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Spanish Peruvian

A Spanish Peruvian is a Peruvian citizen of Spanish descent. Among European Peruvians, the Spanish are the largest group of immigrants to settle in the country.

In 1532, the Spanish conquistadores arrived in Peru. As they began to conquer the country, their culture and influence spread throughout the nation. Not only did their ideology spread, their population did as well. Over the period of the Peruvian colonial era, hundreds of thousands of Spanish immigrants flooded into Peruvian ports. These Spanish-born immigrants, called Peninsulares, caused much friction between themselves and the locally-born Spanish criollos or creoles. The peninsulares had a distinctly higher social rank than the criollos even though their only difference was their place of birth. The peninsulares were given the highest governing positions, while the criollos, although much more wealthy than the mestizos and amerindians, did not receive all of the privileges given to the Spain-born Spanish. This would eventually lead to the independence movement in the early 19th century. During the colonial period, the Spanish crown disallowed the immigration of other Europeans to Peru. For this reason, throughout the entire colonial period, up until independence, the European population in Peru was made up solely of Spaniards. Around the time of independence the rate of immigration was low and not many Europeans were entering the country. The nation was, in essence, in a state of chaos, for the reason that the government was still in the process of deciding how it would rule the newly-independent country. At this time, many caudillos, or dictators, attempted to assume control of the nation. Some of these attempts, such as that of Simon Bolivar, were met with approval from the public, while others were not. Spanish immigration did not resume until the 1840s at the beginning of the Guano era, one of Peru's most prosperous time periods. During this era, immigration from Spain greatly increased and the economy was booming and standard of living was high. This era ended in 1866 with the Spanish-Peruvian War in which Peru emerged victorious. After the war, immigration decreased although the influx of immigrants remained steady until the 1930s. During the Spanish Civil War, thousands of Spaniards fled from Spain to Peru. Over the course of General Francisco Franco's dictatorship many thousands more fled in fear of the regime. The Spanish republicans fled Franco's regime as well, seeking to escape retribution from the new government. World War II brought the end of Spanish immigration to Peru. Many Spanish Peruvians left the nation in 1960s and 1970s to flee from excessive poverty and dictatorship of Gen. Juan Velasco Alvarado and most of these moved to United States and Spain, while most of the rest to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. The second wave of Spanish and other white Peruvians left during the Alan Garcia regime (a Hispanic descendant) that led Peru to extreme poverty and hyperinflation. Nevertheless immigration from Spain began again in considerable numbers throughout the 20th century due to many Spanish tourists settling in Peru.

The regions from which most Spanish immigrants originated were those of Extremadura, Castile and Andalucia. Most of the colonial immigrants, however, originated from the regions of Castilla, Extremadura, Aragon, Valencia, La Mancha and Murcia among others. These immigrants generally departed from the ports of Cadiz or Sevilla and arrived in the ports of Callao, Mollendo and Pimentel. Many of these immigrants made a stopover in a Caribbean port before arriving in Peru. Before the development of the Panama Canal ships would forced to go around Cape Horn to reach Peruvian ports. Although not many, a few travelers made their way from Europe to Peru via the Amazon River. These immigrants would seek passage on the many commercial ships going to retrieve rubber in Peru to bring back to Europe. These immigrants would arrive at the river port of Iquitos. Almost all of them stayed there. These immigrants numbered no more than a few thousand.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Spanish Peruvian

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