Jairo Eduardo Jiménez
Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia


This article aims to show how the ideas of whiteness and colonial difference were made evident in the recruitment of new Spaniards of African descent to the defence models of Catholic Monarchy and how these two elements conditioned —although not impeded— brown and dark-skinned people access to those armies. This writing is made up of three sections presenting case studies from various records. First, a historical context of militias in the Americas is presented. Secondly, social whitening strategies used by Afro-descendant people to enter the militias are discussed, and thirdly, the existence of independent militia companies is analyzed, as a mechanism of differentiated access for brown and dark-skinned people to the New Spain armed forces in the 18th century. The article concludes with a set of final considerations.

Keywords: New Spain, brown and dark-skinned people, 18th century, militias.