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Proposal: The Impact of Contact with the Americas on Catholic Spain

For Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile, 1492 was supposed to change the course of Spanish history. The Treaty of Granada ended a 700-year-long war in which Christians fought to retake the Iberian Peninsula from Islamic rule. The “Reyes” further fulfilled their self-proclaimed purpose of championing Catholicism with the expulsion of the Jews from their region. All of the necessary measures were in place to begin the unification of the land they respectively controlled. It was, however, the land not yet under their control—the discovery of continents not yet within their realm of knowledge—that changed the course of human history in 1492. In a time charged by religious conflict, the founding of completely different people groups and territory represented an opportunity to expand Catholicism and Empire. A discussion of primary and secondary sources from the fields of history, art and literature during the period offers insight into this world of religious agenda and how contact with the Americas impacted Spain in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

In order to trace the beginning of religious reformation in Spain back to the discovery and exploration of the Americas, I will engage many different types of primary sources. First, there are a series of political documents intended to address the treatment of indigenous inhabitants that secondarily point to the responsibility of Spanish subjects to live a life of exemplary, even superior, religious conviction. The first, De Indis De Jure Belli, written by philosopher Francisco de Vitoria in 1532 asserts the supremacy of the Church over Empire. Speaking from a legal standpoint, Vitoria uses political models to illustrate the right of the Church to act with spiritual fervor, though not to the detriment of civil power. A question thus followed regarding the Indians of the New World as to whether or not they would be considered citizens of Spain. Juan Gines de Sepulveda represented the right of conquest school of thought at the Valladolid debate in Spain, presenting there in 1550 the philosophy put forth in his 1547 The Second Democrates. Sepulveda argues the inferiority of the Indians in comparison to the “natural qualities of judgment, talken, magnanimity, temperance, humanity, and religion” of the Spanish. He believes the conquest and evangelization of the Americas is not only the right but also the responsibility of the church. In 1590, Jose de Acosta published his Natural and Moral History of the Indies to offer a broader understanding of the New World and its contents in addition to the people. Most helpful to my study, however, is his handling of this new information—the attempt to fit it into the existing religious framework of Europe.

The second type of useful primary source are those regarding the religious framework of Europe between the Reconquista and the Counter-Reformation. This Counter-Reformation is typically viewed as having started in earnest by the 1560s, with the commission of the Roman Catechism, meant to instruct clergymen in the way of spirituality and theology. Primary documents, such as St. Teresa’s The Way of Perfection (c. 1550), regarding the individual approach to spiritual life speak to the changing religious norm before the traditionally recognized beginning of Catholic Reformation. The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (1522-1524) represents this category, wherein St. Ignatius asserts the importance of individual spiritual outlook and meditation. Primary sources like these offer a view of religion from the perspective of religious leaders. Art and Literature during the Golden Age constitute a third important pool of primary sources. Literature made a transition during this time from the romance of knights and figureheads to novel style—the representation of everyday life. Surprisingly, generally missing from literary accounts of everyday Spanish life is mention of religion. When the Church does appear, it is presented as corrupt and hypocritical. The anonymously published Lazarillo de Tormes (1554) and Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605) are two examples of this rising tradition. The artistic works of painters such as Francisco de Zurbaran and Luis de Morales are also of interest, given that they exhibit the religious, mystic style of Spanish art during the period of the Counter-Reformation and the glorification of the Catholic monarchy and aristocracy.

While these legal, religious, literary and artistic primary sources provide a view into specific aspects and dates in 16th and 17thCentury Spain, secondary sources regarding those sources provide a larger context for studying the impact of the New World on Catholicism in Spain. In The Fall of Natural Man (1982), Anthony Pagden identifies the different schools of thought regarding the early question of the classification of Indians and what it means to spread Spanish society. This source is best at incorporating theological, legal, and historical approaches to the period. An interesting commentary on religion comes from Linda B. Hall’s 2004 Mary, Mother and Warrior, wherein the Professor of History at the University of New Mexico tracks the veneration of the Virgin Mary. She argues that evangelization led to the combination of ritual, indigenous belief and traditional Catholic Doctrine, leading Spaniards  to view theirs as purer, superior Catholicism. James A. Parr of the University of California at Riverside Department of Hispanic studies gives attention to the literary tradition of the 14th to 17th centuries in Spain in Don Quixote, Don Juan, and Related Subjects (2004). He pulls from literature of the era many different themes—the most important for my research being the religious aspect of fiction novels. One of Parr’s main points is to distinguish between art history and literary history. Necessary, then, are sources pertaining to the artistic trends of the era. Stephen Greenblatt provides a thorough study of the methods by which Spaniards classified Indians of the early modern period—particularly through art—using travel narratives, judicial documents and legal reports in Marvelous Possessions (1992). Lastly, Marjorie Trusted discusses the importance of sculptures and replication for the spread of Catholic devotional images in her 1997 work,Art for the Masses: Spanish Sculpture in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Together I will use these categories of secondary sources to provide broader context for the issues addressed in the primary sources of the same topic.

