(Iberian) feudalism as the driving force of the (Latin American) colonial phenomenon? Revisiting a famous (and almost forgotten) debate

Mário Jorge da Motta Bastos



In this article, I develop a reflection on the projections of the Iberian Middle Ages in Latin American history by an angle currently “almost” neglected if it were not for the recent challenge of its mobilization by a French medievalist. Jérôme Baschet attaches to European feudalism the motor force of the colonization process of the new world, addressing especially the case of the Spanish colonization of Mexico. I will begin by considering the analytical strand of “historians-essayists” represented not by medievalists, but by leftist militant intellectuals dedicated to the study of Latin American and Brazil history, following by its criticism and the update of the issue to, after considering the “restoration” of the theme on the agenda thanks to the Baschet’s “thesis”, conclude this study with my personal proposition.


Iberian Middle Ages, colonization, feudalism, Latin America.

Citation reference:

Mário Jorge da Motta Bastos. “O feudalismo (ibérico) como força motora do fenómeno colonial (latino-americano)? Revisitando um famoso (e quase esquecido) debate”. Práticas da História, Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past, n.º 10 (2020): 137-178.



< Práticas da História, nº 10 (2020)