The book studies marriage and gender relations in a unique historical region of Latin America, namely the Band Oriental del Uruguay. The peculiarity lies in the fact that the formation of the colonial society took place at a time when this process had already come to an end in other parts of the Spanish empire. Colonization was mostly directed and influenced by Spain, which meant that the cultural codes that came into contact—and sometimes into conflict—here, were the Creole and the Spanish one. Indigenous populations were relegated to the frontier, which constitutes the second peculiarity of this area. Due to Indian and Portuguese threats at the frontier, high militarization and male mobility as well as the presence of soldiers and sailors shaped society and gender relations.

The author analyses the subject through a combination of quantitative and narrative sources, mostly parish and criminal...

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