By Matthew Basso
In around the nice Divide, a few of our major historians glance to either the historical past of masculinity within the West and to the ways in which this adventure has been represented in videos, renowned song, dimestore novels, and folklore.
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Additional resources for Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West
Alameda's constable, Don Cleto de Miera, understood this when in 1 805 he wrote to Governor Real Alencaster relating the details of the seduction of his daughter Marfa de las Nievas Miera y Pacheco by Josef Trujillo. Don Cleto protested that Josef "denigrates my person by the mere act of saying, [as he has] repeated on two occasions, that my daughter has become pregnant because of her unruly habits. " Several persons urged Josef to marry Marfa, but he refused. When Marfa bore his child, the parish priest summoned Josef so that the illegitimacy could be resolved prudently.
If an aristocrat was deemed virtuous, his family and kin would gain precedence before those persons deemed dishon ored. The same held for the landed peasantry. The virtuous peasant was ranked above the corrupt. Of course, because honor-status was largely ascribed and honor-virtue achieved, the most vice-ridden aristocrat always enjoyed more honor-status than the most virtuous peasant. Similarly, the most corrupt peasant enjoyed more honor than the Indians and genizaros, who had no honor. The status hierarchy that was established in colonial New Mexico and that regulated social relations until the beginning of the nineteenth century was a Spanish monarchical tool used to reward those groups who had expanded the realm.
Honors, as well as the concept of honor as a moral code, were elements of a feudal patriarchal ideology employed by the state to bol ster its own power, to legitimate the rewards it granted to persons for service to the monarchy, and to sanctify the reality of unequal power relationships in society. Embedded in this ideology was the belief that God's earthly and nat ural design made men dominant over women and that females should sub mit to male authority. Conquest, domination, and protection of dependents were hallmarks of male excellence; they were qualities that maintained the patrimony and perpetuated an honored image of self and family over time.