The Emotional Generation of Whiteness and Order in the Spanish Texas Frontier




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This thesis examines a process of maintaining white hegemony in Eighteenth-century Spanish colonial Texas. The culmination of centuries of concerns over religious purity and ethnic hierarchies were met in Spanish Texas with a geo-political environment created by Indigenous power. As the Spanish invaded Texas, they brought these passions and ideologies with them, morphing them into a defense strategy for protecting an emotional territory—a protection of colonial order in the face of Indigenous domination. Generating a sense of governance based on sophistication came from a place of fear. Generations of Hispanic settlers understood Indigenous blood as a conduit for evil, and maintaining Texas as a province became a territorial struggle against enemy imperialists and Texas Indians, but also against threats to white supremacy and the spiritual well-being of the settler population. In light of this, ethnic differences were supported by disparate treatment under the law, as well as patterns of consumption. In this environment, proximity to Spanish ideals of civilization was signaled through settlers’ ability to abstain from Indigenous lifeways and foodways. Elite Spanish settlers in Texas used the degree of quality in chocolate as one of very few mechanisms for communicating their supposed superiority. Chocolate can be seen as a lens into the ways these processes unfolded in Spanish Texas frontier society. This frontier was governed in part by the relationship between white male entitlement and paranoia.

Embargo status: Restricted until 06/2028. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.



Spanish Texas, Race, Emotion, Frontiers, Borderlands, Chocolate, Eighteenth century