Much has been written about the impact of Spain on the Americas. It is easier to prove causal relationships when examining the object of conquest than it is to argue the effect of a world considered inferior by Spaniards on the Empire, reaching its height by 1492. Still, it is necessary to study the latter, as it would be careless to assume that the discovery of a new world would not affect the existing order of life. I believe this is especially true in regards to religion, which was a heated topic going into the 16th Century after the Reconquest and expulsion of the Jews. The Counter-Reformation is thought to have begun in the 1660s. What I expect to find in further research of my primary and secondary sources, however, is that religious reform began much earlier, with the beginning of the evangelization of the New World. The desire to spread Catholicism in the west dramatically impacted the need to address issues within the faith in 16th and 17th Century Spain.

Bibliography– The Impact of Contact with the Americas on Spain (revised)

1. Alcala, Luisa Elena, William A. Christian Jr., Jaime Cuadriello, Javier Portus, Alfonso Rodriquez G. de Ceballos, and Maria Cruz de Carlos Varona, Ronda Kasl, ed. Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World. Indiana: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2010.

2. Assadourian, Carlos Sempat. “The Colonial Economy: The Transfer of the European System of Production to New Spain and Peru.” Journal of Latin American Studies 24, no. 2 (1992): 55-69.

3. Behm, Herbert and Edwin Place. Amadis of Gaul: Books I and II. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2003.

4. —————————————. Amadis of Gaul: Books III and IV. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009.

5. Bentley, Jerry. Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

6. Boyer, Patricio. “Framing the Visual Tableaux in the Brevisima Relacion de la Destrucion de las Indias.” Colonial Latin America Review 18, no. 3 (December 2009): 365-382.

7. Brownlee, Marina Scordilis and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. Cultural Authority in Golden Age Spain. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univesity Press, 1995.

8. Butzer, Karl W. “Cattle and Sheep from Old to New Spain: Historical Antecedents.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 78, no. 1 (March 1988): 29-56.

9. Calderon de la Barca, Pedro. The Mayor of Zalamea. Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1959.

10. ———————————-.Three Comedies. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985.

11. Caruso, Marcelo. “Latin American Independence: Education and the Invention of New Polities.” Paedagogica Historica 26, no. 4 (August 2010): 409-417.

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13. Close, A.J. Cervantes and the Comic Mind of His Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

14. Cohen, Walter. Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.

15. Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage (Diario del Primer Viaje). Translated by B.W. Ife. Warminster, England: Aris&Phillips Ltd., 1991.

16. Contag, Kimberly Elizabeth. Mockery in Spanish Golden Age Literature: Analysis of Burlesque Representation. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1996.

17. Cortes, Hernan. Letters From Mexico. Translated by Anthony Pagden London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

18. Craib, Raymond B. “Cartography and Power in the Conquest and Creation of New Spain.” Latin America Research Review 35, no.1 (2000): 7-37.

19. De Las Casas, Bartoleme. The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account. Translated by Herman Briffault. New York: Seabury Press, 1974.

20. Don, Patricia Lopes. “Franciscans, Indian Sorcerers, and the Inquistition in New Spain, 1536-1543.” Journal of World History 17, no. 1 (March 2006): 27-49.

21. Elliott, John. Spain and Its World, 1500-1700: Selected Essays. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

22. —————. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

23. Elsky, Martin. “Spain and Spanish America in the Early Modern Atlantic World: Current Trends in Scholarship.” Renaissance Quarterly 62, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 1-60.

24. Fernandez, James D. “The Bonds of Patrimony: Cervantes and the New World.” PMLA 109, no. 5 (October 1994): 969-981.

25. Giles, Mary E. ed. Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

26. Goldfarb, Hilliard T. Titian and Rubens: Power, Politics, and Style. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998.

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28. Gracian y Morales, Baltasar. The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Translated by Joseph Jacobs. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943.

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30. Greenblatt, Stephen. Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.

31. Hall, Linda B. Mary, Mother and Warrior: the Virgin in Spain and the Americas. Austin: The University of Texas Press, 2004.

32. Herzog, Tamar. “Communities Becoming a Nation: Spain and Spanish America in the Wake of Modernity (and Thereafter).” Citizenship Studies 11, no. 2 (May 2007): 151-172.

