The Society of Jesus established its first mission in Brazil in 1549, a scant nine years after the founding of the society itself. Between that date and 1767, when the society was suppressed in the Americas, the Jesuits built a reputation as educators, missionaries, entrepreneurs, and advisers to royal authorities. The Jesuits also stood out among the other religious orders for their independence; the close relationship they often enjoyed with authority was not always smooth. On their arrival in Spanish Florida in 1566, they became embroiled in a controversy over their “right of removal,” or their authority to decide the movement of missionaries, claimed by the Spanish Crown under the terms of the royal patronage. The first Jesuits to arrive in Peru publicly criticized the first viceroy, Francisco de Toledo, over the execution of Túpac Amaru, the last Inca monarch, and engaged in...

You do not currently have access to this content.