The Spanish Empire in the Americas

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  • Topic: Slavery, United States, African slave trade
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  • Published : September 13, 2010
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Chapter 1 Study Guide

The Spanish Empire in the Americas

1. Three arguments’ that Juan Gines de Sepulveda used to justify enslaving the Native Americans were for gold, ore deposits, and for God’s sake and man’s faith in him. 2. Three arguments that Bartolome de las Casas gave in attacking Spanish clonial policies in the New World were the Indians eating human flesh, worshiping false gods, and also, he believed that the Indians were cowardly and timid. 3. For comparisons that Sepulveda used, in lines 1-7, to express the inferiority of the Indians was their prudence, skill virtues, and humanity were inferior to the Spanish as children to adults, or even apes to men. Comparisons he used to dismiss the significance of the Indians “Ingenuity for various works of artisanship” were the animals, birds, and spiders that could make things humans could not replicate. In either situation, there was no appropriateness. 4. Las Casas may have weekened his case by requiring that the Spanish must restore what had been taken unjustly from the Indians because the Spanish ultimately modernized them and if they were given back what had been taken, they would again become ‘retro’. If the Indians had been given back their bow and arrows, then they would have no use for them because they have guns. 5. The bias that Las Casas expressed in the last paragraph in his book was that Muslims are savages.

The Encounter

1. What kind of existence did the first people who came to North America live? The kind of existence that the first people who came to North America to live was very icy, cold and rugged. They were hunters and gatherers so they were a nomadic people. This means hay regularly picked up and moved making life even harder.

2. What is the dominant theory as to how the first people came to North America? The Dominant theory known as to how the first people came to North America was that they crossed on a land bridge formed by the ice age over the bearing strait. Also well argued is that the nomads came by boat and hugged the coast on their way.

3. What was significant about farming groups when compared to nomadic groups? Farming groups were able to stay in one place and this enabled them to do a lot of things more than the nomads. They were able to harvest crops, have more babies, build cities, build populations, and create better housing.

4. What were the "three great empires" according to the article? What were the dominant features of each? The three great empires were the Maya, Aztec, and Incas. The dominant features of the Maya were the advanced intellectual aspects of the cities as well as the water system that they made. The dominant features of the Aztec were their means to live off the land, which in their case proved the desert, and also able to build a large city with mass trade and a great army. The dominant features of the Inca were their ability to stretch their empire more than any other and to harvest 100’s & 1000’s of different potatoes and corn.

5. What is a common belief among many of the groups in North America? A common belief among many of the groups in North America is that there is a creator and also the bond between humans and nature.  

6. Why were Europeans looking for new trade routes to the Indies? The Europeans were looking for new trade routes to the Indies because they wanted to increase their countries wealth.  
7. What were two misperceptions that the Europeans formed about the Native Americans and thier lands? Two misperceptions that the Europeans formed about the Native Americans and their lands were that they had discovered a new world and also that the Europeans had “discovered” the Americas.  

8. What plan did Columbus have for the Native Americans?
Columbus wanted to harvest all the goods he could from the Native Americans and then make them his slaves.

Notes

* First People
* Came from Asia across land bridge
* Nomadic
* Came...
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