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An den Grenzen der Vernunft: Beamte und ›Barbaren‹ in den Peripherien Lateinamerikas, 18.–19. Jahrhundert

   | 31 dic 2018


This contribution investigates the role of emotions for the administration of indigenous people in the Latin American periphery, considered “barbarians” by colonial and republican officials. Drawing on case studies from Northwest Mexico and the Southern Cone, the article examines the Spanish-European self-image as “people of reason” vis-á-vis indigenous “people without reason” or “people of custom”. The concept of trust is employed to explore the boundaries and overlappings between emotion and rationality in interethnic relations during colonial and republican times. Giving examples from archival material such as letters and reports of state agents, this paper concludes that there was no monopoly on rationality, as claimed by the public officials, but always a possibility to establish trusting relationships between indigenous groups and state society.