The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 328
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
phasis as usual on Spanish savagery. The fourth and final section
of the book treats of the danger of the English (1567-1586).
It gives briefly the European political setting: a background of
Elizabeth's change of policy, the new commercial England, and it
ends with the operation of Drake in the West Indies. The effect
of these events on Spain's policy and methods in Cuba were that
"Spain took a firm hold at last upon her priceless possession of
Cuba: 'bulwark of the Indies, key to, the New World.' The Is-
land ceased to be a wayport of empire, a mere base of operations
for exploitation of Mexico, the southern continents and Florida.
It came to be prized not alone for its strategical importance but
also somewhat for its own inherent value in sugar, in copper and
This book, as the author announces in the introduction, was
written on the basis of original documents existing in the Archive
of the Indies at Seville, "with regard, however, to the few pub-
lished works which are of value in a study of this portion of
Cuba's development." The author then proceeds to a statement
that the history of the Island has not been written until this
present book. The statement is also made that in the compila-
tion of this book, secondary books have been ignored, even Pezuela,
because of the confidence that "there has passed through my
hands a greater wealth of material for the writing of the history
of Cuba than any other person has handled." It is usually dan-
gerous to attempt a treatment of the institutions of Spanish
America, even in the early period, without a reference at least,
to the recognized authorities who have written on the general sub-
ject. It is axiomatic that the exclusive use of documents mayv
and almost always does lead one astray. Surely the judgment of
those who have already written on Cuba and Spanish America
should not be laid aside so summarily. Sol6rzano, Helps, Ban-
croft, Robertson, Lowery, Vander Linden, Moses should be con-
sidered when one traces the early institution and movements in
Although the writer acknowledges the necessity of citing au-
thorities, there is not a direct citation in the book. The author
has incorporated an imposing-looking legajo-list in the foreword
of each section, but this is not sufficient. A multitude of errors
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/334/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.