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The Oxford History of Historical WritingVolume 3: 1400-1800$
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José Rabasa, Masayuki Sato, Edoardo Tortarolo, and Daniel Woolf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199219179.001.0001

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Spanish American Colonial Historiography

Spanish American Colonial Historiography

Issues, Traditions, and Debates

Chapter:
(p.661) Chapter 32 Spanish American Colonial Historiography
Source:
The Oxford History of Historical Writing
Author(s):

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199219179.003.0033

This chapter focuses on the great debates over the New World in the eighteenth century. It traces the ways in which Spanish and American historians responded to Northern Europeans writing about the inferiority of New World cultures and nature. It finds in American, and to some extent also in Spanish historians, a redefinition of the ideals of the Enlightenment. It argues that American historians were truer to the scientific spirit of the Enlightenment than their European counterparts. It also considers how European historians could claim originality and newness, conveniently ignoring American historians while mining their books.

Keywords:   historical writing, New World, Spanish historians, American historians, Enlightenment

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