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A New World and the Emergence of a New Race

Francisco Cintrón

Contents of Curriculum Unit 86.02.04:

To Guide Entry

This curriculum unit was designed for the reader who is interested in learning some of the basic roots about the Spanish American heritage.

An attempt has been made to clear some misunderstanding that, (in my opinion,) people might have about the great contributions made by the Spanish American to the American Continent.

The material presented in this unit examines two important concepts. First, the concept of “New World,” and second, the concept dealing with “A New Race.”

In the “New World” a new image of man and nature was formed in the early days of the discovery and conquest. This image was the product not only of an observation of reality but also of the dream and fantasies of the sense of “greatness” that the Europeans brought to the New World.1

In our days, the new image of man is known by those who study Latin American Literature as “Criollo” or “Criollismo.” The “Criollo” concept will serve as our center of focus, hence it marks the emergence of a “New Race” in the New World.

This curriculum unit touches on other concepts such as cultural pluralism.

The goal of this curriculum is that the information which is being made available will serve as another instructional tool which would be added to the existing curriculums of the school system where I’m currently teaching—as a history teacher in the Social Studies Department. Teachers will be able to use the unit content to enhance not only their pupils’ knowledge, but their own as well. Both Middle and High School teachers will be able to teach the unit content to their students because each segment has been designed for the accomplishment of each task involved.

Included in the final unit content is a series of objectives and strategies. Teachers will be able to use them as a guide when teaching the unit content to their classes. Both teachers and students will be able to learn more about the America’s history. Hopefully teachers, but most of all students, will achieve a basic understanding about themselves as well as others, as natives and residents of the American Continent.

There are at least three sample lessons in the unit content. Each lesson plan is especially designed for the purpose of promoting the following:

-teacher’s classroom lesson activities, teaching method, flexibility, students’ motivation, additional background information, better learning classroom environment, and lesson design;
-students’ writing and reading skills;
-students’ understanding of specific areas of studies about the history of the American Continent;
-student learning and better understanding of their heritage.

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Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492 was an accident. His exploit was based on a simple misunderstanding. He seriously miscalculated the nautical distance between Europe and Asia and hoped to reach Cathay (China) and Xipango (Japan) in a few weeks of sailing. At the time, Columbus had no idea, that the distance was so great and that a vast continent was in his way. 2

Columbus who was born in Genoa in 1451, was determined to discover the new Atlantic route to the Indies. However, because of his nautical error he did not find the Indies but a “New World.” 3

Because Columbus had read Marco Polo’s account of his travels in Asia, he thought he knew what to look for. Columbus never knew what he had discovered. He died before it became known that the lands he had reached were a New World.4

The land discovered on his first stop (to the Bahamas, Santo Domingo, and Cuba) was beautiful and exotic. The people were docile and men, women and children were naked. Some of them were carrying a few pieces of gold, but not a single recognizable spice. The natives spoke a language unknown to Columbus and his crew. The translator he had brought with him was useless—he knew Latin, Hebrew and Greek—to the point that Columbus felt cheated.5

In his letters about the discovery of the New World, Columbus tried to disguise his failure by describing the new land to the Spanish Crown officials, using a high degree of literary imagination. He heard nightingales in Cuba, breathed May air in the tropical November of the Caribbean, and vouched for the existence of Amazons and mermaids, and of men with tails. Consequently, Columbus’s wild imagination created a whole stereotype of the fabulous new world. 6

It was ironic that while Columbus created a whole new world in the minds of those who read his journals or heard about his travels, he never realized that he had in fact discovered a real New World. He clung to the belief that he had found India. He took back to Spain some of the mildmannered, innocent and handsome Tainos, whom he, as a sincere Christian, intended to convert. When he came to know these “Indians” better, Columbus realized that he had not found India, that he had only made a geographical error.7

In his first letter to the king and queen (Ferdinand and Isabel), Columbus had planned the future of the New World: discovery, conversion, and conquest were all one for him.8 It was with this letter that many historical changes began to take place, almost immediately, which were recognized by the Spanish crown. It was Columbus’s first letter that gave way to the age of exploration of the New World.

