- Spanish colonization
- The Spanish conquistadores and colonial empire
- Pueblo uprising of 1680
- Comparing European and Native American cultures
- Lesson summary: The Spanish empire
- Spanish colonization
- Labor, slavery, and caste in the Spanish colonial system
Lesson summary: The Spanish empire
A high-level overview of Spanish efforts at early colonization.
Early interactions between the Spanish and Native Americans who lived in Central and South America led to a series of cultural exchanges that affected both the New World and the Old World.
|Treaty of Tordesillas||In 1494, Spain and Portugal moved the line of demarcation several degrees west, establishing Portugal’s claim to Brazil.|
|Encomienda system||A labor system in which the Spanish crown authorized Spaniards, known as encomenderos, to enslave native people to farm and mine in the Americas.|
|Caste system||A social system in which class status is determined at birth. The Spanish had mixed-race children in the Americas with enslaved Africans and Native Americans. Status was determined by how “Spanish” one was, so those with little to no Spanish blood were in the lowest class.|
|Bartolome de las Casas||A Spanish priest who criticized Spain’s treatment of Native Americans in its colonies.|
|Pueblo Revolt (1680)||A successful rebellion by Pueblo Native Americans to reclaim Pueblo religious practices, culture, and land that had been stripped away by Spanish colonizers.|
The Spanish colonial caste system
A diagram illustrating the Spanish caste system. The Peninsulares had the most power, but were a small group. The Native Americans and African slaves had the least amount of power, but had the largest population.
Core historical themes
Motivations for colonization: Spain’s colonization goals were to extract gold and silver from the Americas, to stimulate the Spanish economy and make Spain a more powerful country. Spain also aimed to convert Native Americans to Christianity.
Development of labor systems: In order to extract natural resources from the Americas, European colonizers created labor systems, like the encomienda system, to exploit Native American labor. When Native Americans began to die from diseases like smallpox, the Spanish and Portuguese began capturing and sending enslaved Africans to the Americas as a labor force.
Interactions with Native Americans: Spanish colonizers attempted to integrate Native Americans into Spanish culture by marrying them and converting them to Catholicism. Although some Native Americans adopted aspects of Spanish culture, others decided to rebel. The Pueblo Revolt was one example of a successful Native American effort to reclaim their religious practices, culture, and land.
- What were the three main motivating factors for Spanish to begin colonizing?
- What were the implications of the Spanish integrating both Native Americans and enslaved Africans into colonial society?
- How did Native Americans and the Spanish adapt aspects of the other’s culture?
Want to join the conversation?
- What is Repartimiento, and what's the difference between it and Encomienda?(12 votes)
- Ecomienda granted the first Spanish settlers tracts of land and the right to extract labor from the Native inhabitants. The Repartimiento system replaced this system after it was documented by Bartolomé de Las Casas, and mandated the banning of outright Indian slavery and that the Indian laborers be paid wages. In spite of the fundamental change, the Spanish Empire and colonists continued to exploit the Native labor up until it was replaced by African slavery.(21 votes)
- In the key terms it mentions Bartolome de la casas. Who is he and can anyone give me additional information on him?(7 votes)
- He was a Spanish colonist. Unlike other European people at this time, he vocally opposed the oppression of the natives and indigenous people by Europeans. He defended the native people in the Americas from slavery and stolen property perpetrated on them by the Europeans.(7 votes)
- What are the reasons why it was abolished?(2 votes)
- The main reason that the ecomienda system was replaced was due to the chronicles given by Spanish friar, Bartolomé de Las Casas, who wrote about the treatment of the Native Americans in his book, A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, where the worst of Spanish behavior was chronicled. Similar to how Upton Sinclair's The Jungle led to social reform during the Gilded Age, Las Casas's book led to fundamental changes in the Spanish economic system, which remained up until the African slave trade went mainstream.(15 votes)
- What were the implications of the Spanish integrating both Native Americans and enslaved Africans into colonial society?(2 votes)
- With the Spanish colonization of the New World, many Native Americans died of diseased carried by the Spanish.
When the Spanish decided to bring Africans to the New World, they were used as slaves and had to toil under harsh conditions.
Overall, the integration of Native Americans and enslaved Africans into colonial society led to the development of the Caste system, as many Spanish colonizers married either Native Americans or Africans. As a result, the Caste system was determined based on the amount of "Spanish blood" a person had.
I hope this helps!(3 votes)
- how did the trading posts and colonies contribute to the success of Spain(2 votes)
- Trading posts and Colonies were crucial to the Spanish people. Remember, that the Spanish Colonizers only wanted the three G's: Gold, Glory and God. By establishing new colonies in the Americas, Spanish colonizers would have a better chance at say, converting the native Americans to Christianity, or gaining control of more natural resources. These two in turn would increase their glory among European Societies.
Hope this helped :)(2 votes)
- What was the term of a descendant of a Native American and an African slave?(1 vote)
- What happens to the native americans in the result of spanish colinization and the encomienda system?(2 votes)
- As a result of colonization, many Native Americans died both by diseases carried by the Spanish and from the harsh conditions under the encomienda system.(1 vote)
- How did Native Americans and the Spanish adapt aspects of the other’s culture(1 vote)
- Where there are unaccompanied male soldiers, there's bound to be sex with native women, resulting in children who are raised by both mothers and fathers. In this way, the second and subsequent generations adopt and adapt aspects of both cultures. You ask "how"? I'd say, by breeding, reproduction, life together and adapting to the land in which one resides.(2 votes)
- why was it abolished for what reason.(1 vote)
- The Spanish Empire didn't get abolished so much as it died from injustice and incompetence.(2 votes)
- if you had no spanish blood in you why does that put you at the bottom of the rank?(1 vote)
- That is how racism works. Ask the Koreans who are 3rd generation in Japan, it is still that way.(2 votes)