The colonial society is the result of the interaction between the indigenous and the Spanish culture and hence, an important cultural diversity emerges. This diversity will express itself through different kinds of societies, from small tribal villages to great Empires in Central America and Peru.
The native people of the colonial America had little miscegenation, but after the colony process, a new social structure establishes and it is known as caste, marked by skin color and power relationships between colonizing and colonised.
This social structure is the result of mixed marriages established by the Spanish Crown in order to find social stability. Only married Spaniards can occupied governmental positions and can have preferences when sharing indians. But this measure has the opposite effect, dividing society in races and castes, establishing peoples rights depending on their classification. The peninsular Spaniard had the highest rank and black slaves had the lowest.
The society was divided into three different ethnical groups: white or Spaniard, indigenous and blacks. The blood of these groups are considered as clean, but the people who were a mixed of different races, had their blood considered as stained. For example, the mestizo is the result of the mix between whites and indigenous; the mulatto, the mix between whites and blacks; and zambo, the mix of blacks and indigenous.
The birth of Spaniards sons who were born in America will gradually increase and are called creoles. They will pass on to have the highest social rank. In the 18th Century they will start to call themselves Americans and they will fight for the main public governmental positions to the peninsular ones.
This society will last until the Independence of Latin America. Hence, to join the army, go to University or to be in the highest ecclesiastical status, they will have to proof their cleanliness of blood.