Conquistadors – Whites in America
The White conquest of South, [North] and Central America is a tale of extreme high drama, with a very few White adventurers completely overwhelming millions of Amerinds through a combination of crushing technological superiority and brute force.
The White conquest of America also saw two significant population makeup changes: firstly, large numbers of White settlers (mainly from Spain and Portugal) intermarried with Amerinds, creating a new mixed race group which now dominates the entire region. This is the primary cause of the large social, economic and political gap between North and South America.
At the time of the White Spanish conquest of America, the Amerind Aztecs had created an empire which stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and to the south to the present day country of Guatemala. The Aztecs were by all accounts cruel masters over other Amerind tribes, with the result that some of the subjected Amerinds actually welcomed the arrival of the Spanish. A few of these tribes would physically help the Spanish invaders against the Aztecs.
[After recounting the Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Kemp writes:]
The Spaniards then proceeded to raze the city to the ground and build a new city in its place to serve as capital of the newly declared Spanish possession of Central [and North] America, called New Spain. The city itself eventually came to be called Mexico City. Spanish colonists soon poured in, and the new city quickly became the largest White city in [North] America.
Race and social class in Mexico
Those persons of part Spanish and part Amerind race were called Mestizos, and by 1800, they were far and away the single largest group in what was by then officially called Mexico.
Black slaves were imported into Mexico during Cortes’ time—in total some 200,000 were brought into the territory, all of whom were eventually absorbed into the mixed race population, with those of mixed Amerind and Black parentage being known as Zambos, to differentiate them from the Mestizos. By 1800, however, the majority of Zambos had in their turn been absorbed into the Mestizos, or Hispanic, group.
As in ancient India after the arrival of the Aryans, a class structure based on whiteness emerged almost immediately, with the whitest people forming the highest class, and the darkest forming the lowest class. During the Spanish colonial period, those Spaniards from Spain who came over to America as rulers were called peninsulares, most of whom returned to Spain when their tour of duty was over. They formed a distinct class by themselves, being the whitest of the entire population. They never made up more than a few thousand of the total population.
Underneath the peninsulares were the criollos, or Creoles, people of sometimes whole, sometimes part, White extraction who had been born in the Americas. As time went on this group also became increasingly darker, until today the elite in Mexico represent the last of this group. Below the criollos were the mestizos, followed by the Blacks.
As in India, there was also a constant striving to be reclassified: many mixed race persons claimed full White status, and the Spanish king in the eighteenth century enacted a legal procedure to pronounce upon a person’s whiteness upon payment of a fee. Such a pronouncement had huge ramifications in the Spanish colonial hierarchy, and could open up positions barred to persons of mixed descent.
Because of the sheer number of Black slaves and the ever increasing Mestizo population, colonial Mexico had numerous slave riots, with many centers in isolated regions being established by escaped slaves.
Instability marks mixed race regions
The vast majority of the inhabitants of the continent of South America had always been non-White: the first inhabitants were exclusively Amerind; then White Spaniards and Portuguese arrived, bringing with them Black slaves, and then finally a mixed race group had emerged from the mixing of large numbers of these four groupings. South American racial history becomes murky from then on: while the majority of the population are of mixed racial origin, there are still a significant number of Whites remaining—and it is generally in those areas where they predominate, that the regions in question are the more advanced on the continent.
The end result – white enclaves in majority mixed race countries
White Spaniards are more common in Argentina and Uruguay, while in Brazil the numbers of White Portuguese is very small indeed, with the majority of that country being of mixed race. The desperate economic straits and impoverishment of that country also in many ways mirrors many other predominantly Third World countries.
Groups of White Italians and small numbers of Germans and Poles also settled in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay during the late 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century. They were followed by significant numbers of European Jews, seeking a haven from rising European anti-Semitism around the end of the 19th century and during the early 20th century.
An interesting aspect of the racial mix in South America which is worthy of note, is the one sidedness of the process: most common are the mestizos, those of part Spanish/Portuguese and Amerind ancestry. The second smallest group are those who the product of mixing between Spanish/Portuguese and Blacks, while those of Amerind and Black ancestry are far and away the smallest.