In his first letter Columbus gave the name “The Green and Beautiful Land” to the New World. However, the name “Americas,” was not given for Columbus, but after Amerigo Vespucci. Columbus discovered the New Indies for Europe, but it was the privilege of one of his countrymen (Amerigo Vespucci), to call it the New World, and, eventually, his name (America for Amerigo) was given to the New World.9

Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1454 in Florence (three years after Columbus was born in Genoa). It is my belief that he was a crew member, not a navigator. A welleducated man, he was able to read the new Latin Cosmographies published by humanists and mapmakers. By his four voyages to the Indies, Vespucci was able to measure the route more accurately and dared to pursue his explorations farther south.10 It was on his third trip (15011502) that he discovered the River Plate estuary and almost reached what is now the Strait of Magallan. Upon completion of this mission, Vespucci became convinced that the Spanish Indies were not part of the Asian Continent but a vast unknown mass of land large enough to be called a New Continent.11

Amerigo Vespucci wrote several letters about his explorations and discoveries which became widely published and translated into Latin and most of the important European languages of the day. Some letters were read by Thomas More, who borrowed for his Utopia a few narrative touches (his Raphael is supposed to be one of Vespucci’s companions) and some anthropological information (like the Indians, More’s Utopians have no private property and pay little attention to gold).12

In preparing his Cosmographic Introduction (1507), Martinz Waldseenmuller, who had read some of Vespucci’s letters, wrote over the map of the New World the name “America,” in honor of the learned explorer whose information he had used to complete his later map of the New World. Other cosmographers followed Waldseenmuller’s lead. Thereafter, Vespucci’s name has taken precedence over Columbus’. As a result, he was challenged and heavily accused of trying to steal Columbus’ glory by Las Casas, his contemporary. Later on, in the nineteenth century, critics went so far as to claim that almost all his letters were the product of his own fabrication and that he probably did not visit the New World four times.13 Although Las Casas challenged Veepucci’s letters, and although these letters were vague and even evasive, they were widely published and accepted throughout the 16th Century.14

Of Vespucci’s four consecutive explorations to the New World, the first two (1497 and 1500) were made for the Spanish crown and involved mainly the part of the New World that Pope Alexander VI had reserved to Spain in his 1493 bulletin. The two last voyages (1501 and 1504) were financed by the King of Portugal, after Vespucci had left Spain secretly. He was commissioned, perhaps by the Portuguese Crown, to find a western route to India. To do that, he had to navigate into Spanish waters. It is easy to understand his position if one considers the partial secrecy that even today exists between American and Soviet exploration of the solar system.15

Because of Vespucci’s letters, the true dimensions of the New World became known. The 1503 letter was called in its version “Mundus Novus” or “New World,” and presented his own observations of the New Land and the people of the New Indies.16 (Vespucci’s letters started a more realistic view of the New World.)

With both Columbus and Vespucci, explorations to the New World became the land of opportunity and the source of new adventures for the Europeans, and after years of explorations, conquests and much pain and suffering, early settlements began to emerge in the New World. As a result of these new settlements, and because none of the early explorers were allowed to bring their wives and children with them, a new mixed race also began to emerge.

The next topic will explore the emerging of a new race known as “Criollo” or “Criollismo” which rapidly, after the early settlements, started to spread throughout the New World.

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The American Spaniards, also known as Criollos (Creoles) were the completely hispanicized people born in the New World. They were regarded as white and a few of them no doubt were, but most were descended from Mestizos who had been recognized by their Spanish fathers and brought up as Spaniards.17

As the Colonies began to grow, the tendency for European Spaniards to seek spouses in this group led to a gradual “bleaching” of the Creoles, who thus became, for the most part, light Mestizos. The Creoles rapidly expanded through natural increase as well as “passing” from the lower groups.18 In 1570, the newly emerging of the Criollo race constituted a mere 0.3 percent of the total; by 1646 they approached 10 percent; at the close of Spanish rule they comprised nearly 18 percent of the total (See Table 1.1 in Appendix with regards to race statistics.)

The Creoles owned most of the land not in possession of the European Spaniards, they monopolized much of commerce and craft production, and they occupied the lesser offices in the Colonial bureaucracy. Soon thereafter, they constituted a nascent bourgeoisie next to the Aristocratic European Spaniards. Like the European Spaniards, the Criollos were disproportionately represented in the urban centers, although they were sometimes owners or landlords of large plantations. Every so often a Creole was appointed to a high occupation such as that of viceroy or bishop.19

When we make racial comparison between the Creole and the European Spaniards, on the surface it might seem that the criterion for distinguishing both groups was one of racial purity. However, although such phrases as “purity” or “cleanliness of blood” (as pointed out by Pierre L. Van den Berghe in his book Race and Racism,) testify to a mild form of racism among the Spaniards, the Creoles were regarded more as Provincials or Colonials whose cultural purity had been corrupted by contact with superstitious heathens and who spoke an unrefined dialect of New World Spanish.20

