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Konetzke, Richard (1897–1980)

Richard Konetzke was a German historian dedicated to the study of colonial Spanish America. He studied at the University of Berlin. Konetzke's research at the Archivo General de Indias of Seville, Spain produced the three-volume Colección de documentos para la historia de la formación social de hispanoamérica 1493–1810 (Madrid, 1953–1962). In 1954 he became professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American history at the University of Cologne.

In 1964 Konetzke cofounded the Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Staat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas, a periodical publication in Latin American studies; this journal publishes articles in various languages such as German, Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. One of his major works is his survey of colonial Spanish America, first published in German in 1965 and eventually translated into Spanish as América Latina II: La época colonial (1972); it has been reprinted several times since its initial release, due in large part to the fact that Konetzke's institutional interpretation has remained fundamental in the study of Latin America. The major criticism of Konetzke's work is his supposed overemphasis on the importance of the state in the formation of colonial Spanish society, principally because he relied completely on official documents, without making distinctions between government and the actual social reality.


Morner, Magnus. "Richard Konetzke (1897–1980)." Hispanic American Historical Review 61, no. 1 (1981): 87-89.

                                Claudia P. Rivas JimÉnez

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Konetzke, Richard (1897–1980)

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