The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 6 / History of Central America, 1501-1530 - Librerie.coop

The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Volume 6 / History of Central America, 1501-1530


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During the year 1875 I published under title of The Native Races of the Pacific States what purports to be an exhaustive research into the character and customs of the aboriginal inhabitants of the western portion of North America at the time they were first seen by their subduers. The present work is a history of the same territory from the coming of the Europeans.

The plan is extensive and can be here but briefly explained. The territory covered embraces the whole of Central America and Mexico, and all Anglo-American domains west of the Rocky Mountains. First given is a glance at European society, particularly Spanish civilization at about the close of the fifteenth century. This is followed by a summary of maritime exploration from the fourth century to the year 1540, with some notices of the earliest American books. Then, beginning with the discoveries of Columbus, the men from Europe are closely followed as one after another they find and take possession of the country in its several parts, and the doings of their successors are chronicled. The result is a History of the Pacific States of North America, under the following general divisions:—History of Central America;History of MexicoHistory of the North Mexican StatesHistory of New Mexico and ArizonaHistory of CaliforniaHistory of NevadaHistory of UtahHistory of the Northwest CoastHistory of OregonHistory of Washington, Idaho, and MontanaHistory of British Columbia, and History of Alaska.

Broadly stated, my plan as to order of publication proceeds geographically from south to north, as indicated in the list above given, which for the most part is likewise the chronological order of conquest and occupation. In respect of detail, to some extent I reverse this order, proceeding from the more general to the more minute as I advance northward. The difference, though considerable, is however less in reality than in appearance. And the reason I hold sufficient. To give to each of the Spanish-American provinces, and later to each of the federal and independent states, covering as they do with dead monotony centuries of unchanging action and ideas, time and space equal to that which may be well employed in narrating north-western occupation and empire-building would be no less impracticable than profitless. It is my aim to present complete and accurate histories of all the countries whose events I attempt to chronicle, but the annals of the several Central American and Mexican provinces and states, both before and after the Revolution, run in grooves too nearly parallel long to command the attention of the general reader.
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