ABC (Spain): Spain urged to enter into mixed marriages with the Indians 500 years before the legalization of such unions in the United States

Had crossed over in the sixteenth century across the Atlantic ocean, the Spaniards were a minority in a vast continent with an area of more than 40 million square kilometers. To conquer the Empire of the Incas and Aztecs, which had millions of trained soldiers, the Europeans succeeded only because of the promoted by the Crown (ie the Spanish Empire) the policy of mixed marriages.

At the time of independence the population of New Spain, the progenitor of modern Mexico, was 50% of the indigenous population and 20% of mestizos (offspring of mixed marriages of Europeans and Indians). Paradoxically, even after the conquerors left the land, the percentage of the indigenous population inevitably falls. According to a survey conducted in 2015, the National Institute of statistics and geography of Mexico, only 23% of Mexicans consider themselves indigenous Indians or their descendants.


The mixture of conquerors with the indigenous population began with the arrival of Europeans on the continent. Accustomed to live among Christians, Muslims and Jews, the Spaniards were not biased to the women of the indigenous population, many of whom have entered into such relationships under duress.

In the words of Christopher Columbus, the destruction, based on his first trip to the fortified settlement of La Navidad was due to the habit of the Castilians to cohabit with several (“to four”) women, which they chose at their own discretion. Many captains got married to daughters of local residents with the aim of inheritance of land and workers.

However, there was also a lot of women who truly fell in love for them in the strange Spanish men. For many years, such mixed couples were the norm. One of the daughters of the Aztec Emperor Montezuma was baptized and named by the Spaniards Isabel Montezuma. She entered into a relationship with three Spaniards, from whom gave birth to six legitimate children, and not recognized by the daughter of Hernan Cortez — Leonor cortés Moctezuma.

The firstborn of the conqueror of Mexico was a beloved son, Martin cortés, who gave birth to his translator La Malinche. Cortez put all power to his son Martin was recognized as his legitimate child according to the bull of Pope Clement VII in 1528, and was sure that his son’s rights are always respected.

Inveterate bachelor, the conqueror of Peru, Francisco Pizarro decided to get married in the Peruvian city of Cajamarca stepsister of Emperor Atahualpa — the Indian inés Yupanqui Vilas becoming an example to his countrymen. Was put forward a new slogan for the indigenous Peruvian population — the tribe of the Incas: Peru New will inhabit the métis, or Peru will not be at all. When the Spaniards concluded Atahualpa in prison, inés Yupanqui Vilas, baptized with this name in honor of his sister, Pizarro, was given to Pizarro in marriage.

Inca Garcilaso

Pizarro married according to the custom of the Incas, and in December 1534 he was born the first daughter of Francis Pizarro Yupanqui. At the end of next year, Inez gave birth to another son, Gonzalo, who died in 1544. Later, the Emperor of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Fifth found them both lawful children of Pizarro.

According to the Chronicles, Pizarro was treated to his first Indian wife with full heartiness, and their relationship was solid — both political and for cardiac reasons. Maria del Carmen martín Rubio in his book “the Unknown man”, dedicated to Pizarro, wrote that her mother Inez helped to suppress the revolt of the Incas in Lima, who wanted to re-gain control of all conquered by Pizarro’s territory.

For unknown reasons the marriage broke up, and soon they entered a new marriage: Francisco with another Inca Princess Angelina Yupanqui (sister of Atahualpa), and Inez with beautiful conqueror named Francisco de Ampuero (this time the marriage was contracted according to Christian tradition).

Another famous example of the mixing of blood is Inca Garcilaso de La VEGA. Born in the Peruvian capital of Cusco, he inherited this name from his parents: the conqueror of Extremadura Sebastian Garcilaso de La VEGA and Princess die at the time of the Inca Empire Isabel to If Oklo. However, the political career of the father was not allowed Inca Garcilaso to enter into a legal marriage with his mother.

Inca passed military service, traveled all over Spain and the rest of your life brilliantly wrote about the countries of their parents. His literary works are also proof of the wholesomeness of mixed marriages, then became Intercontinental.

One of the first prominent of the conquerors married native women, was Alonso de Ojeda, a well-known fact that gave the name of Venezuela, and his journeys with Columbus to America. During an expedition in the spring of 1499 on the shores of lake Maracaibo researcher from Cuenca met a native woman by the name of Guarico, which he called by a Spanish name Isabel. At first he had planned to take the woman to the service, but perseverance in love with the owner of the native induced him to marry her and have three children.

The Spanish court, where he highly appreciated the beauty of native American women, Ojeda introduced her as his rightful wife. The last five years of his life Ojeda locked up in a Franciscan monastery in Santo Domingo, and refused to see his wife. However, despite this trouble, the love of Isabel to him has not waned: according to the Chronicles, she was found dead on the grave Ojeda a few days after his death.

Laws to promote marriage

According to the British historian Hugh Thomas, in the early XVI century, half of the settlers from the Spanish region of Castille was married to indigenous inhabitants of Latin America. However, at that time the indigenous population was deprived of many rights, and a Spanish court recognized, not all marriages. Fray Bartolome de Las Casas criticized the existing system of marriage in which wives are often called “handmaidens”. Therefore, the king Ferdinand the Catholic confirmed in 1514 Royal certificate, legitimize any marriage between the Castilian men and indigenous women.

Thus, the Crown was legalized organized by years, the work of evangelization of the population. In 1503 Queen Isabella demanded that important in the first years of European presence in America, Governor Nicolas Ovando to contribute to the conclusion of mixed marriages, “which is lawful and desirable because the Indians were free vassals of the Spanish crown”.

It should be remembered that interracial marriage in the United States were recognized as legitimate in all States only in 1967, when the Supreme court ruled unconstitutional “antimedicine” laws, which was still in effect in some States.