Colonial Latin American History Essay

956 words - 4 pages

The Role of Honor, Marriage, and Illegitimacy in Colonial Latin America
Honor, illegitimacy and sexuality were among the most contested issues especially in the colonial Spanish America (Lavrin 10). In colonial Latin America, the concept of personal honor was more of a mental construct that was expressed through a complex set of social and personal behavioral code that was a prerequisite for acceptance in any given social setting (Lavrin 10). Sexual conduct was referred to as the touchstone of honor because it restrained people from engaging in sexual behavior before marriage (Lavrin 10). Those who were most affected by these assertions were the female due to social consequences emanating from illegitimate children.
Apparently, these male-defined concepts and stringent regulations imposed heavier penalties for women than men because women were mandated with the heaviest burden of keeping their honor. Central to the concept of honor was a woman’s need to keep their virginity intact otherwise she would be ostracized by the society. A woman who preserved her virginity was held with honor and esteem because she proved superior to her peers (Lavrin 11). Virginity in itself was a highly esteem social quality worth keeping (Lavrin 11).
On the other hand, married men and women had to preserve their marriage state to preserve their honor and the honor of their families (Lavrin 11). A wife was required to be faithful and modest at the same time.
Women who gave birth to illegitimate children were required to legitimize their children through marriage (Lavrin 12). This form of legitimization was subject to the husband’s approval and request for honor. Illegitimacy was a pervasive aspect in the colonial cities especially in 17th and 18th century. Regions like Guadalajara documented all illegitimacies as a way of arrogance to the parties. Illegitimacy in colonial Latin America proved to be a very powerful stigma (Lavrin 12). An illegitimate child found it hard to have institutional access or access to educational opportunities as compared to legitimate children. Additionally, illegitimate children had sleek chances for inheritance unless they were under the protection of their wealthy fathers (Lavrin 12). The most common reason for legitimization of the social élites was an aspiration to be accorded honor in the society.
Another option for legitimization was for women who had given birth out of wedlock to become successful in the society (Lavrin 12). For instance, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz were some of the most successful women despite having given birth out of wedlock. For any illegitimacy, the colonial Latin Americans were searching for partial restitution of honor (Lavrin 12). This was achievable through economic compensation or through marriage (Lavrin 12).
A Woman was given the option to make public the man to whom she lost her virginity (Lavrin 12). When such public declarations were made, the man would be required to...

Find Another Essay On Colonial Latin American History

In Search of History: The First Americans How Latin American history would be viewed differently if more was known about the origins of American Paleo Indians.

1776 words - 7 pages At the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, the Americas were populated with at least 50 million indigenous people. Understanding the origins of these first Americans will greatly alter the way in which Latin American history is viewed. Incorporating the timeline, technology, language, migration patterns, and ethnic origins of the nomadic ancestors of modern Native Americans provides the information needed to study

Sex Outside of Marriage in Sixteenth Century Colonial Latin America

1378 words - 6 pages the sixteenth century was rampant. Thomas A. Abercrombie's translation and analysis of court documents in the 2000 book Colonial Lives: Documents in Latin American History, 1550-1850 provides an excellent example of these instances of extra-marital sex in the 1595 court case in Charcas (modern day Sucre, Bolivia), in which Fernando de Medina confessed to killing his wife Beatriz González immediately after committing the crime. His reason for

The Indian Siutation in Colonial Latin America

886 words - 4 pages The Indian Siutation in Colonial Latin America The Indian situation in South America presented Spain with an interesting dilemma. At first, territorial expansion and the hunt for gold loomed over the New World, with Spain at the helm of the operation. Indians were obviously native of the area and their presence left Spain with several options if the New World was to become a "gold mine" of Spanish conquest. Economic progress took

Latin America’s Struggles After Independence

1001 words - 5 pages Latin America went through many years of colonial rule from Spain, but around the 1800’s they began to seek their independence. The years to follow were full of rebellion and war, trying to gain their independence from colonial Spain. The “Americanos”, now believed that they were able to rule themselves, and that it was no longer necessary for Spain to keep controlling the Americas. When Latin America finally defeated

Latin American Culture

1013 words - 4 pages Latin American Culture Latin America represents 1/10 of the world's population, and geographically can be located from the land extensions of Mexico, until the Patagonia at Argentina. Some of the most relevant elements of today's culture in Latin America are; Religion, Values, Attitudes, Social structure, Social stratification, Language and Gift-giving hospitality. The predominant religion throughout history in Latin America has been

Is Democracy Sustainable in Latin America?

