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Multiracial Latin America

De español e india, produce mestizo (From a Sp...

De español e india, produce mestizo (From a Spanish man and an Amerindian woman, a Mestizo is produced). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Question of the Day: Historians have noted that in Latin America, “multiracialism” (referring to mixed race people) was a circumstance readily and formally documented in colonial Spain. Within Spain’s new world, the Peninsulares (Spanish settlers in the Americas) developed highly intricate and often considered official, nomenclatures, for every circumstance of human “mixture” discernable in society (i.e. African, Indian, Spainiard to Creole, Mestizo, Mulatto, etc.). These kinds of classifications were used to develop a hierarchy in society, a type of caste system. Within this system of “Castas” people had access to the legal “rights and privileges” of Spanish society based on their “place” within this formal racial designation. Is the concept of race simple or complex in the history of Spanish colonization and the development of multiracial societies in Latin America?

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