The World Of The Atlantic Ocean

1372 Words May 12th, 2016 6 Pages
Introduction
Beginning in the 15th century, European explorers crossed the Atlantic Ocean and conquered almost all of the New World. Mexico, the Caribbean islands, and South America all became part of a vast area of European colonies known as Latin America. The British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese all had territory in this region, but the most notable conquistadors were the Spanish. New Spain included most of the Caribbean islands, Mexico, almost all of Central America, and the entire western coast of South America. Throughout all of these colonies, Spanish society was controlled by a strict social system. At the top of the social hierarchy were the peninsulares, European-born colonists who dominated the government. The peninsulares were followed by the Creoles, who were of Spanish descent, but were considered inferior because they were born in Latin America. The next social class consisted of people of European and Native American ancestry, or mestizos, who were followed by people of European and African ancestry, or mulattos. Mulattos ranked directly above African slaves. At the very bottom of colonial society was the largest group, the Native Americans. New Spain and its social hierarchy existed for several centuries in the Latin American colonies. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, widespread revolution broke out. In a span of just two decades, almost all of what had once been New Spain became independent from European rule. Although all the social classes…
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