The Encounter

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Looking back today we see that the way that Europeans went about colonization was wrong and corrupt but in their eyes, along with the eyes of their fellow conquerors, they assumed the right to conquer and colonize through whatever means necessary. The colonization techniques in North America didn’t differ from those in Latin America. Each individual country felt endowed and felt an obligation to colonize and spread their culture and their ways. The encounter involved a variety of natives. There were nonsedentary, semisedentary, and sedentary people when it came to their location and how they had adapted to surroundings. The nonsedentary and semisedentary were the natives that resided in the rougher terrained areas. Their homes and lifestyle weren’t as structured and secure as those of the sedentary tribes and people. The sedentary people were smarter about how they settled and they created techniques that are still in their culture with their people today. Many of the sedentary farmers lived under Aztec, Maya, or Inca rule until the Europeans arrived.

The crusading and conquering mentality didn’t arrive overnight. It was a gradual process that came about through conquests of the people who would later become the conquerors. It began with the conquest of Spain and Portugal by the Moors. The moors were violent in their take over but eventually were better for the area with all the improvements and possibilities that they brought along with them. When the Christian reconquest recurs however, we start to see the trends in methodology of conquest of other areas. The Christians came in under the example of the Moor-slaying Santiago. We see that the Christians had a crusading mentality in Iberia and used this fervor to justify their increasingly absolute power. They used their superiority to move people out of Iberia who didn’t follow their beliefs with purity. The Portuguese, although they followed the conquest done by the Spanish, were more advanced and better...
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