1697 words - 7 pages . The difference results from many factors. In large part, the Latin America is unique because of its Iberian heritage, history, and tradition (Millett). The conquest of Latin America by Spain and the methods of rule and traditions have largely influenced the development of Latin American democracy. The Spanish mercantile system and the methods and practices it produced have had a direct impact on all the factors that help sustain democracy

The Fundamental Building Block of Latin Music

2215 words - 9 pages Latino music Introduction Latin music is a well-liked skill form urbanized in a variety of Latin American countries, chiefly Cuba, and is exclusive for the type of musical structures it builds upon. It is vocal and instrumental tune, initially subsequent from African spiritual ceremonies, on the other hand viewed today chiefly as dance music. Its strongest feature, though, is its measure, which is extremely syncopated (when a number of rhythms

The Colonies of Culture:The Postcolonial Self in Latin America and Africa

2446 words - 10 pages the past of African and Latin American culture. Culture and the self exist symbiotically, one cannot exist without the other. Culture is the all encompassing social-structure of a given society. It is the child of people, a child that grows to adulthood quickly, and begins to control its parents molding of itself, it encompasses those who create it. Culture is fluid. Violence is an essential part of the colony. Colonialism is a culture

Influence of African Music in North American and Latin American Music

1722 words - 7 pages can actually be traced back many generations to the African slaves brought to those countries. Bruno Nettl and Gerard Behague discussed the significant influence of African music in their essay “Afro-American Folk Music in North and Latin America.” They said, “One of the truly important developments in the history of word music was initiated by the forced migration of great numbers of Africans, as slaves, to various parts of the Americas” (229

20th Century Latin American Literature

3284 words - 13 pages Americans “extend their literature in the world…no longer concerned about whether or not they express America or their representative countries” (Martinez 1982: 64).However, translating literature from one language to another for the benefit of international audiences is a tricky political process, and the history of the evolving Latin American novel testifies to the wild dynamics of language and human identity in a cross cultural world. “It is

Faith And Honor In Latin America

1288 words - 5 pages Using The Faces of Honor as a reference, explain why honor was important and how it was defined and defended in colonial Latin American. Honor has been the bridge of many passions throughout the world and especially in Colonial Latin America. The real power of honor comes from its pervasive nature, the way it transcends class and race. "Nobles and commoners alike strove to maintain honor, simply defined as ones self-esteem as well as

Similar Essays

Latin American History Essay

1340 words - 5 pages HistoryThe diversity of Latin America is surely supported by the impressive history the countries all seem to share, which is expressly evident in each one today as it had been for centuries. What amazes me is the fact that the people who colonized these countries in the seventeenth and eighteenth century had a far more advance civilization than most had realized. The diversity does not only stop there but is also reflected in the varying

Latin American History Essay

760 words - 3 pages Latin American History The bureaucracy established in the sixteenth century in Latin-America consisted of many parts. These components include the Council of the Indies, audiencias, viceroys and the Church (Lecture, 2/13). The Crown in Spain formed each one of the components as stabilizing factors that strengthened Royal Authority. Each component had certain responsibilities that they needed to uphold and these responsibilities helped

Colonial American History Take Home Exam Essay

1497 words - 6 pages was this a gradual process that just naturally developed?During colonial American history, we have had many conflicts with our superiors. And just like the other colonial possessions of the world powers, at some point, it was inevitable that we would have gained independence - though perhaps it wouldn't have had to been so violent. This gradual separation that happened between the colonies and the country was bound to happen, and it was just a

Feminist Ideals In Latin American Literature And History

1716 words - 7 pages The image of the woman in Latin America culture is one that has traditionally been quite askew from reality and ultimately alienating. Unlike the American feminine mystique, which was a media creation, the conceptualization of women in Latin American culture is one that is deeply engrained in the consciousness of Latin people. It is commonly referred to as marianismo, or "Mary-ism" referring to the idea that women must reflect the Catholic ideal