November 28, 2011
Chapter 19— Early Latin America
Many Iberian institutions were transplanted to the Americas such as churches, urbanization, and a government. Peasants lived in towns and villages, which were built on grids. The Iberian Peninsula preserved a tradition of holding slaves and slavery was brought to America. They wanted to create new nobility, with the Indians as their serfs. Patriarchal notions were deeply stressed and women held an active role in family life. Spanish and Portuguese merchants formed traditions that became relevant in American colonies. 2)
The Caribbean served as model for the Spanish empire in various ways. Indigenous peoples provided enough surplus labor. Spaniards granted individual indigenous people as well as encomiendas to encomendero, people that held the grants. Encomenderos were able to use the people as a labor source. It became a colonial backwater and served as a testing ground. They adapted cities to American realities and provided opportunities to import new ideas and reform. Also, provided ideas for rational town planning. 3)
Spain acquired her America through many motives and events. The Treaty of Tordesillas was the key one, it was the agreement of anything west of Brazil was to Spain and east was to the Portuguese. They exhausted this treaty with imaginary north and south lines that explained spheres of importance. Successions of individual dominance took place rather than one big attack. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado led a voyage into what is now the United States in search of gold and Pedro de Valdivia dominated the Araucanian Indians of Chile and founded the city of Santiago. 4)
The Spanish contacts and conquests left a significant effect on the Indians. Most Indigenous tribes died due to disease carried by the Spaniards. The population decay led to fewer towns, which further led to the capture of former farming land. It upset the economic and social...
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