A unique comparative study of colonial encounters between the Spanish in New Mexico and the Dutch in New York.
Nan A. Rothschild examines the process of colonialism in two separate areas of 17th-century North America seeking to answer several key questions: Where did each group live vis-à-vis the other? How entangled were their respective material cultures? How did these situations change over time? What was the nature and extent of their economic relationships? She points out that colonialism has been greatly understudied, is highly variable, and that the comparison of different case studies can bring new understanding to the details of each case and to understanding variation in colonial processes at large. The book transcends simple comparisons because of its strong grounding in the theoretical literature of colonialism.
New data from many different sources are brought together here, including much that is only available in unpublished reports, site files, and archives. Using a framework that considers landscapes, goods, labor, exchange, and identity, Rothschild’s approach provides a breadth to the comparison that underscores similarities and differences. This has not been attempted before in either strictly historical or archaeological work on these two areas and makes her book unique.