Colonial Latin American Slavery

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Spaniards brought Africans to the New World at the very beginning of the Spanish conquest. Spanish influence determined Africans' social aptitude, acculturated them, and manipulated their role to serve Spanish needs for production. Despite Spanish dominance, Africans were able to retain some resemblance of their own cultural distinction, and acted independently against Spanish interests. Africans roles evolved as the Spanish faced problems of satisfying high labor demands and maintaining control over a population much larger than their own. Initially, Africans played a military and socio-political part in the Spanish conquest; however, more significantly, Africans provided Spanish colonialism with a capable labor foundation and a safeguard between the Spanish minority and the natives. Although African and Afro-Latino roles did not always support Spanish aims or ideals, they were vital to the Spanish capacity to manage a populace much larger than their own and yield from their colonies. Must all slaves work in the fields?

Enslaved and free Africans fulfilled the role of a military supplementary in the Spanish conquest. Slaves could achieve their freedom through involvement in Spanish conquest. Juan Garrido did just that in accordance with Cortes. Garrido was a black slave who fought with Cortes in opposition to the Aztecs to gain his independence. Escaped slaves often joined conquistadors without comprehensive examination into their background. Free blacks also commonly participated in the conquest, and some enjoyed elevated status. Africans served Spanish endeavors, but they also had something to achieve for themselves. In spite of that many Africans were only viewed as slaves. Within that, even free blacks were inferior to Spaniards, but they were higher to natives in that they had authority and were rewarded for killing and conquering them. Natives viewed them as "black white men," because these Africans "had been born in or had lived...
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