Although the distinction between the two groups was thus at least as much cultural as racial, the Creoles nearly always married either endogamously or hypergamously with European Spaniards. They also engaged in extensive concubinage with the lower three groups, (Mulattos, Zambos, Cholos) and in the process blurred the distinction between themselves and the Mestizos.21

As a new Criollo race, the Mestizo came next in descending order of prestige and privileges. They were the illegitimate products of unions between Spaniards and Indian, and between Indian and Negroes, as well as of the second and third generation mixtures between Mestizos and the other nonwhite groups.22

Throughout the new Latin colonies, but most especially New Spain, the melting pot of Mestizos came to constitute a residual category, which included anyone who did not belong to the three other states (Cuba, West Indies and Mexico). Within that group which steadily grew from 0.1 percent in 1570 to 12 percent in 1646, to 21.6 percent in 1810, to about 85.0 percent today, internal distinctions were made. But most if not all such distinctions became obsolete by the time of Independence.23

There was also much concern for physical appearance which gave rise to an elaborate nomenclature based on skin color, hair texture, and facial features. AfroMestizos were sometimes distinguished from Indianwhite mixtures by the term “Zambaigo.” Finer distinctions of shades of pigmentation and types of crossing between Indian and whites gave rise to such terms as “Mestizo blanco, castizo, Mestizo prieto, Mestizo pardo, and mestindio.”24

By the late 18th Century passing had become common enough to blur the difference between Creoles and Mestizos and to make the casta system fairly nominal. At first, Mestizos were technically debarred from most nonmanual occupations. However, as time went on, such restrictions became less stringently applied. During such periods of development, many Mestizos were brought up by a single parent, usually the mothers, as Indians; and gradually they became increasingly hispanicized to the point of being culturally indistinguishable from the Criollos and European Spaniards. Unlike Indians and Negroes, Mestizos were exempt from payment of the capitalization tax, but their economic status or position was often little better.

Although much has been said about the Criollo concept under study, one cannot do a complete examination of it without covering some of the work done by two famous authors of Latin American Literature. These authors are Jose Juan Arron and José Vasconcelos.

In his book, Certidumbre de America, Arron described the Criollo concept as one who is born and raised on this side of the world (meaning the Americas or New World) from parent immigrants who came to America from the Old World. “Los criollos son, por tanto, los polluelos que en case—en geografia America les nacen a los imigrantes venidos del Viejo Mundo.” (The Criollos [born American] are somewhat the chicks [young people] that are at home in the American geography, born of immigrants that came from the Old World.) Therefore, for Arron, Criollo as a concept in the Spanish language, is a term with a great deal of cultural character. “Los criollos somos los que, sea cual sea el color de nuestra piel, nos hemos criado de este lado del charco y hablamos y pensamos en español con sutiles matices Americanos,” (“Criollos” are those of us without regard for the color of our skin who have been on this side of the Ocean and think and speak in Spanish with slight American inflections.)

José Vasconcelos in his book La Raza Cósmica (Quinta Raza), presented a very significant account about the emergence of a New Race in the New World, and the strong influences imposed upon it by both the Spanish and British immigrants. But, most of all, the mixtures of races and cultures that developed after the discovery of the New World, generation after generation. He called this mixture “la quinta raze,” or “the fifth race.” It is with this thought that we move to the discussion of our next topic, “Criollismo.”

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As the author of this curriculum unit, I must admit that it has not been easy to choose the best way to go about the development of a concrete format for discussing the existing issues dealing with the Criollo concepts. After all my reading about the subject, I came to the conclusion that for the Criollo concept to be best understood concisely, a clear definition of the term must be first given.

A Criollo, by definition, is someone born in Spanish America, whether of foreign parents or of natives, although at one time it signified an American born of Spanish parents. Coming to be almost synonymous with native, the word was applied to almost anything national or vernacular, especially as something of local essence as opposed to the foreign.25

In both the 19th and 20th Centuries, the term began to be used to describe the literature of Latin America. Criollismo is a Latin American form of realism or regionalism which stresses the people and their land. The word “Criollo” was first used in The Historia Natural y Moral de las Indians by Padre José de Acósta in the late 16th century—“como alla llaman a los nacidos de españoles con indios.” (As our called those born from the mixture of Spaniards with Indians.) Also, it was used by the New World’s first mixed race “Criollo” writer, Garcilaso de la Vega, the Inca, who stated that the Spaniards “ha introducido este nombre en su lenguage pare nombrar los nacidos alla,” or “the Spaniards have introduced this name in their language to name those who are born there.”26

Luis Alberto Sanchez objects to the term “novela criolla” because the definition is so broad that it can include almost everything in it; Criollismo varies according to one’s concept of the artistic operation, and a rigid definition and dogmatic conclusion of any kind is questionable.27 Though a ridig definition should not be given, we can point to action, statements which characterize Criollismo. It may involve elements of costumbrismo, reformismo, the catastrophic and tragic elements of naturalism, social problems, nature and external destructive force inimical to man, violence, love, hate, human passion, the anonymous, and the alienated.

