Quest for Empire
Spanish Settlement in the Southwest
Never before has the introduction of European culture to Native Americans been so fully explored as in Quest for Empire. In this balanced chronicle, not only is the conquest and exploitation of Indians measured, but also the indelible mark of Christianity and foreign skills left on Native cultures. This captivating portrayal of the Spanish legacy in the Southwest is as full of adventure and colorful characters as it is replete with historical detail. History comes alive as Donald Cutter and Iris Engstrand look at Spain's quest to establish an empire in the far Southwest - not as a matter of right or wrong, but as a matter of fact. Beginning with a description of the land and its peoples in the late fifteenth century, the authors trace the adventures, failures and successes of the Spanish soldiers, missionaries and settlers who introduced European culture to the south-western portion of what is now the United States. Although motives ranged from trying to discover the golden cities of medieval legends to saving the souls of aboriginal inhabitants, the result after five centuries was the same, an ethnically merged group of people with its roots in a dual heritage. The inheritance that defined the south-western region lives on in the twentieth century with names like San Diego, San Jose and Santa Fe. Antiquated verb forms of old Spanish can still be heard in the Land of Enchantment, and the traditions of colonial Spain remain a part of this unique culture. Quest for Empire is a description of this remarkable past and illuminates its connection with the present.
358 pp — ©1996