"HEROES IN THESE NEW LANDS" Evolving Colonial Identities at the Spanish Royal Presidio of Monterey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New Spain’s northwestern province, Alta California was a frontier for the Spanish empire’s imperial enterprises during the late 18th and  early 19th centuries  (Burbank  and  Cooper 2010:  8, 126).  For the  diverse colonists of Alta California, however, it was a frontier in which social, cultural, and ethnic  identities  could  be  negotiated,  transformed,  and  reconstructed (Hackel 2010; Sahlins 1999: xii). This study  examines how Alta California served as a frontier of  new beginnings for the founding colonial soldiers, or  soldados  de  cuera,  and  settlers,  or  pobladores  (Pubols  2009:  19).  More specifically, this study investigates  those soldados  and pobladores  identified with  the  Spanish  colonial  military  settlement  of  El  Real  Presidio  de  San Carlos de Monterey (founded 1770), or more commonly known as the Royal Presidio of Monterey. The Royal Presidio of Monterey serves as a case study of  colonial society  and identity  formation on  the frontier.  Furthermore, this study  intends to contribute to the current scholarship on the history and presidial ethnogenesis of Monterey within the broader context of the Spanish colonial experience in California.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • History
  • History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology

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