Two of the basic ingredients are the tragic and fatalistic elements of naturalism on the one hand, and the artistic legacy of modernism on the other. Uslar Pietri has indicated that the apparently contradictory influences of modernist renovation and naturalistic fatalism, combined often, tend to fall under the realistic sense of the term known as “criollism.”28

For some critics, criollism pertains only to the rural ambiance as opposed to the city life, and especially reflects picturesque customs. But Criollismo includes the entire environment of a region, applying as easily to the city in its artistic expression of the local soul or national spirit and in the city’s examination of the social problems, the political motivation, or sexual habits.29

An American phenomenon involving more than nature, Criollismo reflects the social tragedy of the New World, “el latifundio, la gomera, la mine, la fabrica, el canaveral, la pampa, la selva tragedia protagonizada por indios, negros, cholos, zambos, rotos, y mulatos”30 (the large landed estate, the rubber plantation, the mine, the factory, the sugar plantation, the prairie, the tragedy of the jungle protaginized by Indians, Negros, Cholos, Zambos, Rotos and Mulatos).

America, from its earliest moments a complete novelty to Europeans, was racially something neither European nor Indian. The American Criollo differed appreciably from the Spaniard, and in a society in formation antagonisms between the two were common. The American and European social structure contributed to a growing unrest. Criollismo reflects a new kind of historic development which fused with modernism in its search for beauty of expression.31

After its early phase, especially in the second and third decades of the 20th century, Criollo emphasized the symbolic, magic, and mythical elements of man’s struggle against his environment, himself, and his society. The author who just indulges in a casual insistence on Americanism or depicts a few dialectal forms to produce local color is not a Criollista. Criollismo, therefore, is more than a mere regionalism. It is authentic Americanism, at time transposing and at others recording its often brutal, harsh, and violent environment. Criollistas novelists use fiction as an instrument of struggle for justice and reform.

In its amalgam of impressionism, realism, and psychological, poetic, and sociological factors, and its combination of naturalistic and modernist elements, the classical Criollista novel allows for a more tightly controlled realistic and artistic portrayal of Creole life.32 Our next unit topic deals with “Cultural Pluralism.”


The purpose for the discussion of this topic “Cultural Pluralism” is to assist both the teachers and students in identifying the meaning of Cultural Pluralism. It is not intended to go into detail about the issues, however, it is suggested that the teacher explore, in depth, the topic. In order to do more exploration about this topic, both teachers and students should use the reference bibliography at the end of this unit.

Cultural Pluralism deals with the amount of cultural differences between ethnic groups living, in the same society and by the relative size and power of these groups.33

Cultural Pluralism between ethnic groups cannot exist without institutional duplication and hence without social pluralism. That is, any form of Cultural Pluralism has a structural facet which can be treated as social pluralism. However, in addition to ethnicity, race is introduced as a criterion of group membership, a new dimension added to social pluralism. Race is not the structural counterpart of ethnic heterogeneity, but is an independent criterion according to which society is segmented.34

To refine the concept of cultural pluralism somewhat further, it is useful to analyze pluralistic societies at four main levels; groups, institutions, values, and individuals. It is important to understand that these levels cut across the distinction between social and cultural pluralism. Pluralism, for that matter, at the group level, is a function of the number of corporate groups existing within a society; their relative size; the rigidity and clarity of group boundaries; and the degree of cultural and/or social differences between the groups.35

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1. A New History of Spanish American Fiction, Vol. II, p. 77.
2. The Borzoi Anthology of Latin American Literature, p. 6.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid., p. 7.
6. Ibid., p. 9.
7. Ibid., p. 10.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid., p. 13.
10. Ibid., p. 14.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid., p. 18.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid., p. 20.
15. Ibid., p. 21.
16. Modern Latin American Literature, p. 140.
17. Ibid., p. 141.
18. Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective, 1978, p. 43.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid., p. 44.
21. Ibid., p. 46.
22. Ibid., p. 48.
24. Ibid., p. 49.
25. The Borzoi’ Anthology of Latin American Literature, p. 143.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid., p. 144.
28. Ibid.
29. Ibid., p. 145.
30. Ibid.
31. Ibid., p. 146.
32. Ibid., p. 148.
33. Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective, 1978, p. 134.
34. Ibid., p. 135.
35. Ibid., p. 138.

