Keen's Latin American Civilization

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Keen's Latin American Civilization by Robert Buffington and Lila Caimari

Keen's Latin American Civilization by Robert Buffington and Lila Caimari


A classic anthology of primary documents in Latin American history, Keen's Latin American Civilization introduces readers to the sweeping panorama of Latin American history. More than 140 readings, organized chronologically and placed in context by insightful introductory notes and essays, provide vivid glimpses of life in Latin America from the conquest to the colonial, national, and contemporary eras, making Keen's Latin American Civilization eminently suitable for one- or two-term survey courses (Robert Buffington and Lila, 2004).


According to Robert Buffington and Lila Caimari, the history of Keen's Civilization in Latin America extends over three thousand years and a vast geographic area. The cities vary considerably over space and time. Prior to the coming of the Spaniards, many pre-Columbian cities are thought to have been cosmograms or cosmologically conceived—the cities' buildings and plans emulated the cosmos as their leaders conceived of it. After the conquest, the Spanish Crown sought to impose order on the new lands in its possession and based planning on a grid that had a centrally located church fronting on a plaza. The checkerboard grid plan persisted throughout the colonial period. After independence from Spain, Keen's Latin-American civilization sought out new forms of city planning in LatinAmerica that would make visible their status as newly formed republics (Robert Buffington and Lila, 2004).

Ancient indigenous cities in the Western Hemisphere were prominent, complex centers of economic, cultural, political, and religious power and authority. As administrative centers, cities functioned variously as city-states, centers of regional states, and centers of empire. Political life and religious life were intertwined and overseen by divine and semidivine rulers or the ruling elite. At the heart of most cities were palaces, monumental civic-religious structures, and the ceremonial ...
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