Spanish Indian policy in the internal provinces, 1765-1786



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Texas Tech University


From the sixteenth century, until approximately the second half of the eighteenth century, Spanish Indian policy in the New World was characterized by the idea of integration of the Indian tribes Into colonial society. Beginning with the second half of the eighteenth century, the policy changed drastically. Within the so-called Bourbon reforms was a chapter concerning the northern frontier of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and a new policy that ordered the total extermination of the "hostile Indians." The reason for this radical change in Spanish policy, which dated from 1765 to 1786, was the English menace in the territory west of the Mississippi after 1763. Spain considered It necessary to reevaluate its frontier policy. The English threat to that territory was enhanced by the local population of hostile Indians, who desestabilizated it. In order to avoid larger problems, the crown adopted as Its solution to exterminate those Indians. When England abandoned this area, after the War of the American Revolution and the independence of the United States, the need for control diminished and the extermination policy accordingly disappeared. In other words, the new Spanish policy created for the Interior Provinces between 1765 and 1786 was not simply the consequence of the Indian hostility but developed because England posed danger to the Spanish possessions in nearby Mexico.



Spain -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain, Spain -- Colonies -- America -- Administration, Treatment of -- North America, Indians, Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- Spain