Access the Effects of the Spanish Settlement in Hispaniola on the Tainos During the 15th to 16th Century.
2441 Words10 Pages
For the first ten years of colonization, Hispaniola was the only colony in the Caribbean where the Spanish settled. In the 16thcentury, Hispaniola was the centre of the Spanish colonial system in the Caribbean. It was known as the Pearl of the Caribbean. Just like in the other colonies, the Tainos thought that the Spaniards were gods and welcomed them into their villages. Columbus believed that Hispaniola had gold and forced the Tainos to work in the mines. Columbus also made the Tainos pay the Spanish a tribute to satisfy both the Crown’s and the settler’s greed for gold, and to obtain food for his settlement. It was easy to take control of the Tainos as they assumed that if they pleased the ‘gods’ that they would be richly rewarded in…show more content… It was the Spaniard’s new way of controlling the Tainos. The local magistrate was in charge of allocating labour for each conquistador. The imposition of tributes on the Taino’s can be argued to be the first form of slavery. The concept was that the Tainos were forced to do low-paid or unpaid labour for a certain number of weeks or months each year on Spanish-owned farms and mines. It is argued that the repartimiento was the first form of slavery. Even though the Tainos were not stated as owned, they were free in various respects and the work was alternating. The needs of the Tainos were ignored and they were punished severely. Some of the native communities that were located near to Spanish settlements also had to give up a percentage of their people to work in agriculture, construction of houses and streets and as part of the labour force. Columbus could not control this labour system as the Tainos resisted against the system. Some of the Tainos escaped from the repartimiento by leaving their communities and looked for wage labour elsewhere. Other signed contracts (asientos) which lasted six months to a year and required the workers to be paid a salary, provided living quarters and religious services during the time. When Nicolás de Ovando became governor of Hispaniola in 1502, he brought with him a stabilized labour system; the encomienda system. The theory of this