CRIOLLO

Joan E. Supplee

CRIOLLO. In New Spain a criollo was a person born in the New World to Spanish-born parents. A criollo, although legally equal to a peninsular, was treated differently with regard to royal appointments to high colonial offices in administration, the military, and the church. The stigma of being born in America emerged from the difficulty of distinguishing between pure criollos and mestizos. In Spain it was also widely believed that exposure to the tropical sun in the New World retarded the development of children born there. Criollos therefore ranked one step below peninsulars on New Spain's social ladder. On the frontier of the Spanish empire, criollos held more important positions in the colonial administration because of the scarcity of peninsulars and their reluctance to serve in remote regions. The highest offices were usually reserved for the Spanish-born, and criollos and mestizos shared the other military and civil appointments. Criollos and mestizos also fared well in church positions because of their connections with local parishes. Social fluidity promoted miscegenation on the frontier, and the lines between criollos and mixed bloods quickly eroded.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Oakah L. Jones, Los Paisanos: Spanish Settlers on the Northern Frontier of New Spain (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979). Lyle N. McAlister, "Social Structure and Social Change in New Spain," Hispanic American Historical Review 43 (August 1963). Magnus Mörner, Race Mixture in the History of Latin America (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967). David J. Weber, New Spain's Far Northern Frontier (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1979).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Joan E. Supplee, "CRIOLLO," accessed December 10, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/pfc04.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...