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Spanish Colonization in the New World

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on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of Spanish Colonization in the New World

Spanish Colonization
in the New World

South American Settlements

Many colonies were created in South America by the Spanish. This includes: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. At the time of the Spanish invasion in the early 16th century, the Inca empire had reached the peak of its power, ruling over millions of people from northern Ecuador to central Chile and northern Argentina, where native peoples of the Araucanian language groups fiercely resisted incursions from the north. When Pizarro encountered the Inca, the empire was wracked by dissension and civil war and proved vulnerable to this invasion by a very small force of Spaniards.
North American Settlements
Reasons for Exploration- God

The Spanish wanted to expand Catholicism. They forced the Natives to convert their religion to Christianity. "[Many Native Americans] are now converted, baptized, and very well ministered to... The whole land is dotted with churches, convents, and crosses along the roads. the people are so well taught that they now live like perfect Christians." -Fray Alonso de Benavides
It is clear that the Spanish were successful in their conquest to spread their religion.

The Spanish were looking to expand their empire and gain control of the new lands.
Reasons for Exploration-
The Spanish, as well as many other European countries, explored the New World in search of gold and other valuable resources.
Reasons for Exploration-
Caribbean Settlements
The Spanish first landed in the Caribbean Islands. Here, they established settlements in the Windward and Leeward Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Cuba, Hispaniola-the modern Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. "It was the Indians, constrained by them and terrorized by the massacres, who did all the work, laid out the sites, built the houses, and cleared the ground for cultivation...That was, to compel the Indians to build the houses and dig the ground that the Spaniards required, and do whatever else they wanted, not only essential services but many unnecessary tasks as well. In short, the Spaniards began to behave as though they were the natural rulers, and as though the Indians were their subjects and vassals..." (Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas, Historia de las Indias de Nueva España y islas de Tierra Firme, 1561) ...
This portrays the dominance that the Spanish settlers thought they obatined. Not only did they invade the Native American's land, they also demanded them to do work, which, as stated in the primary source, some of that work was meaningless. Although the Spanish claim that they treated the Natives with kindness and care, it is clear through this source and many others that the treatment the Natives recieved from the Spanish was not pleasant.
A tribe in which the Spaniards wished to colonize was described as follows, "Our Lord has chastised it with six years of famine and death, which has brought it about that there is much less population than usual. Since many have died and many also have moved to other regions to ease their hunger, there remain but few of the tribe, whose leaders say that they wish to die where their fathers have died, although they have no maize, and have not found wild fruit, which they are accustomed to eat. Neither roots nor anything else can be had, save for a small amount obtained with great labor from the soil, which is very parched. So the Indians have nothing else to offer to us and to those who came on the ship but good will, and certainly these Indians have shown that in a kindly manner." (Letter of Luis de Quirós and Juan Baptista de Segura to Juan de Hinistrosa, From Ajacán, September 12, 1575) This tribe, the Ajacan, was clearly suffering from poverty. They did not have stable food source, and illness was causing many deaths. It was because of this that the Spanish thought they would be helping by taking over.
A depiction of what might be Florida from the 1502 Cantino map.
Pizarro’s well-armed soldiers terrorized the population, but his deadliest weapon was infectious disease, to which indigenous people lacked any immunity. Following the conquest, the Spaniards, who above all else wanted gold and silver, worked the indigenous populations mercilessly in the mines and the fields. Native American populations declined rapidly, however, due to introduced diseases. In several parts of the continent, African slaves were introduced to make up for the lack of indigenous labor, notably in the plantations of Brazil and the mines of Bolivia.

The countries that exist in Central America- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua- were founded by Spanish settlers. In 1519, Panama City was settled. The indigenous people and the Spanish fought many times, and those who were not killed were forced to be slaves. The native population was forced to farm, ranch, or mine for the profit of any individual Spaniard under what is called an encomienda system.

Central American Settlements
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