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(figure available in print form)

Population of the New World by “Castas”1

Reference table referring to statistics about the Criollo as a New Race, 15701810.

Teacher may use this table to develop other activities for the purpose of comparing races.

(figure available in print form)

Map of the New World2

(figure available in print form)

Voyages to the New World 1492-14983

(figure available in print form)

Map Puzzle Focusing Upon the New World4

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Lesson One: “A New World”

Objectives  Upon completion of this lesson the students will be able to:

1.Learn specific terms and concepts about the discovery of America.
2.Improve their history knowledge about some Latin American regions.
3.Improve their map and geography skills of the New World.
4.Improve their writing, group discussion and listening skills.


1.After a general introduction of the lesson objectives and student learning expectations, the teacher will select and instruct one student to distribute copies of the lesson background information. The teacher will allow at least 10 minutes for the students to read the background information.
2.After the students have become familiar with the lesson background information they will do a chalkboard question activity. The teacher should have written the questions on the chalkboard prior to the start of the class session.
3.After completing the chalkboard question activity, the students will exchange papers with their classmates for the purpose of evaluation.
4.During the group (class) discussion of this activity, the students will respond and give the answer to each question. The teacher will make sure that all questions are answered correctly.
5.In addition to the lesson background information, the students should be assigned more background information about the discovery and development of the New World; some of which they will learn in the lesson topics that follow.
6.Students should have been assigned a “Quest” project assignment at least two days after the beginning of the lesson. The teacher will monitor the student’s progress and will advise accordingly.
7.After completing their “Quest” project assignments, the students will make oral presentations about their project report findings. Teachers should make sure that each student participates in this activity.


1.Warm Up. The teacher should write the following questions on the chalkboard prior to the beginning of the class session.
a.Describe what is meant by the term “New World.”
b.Who was Christopher Columbus? How did he become so famous?
c.Can you name the three ships used by Christopher Columbus and his crew during their voyages to the Western Hemisphere.
2.Small group activity—Map Skills. On the chalkboard write “Answer the following questions.”
a.Locate and label:
(1) North America
(2) The Caribbean Regions (Central America)
(3) South America
b.Locate and label the:
(1) Atlantic Ocean
(2) Arctic Ocean
(3) Caribbean Sea
(4) Mexican Gulf
(5) Isthmus of Panama
c.Describe the climate of:
(1) North America
(2) Central America
(3) South America
d.Name and label the following regions:
(1) United States
(2) Alaska
(3) Canada
(4) Mexico
(5) West Indies
(6) Panama
(7) Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)
(8) Columbia, Brazil, Argentina
e.Which of these countries are located in:
(1) South America
(2) North America
(3) Central America
3.Vocabulary—(to be written on the chalkboard prior to the class session)—“Give the definition of the following terms”:
e.cosmography (ies) (ers)
i. Mundus Novus
k. colonies
m. error
n. settlement
o. literature
4.Summary of Lesson—Test Activity
a.Describe the following characters (people):
(1) Marco Polo
(2) Amerigo Vespucci
(3) Ferdinand and Isabel
(4) Martinz Waldseenmuller
(5) Alexander VI
(6) Christopher Columbus
b.Name some of the land regions discovered by Christopher Columbus and his crew members during his first voyage to the New World.
c.Why was the country of Spain able to take possession of all the lands and people after Christopher Columbus discovered it?
d.Was Columbus really a dreamer? Why?—or—Why Not?
e.By what means was communication established between the New World and the Spanish crown?
f.What was Columbus’s greatest nautical error?
g.How was the name “Americas” given to the New World? Who gave it?
h.The New World was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus for the Spanish crown. How did Columbus’ discovery change the world history thereafter?
I.What changes began to take place in the New World immediately after his discovery?
j.Who were the natives of the New World?

