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MEXICO AND COLONIALISM
Transcript of MEXICO AND COLONIALISM
Mexico has gone through huge changes in a very small amount of time, only in a time of a little over 300 years.
In 1519, Mexico was full of dense rainforests and deserts with a high biological diversity.
The Aztec Empire and Mexico
The Spanish Empire and the Conquest
A man named Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico and in the name of the spanish empire (and his search for wealth). He contacted the Natives of Mexico in 1519, and began spread the beliefs of "The White Man's Burden" and reacted to their culture in a very ethnocentric way.
Period of Conquest
The Colonial Period
New Spain and Imperialism
The area known today as Mexico was known as New Spain for a while because of the Spanish Empire getting there first. Now, the Aztecs were not totally finished off, but weakened greatly and the other cultures native to Mexico knew this, and war spread on in Mexico more often then before. The country was in a state of death, disease, war, and confusion.
Racial Separation and the Economy
New Spain/Mexico was colonized for principally one reason at this time, to help Spain's Empire and it's army and defense. Mexico would provide more than half the Empire's taxes. Competition against Spain in certain areas was heavily discouraged, the Empire would ban anything that might create competition like for example grape patches were banned, in other words any kind of system of a free market was between the two areas was illegal. Administration in Mexico was also based on Racial Separation, and later indigenous languages were banned. (at least education was encouraged from the very beginning!) International trade was limited, as Spain created only two ports in Mexico because of the risk of pirates attacking and plundering the area of Mexico, Spain was Mexico's Protectorate and they were looking after the colony.
Napoleon and Iturbide
Napoleon's invasion of Spain began in 1807, and he managed to take it over and hand it over to his eldest brother to rule. When Spain managed to take it back in 1813, and most of their former colonies were now independent. This was when Mexico decided they should be independent too, and they fought for only 8 years. Mexican rebels had many great leaders through this time, and the majority of them were executed by Spain. In 1820, Spain decided they needed to squish the rebellion once and for all, and got a new leader for their army, Agustín de Iturbide to do so, they would destroy the rebels with the extreme sovereignty Spain had. He, unfortunately, switched sides to join the Mexican army so he could rule Mexico (again with the wealth). Spain did not expect this and neither did Mexico, as Mexico was pretty much done for in the battle. He ruled as Emperor of Mexico only briefly.
The Aztec Empire ruled over this pink area, their rule changed from time to time though, depending on the wars in Mexico for land.
The land was home to a vast empire, the Aztec Empire.
The Aztecs were the dominance in Mexico
They ruled over most of Mexico
The Aztecs had a main capital city called Tenochtitlan,
their home and where they began.
According to Aztec legend, in 1323 the Aztecs were shown a vision (common among their culture, sort of like a message from the gods) of an eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus in fighting stance with a snake in it's mouth. The vision indicated that this was where they were to build their new home and become the Aztecs.
The Mexican National Seal is based on
The eagle in fighting stance
And the cactus
The seal is an example of
The Aztec Religion Summary: They believed in many gods, and they believed that if they didn't do something right, than they would be punished. One god, the sun god, demanded sacrifices and if they didn't then the Aztecs believed that the sun wouldn't rise the next day.
Cultural contact between the two completely different cultures began, and each culture had different views of each other.
The Aztecs thought they looked like gods, with their glinting knight armor and fare skin. Some of the Natives of Mexico converted to Christianity in a snap.
The Conquistadors thought the Aztecs were savages and were horrified at the fact that they performed human sacrifices. They felt it was their job to convert them to the "proper" religion.
Cortés and his 500 conquistador's managed to take down the massive empire in only 2 years. How did they do this? With the cultural contact came diseases like small pox that infected and killed more than 3 million of the population (some sources say that it was well over 15 million). They also had help from enemies of the Aztecs who wanted the empire to fall.
Cultural Genocide and depopulation occurred during these events, and Aztecs blamed the small pox on the superiority of the Christian god, and if they still died it was because they didn't pray hard enough.
