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Apache Adaptation to Hispanic Rule


Part of Studies in North American Indian History

  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107547322

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About the Authors
  • As a definitive study of the poorly understood Apaches de paz, this book explains how war-weary, mutually suspicious Apaches and Spaniards negotiated an ambivalent compromise after 1786 that produced over four decades of uneasy peace across the region. In response to drought and military pressure, thousands of Apaches settled near Spanish presidios in a system of reservation-like establecimientos, or settlements, stretching from Laredo to Tucson. Far more significant than previously assumed, the establecimientos constituted the earliest and most extensive set of military-run reservations in the Americas and served as an important precedent for Indian reservations in the United States. As a case study of indigenous adaptation to imperial power on colonial frontiers and borderlands, this book reveals the importance of Apache-Hispanic diplomacy in reducing cross-cultural violence and the limits of indigenous acculturation and assimilation into empires and states.

    • Reinterprets Southwestern history prior to the US-Mexican War, giving readers a better understanding of the forgotten period of Hispanic-Apache relations prior to 1846
    • Adopts an interdisciplinary approach, combining Spanish archival research, Ndé (Apache) oral history, anthropology, and archaeology, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of Apache culture
    • Highlights the importance of Apache-Hispanic diplomacy in reducing violence across the Southwest, examining not only their motives for war, but also how each group benefitted from peace treaties
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Deeply researched and lucidly argued, Matthew Babcock's Apache Adaptation to Hispanic Rule casts fresh light on an important, if long-ignored, aspect of borderlands and Apache history: the establecimientos de paz of the late Spanish and early Mexican era.' Karl Jacoby, Columbia University, New York, and author of Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History

    'Apaches de paz creates a culturally sensitive framework for the history of the Ndé people in northern Mexico and southwestern US. Focused on the late eighteenth-century reserves that were established by Spanish colonial policy but shaped by the different Athapaskan bands who settled in them while maintaining their ethnic territories; this well-researched study opens new interpretations for the complexity of inter-ethnic relations in these borderlands.' Cynthia Radding, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    'Generations before the US built its notorious reservation system, Spain created its own military-run reservations in an effort to dominate and transform Apaches. That effort failed in a most interesting way. As Matthew Babcock explains in this prodigiously researched and judiciously argued book, negotiation always trumped domination, and the transformations went both ways.' Brian DeLay, University of California, Berkeley

    'An excellent summary of the Hispanic reservation system that will appeal to area specialists and to general readers interested in Apache and Borderlands history. It should prove especially useful for comparative studies with the later reservation policies implemented by the United States.' Mark Santiago, Western Historical Quarterly

    'Unlike most scholarship on the Apaches, Babcock's focus is not so much on violence and warfare as on diplomacy and peace. His study is also significant for its inclusion not just of the well-known Chiricahuas, but also the Western, Mescalero, and Lipan Apaches. … This book is thoroughly researched and well written, and its arguments are cogently presented. Its broad chronological and topical scope will appeal to ethnohistorians and borderlands scholars, as well as those with an interest in colonial New Spain, the U.S. Southwest, Native American history, and the evolution of Indian policy. Readers will come away with a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the colonial events leading up to the resistance of famous nineteenth-century Apache figures like Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, Victorio, and Geronimo.' William S. Kiser, The American Historical Review

    '… Babcock's thoroughly documented, clearly written, and cogently argued essay is a mandatory reference for specialists, and highly recommended for scholars and educated readers interested in the US - Mexico borderlands as well as Native American, western US, and colonial Latin American history. It can also be profitably used to teach undergraduates.' Joaquín Rivaya-Martínez, Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107547322
    • length: 317 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.469kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 10 maps 3 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Peace and war
    2. Precedents
    3. Ambivalent compromise
    4. Acculturation and adaptation
    5. Collapse and independence
    6. Resilience and survival
    7. Epilogue

  • Author

    Matthew Babcock, University of North Texas
    Matthew Babcock earned his Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University, Texas, his M.A. from the University of New Mexico, and his B.A. from Dartmouth College. He is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Texas and is a recipient of a prestigious Dornsife Long-Term Research Fellowship at the Huntington Library. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, which have been published in Spain, Canada (Quebec), and the United States, and is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Society for Ethnohistory, the Western History Association, and the Texas and East Texas State Historical Associations.

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