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Lesson Two: “Creole as a New Race”

Objectives  Upon completion of this lesson two the students will be able to:

1.Describe at least three major social classes of the Spanish-American society.
2.Learn and/or improve their understanding about the fast emerging of a New Race during the colonial development of the New World.
3.Make comparisons between today’s SpanishAmerican generations and past generations.
4.Recognize their own heritage, racial and cultural development.
1.After a general introduction of the lesson objectives and student learning expectations, the teacher should distribute copies of the lesson background information.
2.After the students have read and analyzed the background information, the teacher should break the class into small groups to discuss their feelings about the lesson content.
3.Upon completion of the small group discussions, each group should prepare a written presentation and select a group representative to make an oral class presentation. The teacher should observe that each group fully participates in the oral presentation.
4.In addition to the lesson background, the students should be assigned background information about conflicting reasons for discontent among the Creoles, Mestizos (mix) and conditions for the racial mixed feelings in SpanishAmerica.
5.The teacher should again break the class into 5 small groups to discuss the feelings about each individual student’s own racial and cultural heritage. After each group has completed their individual discussions each student should write a short summary report about what they have learned from the group discussions. Each group then should write a group summary report on what they have learned from these discussions and select a group representative to make an oral presentation to the class. The teacher should observe that each group fully participates during all discussions and class presentations.


1.Warm Up Activity—Review exercise. From Lesson One do the following:
a. Describe how the name “Americas” was given to the New World.
b. Describe Columbus’ first voyage to the West.
2.Writing Activity—The students will be instructed to write their own autobiography. Once this assignment is completed the teacher will divide the class into small groups. The students will discuss their autobiographies with each other at first and then as a group. After the small group discussions is completed, a selected member from each group will make an oral presentation to the class (allow two or three class periods for this activity).
3.Questions Activity—Answer the following questions.
a.Who are the Creoles?
b.What distinctions can be made between the Creoles and other race groups.
c.Did any members of the Creole group serve as slaves during the colonial development of the New World? Why?—or—Why Not?
4Vocabulary Activity—Describe the following terms:
a.Mestizo (mix)
d.Castizo (casted)
e.Mestindio (Mixiandia)
f.Mulato (mixed)
NOTE: A SpanishEnglish dictionary is needed for this activity.
5.Quest Activity—The student will be instructed to write a book report about any topic of their choice dealing with the lesson topic—“Creole As A New Race.”

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Lesson Three: “Criollismo”—What is it?

Objectives  Upon completion of this lesson the students will be able to:

1.Understand the meaning of Criollismo as a concept.
2.Recognize the influence and importance of Criollismo in the Latin American literature—-past and present.
3.Make comparisons between both the Creolo and Criollismo concepts.
4.Describe some famous Hispanics involved in the development of the SpanishAmerican literature.
5.Describe the social implications of Criollismo.
1.The teacher should introduce the lesson by passing out a “Fact Sheet” to the students, which includes specific information about the various definitions and meaning of Criollismo.
2.The teacher divides the class into small groups to discuss their feelings about what they think the meaning of Criollismo should be.
3.The teacher should distribute copies of the lesson background material for the students to read for homework. The students should write a list containing names of famous Hispanic persons mentioned.
4.In class, the students should be divided into two groups to discuss the list of famous Hispanics involved in the lesson content. One group should be instructed to give positive reactions about each character and the second group will give negative reactions about each character. The teacher will moderate, observe and make comments whenever he/she feels it necessary.
5.The students should write a book report about the importance of “Criollismo” in the development of the SpanishAmerican.
6.The teacher should select students to make class oral presentations of their projects.


1.Warm Up Activity—Review—The teacher will use the following questions to monitor the students learning of the previous lesson’s material.

Chalkboard Activity

a.How was the New World discovered?
b.Who was Christopher Columbus? Why was he important?
c.Describe the following terms:
(1) Criollo
(2) Creole
(3) European
d.Who was Amerigo Vespucci? Why was he so important?
2.Small Group Activity—The students will be instructed to get into their small groups. Once the small groups are formed, the students will do the following:
a.Find and discuss the meaning of the term Criollismo.
b.Compare the terms Criollismo, Criollo, and Creole.
c.Discuss the importance of the following characters:
(1) Garcilaso de la Vega
(2) Padre José de Acósta
(3) Luis Alberto Sanchez
d.After all the discussions have been completed, all group leaders will make oral presentations to the class.
3.Oral Presentations Activity—Selected group leaders will conduct oral presentations about their findings following the exercises in Activity #2.
4.Quest Activity—The students will be instructed to conduct library research studies about any topic of their choice dealing with Criollismo.
NOTE: Sources from the Student’s and Teacher’s bibliographies can be used to successfully complete this task.

