Colonial Latin America by Leslie Bethell

By Leslie Bethell

Examines the historical past of colonial Latin the US sooner than its independence.

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Morner, who has noted the growing capacity of the ships that crossed the Atlantic and therefore the likely average number of passengers they carried per voyage. , Seville, 1940-6). Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 16 Population average figure of fifteen passengers during the years from 1506 to 1540 is said to have risen to twenty during the next two decades and 30 during the years between 1562 and 1625, reaching 40 during the years from 1626 to 165 o. Multiplying these averages by the number of ships sailing, as recorded in the registers edited by Huguette and Pierre Chaunu,13 he arrives at totals for each period and annual averages for the number of migrants.

The Spaniards for the most part lived in the major cities, the Indians in the smaller towns. In spite of the law, however, segregation into two 'republics' was never rigorously enforced. There was never any lack of Indians in the cities, which indeed needed them if they were to function efficiently. On the other hand, the Spaniards intruded little by little into the wealthier Indian towns. And the townships they set up on their own estates had a bottom stratum of Indian or mesti2o peons. DEMOGRAPHIC RECOVERY Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries mortality rates remained high.

Of this number, 144,000 pie^as de Indies were imported by the South Sea Company. The sharp increase in the slave trade during the second half of the eighteenth century was due to the expanding cultivation of tropical crops, above all sugar, in the Caribbean. Between 1761 and 1810 about 300,000 Africans were imported into Spanish America, a rate of somewhat over 6,000 a year. Cuba and to a lesser extent Puerto Rico took almost the whole supply. African immigration totally transformed the ethnic makeup of the islands.

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