Question 1

Topics: United States, Caribbean, Indigenous peoples of the Americas Pages: 3 (1125 words) Published: September 25, 2011
Q1: Defend or refute one of the following statements: The European encounter with the Americas can be viewed as a disaster and a tragedy. Or The European encounter with the Americas can be seen as inevitable development in the history of humanity with long-run positive results.

The European encounter with the Americas has more of a negative affect than a positive affect. After Columbus had came back from America with gold, many monarchs and countries got excited by the gold and sought formal confirmation of ownership of these new lands. As the Europeans met the Indians, they treated them harshly and used them as slaves. The Indian population decreased quickly due to diseases and overwork from the Europeans. Due to the decrease in labor, the Europeans brought over African Americans to be used as slaves. These African Americans were separated from their families and treated as property, not as people. It took many years for the African Americans to receive the same liberties as the white men. The Europeans sacrificed many lives to supply their labor needs and their mother country.

Spain was one of the first countries to explore the Americas. They were in search of enormous riches that led them to conquering much of South America and North America. To conquer the Americas the Spanish monarchs used their powerful army, led by independent Spanish adventurers known as conquistadores. As conquistadores confined their attentions to the Caribbean islands, the European diseases they unwittingly carried with them devastated the local Indian populations, who had no immunities against such diseases. After about 1510 the conquistadores turned their attention the America mainland. In 1519, Hernando Cortes led his dramatic expedition against the Aztecs of Mexico. They won enormous riches due to the fact that the Indians at first mistook him for a god. Also the Spaniards had firearms, armor, horses, and diseases. Due to this, Cortes destroyed the Aztec empire. As Spanish had...
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