VOL. 6, NO. 5, PGS. 10–16


The Bourbon Institutional Order of the Province of Venezuela
A Discriminatory, Exclusive, Unequal and Deeply Hierarchical Society
Yuleida Artigas

Yuleida Artigas is Professor of American and Venezuelan History at the University of the Andes (Venezuela) and a corresponding member of the National Academy of History of Venezuela. She is the author of Los pardos en el orden institucional borbónico de la Provincia de Venezuela (1776-1810).

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.

María Narcisa Orellana had no legal impediments to marrying Joseph Leandro Paredes; both were pardos libres, they were of equal quality, and although she was an orphan, the consent was given by her godmother. This was a rational union in the eyes of God and Indian law. The brothers Basilio and Encarnación Oliveros, whites, who intended to marry the sisters and free browns Juana and Catarina Obispos, did not meet the same fate. These unions, on the contrary, did nothing to improve the quality of those and their families. In 1791, Ana María Josefa Guevara had to face a lawsuit for insulting her for reacting to the insult that the principal white woman of the city of Valencia, Rosa Malpica, had called her a mulatto, even though she was brown.

The men and women who made up Venezuelan colonial society in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were clear about their place within it. It was a discriminatory, exclusionary, unequal and deeply hierarchical society, typical of the ancien régime, the product of the transfer to these lands of the Hispanic model, with the addition in America of the ethno-racial element, which conferred superiority on the European and his descendants, and which gave a very particular nuance to the Spanish-American societies of those centuries. This society was made up of different racial groups such as whites, Indians, castes (“people of all colours” or pardos) and blacks, which were in turn subdivided into other groups whose analysis is necessary to understand the functioning and dynamics of this society, beyond what may have been established by legislation in the Indies. Among the whites we find the peninsulares, criollos and de orilla, who could be canarios or blancos de orilla; among the Indians, the tributarios or non-tributarios; among the blacks, the free or enslaved morenos; among the castas or pardos, a more complex group of categories due to the heterogeneity of its members: mestizos, enslaved or free pardos (quinterones, cuarterones tercerones), mulatos, zambos, tente en el aire, saltos atrás and up to six other denominations. All of them had their own interests and struggled to improve their racial quality, which resulted in the rejection of any marital union or dealings with members of inferior groups and further accentuated the inequalities in that society.

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Hola, ¿Historia? ¿Diacronía? ¿Orden vs Desorden? ¿Alternativas coetáneas?
¡En fin! La HISTORIA no es opinión y mucho menos opinión extemporánea y relativista desde el subjetivismo de parámetros del tercer milenio. Supongo que del Orden Institucional no borbónico tendrá también mucho que ilustrarse y responsabilizarse.
Un cordial saludo. Ánimo en las tareas al servicio de la HISTORIA.

Atte. Dr. José Manuel González Pérez, ULL

Desarrollo para la Ciencia y la Tecnología, C. A.

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ISSN: 2610-7864