Social Hierarchy and Purity of Blood in New Spain

How to Cite

Currie, P. (2024). Social Hierarchy and Purity of Blood in New Spain. Global Insight: A Journal of Critical Human Science and Culture, 4.


Racial inequality, white superiority, and socialized economic poverty are issues currently affecting the world. These problems plaguing our nation seem hopeless with no apparent end in sight. All these issues have been repeated time and again throughout history. When the Spanish colonized the New World, they brought with them an ideology known as limpieza de sangre or purity of blood. This rigid ideology was based on the premise of White Spanish superiority, which was imposed upon the people of New Spain. Limpieza de sangre influenced nobility, socio-economic racial hierarchy, life, and art in New Spain. To fully understand the effects of this ideology, one must understand its origins and its effects on the interracial population of the New World. This study analyzes the research of leading scholars in Spanish art, colonial Latin American history, Spanish history, and religion to create an in-depth analysis of New Spain. Throughout this study, religious beliefs not only played a crucial role in Spanish ideology but also seemed to fuel notions of racial inequality and servitude. Art was also used to spread racial propaganda to further the concept of White Spanish superiority in New Spain. Consequently, Spanish art and ideology created lasting effects still evident in Latin America today.

Keywords: white supremacy, racial hierarchy, systemic racism, pure blood, colonization