Continuity and Change in the Post-Colonial Period for Spanish and English-speaking New World Countries
AbstractDespite the word revolution being colloquially used as a synonym for change, it is just as crucial and fascinating to examine which elements of the pre-revolutionary government and society managed to remain largely intact. This paper will specifically examine the status and rights of the indigenous people and women in two New World societies in their earlier days of independence, the former Spanish colonies of Central and South America and the Thirteen Colonies of British North America that became the United States. Contrary to popular stereotypes of traditionalist Catholics and freedom-loving/open-minded Anglophones, a careful reading and analysis of primary and secondary sources supports the assertion that Spanish-societies, despite retaining the racial hierarchy and gender roles, tended to grant more legal rights and chances for assimilation into and participation in society to women and Native Peoples than their English-speaking counterparts.
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