Between 1778 and 1784 the Spanish Crown transported more than 1,900 peasants, including 875 women and girls, from northern Spain to South America in an ill-fated scheme to colonize Patagonia. The story begins as the colonists trudge across northern Spain to volunteer for the project and follows them across the Atlantic to Montevideo. However, before the last ships reached the Americas, harsh weather, disease, and the prospect of mutiny on the Patagonian coast forced the Crown to abandon the project. Eventually, the peasant colonists were resettled in towns outside of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where they raised families, bought slaves, and gradually integrated into colonial society. Gendered Crossings brings to life the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in the peasants' gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.
An absorbing story about women who were recruited to colonize Patagonia in the 1770s. . . . This heavily researched book gives details about the women who made the crossing, about the roles they played and their family and sex lives.'--Denver Post
This well-researched, carefully written book deserves a wide readership among specialists of the Atlantic world, Latin American, and Spain.'--The Historian
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