Choice, Persuasion, and Coercion

Social Control on Spain's North American Frontiers
Edited by Jesús de la TejaRoss Frank



Choice, Persuasion, and Coercion brings together twelve original essays on Spain's presence in North America to understand the circumstances and application of social control. "Social control" refers to the use of coercion particularly in response to what dominant groups consider deviant behavior among subordinates. Spain attempted to maintain control of vast areas through persuasion, coercion, or indoctrination to make subordinates accept colonial government and behave according to Spanish expectations.

This volume considers how Spain's monarchs faced competing economic, political, and racial interests. In the New World, others besides the rulers, authorities, and elites sought to effect social control. Ethnic groups and socio-economic classes within colonial communities also exercised control within their own circles. Institutions including the Church, schools, fraternal organizations, and families labored to teach their members to understand their place in society.

An examination of social control mechanisms shows how groups and individuals, including native peoples, formed and understood their options in response to colonial rule. These essays seek to understand how people negotiated their relationships with the Spanish state and institutions, and with each other, while conceiving of the frontier region as an incubator of cultural and economic interactions ranging from acceptance to rejection of European norms, often altering those norms in the process.

Published in cooperation with the Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University


Juliana Barr is assistant professor at the University of Florida.
Susan M. Deeds is professor of history at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.
José Cuello directed the Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit from 1989 through 2001.
Gilbert C. Din is professor emeritus, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado.
Alfredo Jiménez is professor emeritus in the department of American History, Universidad de Sevilla.
Jane Landers is associate dean of the College of Arts & Science, and associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University
Patricia Osante is a researcher in the Historical Institute of Research and coordinates the Northern Mexican History Seminar at the same university.
Cynthia Radding is Director of the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico.
James A. Sandos is Farquhar Professor of the Southwest at the University of Redlands in southern California.
Cecilia Sheridan Prieto works as researcher in the Saltillo, Coahuila, branch of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social.

Contributor Bios
Jesus F. de la Teja, Ph.D. is chair of the history department at Texas State University, San Marcos.
Ross Frank is associate professor in the department of ethnic studies, University of California, San Diego.
David J. Weber is The Robert and Nancy Dedman Professor of History and the Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.