By Daniel K. Lewis
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Extra resources for A South American Frontier: The Tri-border Region (Arbitrary Borders)
21 Jesuits and the Guaranís 35 During the early part of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits, a religious order of the Catholic Church, established a number of successful missions in the tri-border region. Jesuit priests at each mission set out to spread European culture and Christianity to the natives of the region. Pictured here is the Sao Miguel Mission, just south of the tri-border region, in Brazil. During the early part of the seventeenth century, the Jesuits established a number of successful missions in the tri-border region.
Spanish and Guaraní traditions did blend, but the establishment of a new mestizo, or mixed-race, elite produced resentment and resistance within the Guaraní settlements. Labor drafts, efforts by the descendants of Spanish invaders to take control of more and more land, and the concentration of political power in the hands of a few privileged families created tensions. Five times between 1539 and 1600, Guaraní communities rebelled against local authorities. Although the authorities successfully turned back each revolt, lingering tensions led Spanish T 33 34 A SOUTH AMERICAN FRONTIER: THE TRI-BORDER REGION Crown officials to consider new policies.
We have gone farther inland by land toward the west or northwest, where we found so many people that it seems to me that we are too few to attack them. . All the Indians who live along the banks of [the Paraná] farther up are not people who cultivate the soil or live in organized towns. Great care has to be taken with them, especially when trading. . * * Domingo Martínez de Irala, “Memoria” (1541). In John H. , New Iberian World: A Documentary History of the Discovery and Settlement of Latin America to the Early 17th Century.