Colonial Lives offers a rich variety of archival documents in translation which bring to life the political and economic workings of Latin American colonies during 300 years of Spanish rule, as well as the day-to-day lives of the colonies' inhabitants.
Intended to complement textbooks such as Burkholder and Johnson's Colonial Latin America by presenting students with primary sources the raw materials on which the facts in other textbooks are based this reader strives to illustrate the impact of issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, culture and religion in the daily lives of both natives and colonists alike. The concerns, struggles and perspectives of the inhabitants of colonial Latin America are reflected in transcripts of civil and criminal court cases, administrative reviews, ecclesiastical investigations, Inquisition trials, wills, and letters the editors have included in this reader.
Each document is prefaced by an introduction that places it in the social and political context of the period. The book also includes a glossary of terms and lists of suggested further readings. Most uniquely, the book offers helpful thematic cross-referencing sections and an index of themes which allow instructors to easily adapt the book to their courses and to assign readings according to the criteria of their own specific curriculums.