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PosthegemonyPolitical Theory and Latin America$
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Jon Beasley-Murray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816647149

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816647149.001.0001

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October 10, 1492

October 10, 1492

(p.1) Prologue October 10, 1492

Jon Beasley-Murray

University of Minnesota Press

This prologue argues that the Requerimiento (“Requirement” or “Summons”), a document that justified Spanish claims to the Americas, has nothing to do with hegemony, coercion, or consent. Rather, it was a properly posthegemonic mechanism. Formulated in 1512 or 1513 by legal scholar Juan López Palacios Rubios, the Requerimiento was to be read by the conquistadors when they encountered indigenous peoples. The text filled a hole in Spain’s legal claim to the New World, complementing and rationalizing the traditional European law of conquest. This chapter also contends that, contrary to his claim made on October 10, 1492 that he had reached the Indies, Christopher Columbus had not yet “discovered” the continent that would become the Americas. The history of the conquest, of the colony and its immense transatlantic trade, of populism and neoliberalism, shows that Latin America has always been global, directly affecting and decentering the global system.

Keywords:   hegemony, Requerimiento, Americas, coercion, posthegemony, Spain, Christopher Columbus, conquest, populism, neoliberalism

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