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Was the Nueva Galicia the location where mostly every european immigrant would settle?

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By abram101 - Posted on 15 November 2012

Was the Nueva Galicia the location where mostly every european immigrant would settle?If so what would be the reason that they settled their?What other type of european group besides Spaniards would settle In the Nueva Galicia region specifically in the region of Los Altos of Jalisco because that's where mostly all my ancestors settled?

There are a number of good histories of Mexico and the Spanish conquest/colonial efforts in the New World that will likely answer your questions.

Here are two:

Michael Meyer & William Sherman, "The Course of Mexican History," 5th edition (1995).

Hugh Thomas, "The Golden Empire: Spain Charles V, and the Creation of America," (2010).

A good public library should have at least the first of these, and likely both.

George Fulton
Pleasanton, CA

Hi George, I reserved the book, "Retornos de Espana" from the Library. I could not believe how many people were signed up for it---only one available for this area! Thank you for the lead.

Also thank you for the reference of the above two books on the history of Mexico.
I will reserve from local library. Your help greatly appreciated.

Ann Marie Gutierrez


Thank you George, and one more do these books focus on the Nueva Galicia region or not at all?


The first is a general history of Mexico; the second has a much broader focus, and covers the Spanish efforts in the Americas in general.

Here are some other histories:

The war for Mexico's west : Indians and Spaniards in New Galicia, 1524-1550
Author: Ida Altman
Publisher: Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2010.
Library availability: Stanford, UC Berkeley

The Audiencia of New Galicia in the sixteenth century : a study in Spanish colonial government.
Author: J H Parry
Publisher: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1948.
Library availability: UC Berkeley, Stanford, Santa Clara University

La Conquista de la Nueva Galicia,
Author: José López-Portillo y Weber; Mexico. Departamento de Monumentos Artísticos, Arqueológicos e Históricos.
Publisher: México, Telleres gráficos de la nación, 1935.
Library availability: UC Berkeley, Stanford, Santa Clara University, San Jose State

Availability of these to the general public is likely different at the different universities. At UC Berkeley you need a library card, for the public this used to be $100 (free for alumni); for books from UC Berkeley's Bancroft library, there is no restriction, but the books must be used at the library.

These are also present in other libraries in the US and around the world, but I think these libraries are closest to you by your profile.

Ida Altman's book is still in print, and available through the usual online bookstores for less than $30. This is a description of what the book is about (from

"The War for Mexico's West" examines a dramatic, complex episode in the early history of New Spain that stands as an instructive counterpoint to the much more familiar, triumphalist narrative of Spanish daring, resilience and victory embodied in the oft-told tale of the conquest of central Mexico. As Spaniards consolidated their hold over central Mexico they fanned out in several directions, first entering western Mexico - the future New Galicia - in 1524. A full-fledged expedition of conquest followed several years later. Among the loosely organized, ethnically and linguistically diverse societies of New Galicia, however, neither the Spaniards' usual stratagems of conquest nor their attempts to settle and impose their institutions met with much success. An uprising against Spanish rule, today known as the Mixton war, erupted in 1540, attracting thousands of people from many different indigenous communities and bringing Spanish failure in the region into sharp relief. Set within the context of the complex politics of early New Spain in which such prominent figures as Hernando Cortes, Nuno de Guzman, Pedro de Alvarado, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and don Antonio de Mendoza vied to fulfill their ambitions in the west and incorporating accounts and testimony reflecting indigenous perspectives, Altman's treatment of the prolonged conquest of New Galicia provides the first full-length account in English of these little-known events and their consequences for Indians and Spaniards.

There are likely books more focused on immigration into Mexico, and the policies of the Crown that governed who was permitted to go. Finding copies of these might be a challenge due to their specialized topics. I would also expect there are probably more written in Spanish than in English.

George Fulton
Pleasanton, CA

Ann Marie

You're welcome!

It would be great if the out-of-print books like Retornos de Espagna were digitized; we would all benefit from it.

George Fulton
Pleasanton, CA

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