Colonial Terms

Colonial Terms

  • Abasto de Carne: Every year the city council would give a meat contract to an individual who would arrange to sell meat all year except during lent. This person would contact local ranchers and arrange sellers and their schedules, when they would sell and how much. This insured that there was always a steady supply of meat in cities. Connection between economic interest and political interest as individuals in charge of the abasto would chose meat vendors who they had ties with.
  • Alcalde Mayor: They are the ones that are responsible for delivering the kings tribute. If the tribute isn’t paid then Spanish government loans out money to pay their delinquent taxes (in some areas known as a Corregidor) Alcaldes Mayores were also in charge of repartimientos.
  • Ayllu: Pre-Inca and Inca kinship. Ayllus were a group of individuals that jointly owned land, they also had labor obligations to the land.
  • Capellania: (Chantry) Typically wealthy individuals would set these up with the church and this would grant them masses set for their souls, so that if they were in purgatory, their souls could be “prayed out” into heaven. This is a perpetual debt to the church. If a person bought property with a Capellania, the person had to keep paying it.
  • Casa de Contratacion: They gave out navigational pilots, making maps, setting standards for ships and crews, ships had to have Spanish seamen, and they had to be a certain size. Located in Seville, trade from America could only come and go from here.
  • Cofradias: (religious brother hoods) Created and dedicated to celebrating the feats of a patron saint. They would have large festivals and great parties
  • Congregracion: (See Reduccion)
  • Consulado: administrative office for a region, typically located in Vice-Royalties.
  • El jusgado general de indios: This was a court that Indians could go to when they had a complaint, this was free since Indians were taxed for it. Indians would use this system very often in order to protect themselves, the Indians are going to the courts frequently and they are suiting the Spanish constantly. The Indian court has good lawyers and provides honest service, because the Spanish reward good lawyers and good judges by giving them better jobs.
  • Encomienda: (Labor Conscription) The crown would grant a person a certain amount of Indians, which they had to teach Spanish and Christianity, however they were able to extract tribute in the form of labor or in kind (precious metals: gold, silver or other products)
  • Estancia: A landed estate typically producing cattle or wheat. (See Hacienda)
  • Hacienda: (Term meaning wealth) Hacienda de Campo (Rural Wealth) Later became just Hacienda. A Hacienda was a landed estate that was made to function in the market economy, typically producing agricultural things. Similar to an Estancia, except estancia were typically producing cattle or wheat, whereas an Haciendas produced a plethora of things.
  • Mita: (typically Peru) Started as a form of pre-Colombian community service, where Indians would due tasks and chores for the community. The Spanish later adopt it as a form of exploitation, often forcing Indians to work in Mines. When the mita system was in place, an Indian was in forced labor for a year. If the mita was far from their home, Indians often had to take their families, in order to survive (families would cook and take care of laborers).
  • Obraje: A primitive mill or factory, typically using Indian labor making things like textiles or indigo.
  • Patronato: The highest ranking official in an area was the one who actually assigned new priests or replacements
  • Presidio: A Spanish Garrison (San Diego, California is an example).
  • Real Merced: A merced is a favor, a real merced is a favor granted by the king. Typically after a request has been made by someone.
  • Reduccion: Reducing the population into one location (Congregracion)- this was the government version. This brought scattered populations of people into one concentrated area. The Spanish thought that living scattered around the country side, is barbourus. The Spanish decide to move people around to civilize, and to control.
  • Regular Clergy: Missionaries, they are out and about Christianizing people (during the colonial period) as opposed to Secular Clergy). Examples of regular clergy are: Augustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits etc.
  • Repartimiento (This is allocation) Labor and Merchandise. The Spanish government allocates labor to individuals and they have forced labors
  • Secular Clergy: Clergy that serviced the needs of Christians. As opposed to regular clergy (See regular clergy)
  • Tienda de Raya: (company store) this establishment was typically located next to an hacienda or mine and would sell products to employs on credit, which would later be deducted from their pay.