Every schoolchild knows that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” This voyage was the gateway to an age of exploration, triumph, and ruin. Columbus’s voyage introduced the world to a new land and many opportunities. Powerful countries immediately scrambled to grab as much of it for themselves as they could. Two of the most powerful ones were England and Spain. Both wanted a piece of the new land, a way to grow economically or to escape persecution. Even though they had similar goals in mind, England and Spain had vastly different strategies.
English settlers in the colony of Jamestown, founded in May 24, 1607, were welcomed by the natives when they came over. They were given feasts and gifts. “We were entertayned with much Courtesye …show more content…
It shows that while the Spanish had an original goal of converting the natives to Christianity, somewhere along the way they lost control of their greed and their cruelty spiraled out of control. The Spanish conquistadors wanted the natives to give them gold, but the fact was that the natives simply didn’t have it in the enormous amounts that the conquistadors wanted. The conquistadors worked the natives until they died, or simply killed them. “For it is the Spaniards’ custom in their wars to allow only young boys and females to live being to oppress them with the hardest, harshest, and most heinous bondage to which men or beasts might ever be bound into.” p.2 This quote explains how when conquering the natives, the conquistadors killed everyone except young people, who were then subjected into human slavery. Over the summer, we had read a book called “Sold” by Patricia McCormick. The main character, Lakshmi, has her innocence taken advantage of and is sold into sex slavery. She is routinely tortured in the job she once thought was being a maid in the city. Although different in some ways, these two events are alike. THe natives never meant any harm, but the conquistadors took advantage of their innocence. “Terrible things that the tyrants did
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Any student of history has come to recognize the fact that history is written by the victor and in lieu of this, research becomes essential to uncover where the truth lies. The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, so ironically named, is a personal account for historical events leading up to the conquest of New Spain, formerly known as the City of Mexico. The author, Bernal Diaz, was a soldier of the conquering army who composed the document well after the events took place sometime between 1552 and 1557. Though the document did provide insight in regards to the victor’s perspective, it also served as a tool to rewrite the account of the conquered people.
Convinced of the superiority of Catholicism to all other religions, Spain insisted that the primary goal of colonization was to save the Indians from heathenism and prevent them from falling under the sway of Protestantism. The aim was neither to exterminate nor to remove the Indians, but to transform them into obedient Christian subjects of the crown. To the Spanish colonizers, the large native populations of the Americas were not only souls to be saved but also a labor force to be organized to extract gold and silver that would enrich their mother country. Las Casas’ writings and the abuses they exposed contributed to the spread of the Black Legend-the image of Spain as a uniquely brutal and exploitative colonizer. This would provide of a potent justification for other European powers to challenge Spain’s predominance in the New World.
In 1490 there was no such country as spain, yet within a century it had become the most powerful nation in europe and within another century had sunk to the status of a third rate power. Describe and analyze the major social economic and political reasons for spains rise and fall.
Columbus’s big plan for Hispaniola since the beginning was to take advantage of the natives and take their land, and the gold he believed was located there. He built the first fort in the Western Hemisphere, and left some of his men to find and store gold there. Columbus had to ask for a little more help from their majesties, he convinced them by saying he would take them “as much gold as they need ... and as many slaves as they ask” (Zinn,6 ) Columbus’s plans affected the natives, in many ways; first of all they were going to lose their land, and also they were going to be taken captive for slave labor.
The Spanish came to the New World with the idea that they were going to practically enslave, convert, or kill the natives. Because of this the Spanish’s treatment for the natives was terrible and very early on. They would use natives to help them find gold and do other manual labor activities. The missionaries would attempt to convert them to Christianity and because a lot would not comply they would end up killing them. Early on the British settlers’ relationship with the native Americans is very different. At first, they were friendly. The first British settlers in a way to live on the Native Americans. North America them was very different from Great Britain, and the Native Americans had lived there for very long time. So, the British settlers took advantage of that and began to trade with the Native Americans and use them in order to help their new settlement survive. Although the Spanish and British relationship with the natives differed at first eventually they both ended up doing the same exact thing. They both killed the Native Americans and cause their societies to be displaced. Even though there and goals were different they both used the exploitation of Native Americans in order to achieve these goals.
This books tells us a lot about the relationship between Christianity and colonialism. Originally, the Spaniards went to the New World to convert the natives to Christianity but, they got lazy and greedy. De Las Casas stated that “The reason the Christians have murdered on such a vast scale and killed anyone and everyone in their way is purely and simply greed” (13). The Spaniards only cared about getting the gold and conquering the land. Of course, they had the intention of converting all of the natives to Christianity at first but it was easier to conquer and to just kill the natives in horrific ways to be able convert all the land to be Christian rather than keeping the people and just converting the people. The land was easier to convert than the people. The land was especially easy to conquer because the natives were such a docile group of people and had such giving nature and were always welcoming with open arms. The Spaniards took advantage of that characteristic of the natives. De Las Casas states how the natives were “submissive” by saying, “Their insatiable greed and overweening ambition know no bounds; the land is fertile and rich, the inhabitants simple, forbearing and submissive” (13). The
In Victors and the Vanquished, Schwartz poses the question of “How can we evaluate conflicting sources” (ix)? Through reading historical events such as the “Conquest of New Spain” there is an undeniably large amount of destruction of cultural material and bias testimonies of events recorded several years after they occurred. After analyzing the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica there is a debatable amount of evidence from the Mesoamericans and Spanish explanations of this event in history. The intentions of each explanation created a conflict to historians, art historians and anthropologists on which viewpoint holds to accuracy. There is also the issue of not only inaccuracies, but the motives behind each bias account. As many of these aspects are taken into consideration, interpreting each justification between both sides of history in Mesoamerica as a clash of ethnocentrism between two different cultures that causes an uncertainty of what actually happened in history.