33. ——————. Upholding Justice: Society, State, and the Penal System in Quito (1650-1750). Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2004.

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35. ———–. “The Real and its Effect in Spanish Picaresque.” New Comparison 11 (1991): 3-12.

36. Ishikawa, Chiyo. Spain in the Age of Exploration, 1492-1819. Seattle: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

37. Israel, Jonathan Irvine. Conflicts of Empires: Spain, the Low Countries and the Struggle For World Supremacy, 1585-1713. Ohio: Hambledon Press, 1997.

38. Jones, Royston Oscar. The Golden Age: Prose and Poetry: The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1971.

39. Kasl, Ronda. Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World. Indianapolis: Yale University Press, 2009.

40. Lehman, Sara L. Sinful Business: A New World Commerce as Religious Transgression in Literature on and of the Spanish Empire. Newark: Juan De La Cuesta, 2010.

41. Loftin, John Clyde. Renaissance Drama in England & Spain: Topical Allusion and History Plays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.

42. McAlister, Lyle N. Spain and Portugal in the New World, 1492-1700. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

43. Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.

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54. Silva y Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez. Maria Teresa (1638-1683), Infanta of Spain, 1651-1654, oil on canvas (The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FDFMaiMuOztdLS04ezV0S3UpXQ%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

55. —————————————–. Philip IV of Spain, oil on canvas, 1644 (The Frick Collection: New York). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8D1Efjk2MyAoJiYuFTx5T3EtU3Uo&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

56. —————————————–. The Supper at Emmaus, oil on canvas, 1622-23 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FDFMaiMuOztdLS0wdD59R3Ao&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

57. —————————————–. Don Gaspar de Guzman (1587-1645), Count-Duke of Olivares, oil on canvas, 1635 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art: New York). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FDFMaiMuOztdLS04ezV0S3UpXw%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

58. Smith, Paul Julian. Writing in the Margin: Spanish Literature of the Golden Age. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.

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63. ——————– . The Arts of Spain: Iberia and Latin America 1450-1700. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007.

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65. ——————.Fuente Ovejuna; The Knight From Olmedo; Punishment Without Revenge. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

66. Villasenor Black, Charlene. Creating the Cult of St. Joseph: Art and Gender in the Spanish Empire. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

67. ——————————. “Love and Marriage in the Spanish Empire: Depictions of Holy Matrimony and Gender Discourses in the Seventeenth Century.” Sixteenth Century Journal 32, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 637-667.

68. Vollendorf, Lisa. “Recent Trends in Gender Studies: Early Modern Spain and Colonial Latin America.” Gender & History 18, no. 2 (August 2006): 412-416.

Bibliography– The Impact of Contact with the Americas on Spain

1. Allen, Robert C. “Progress and Poverty in Early Modern Europe.” The Economic History Review 56, no. 3 (August 2003): 403-443.

2. Altman, Ida. The Mirror of Spain, 1500-1700: The Formation of a Myth.

3. Assadourian, Carlos Sempat. “The Colonial Economy: The Transfer of the European System of Production to New Spain and Peru.” Journal of Latin American Studies 24, no. 2 (1992): 55-69.

4. Behm, Herbert and Edwin Place. Amadis of Gaul: Books I and II. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2003.

5. ——————————————-. Amadis of Gaul: Books III and IV. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009.

6. Bentley, Jerry. Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

7. Boubli, Lizzie. “The State of Scholarship of Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Drawings.” Master Drawings 37, no. 4 (Winter 1999): 349-364.

8. Boyer, Patricio. “Framing the Visual Tableaux in the Brevisima Relacion de la Destruicion de las Indias.” Colonial Latin America Review 18, no. 3 (December 2009): 365-382.

9. Brockwell, Charles. “Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain.” The Historian (1998).

10. Brooks, Lynn Matluck. “Text and Image As Evidence for Posture and Movement Style in Seventeenth-Century Spain.” Imago Musicae 13 (1996): 39-61.

11. Brown, Jonathan. Painting in Spain: 1500-1700. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.

12. ———————–. The Sale of the Century: Artistic Relations Between Spain and Great Britain, 1604-1655. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

13. Brownlee, Marina Scordilis and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. Cultural Authority in Golden Age Spain. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univesity Press, 1995.

14. Butzer, Karl W. “Cattle and Sheep from Old to New Spain: Historical Antecedents.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 78, no. 1 (March 1988): 29-56.

15. Calderon de la Barca, Pedro. Life is a Dream. Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1959.

16.—————————————.The Mayor of Zalamea. Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 1959.

17. ————————————–. The Surgeon of His Honour. Translated by Roy Campbell. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1960.

