WHAT CAUSED THEPUEBLO REVOLT OF 1680?Readings Selected and Introduced by David J. Weber
Introduction The book is a compilation of historical essays offering theses on what event(s) caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 Authors: Henry Warner Bowden, Ramon A. Gutierrez, Van Hastings Garner, Angelico Chavez, and Andrew L. Knaut The editor, David J. Weber, poses 5 questions, each possible causes for the revolt. The five essays answer each question and give a unique perspective on the events.
Did the Pueblos Revolt to Save TheirTraditions? Henry Warner Bowden “Spanish Missions, Cultural Conflict, and the Pueblo Revolt 1680” “The major theme in historical writing…has been to interpret Indian rebellion as an expression of economic and political self-determination.” These interpretations, however, “…have been overemphasized.” Bowden contends that it was the dispute over religion that was the catalyst for the rebellion. He states, the uprising was “…deliberately anti- ecclesiastical…[and] the clergy were usually the first to die.”
Did Franciscans Invite Martyrdom? In “Franciscans and the Pueblo Revolt”, Ramon A. Gutierrez makes the argument that the Franciscan monks responsible for missionizing the Pueblos welcomed martyrdom. Gutierrez claims that some even made the trip to the New Mexico with martyrdom in mind, such as Fray Jose Trujillo, whose “lifelong quest for martyrdom” culminated at the revolt in 1680. “Their suffering was ‘the sure road to life; because the better title corresponding to such deaths is to call them lives’”.
Did Pueblos Revolt to Save Their Lives? Van Hastings Garner offers the most impressive account for the revolt and the most compelling case for causation. His study gathers many of the themes addressed by previous/future historians and presents them as a holistic/multi-causation event. Rather than point to one cause Van Hasting Garner points to many: 1. Antagonistic imperialism 2. Reciprocating reliance between Pueblos and Spaniards that eventually fell apart 3. Drought and famine 4. Suppression of the Natives 5. Important role of Mestizos
Did the Right Leader Make the RevoltPossible? Angelico Chavez “Pohe-yemo’s Representative and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680” The important mestizo, Domingo Naranjo, was a prominent individual in the Revolt. His name appeared frequently in multiple essays and the current author, Angelico Chavez, gives special credit to his leadership abilities in leading the rebellion. Chavez argues that Naranjo is the “Representative of Pohe-yemo”, which was apparently the divine being who was behind parts of Pueblo religion.
Did the Spaniards’ Loss of AuthorityEncourage the Revolt? Andrew L. Knaut, in “Acculturation and Miscegenation” makes a compelling argument that the interbreeding of Natives and Europeans eventually led to a people difficult to control by the Crown’s bureaucracies. “As a mestizo, Aguliar [a mestizo], represented what had become, by the time of his birth in the third decade of the seventeenth century, a large proportion of the Hispanic population in the province.” “Mestizos found themselves pushed in different directions by the deep seated ambivalence prevalent among the Spanish settlers. Such social pressures could prove explosive and give rise to frequent incidents of violence and confrontation.” The large number of Mestizos along with the frequent harsh treatment they underwent at the hands of Europeans provided the prime ingredients for rebellion.
Conclusion Clearly, there are many interpretations for causations of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The conclusions of each historian depend on the questions first asked before their research begins, and these are the questions influenced by some of their deepest biases. One thing can be considered objective, however. To point at any one “thing” and say “that’s what caused the rebellion” is foolish. As with most historical events, the situation is complicated and a variety of factors were responsible for the Pueblo’s revolt. David J. Weber compiles 5 well-written essays that give the student-reader a firm grasp on why the Europeans were overthrown by the Pueblos in 1680 New Mexico.