What Are the Four Levels of Spanish Colonial Society?

The Spanish colonies consisted of a caste system of peninsulares, Creoles, mestizos and mulattoes, and Native Americans and Africans. Most of the Spanish colonies were located in the Americas from as far north as what is now Canada to much of South America.

The peninsulares were the highest caste in the Spanish colonial society. They were the only class of people who held public office, and they were from the mainland of Spain. Creoles were the next level of society, and they were those people directly descendant from Spanish blood but born in the colonies. Mulattoes and mestizos were relatively low classes, and these people were of mixed races between Spaniards and Africans or Native Americans. The Spanish viewed Africans to be the lowest class, even beneath the Native Americans.