A Brief History of Argentina, 2nd Edition by Jonathan C. Brown

By Jonathan C. Brown

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In this second journey the herds are usually composed of from 1,300 to 1,400 mules. . These herds rest in the pastures of Salta around eight months, and in selecting this locale one should observe what I said at the outset about . . the illegal acts of the owners [of the pastures], who, although in general they are honorable men, can perpetrate many frauds, listing as dead, stolen, or runaways, many of the best mules of the herd, which they replace with local-born animals . . not suited for the hard trip to Peru.

In terms of social inequality, the colonial period was formative. Spaniards marginalized the nonwhite laborers and exploited them in the interest of economic development. The import of African slaves contributed a mighty pillar to the edifice of a fundamentally inequitable social order. Yet, a historian would be remiss not to mention the remarkable successes and vitality of colonial Argentina. The region had not been blessed with readily disposable resources, such as lodes of silver ore and large numbers of sedentary native agriculturists, features that had made Mexico and Peru the centers of the Spanish Empire.

The principal bands of the Pampas and Patagonia were quite small, made up only of a few families or clans. In this sense they were like other southern hunters. There existed no confederations of tribes or a rigid differentiation of their societies between warriors and hereditary leaders. Yet, these peoples did observe sharp gender 17 A Brief History of argentina Description of the Individualism of the Pehuenche People of Mendoza T his nation, which considers itself independent of the rest, does not have any strict alliance; nor do its members subordinate themselves to their own chiefs except through a kind of tolerance, so that no one is abused.

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