The Merging of Cultures During the New World Discovery Essay

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The Merging of Cultures During the New World Discovery

The voyages of the Iberians marked history. The discovery of the new world meant the unification of two old worlds. These old worlds had different beliefs, attitudes, language, and values. The culture of these two worlds would never be the same.

The native peoples of America at the end of the fifteenth century ranged from the simplest hunting-fishing-gathering societies to highly developed civilizations with urban and peasant components. In spite of these notable differences, they were alike in that they had all developed from the level of pre-bow-arrow hunters without significant contact with other regions. There high civilizations were based on agricultural and trading …show more content…

These people grew corn, yams, and other roots for food; they knew how to make cassava bread, to spin and weave cotton, and make pottery. Columbus wrote, "They invite you to share anything that they posess, and show as much love as their hearts were in it". The impression to the European scholars was that the ignorance to money and iron, and their nudity was due to the fact that these people were "holdovers from the golden age".

The Indians were organized into class societies (with few possible exceptions among the more rudimentary societies) and the poor were ground under the heel of the rich. This system was sanctioned by the Indian laws and customs, and based on the inequalities of land ownership.

The poor lived in miserable huts, did all the labor, and enjoyed none of the amenities of life, except indulgence in the forms of escape from misery and relief from oppression that characterized many other peoples in Europe and Asia.

The peoples inhabiting America in 1492 were divided into many hundreds of language groups. The following main groups may be distinguished:

1.The Nahua-speaking peoples from Central Mexico to Nicaragua.
2.The Maya: Yucatan and Guatemala.
3.The Chibchas: Central America, western Columbia, and northwestern Ecuador.
4.The Quechuas: the Andean mountains from southern Ecuador to northern Chile.
5.The Aymaras: Highlands of Bolivia.

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