After the fall of Tenochtitlan, Cortés claimed the land in the name of the Spanish Empire and built Mexico City on top of the great city. The colonization period began and would not end for 300 years.
Cortés began in Spain
and made his way to
He made several stops to refuel
on supplies and met the first Natives
of the area, and they told them of a
magnificent empire with many riches.
Greed came in.
The conquest began here
During this period, elements of mercantilism took hold like forced labor, and for very little pay or none at all. Encomienda was a legal system used to regulate natives of Mexico, a person would be given a number of natives to "protect" from warring tribes and speak to them in there native language but they also had to use catholic ideals. People took advantage of this and many natives were forced into slavery.
White Man's Burden:
a poem stating that it is the white man's responsibility to bring the "right" culture to Natives of other lands, for example African's were viewed as evil savages, and needed to be put into slavery so they could pay off their sins.
the condition of having reduced numbers of inhabitants (or none at all).
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a groups culture.
evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of one's own culture.
a process of recognizing and promoting cultural identity that has been lost or is at the verge dying. It aims at reviving important elements or aspects of ancestral societies.
a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.
a set of economic policies pursued by governments in the 16th century to increase a countries wealth by having more exports than imports.
Settle among, and establish control over.
During the three centuries of colonial rule, 700,000 Spaniards intermarried with some of the people native to the area, creating the mixed race descendants who today are ancestors to the majority of Mexico.
Spain did not have any efforts during this time to settle the northern regions, but did explore a good amount of area seeking "The City of Gold", otherwise known as "El Dorado".
Independence from Spain
1821 to present
Mexican Revolution and the Effects of Past Events
Mexico underwent the Mexican Revolution in the first place because a president was accused of electoral fraud (he kind of threw his competitor in prison and declared himself the winner), which sparked the fire inside every person there. From 1910 to 1929, the war would rage on and any time a new president would step up (usually a hero of the revolution), they would get assassinated. The effects of Spain leaving Mexico by force has it's long term negative effects, after the revolution the country was very poor and it's crime rate was and still is very high, for example 18 people were murdered per 100,000 in 2010, and the world average was 6.9 per 100,000. In between 1940 and 1980, the "Mexican Miracle" occurred, which significantly increased the economy, this is most likely because of the presence of a Capitalist system that came into Mexico after the great depression and the revolution, producing a state of industrialization for Mexico. Besides the crime rates and drug war, Mexico is doing better than most third world countries today.
Agustín de Iturbide
an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
the development of industry on an extensive scale.
Map of the
Spanish Empire's Possessions
Mexico as a colony is high lighted
supreme power or authority.
the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories.
an economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.
a state that is controlled and protected by another.
Aztecs were an interesting culture, for one they sacrificed each other-willingly and it was an honor to be sacrificed. Sacrifices took place so the Aztecs could please their gods and so the sun will then rise the next morning (at least that's what they thought). The Aztecs spoke Nahuatl, a language still spoken in central Mexico by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua, the language is known informally but more popularly as Aztec.
(Article research task)
The Aztecs had a Hegemonic Empire based in their capital city Tenochtitlan, and their society has been described by historians as very complex. Wars in Mexico would break out often, and control around the area would shift a lot. The economy was very, very good, as noted by Spanish conquistadors on their arrival, and after the Mexican Revolution, the country was in heavy debt showing the impact of cultural contact. The economy was good because of several elements, for one trade with other societies in Mexico would not take long to happen, as they were very close to each other. Some merchants would become very wealthy because of this system, mainly because of a group of merchants responsible for long distance trade. These group of merchants also were involved in a slave trade going on in Mexico, where slave traders would capture slaves and use them in sacrifices. Those merchants had many other levels too.
