To understand the character of New Mexico during the period of Spanish rule, it is necessary to understand Spain`s civil and religious policies regarding its colonies, as well as the cultural heritage of the Spanish themselves. In the sixteenth century, Spain had only recently expelled the Moors, and in many ways Spanish culture was a mixture of Moorish and European elements. This mixture, partly reflected in the Spanish language, was imported to the Spanish colonies. Thus, the term adobe is derived from an Arabic verb meaning «to preserve». The traditional southwestern necklace «pumpkin flower» is a copy of the pomegranate flower introduced to Spain by the Moors, which was often depicted on feces. In some parts of New Mexico, house doors were painted blue, a traditional Arabic way of warding off the «evil eye.» The pueblos have returned to their own culture. New estufas (underground meeting rooms) were built and «pagan» ceremonies resumed openly. However, the natives, who were not known for their cooperation, soon fought for the spoils of war. The pueblos of Zia, Santa Ana, San Felipe, Cochiti and Santo Domingo, as well as Jemez, Taos and Pecos, were at war with the Tewas and Picuries in 1689, according to Governor Domingo de Cruzate.

The decade leading up to independence was a painful period in Mexico`s history. In 1810, Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo sparked a war of independence in central Mexico, which quickly took on the character of a class struggle. The following year, military captain Las Casas initiated a coup d`état within the imperial regime. Las Casas sympathized with the poor underclass and opened a line of dialogue with the revolutionaries. This prompted the Spanish elite to launch their own counter-coup and execute Las Casas. For years, the regime failed to regain coherence and a mandate to administer. These ideological struggles affected peripheral New Mexico far less than the national center, but they led to a sense of alienation from central authority. During the Hispanic period, Albuquerque did not seem destined to become the great city it is today. Throughout the period, Bernalillo and Socorro were about the same size, and of course, Santa Fe was the most important center in the state. It is not known whether Albuquerque could have survived for very long as a growing community under Spanish (and later Mexican) rule, as the development of the city was largely ensured by the opening of the Santa Fe Trail and the migration of Anglos from the east. It seems that, at least initially, Albuquerque was not saved by importing Anglo-Saxon technology, but by expanding its commercial network to the United States.

During the American Civil War, Texas Confederate troops under General Henry Sibley briefly occupied southern New Mexico in July 1861 and advanced the Rio Grande Valley to Santa Fe in February 1862. Defeated at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, they were forced to retreat south. California Union troops commanded by General James Carleton recaptured the territory in August 1862. When Union troops withdrew to fight elsewhere, Kit Carson helped organize and command the 1st New Mexican Volunteers to participate in campaigns against the Apaches, Navajos, and Comanches in New Mexico and Texas, and to participate in the Battle of Valverde against the Confederates. Confederate forces withdrew after the Battle of Glorieta Pass, where regular troops of the Union Colorado Volunteers (The Pikes Peakers) and the New Mexican Volunteers defeated them. The Arizona Territory was separated into a separate territory in 1863. After their success, the various Pueblo tribes, separated by hundreds of miles and six different languages, fought over who would occupy Santa Fe and rule the area. These power struggles, combined with raids by nomadic tribes and a seven-year drought, weakened the pueblo`s strength. In July 1692, Diego de Vargas led Spanish forces around Santa Fe, where he urged the Indians to surrender and promised clemency if they pledged allegiance to the King of Spain and returned to the Christian faith. Indian leaders met in Santa Fe, met with De Vargas, and agreed to peace.

[20] Governor Antonio Otermin was faced with two options. He could surrender or fight against the thousands of Indians around him. The Indians cut off Santa Fe by first cutting off the water supply and then preventing all food deliveries to the city. When the Spaniards huddled together in Santa Fe, they suffered terribly from the bright August sunshine. Along the border, formerly autonomous societies have responded aggressively to a newly assertive central government. The most independent province, Texas, declared independence in 1835, triggering a succession of events that directly led to Mexico`s collapse. The 1837 revolt in New Mexico itself overthrew and executed the centrally appointed governor and demanded greater regional authority. This revolt was crushed within the New Mexican Society itself by Manuel Armijo.

This was not motivated by nationalist sentiments, but by class antagonism within New Mexican society. When the central government was restored, it was on the lines of Armijo (he became governor) and it governed the province with even more autonomy than at any other time of the Mexican period. For these reasons, it is very surprising that the transition from Spanish to Mexican rule was so peaceful. In New Mexico, the event was held with little enthusiasm or partisanship. The feasts were largely a dull affair and were held only at the request of the revolutionary government, which expressed that they should be held, «in all the form and splendor that the oath of allegiance to kings was read in advance.» But there was no resumption of civil war and the provisional government received the reluctant support of most of society. When the main railroad bypassed Santa Fe, the city lost businesses and population. In the 20th century, American and British artists and writers, as well as retirees, were attracted by the cultural richness of the region, the beauty of the landscapes and the hot and dry climate. Local guides took the opportunity to promote the city`s heritage and make it a tourist attraction. The city promoted bold architectural restoration projects and constructed new buildings using traditional techniques and styles, creating the «Santa Fe style». Edgar L. Hewett, founder and first director of the School of American Research and the New Mexico Museum in Santa Fe, was a major patron.

He started the Santa Fe Fiesta in 1919 and the Southwest Indian Fair in 1922 (now known as the Indian Market). When he tried to attract a summer program for Texas women, many artists rebelled, saying the city shouldn`t encourage artificial tourism at the expense of its artistic culture. Writers and artists founded the Old Santa Fe Association and thwarted the plan. The ancient «clay city» – which myopic modernizers mocked for its mud houses – has been transformed into a city proud of its peculiarities and its mixture of tradition and modernity. [50] In one of the few cases of such exploration in the New World, Oñate was to report directly to the Council of India and not to the viceroy. Despite his appointment in 1595, it was not until 1598 that the expedition began. By then, Oñate had technically failed to fulfill his part of the deal. It had only 129 soldiers, but it also had 7,000 units. The Church, seeing a great opportunity, sent eleven Franciscans; eight priests and three lay brothers. In July 1598, Oñates` group reached the ford of the Rio Grande at El Paso del Norte, where they stopped. The small group rested for a few days, then continued via the formidable Jornada del Muerto to the village of Caypa, which Oñate renamed San Juan de los Caballeros.

Later, San Gabriel became his headquarters. It was not until 1610 that a Spanish capital was founded. [5] In contrast, the new «Mexican» elite sought to create a common identity for all classes and ethnicities. This ambitious undertaking, which covered a wide range of peoples and cultures, from nomadic Indians to Mexico City`s high society, had mixed success. New Mexico already had a highly structured and differentiated society at the time of independence, which was unique along the Mexican border. [ref. At the top were ethnic Europeans, who then joined forces with a large community of Hispanics.