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American Colonization

Autor:   •  May 30, 2018  •  1,865 Words (8 Pages)  •  609 Views

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The Spanish, who were credited with having Christopher Columbus, the first explorer reach the Americas, were considered the most important colonial power in the Americas during much of the 16th century. Slightly similar to the goals of other European powers, Spanish originally only wished to obtain wealth and explore the New World. However, after the adventure of Columbus to “India,” his reports of the Americas changed goals of the Spanish. The greedy Spanish now wished for a mercantilist policy and a culture that was mixed of Indian and Spanish along with the long-desired wealth. Spanish treatment to the Natives was the vicious. Colonizing New Spain, Spanish conquistadores, such as Hernan Cortes, looked for glory and enslaved many Natives on encomiendas. Under the encomienda system, settlers were granted authority over Natives and the ability to use them as laborers. Some settlers were not very comfortable forcing Natives into slave labor under the encomienda system. One, Bartolome de Las Casas, persuaded the Spanish King to sign new laws and free the Natives from labor; however, Spaniards were eager for the encomienda system and it returned. Along with the contraction of many diseases, forced labor further weakened Natives and caused many deaths. Both male settlers and soldiers intermingled with female Natives and later Africans slaves, birthing mestizos, a mixed-race Spanish and Central American Indian, and mulattos, a mixed-rage Spanish and African slave. Until more Spanish women emigrated, the only choice to have offspring was to intermingle. This caused many distorted ratios of racial differences, and the slowly increasing diversity led to a new arrangement of racial and social classes. While social classes were set, Franciscan Friars were also sent around in an attempt to spread Christianity into the minds of natives. In August 1680, the Pueblo Indians and nomadic revolted and made their dissatisfaction with the Christian Gob really clear and expressed strong desire to return to traditional culture and worship. However, after Diego de Vargas was elected, all terms to go back to tribal life was halted. The Natives were close to producing a compromise to defeat their enemies and maintain a colony. (Docs 4,6; Garraty 9-12; Taylor 51-57, 86-88).

In the century and a half between 1600 and 1754, European development and colonization in the Americas play a huge part in a nation’s interaction with the Natives. All of the three main European powers came with similar goals of imperialism, and expansion; however, different countries went about achieving them differently. Overall, French trades with Natives were most friendly and mutual. The English trades with Natives were forced and rude, wishing for the removal of all aspects of Natives. And lastly, the Spanish trades were malicious, where conquistadores swept through cities, and labored Natives under the encomienda system. Though interactions with the Natives were different, tribal life was heavily affected by the settlement and colonization by all the European powers.


Works Cited

Garraty, John A. American Nation: A History of the United States. 9th ed. N.p.: Pearson

Longman., 1998. Print.

"Indians of Six Nations." Indians of Six Nations. The Grauer School, 19 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 Jan.


Taylor, Alan. American Colonies: The Settling of North America. London: Penguin, 2002. Print.


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