overseas specialists within the field
  • 28 chapters come jointly as a superlative unmarried resource of data for students and students
  • Recognizes the breadth and variety of Latin American background through offering systematic chronological and geographical coverage
  • Covers either old developments and new components of interest

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Extra info for A Companion to Latin American History

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While the Spanish colonial efforts at transforming Mesoamerican civilization are less straightforward than once believed, we have learned that the biological effects of the conquest were profound. The effects of European infectious diseases on New World populations have been recognized for some time. An infected soldier in Cortés’s party exposed Mesoamerican populations to smallpox in 1519, with devastating results. It is said that Cortés owes much of his success to the fact that disease often preceded the conquistadors, so that by the time they arrived in a place the population was ill or dying.

The Spanish introduced a number of aggressive plants that took over large areas: some were weeds; others were grasses. The Spanish were also pastoralists as well as farmers, and brought with them cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, horses, donkeys, and other animals that thrived in the New World and which in turn altered the environment in dramatic ways. It is estimated that cattle herds in Mexico doubled every 15 years during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so that beef became a very inexpensive commodity.

Thus a word written as cuca can mean “rich” or “comb” depending on the tone given each syllable. Nahuatl, on the other hand, a member of the Uto-Aztecan family, creates very long words by making extensive use of prefixes and suffixes and compounding. Within languages dialect continua sometimes prevails, so that the people of one town may not understand the people from six towns away, even though intelligible communication takes place between each of the neighboring towns. Some linguists, who distinguish languages based on levels of intelligibility, conclude that some languages, such as Zapotec, are actually many different languages (38 in the case of Zapotec).

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