36th out of 116 books — 24 voters
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The Spanish Seaborne Empire
The Spanish empire in America was the first of the great seaborne empires of western Europe; it was for long the richest and the most formidable, the focus of envy, fear, and hatred. Its haphazard beginning dates from 1492; it was to last more than three hundred years before breaking up in the early nineteenth century in civil wars between rival generals and "liberators."
Paperback, 417 pages
Published August 9th 1990 by University of California Press
(first published 1966)
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Every other sentence in this book contains critical information about Latin American history. It is factually comprehensive for its size (but it does have some omissions that are unfortunate) and draws few conclusions. It lets the reader determine how and why Latin America developed the way it did culturally, religiously, militarily, politically, economically, academically and socially (to a lesser extent). It covers from around 1492 to the early 1800's, so it left me with many questions, especi...more
An excellent & complex look at a complex Empire. Parry shows how the Empire came to take the structure(s) it did, how and why it disintegrated and many other things. Its relationship to trade, to the Church and to racial relations are all topics that Parry illuminates.