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Lesson Four: Cultural Pluralism

Objectives  After completing this lesson and activities, students will be able to:

1.Describe what is meant by Cultural Pluralism.
2.Do further explorations (during independent studies) about Cultural Pluralism.
3.Have a better understanding about the issues involving Cultural Pluralism.


1.Prior to this lesson assign the students reading materials about issues dealing with Cultural Pluralism.
2.After the students have read and acquired some understanding of the issues dealing with Cultural Pluralism, the teacher should divide the class into small groups—at least four groups, depending on class size.
3.Once in the small groups, the students will write their own definition of what they think Cultural Pluralism is, and make comparisons between their own ideas of Cultural Pluralism and those given by authors in their reading material.
4.The teacher will observe, making sure everyone participates in the activity, providing guidance when she/he feels it necessary.


1.Warm Up. Review exercise. Have students answer the following questions:
a.How the discovery of the New World helped to shape the course of history.
b.What is meant by the terms—Criollismo, Criollo, and Creole?
2.Small Group Activity
a.Write and discuss your own definition of what is meant by the term Cultural Pluralism. After writing your own definition, as a group, write a complete description of it. When completed, a contrast between your own ideas of Cultural Pluralism and that of the authors involved must be shown.
3.Independent Studies. Write a short composition about any topic of your choice involving Cultural Pluralism. You must research your topic. Evidence of library research or reference sources must be shown at the end of the page.

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Auden, W.H. For the Time Being. Random House of Canada, English Edition.

This book focuses on a series of plays about social, cultural, and political development of the Americas during the late 18th and 20th centuries. (1941). A commentary on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Excellent book to be used with this unit’s activities.

Garcilaso de La Vega, El Inca. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru, Part One. Translated with an Introduction by Harold V. Livermore. Forward by Arnold J. Toynbee. University of Texas Press, Austin and London.

In this book the author focuses on the social, cultural, and racial status of the Criollos. Excellent book to use during the course of studies in this unit.

Loveiray Chirino, Carols. Juan Criollo. Spanish edition. Printed by National De Cultura. Ministerio De Education, La Habana, Cuba, 1962.

This book is an excellent representation of the Criollismo Literature. It is a collection of novels. The author focuses on the Criollo Concept in the real sense of the world. An excellent book for bilingual students to use when working with this unit content.

Marqués, René. The Ox Cart (La Carreta). Translated from Spanish by Charles Pilditch. Charles Scribner’s Sons, Inc.

As a Criollo himself, the author presents the Criollo flavor in his book by focusing on the social, economic and political development of the countryman (el jibaro). Highly recommended to be used with this unit.

Pendle, George. A History of Latin America. Penguin Books. Revised and Reprinted in 1983.

This book is an excellent representation of the historical development of the Criollo race, culture and political structures in the New World. The author’s major attributes lie not only in the studies of geographical settings and sociological changes, but rapid development of the Latin regions, hence its discoveries and conquests.

Stabb, Martin. In Quest of Identity. Patterns in the Spanish American Essay of Ideas, 18901960. The University of North Carolina Press, 1967.

An excellent representation of the Criollo historical development in the New World. The author focuses on major issues such as humanism, racial, cultural, social and political developments. The Criollismo literature is reflected throughout the entire book’s contents.

Subercaseaux, Bernardo. Narrative De La Joven Cuba Antologia. Editorial Nascimento, Santiago, De Chile, 1971.

An excellent representation of Criollismo Cubano. The author focuses on the Cuban development since the Colonial era. It is a contrast between the past and present Cuban development.

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Arrom, José Juan. Certidumbre (Certainty of) de America. Spanish Edition, 1980. Published by Mario Reguera Gomes, Cuba, La Habana City, 1980.

Although written in Spanish, this book’s contents touches on issues dealing with the American reality and the American man. An excellent representation of the New World Criollo race development. The focuses is on the reality of the Criollo concept, its culture, literature and folklore development. Excellent book to be used with this unit and is available at the Yale Library.

Bernald D’az del Castillo. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico—1517-1521. Edited and published in Mexico by Genaro Garcia. Translated with an introduction and noted by A.P. Maudslay.

Introduction to the American edition by Irving A. Leonard. Farrar, Straus and Ciroux. Excellent reference book. Highly recommended.

Brushwood, John S. Genteel Barbarism: Experiment in Analysis of Nineteenth Century Spanish Novels.

This book is a collection of novels about the Criollo race and culture development. A good representation of “el Criollismo Concept.” Excellent book to be used with this unit.

Brushwood, John S. The Spanish American Novel. A Twentieth Century Survey study. University of Texas Press, Austin and London, 1975.

This book is a good representation of the literature involving the Criollismo concept. High recommended to used with this unit.

Coester, Alfred. The Literary History of Spanish Latin America. MacMillan Co., 1928.

The author of this book deals with the Criollismo Concept as one of the main issues. Highly recommend this book.

Gallacher, D.P. Modern Latin American Literature. Oxford University Press, London, Oxford, New York, 1983.

This book focuses on the history of the New World from the 19th and 20th centuries. A good representation of this unit’s theme (A New World and the emergence of a New Race) can be found here. Highly recommended for study of this unit.

Garcilaso de la Vega. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru. Translated with an introduction by Harold V. Livermore. University of Texas Press, Austin and London.

González, José Luis. Literatury Sociedad en Puerto Rico (Literature and Society in Puerto Rico). Fondo De Cultura Economica, Mexico, 1976.

This book’s contents deals with the first conquest of the Criollo race in the New World. The author focuses on issues dealing with the Criollismo development and how it rapidly spread throughout the Americas. Excellent book to be used as a background information supplement for this unit.

Lambros, Comitas and Lewenthat, David. Slaves, Freemen, Citizens: West Indian Perspectives. Anchor Press, New York, 1973.

The author focuses on the slave trade issues of the West Indies region during its colonial development. He also focuses on the Criolo mixed race development that resulted from the slavery trade era. High recommend that this book be used with the studies of this unit.

LeónPortilla, Miguel. The Broken Spears: An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico. Beacon Press, Mexico, 1962.

Excellent reference material. Highly recommended.

Mellafe, Rolando. Negro Slavery in Latin America. English translation by J.W.S. Judge. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1975.

The author of this book deals with the use of slaves, not only from Africa, but Chinese as well, as plantation laborers during the economic development of the Latin American Colonies. The main focus is given to the issues of Criollo mixed races that developed as a result of the slavery situation. A great book to be used during the study of this unit.

Montaigne, Michel de. Selected Essays. The Charles Cotton, W. Hazlitt Translation. Revised and edited with an introduction by Blanchard Bates of Princeton University. The Modern Library, New York.

An excellent account of the social, culture, and racial might, with main focus on the humanistic and humane confrontations of the New World inhabitants during the early stages of development.

Smith, Peter. Christopher Columbus: Four Voyages to the New World. Bilingual Edition, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1978.

An excellent account of Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Highly recommended for use with this unit.

Souza, Raymond D. Major Cuban Novelists—Innovation and Tradition. University of Missouri Press, 1976.

In this book the author focuses on the Criollo concept of the Cubans. Excellent book.

Swartz, Kessel. A New History of Spanish America Fiction, Vol. II. Social Concern, Universalism, and the New World. 1971.

In this book the author presents a collection of chapters dealing with the historical development of Spanish American fiction. He focuses on the Criollo concept, both the natural and physical. Some of the main issues deal with the New World and the emergence of the New Race which is the theme of this unit.

Van den Berghe, Pierre L. Race and Racism: A Comparative Perspective. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1978.

This book’s contents is an overview of the Criollo race and Cultural Pluralism development of the New World. Great book to use during the study of this unit.

Van den Berghe, Pierre L. Race and Ethnicity. Essays in Comparative Sociology. Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1970.

The author presents a complete research study on races and ethnicity. The development and discussion of the Criollo races can be found throughout this book. Excellent book to be used with this unit.

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Ditto Master Duplicating Masters

1.Map skills and background information about the New World exploration and Colonization—by Milliken Co., Distributed by: Bryant School Supply Co., 60 Connolly Pkwy, Hamden, CT 06415—Tel: 2482479.
2.Map Outlines: Latin America. Milliken Publishing Co., Distributed by Triangle Audio Visual Media, Inc., 50 Maple St., P.O. Box 2485B, Branford, CT 06405—Tel: 4812306.
3.Map and Globe Filmstrip Kit: Exploring the New World. Globe Map Co., Inc.
An excellent learning supplement tool that can be used as part of the unit lesson review exercises, or as an introductory part of the unit lessons. Can be easily obtained from the Social Studies Department of each school in New Haven. Check with your department chairperson. Also available upon order from the above published, 198585 catalog.
4.Western Dictionary—available in most classrooms and school libraries or can be obtained from the English Department.
NOTE: Other references can be obtained from the following sources: New Haven Teacher’s Center Yale Teacher’s Institute.

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Contents of 1986 Volume II | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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