An Aztec Sacrifice
The population of the Aztecs were in the 8 million at the time, but would soon see significant decline once the Spanish Empire came. This population was supported by many agricultural resources and hunting. They would have different agriculture depending on what area of Mexico thy were in, for example in valleys they would have irrigation farming to push the water down the middle of the valley. Hunting was more for the tribute (pelts and feathers, etc.) which was a major part of their culture, showing how fierce one was would be scaled by the fierceness of the tribute they owned.
Life was good for the Aztecs, they had quite a bit by today's standards of Mexico. Just goes to show the negative impacts of imperialism and cultural contact.
Agustín de Iturbide
He was a catalyst for change all right! Agustín de Iturbide was the leader of the Spanish army that was meant to crush the rebellion in Mexico in 1820, but Spain had no idea what he would do next. The designer of the original Mexican flag, and the first Emperor of Mexico, was either an evil traitor or a hero considering your view in the war. In 1820, when Spain was about to deliver the finishing blow to Mexico and end the rebellion, he, the leader of the Spanish forces in Mexico, switched sides because he wanted to rule over Mexico. He did it for Glory and Guns, because he could. Unlucky for him, his reign ended in a revolt only a year after he was proclaimed Emperor, and then he died a year later when he came back to Mexico with his wife and two kids. Initially he was greeted enthusiastically but was soon put in jail and then sentenced to death, his last rites were: "Mexicans! I die with honor, not as a traitor; do not leave this stain on my children and my legacy. I am not a traitor, no." Afterwords, on his body they found the "Deceleration of the World" found on his body stained with blood. In the years to come, he was celebrated as a hero instead, but that process took time.
His original design, pretty similar, huh?
Deceleration of the World with his bloodstains on it.
Searching for someone who is useful
The Love Seeking Section
My name is Spain, and I am searching for someone who can provide for me, and is Spanish and the same religion too, but I can "work" with other backgrounds. Interested in someone who makes lots of dough, and will support me through times of hardships. Someone who will help me take on my enemies and defend me. I am a very good choice, and I know the language of romance. I also own a lot, but don't try to "divorce" me and take half my things. Lonely, and I need someone to fill that empty void in my heart. Will protect you, and think about you a lot, but don't try and revolt or I will attack viciously (it's a mental problem I have, I can't control my rage). I hope this convinces you that I am the right choice in a relationship and the one you need.
Unseen Letters to Spain from the Colonies
Hey, I know you guys are busy, but I want you to address our concerns about the locals here. They are kind of dying off, not sure why but they are, and I am speaking on behalf of them actually. We keep telling them what you told us to say, but can any one really "pray harder"? I'm worried about this contact between us and them, what if we catch something like the Natives did? If so, then it would have already made it to Spain in this letter, if it did sorry. So we need you to do something, the locals here could be of use to us, I can't describe to you how powerful they are. We could join forces and beat the British! I hope you really consider the opportunity here and I look forward to a reply.
Reply: Just take them over, the savages probably wouldn't be of any use to us except in a slave trade. And how many times do I have to tell you that the reason why you guys haven't caught a disease but the Natives have is because they are heretics and you are loyal servants of god. God wants you to conquer them.
To What Extent did the Imperialism Change the Political/Social and Cultural/Economic Structure of Mexico?
Imperialism did not destroy Mexico's culture completely, but there is significant damage done. For example, people used to kill others for the purpose of religion, now they don't. An example of how they didn't kill the culture completely is the fact that there are people in Mexico who still speak the Aztecs language. That covers the cultural and Social section of this question, now onto the political. If you look at it from a political view, their has been quite a bit of change. For example, their used to be wars raging on and alliances forming in Mexico, and the Aztecs had a hegemonic way of ruling. ow Mexico is united, and the only wars going on are drug wars (which is an effect of cultural contact and/or imperialism). The economy is the one that has been like a roller coaster, for example the Aztecs had a fantastic economy and up until the 1950's Mexico was considered one of the poorest countries in the world. There is cultural revitalization present though, for example the flag and seal of Mexico is based off of Aztec legend, and it has always been the flag design showing that the Aztec culture has had a strong influence on Spain.