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Forced Migration in the Spanish Pacific World: From Mexico to the Philippines, 1765-1811

Mehl, Eva Maria (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)

978 1 107 13679 3
List price(s):
99.99 USD
80.00 GBP
104.00 EUR

Publication date:
1 July 2016

Short description: 

An exploration of the deportation of Mexican military recruits and vagrants to the Philippines between 1765 and 1811.

Full description: 

Nearly 4,000 Mexican troops and convicts landed in Manila Bay in the Philippines from 1765 to 1811. The majority were veterans and recruits; the rest were victims of vagrancy campaigns. Eva Maria Mehl follows these forced exiles from recruiting centers, jails and streets in central Mexico to Spanish outposts in the Philippines, and traces relationships of power between the imperial authorities in Madrid and the colonial governments and populations of New Spain and the Philippines in the late Bourbon era. Ultimately, forced migration from Mexico City to Manila illustrates that the histories of the Spanish Philippines and colonial Mexico have embraced and shaped each other, that there existed a connectivity between imperial processes in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, and that a perspective of the Spanish empire centered on the Atlantic cannot adequately reflect the historical importance of the richly textured transpacific world.

Table of contents: 

Introduction; 1. Intertwined histories in the Pacific: the Philippines and New Spain, 1565-1764; 2. Convicts and soldiers in the Spanish Empire; 3. Poverty, criminality, and the Bourbon State; 4. Levies for the Philippines in late colonial Mexico; 5. Spontaneous requests for deportation: tribulations of parents, youngsters, and wives; 6. Unruly Mexicans in Manila: imperial goals and colonial concerns; Appendix; Sources and bibliography; Index.


Eva Maria Mehl is an assistant professor of Latin American history and world history at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She received a doctorate in history from the University of Alicante, Spain in 2002 and she also holds a PhD in history from the University of California, Davis (2011). Under her maiden name, Eva M. St Clair Segurado, she has published extensively in Spain on the missionary labor of the Jesuits in China and the expulsion of this religious order from Mexico in 1767. She is the author of Expulsion y Exilio de la Provincia Jesuita Mexicana, Flagellum Iesuitarum, and Dios y Belial en un mismo altar.



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