Unification of Spain: the Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly | Alexis Wilson |
The Europeans wanted to expand their minds and their wealth with what the “unknown” world had to “offer”. When I say offer, I mean what they could take and run with without consequence. The Europeans wanted to “expose” and “enlighten” the new world people with their religion. When I say “expose” and “enlighten”, I mean force the new world people to convert to Christianity or they would be slowly tortured to death or burned at the stake. Portugal, one of the all mighty Iberian Sates, was in a hard-hitting competition with Spain, another Iberian State. According to the textbook, Portugal was losing manpower and resources needed to control a vast empire of three continents. Spain on the other hand, depleted their newfound wealth on wars and other unnecessary things when they should have been developing their economy (Wallbank et al.482). Portugal and Spain were battling for greatness, immortality if you will. They would have done anything to get it, even if it meant eradicating peoples and their cultures. Unfortunately, that was exactly what Portugal and Spain did. Spain and Portugal were trading across the “known” world. Spain exported olive oil, asparagus, conserved fish and more. That was how they received their funds and their power. The Iberian States had a general idea that there were more lands to discover and more money to make. So they set sail to discover and take over anything that were in their way, with their bibles in their pockets and swords in their hands, fueled by the desire of unthinkable wealth and power. According to Juan Pimentel, Portugal and Spain entered the sixteenth century with an advantage in nautical technology and navigation relative to other European nations (20). “The overseas enterprises of Spain expanded dramatically following the first voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Even before this historic Atlantic crossing, Spaniards had begun the conquest of the Canary Islands which served as a base and proving ground for the invasion and conquest of Spanish America, known as the Indies” (Andrien 55). Even though Christopher Columbus was not from Spain, he set sail for them because the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain were the only ones that agreed to fund for the exploration that made Christopher Columbus famous, the exploration that Christopher Columbus dreamed of. “Spain became strongly centralized under an assertive and aggressive monarchy in 1479, when Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon began a joint rule that united the Iberian Peninsula except for Navarre, Portugal, and Granada” (Wallbank et al 455). Portugal was known as incredible competition relative to Spain. Columbus wanted to prove that he could find a shorter and cheaper way to sail to India and China by taking the unknown west route. While Columbus was looking for a shorter route to reach the country of India and China, he inadvertently discovered America. Columbus was oblivious to the fact that he “discovered” America, and he did not reach his intended destination of India. Columbus called the inhabitants “Indians”. He had his men capture the “Indians” and made them slaves. When Columbus came to America he came with diseases. The inhabitants did not have a strong enough immune system to fight off, which decimated the inhabitants of America. