Frontier Of Possession Analysis

1508 Words 7 Pages
The accountant of the conquest, and the making of what is today Latin America is a debatable subject in the field of humanities, especially in the field history. The most widespread approaches of this history are that of violence, war, oppression, possession of territories, and foundation of new colonies. In Frontier of Possessions, Tamar Herzog, a historian, professor of Latin American presents an account of the conquest from a different perspective, one that proposes that the acquisition of the territory of the New World by Spain and Portugal was a result of “interactions of many actors that caused territorial division in both Iberia and the Americas” (Herzog, 6). Hence, I conquer that one of the reasons of the conquest was the desire to …show more content…
In the other hand, the Europeans soon realized that this “ silence” thing could cost them to lose possession, thus they resource to writing. This makes me think about the work of Katherine Burns who points that in the beginning of the conquest “was the word”, but just not any word; it was the written word of a notario. (Burns, 2). This is exactly what happened here. The word to proclaim and take possession was not enough. Soon they realized that the use of “silence” could as well be useful resource, and the “written word” could prove and serve as evidence. Nonetheless, it also became a tool of double cutting edge. For one, if they did not objected, they lose their territorial delimitations, if they put it in writing that also led to lose territorial acquisition. They often self nominated themselves and change names in documents. For instance, a Portuguese military command named himself, “ …governor of Rio Grande de San Pedro”(Herzog, 41) . Soon enough, both parties realize that either one of them could use that legal writing document as a tool to posses a territory by changing and tweaking the information. The lesson here, for anyone interested in power, will be that …show more content…
Under the flag of caring for salvation of the Indians, Spanish and Portuguese alike fought against each other: “ Theories linking conversion to subjugation and mission…intensified the race to win over natives…and raised the question of which one was the higher cause: salvation of the souls or territorial domination” (Herzog, 86). Insofar, conversion became the center of a conflict of appropriation of land where human life where the center of debate of possession. The more Indians an European posses, the more right to land they had. But the question that emerges after this aftermath is of those conversos Indians. As new “ vasallos” of the crown, what right do they have of their own lands? Since the act of conversion granted them that right. One interpretation I’d like to offer is that along with the lands, even if Indians converted, they became items of property, rather than human being with the right to also

Related Documents