Early Western Attempts At Colonialism Can Generally Be

1349 WordsMay 15, 20176 Pages
Early Western attempts at colonialism can generally be categorized as ruthless and deceitful. The destruction was not limited to environment, “More people in the western hemisphere died during the sixteenth century than in any other demographic crisis in world history.” While the ultimate effects upon these groups were similar, the Taíno and Inca people had different initial responses to the arrival of Western powers. The Taíno people initially responded to Western arrival and encroachments with attempts at coexistence. They used Christopher Columbus’ appearance as an opportunity to trade physical goods and cultural experiences, “Friendly trade relations with the Taíno, however, quickly deteriorated into outright exploitation.” Before…show more content…
As these are island civilizations, they were unable to maintain the maroonages for very long; the Inca would later establish a second state that will last far longer than the maroonages. The Taíno people of Haiti, specifically, were deeply misrepresented in early colonial literature. Guillermo Coma of Aragon, who went on Columbus’ Second Voyage, wrote to his friend in Sicily, Nicolo Syllacio—who translated his letters to Latin and distributed them to the Duke of Milan, Lodovico Maria Sforza—about the people they encountered. Coma writes of “Peter Margarita, a Spaniard whose word cannot be impugned . . . saw here a large number of Indians fixed on spits and roasted . . . . The cannibals do not deny this but openly affirm that they eat human flesh.” More recent scholars dispute these accounts, citing a lack of credible accounts and no consumed Spaniards. Coma later gives contradictory statements about the Taíno, first writing, “They are a savage race and capable of the greatest endurance.” This statement attempts to establish both a paternalistic and physical justification for subjugation. He later describes them quite differently, Being intelligent, sharp-witted and shrewd, they could easily be led to adopt our laws and manner of life, when they realize that our manners are more mild and out way
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