Puritan Conquistadors: Iberianizing the Atlantic, 1550-1700

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This book argues that the striking resemblances in Spanish and Puritan discourses of colonization as "exorcism" and as spiritual gardening point to a common Atlantic history. These resemblances suggest that we are better off if we simply consider the Puritan colonization of New England as a continuation of Iberian models rather than a radically different colonizing experience. The book demonstrates that a wider Pan-American perspective can upset the most cherished national narratives of the United States, for it maintains that the Puritan colonization of New England was as much a chivalric, crusading act of Reconquista (against the Devil) as was the Spanish conquest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These chapters make for thrilling reading. Canizares-Esguerra writes with zest and an obvious love for the history of ideas. He brings to the reader's attention ideas central to European expansion in the Americas, enhancing our understanding of conquest and colonization."—Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
"In this bold and polemical work, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra batters and cracks the historiographical walls that barricade the Puritan north and set it apart from the Iberian south. Puritans become Conquistadors and Conquistadors become Puritans, "the West" and "the Rest" is dissolved, "the Atlantic" rises to a global warming, and the flower gardens of the nation are flooded beyond repair... luminous and pathbreaking... the book takes on [its topic] with verve, deep scholarship, and imagination. Doctors and students everywhere will be challenged and enlightened by its pages, and for a wide community of scholars Atlantic history will never be the same."—American Historical Review

"Puritan Conquistadors presents an imaginative, comparative history of ideas focused on early colonial religious themes in Spanish and British America . . . Reiterating his critique that U.S. historians have interpreted their colonial past in teleological terms, focused on the nation-state, and that Latin American(ist) historians have juxtaposed histories of failure in the southern continent with those of economic success and political power in the north, Cañizares-Esguerra challenges scholars in both fields to transcend these intellectual boundaries through paradigms that go beyond the global and the transnational in their understanding of the cultures of colonial America."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"This book makes important contributions to British history in a number of ways. Specifically, it demonstrates that historians have overstated the extent of England's isolation from the continent, especially in the intellectual sphere . . . Any attempt to understand England's ideology of colonization would be incomplete without taking Cañizares-Esguerra's claims into account."—British Scholar
"This is an enthusiastically argued, highly informed, and most stimulating study that aims to underline the common cultural heritage of both halves of the American continent in colonial times . . . In sum, he has produced a brilliant book."—Hispanic American Historical Review

"Puritan Conquistadors is an important book that deserves to be read by a broad audience. Specialists will appreciate the breadth of research, and students will gain much from the clarity of its argument and elegance of its prose... In a gentle but insistent way, [Cañizares-Esguerra] again reminds us that there are important and deep-seated cultural connections among all European colonising powers that survive and transcend the agendas of centralising monarchies and their imperial agents."—Itinerario

"Rebuking scholars who segregate the histories of Latin and Anglo- American colonization, Puritan Conquistadors argues provocatively that Spanish Catholics and British Protestants inhabited a common religious world that informed all European discourses about colonization . . . Canizares-Esguerra has written a passionately intelligent book whose assertion that Iberian colonization of the New World is as "'ormative' as the English one should resonate with all American historians."—Journal of American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804742801
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 816,039
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of the award winning How to Write the History of the New World (Stanford University Press, 20

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