One idea for a research question that I have is “How did French and Spanish colonizers in Colonial Hispaniola create differing conceptions of race?” I believe that this question is important to understanding Colonial Latin America because it allows for comparison between racial hierarchical systems which develop and remain relevant today. Furthermore, it allows for comparison between how two different colonizing groups viewed mixed-race children. Mixed-race children were prevalent throughout the colonies, and you can tell a lot about the colonizers, and about modern day society in those areas based on how mixed-race children were seen during the colonial era.
One of the major areas of Colonial Latin American History that I am interested in, and would like to learn more about throughout this semester is race relations. For example, I’m interested in learning about the history of how different areas navigated biracial children, and how racial hierarchies differed across regions. I am also interested in learning about how racial hierarchies that were developed during the Colonial Era have affected modern race relations throughout Latin America. Specifically, I’d like to explore how slavery as an institution in Latin America created a hierarchy different from that of the institution of slavery in North America.
Along these same lines, I am particularly interested in learning about the Haitian Revolution. Although this Revolution was the first successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial revolution in the world, I know very little about it. I’m interested in learning about the precipitating factors, but also about how this Revolution shaped Hispaniola, particularly in regard to race relations on the island. While I know some about El Corte in the 1900s from previous courses, I’m interested in learning about how and if its roots can traced back to racial tensions that developed following the Haitian Revolution.