The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Book Reviews

author tends to ignore the general population, which in many areas experi-
enced tremendous growth throughout the eighteenth century. Reff hints that
Indians gravitated to Hispanic communities, assimilated, and became part of the
larger society, but he does not explore fully this particular survival strategy.
While one may argue with population estimates, the author's stress on the
enormity of disease-induced culture change merits attention. Daniel Reff has
produced an important book that seeks to explain the marked transformation of
Indian culture and society in the Greater Southwest. It will undoubtedly provoke
debate and may cause some to reevaluate their views on indigenous culture and
Jesuit activity in northern New Spain.
Purdue University CHARLES R. CUTTER
Indian Revolts in Northern New Spain: A Synthesis of Resistance (x68o--786). By
Roberto Mario Salm6n (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991.
Pp. x+145. Preface, map, illustrations, footnotes, conclusion, bibliography,
index. $47.75, cloth; $24.oo, paper.)
This book attempts to answer the important question concerning the impact
of the emerging frontier culture established by the Spanish in their conquest of
Mexico in fomenting Indian rebellions. This is a decidedly difficult topic.
In the preface, the author indicates his intention to "survey and evaluate Indi-
an revolts in northern New Spain during the years 168o-1786 in terms of specif-
ic Indian revolts, Spanish Indian policy over time, and relations between
Spaniards, mestizo frontiersmen, and Indians." The specific Indian revolts in-
cluded for study are the Pueblo and Tarahumara uprisings in the last half of the
seventeenth century and those of the Yuma, Seri, Tarahumara, and Gileno
which occurred during the last half of the eighteenth century. These are impor-
tant, deserving of detailed study, and most specialists would agree that the rebel-
lions are representative of many of those faced by the Spanish frontiersman. Any
important conclusions or syntheses which could be identified about the nature
of these revolts would be of interest to those in the field. In general, Salm6n pro-
vides useful information in identifying the circumstances that precipitated the
revolts discussed.
A weakness in the work is the author's failure to define adequately or discuss
"Spanish Indian policy over time," one of his stated purposes. This should have
been addressed clearly and in some detail at the beginning of the book, since
significant differences of opinion among the Spanish regarding Indian policy
have been well documented. The crown, through the Council of Indies, tried to
legislate policy, but it was frequently difficult to enforce and was often ignored.
In New Spain, viceroy, provincial governor, church official, and differing fac-
tions of frontiersmen who were directly affected by policy and revolts all held dif-
ferent views. Salm6n does refer to Spanish Indian policy in discussing the
revolts, but does not explain clearly how this fits into the broader framework of
imperial policy.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed July 7, 2015.