American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Beyond Cardboard Conquistadores and Missionaries: The First Europeans in the New World

Published November 18, 2014

Andrés Reséndez, University of California – Davis
CUNY Graduate Center, October 18, 2013

In this talk, Professor Reséndez expands the traditional conception of America’s colonial past and paints a richer, more historically accurate picture of the Europeans who settled in the New World.  The “Spanish Conquistadores” were not all Spanish, all male, and all funded by the king, but were actually cosmopolitan, international professionals, often funded by private entrepeneurs who came as settlers rather than conquerors. Missionaries were not simply “good Padres” carrying the message of Christ, but rather had their own strategic plans rooted in self-promotion. Reséndez presents the new world in the colonial era as part of an increasingly international, interdependent environment of global commerce.

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