Between 1778 and 1784 the Spanish Crown transported more than 1,900 peasants, including 875 women and girls, from northern Spain to South America in an ill-fated scheme to colonize Patagonia. The story begins as the colonists trudge across northern Spain to volunteer for the project and follows them across the Atlantic to Montevideo. However, before the last ships reached the Americas, harsh weather, disease, and the prospect of mutiny on the Patagonian coast forced the Crown to abandon the project. Eventually, the peasant colonists were resettled in towns outside of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where they raised families, bought slaves, and gradually integrated into colonial society. Gendered Crossings brings to life the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in the peasants' gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.
About the Author
Allyson M. Poska is a professor of history at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the author of four books, including Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia, which won the 2006 Roland H. Bainton Prize for best book in early modern history.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vii
Chapter 1 Rethinking Empire: Gender, Enlightenment, and the Patagonia Project 1
Chapter 2 "It will be very advantageous to have some families": Gender and the Recruitment of the Colonists 13
Chapter 3 Women and Children at Port 39
Chapter 4 Women, Children, and the Transatlantic Voyage 59
Chapter 5 "A Nursery of Vices": Masculine Crisis in Patagonia 85
Chapter 6 Gendered Lives at the Edges of Empire 113
Chapter 7 Far from Patagonia: Gender on the Spanish Frontier 135
Chapter 8 From Peasants to Slave Owners, from Colonists to Vecinos 171