Spanish Colonial Government

Decent Essays

The 14th century marked the beginning of the Commercial Revolution which gave birth to the Age of Exploration. It was during the Age of Exploration that the European nations discovered the Americas. Soon after the discovery, the Spanish began to colonize the southern parts of North America, and the English followed shortly after by colonizing the northeastern coast. The Spanish settlements in the southwest and the northeast New England colonies of the New World were immensely different in terms of the role of religion, the role of government, and the treatment of the indigenous people. The Spanish and New England colonies were significantly different regarding religion because of different religious goals for the settlements and different …show more content…

The government of the Spanish colonies was entirely different from the government of the New England colonies. The Spanish colonies were governed by the viceroyalty system. The viceroyalty system relied on loyalty to the Spanish king. Under this system of government, the king would appoint a governor, the viceroy, to rule over the territory. The Viceroy ruled in place of the Spanish monarch. The Viceroy was expected to up hold the laws and carry out any orders made by the Spanish government. The main responsibility of the Viceroy was to make sure that there was a constant flow of bullion and raw materials sent back to Spain. Viceroys only got to keep their power by staying loyal to the Spanish king. The viceroyalty system allowed the government of the king to rule the colonies via the viceroys who acted as pawns to the king. The people living in the Spanish colonies had no say in the government. Most of the population was made up of Native Americans who had no representation in government, so the Natives had no choice but to follow the Viceroy’s orders. The New England colonies had representative governments. The government for Plymouth was laid out in the Mayflower Compact. The Mayflower Compact was the first representative government set up in the New World. The charter used …show more content…

The Spanish and New England colonies were tremendously different because the Spanish enslaved the Natives while the English had a peaceful relationship with the indigenous people. The Spanish enslaved the Native Americans using the encomienda system. Under the encomienda system, the government allowed land owners to control the native people because the Spanish believed the natives needed their protection. The encomienda system was the main source of profit for the Spanish colonies. The enslaved Native Americans were forced to work in dangerous mines to extract bullion. Spaniards could rent an encomienda for a certain number of years, and the rental price included the land and all of the people on it. The indigenous people were expected to pay tribute to their Spanish landlords in the form of bullion and other raw materials. If the natives could not pay the Spanish landlord, then the natives could be tortured or killed. The encomienda system did not allow the native people to be bought or sold. The Native Americans could only be worked under the encomienda system, and the landlords often worked them to death. The New England colonies had a completely opposite relationship with the local Native Americans. The Puritans did not enslave the indigenous people. The relationship

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