The full measure of Columbus's failure as a colonizer was not yet apparent when he returned to Castile in 1496. Yet by the end of six or seven years of his governorship, with his own, the monarchs', and the settlers' objectives all still unachieved, and Hispaniola suffering an apparently interminable series of rebellions not only by the Indians but by the colonists too, Columbus was to be superseded and disgraced, and shipped home to Spain in chains.1 Overall, Fernandez-Armesto depicted Columbus as an annoyingly eccentric person incapable of succeeding. Although, he discovered the Americas, he failed to be a leader to his crew and the natives. Instead, he was on the lookout for ways of manipulating the motives for profit.
Columbus came across a wealth of things that would help them for life. They had a vast area of land to do whatever they wanted to do with it. They could use the water, oil, lumber, coal, and so many other things. They were faced with a new group of people, people they didn't know what to do with. These people could be used as slaves for their personal use, being they came in and took over the land, and with the land come the people. When Columbus found this New World, he brought a world of wealth back to the Spanish, later to be shared with all of Europe.
Cortés came not to the New World to conquer by force, but by manipulation. Bernal Díaz del Castillo, in the "Conquest of New Spain," describes how Cortés and his soldiers manipulated the Aztec people and their king Montezuma from the time they traveled from Iztapalaopa to the time when Montezuma took Cortés to the top of the great Cue and showed him the whole of Mexico and its countryside, and the three causeways which led into Mexico. Castillo's purpose for recording the mission was to keep an account of the wealth of Montezuma and Mexico, the traditions, and the economic potential that could benefit Cortés' upcoming conquest. However, through these recordings, we are able to see and understand Cortés'
Through his statement regarding the true intentions of the Christians, Las Casas invalidates the claim that the Spaniards’ actions were motivated by religion. Considering that greed is one of the seven deadly sins of Christianity, saying that the Spaniards’ “insatiable greed” is the “greatest ever seen in the world” suggests that the Spaniards’ motivations contradict their religion. The American Indians are being treated as inferior beings, due to the secular goals of the Spaniards. When Las Casas describes the individualistic goals of the Spaniards, a feeling of empathy arises for the American Indians because these people are being massacred due to greed. This contradiction generates a feeling of empathy for the American Indians as they are being treated as inferior beings, off of the secular motivation for wealth.
The greed for gold and the race for El Dorado were the main inducements of the Spaniards who, at the peril of their lives, crossed the ocean in unfit vessels in a mad pursuit after the gold and all other precious property of the Indians” (Peace 479). The royal rulers of Spain made it a rule that nothing would jeopardize their ability to rob the land from the native people of Latin America. The missionary process, “had to be encouraged, but the missionaries could not be permitted to dominate the colony at the cost of royal rule” (Gibson 76). The European governments established missionaries to cleanse their minds of any guilt aroused by the slaughtering of innocent men, women, and children. When European “ships arrived in the 16th century to colonize the land and exploit its natural resources, they killed indigenous people and brought black slaves from Africa. Millions of indigenous people were slain and their cultures completely destroyed by the process of colonization” (Ribero). The overall devastations caused by the Christianization of the native inhabitants created a blend of cultures within the indigenous civilizations which gradually isolated old native ways into a small population of oppressed people. The Christianized people became a symbol of loyalty to the European powers and were left alone simply on their religious status. This long term mission of total religious replacement caused very strong and advanced
Victors and Vanquished, through excerpts of Bernal Diaz del Castillo, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, and indigenous testimonies from the Florentine Codex, shows the exchange of religious ideas between the Spanish and Nahuatl religions. During the Spanish conquest and exploration of Mesoamerica, religion became a focal point in Spanish observations of Nahuatl religions. Influenced by European biases and a colonial mindset, the Spanish criticized indigenous religion by condemning their practices and idols. Natives, on the other hand, hybridized elements of Christianity into their respective indigenous religions.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus, Italian-born but is funded by a Spanish monarch, set sail across the Atlantic ocean hoping to find a direct passage from Europe to India and Asia. Instead of finding a sailing route to India and Asia, he instead came upon America. He mistook America for India and named the citizens he found “Indians”. He then proceeded to sail back to the Spanish monarch where they decided to fund three more voyages (CCHC). However, one question over time has arisen. Why would a Spanish monarch support Italian-born Columbus instead of Spanish explorers? The answer is God, glory, and gold.