18. ————————————–.Three Comedies. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985.

19. Cammarata, Joan. Women in the Discourse of Early Modern Spain. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003.

20. Caruso, Marcelo. “Latin American Independence: Education and the Invention of New Polities.” Paedagogica Historica 26, no. 4 (August 2010): 409-417.

21.Cascardi, Anthony J. Ideologies of History in the Spanish Golden Age. University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 1997.

22.Close, A.J. Cervantes and the Comic Mind of His Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

23. Cohen, Walter. Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.

24. Columbus, Christopher, Journal of the First Voyage (Diario del Primer Viaje). Translated by B.W. Ife. Warminster, England: Aris&Phillips Ltd., 1991.

25. Contag, Kimberly Elizabeth. Mockery in Spanish Golden Age Literature: Analysis of Burlesque Representation. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1996.

26. Cortes, Hernan. Letters From Mexico. Translated by Anthony Pagden London: Oxford University Press, 1972.

27. Craib, Raymond B. “Cartography and Power in the Conquest and Creation of New Spain.” Latin America Research Review 35, no1. (2000): 7-37.

28. De Las Casas, Bartoleme, The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account. Translated by Herman Briffault. New York: Seabury Press, 1974.

29. Diaz del Castillo, Bernal. Trans

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33.———–. Purification of the Temple, oil on canvas, c. 1600 (National Gallery: London). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FThWdC8hIywtPygxFTx5TnkgXn4pfQ%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

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35. ———–. St. Jerome, oil on canvas, c. 1590 (The Frick Collection: New York). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8D1Efjk2MyAoJiYuFTx5T3EtX3ss&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

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38. —————-. Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492-1830. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

39. Elsky, Martin. “Spain and Spanish America in the Early Modern Atlantic World: Current Trends in Scholarship.” Renaissance Quarterly 62, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 1-60.

40. Fernandez, James D. “The Bonds of Patrimony: Cervantes and the New World.” PMLA 109, no. 5 (October 1994): 969-981.

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45. Goldfarb, Hilliard T. Titian and Rubens: Power, Politics, and Style. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1998.

46. Gongora y Argote, Luis de. Poems. Edited by Royston Oscar Jones. London: Cambridge University Press, 1966.

47. Gracian y Morales, Baltasar. The Art of Worldly Wisdom. Translated by Joseph Jacobs. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1943.

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54. Herzog, Tamar. “Communities Becoming a Nation: Spain and Spanish America in the Wake of Modernity (and Thereafter).” Citizenship Studies 11, no. 2 (May 2007): 151-172.

55. Ife, B.W. “The Literary Impact of the New World: Columbus to Carrizales.” Lecture, Letters from America, The New World and the Literary Imagination, Oxford, October 22, 1992.

56. ———–. “The Real and its Effect in Spanish Picaresque.” New Comparison 11 (1991): 3-12.

57. Ishikawa, Chiyo. Spain in the Age of Exploration, 1492-1819. Seattle: Universit of Nebraska Press, 2004.

58. Israel, Jonathan Irvine. Conflicts of Empires: Spain, the Low Countries and the Struggle For World Supremacy, 1585-1713. Ohio: Hambledon Press, 1997.

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63. ——————————–. Virgin and Child, oil on canvas, c. 1646 (Philadelphia Museum of Art: Pennsylvania). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8D1Efjk2JSwyKSM%2FejRmXHghQRcqflZ8dSI%2BZw%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

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67. Lehman, Sara L. Sinful Business: A New World Commerce as Religious Transgression in Literature on and of the Spanish Empire. Newark: Juan De La Cuesta, 2010.

68. Loftin, John Clyde. Renaissance Drama in England & Spain: Topical Allusion and History Plays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987.

69. Magal, Shmuel. Mansion of the Knight Commander of Alcuescar, digital (Doar-Na-Misgav, Israel). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNaaSQwKSw0NzU8dSUURXorXHwvdlR0dQ%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

70. ——————–. San Andres Church, digital (Doar-Na-Misgav, Israel). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNaaSQwKSw0NzU8dSUURXorXHwoelh%2Feg%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

71. ——————–. Saint Matthew’s Church, digital (Doar-Na-Misgav, Isreal). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNaaSQwKSw0NzU8dSUURXorXHwvdlBwdw%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

72. ——————-. Santa Maria La Mayor Collegiate Church, digital (Doar-Na-Misgav, Isreal). http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8CNaaSQwKSw0NzU8dSUURXorXHwof1N0eg%3D%3D&userId=hzRAcw%3D%3D&zoomparams=

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74. McAlister, Lyle N. Spain and Portugal in the New World, 1492-1700. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.

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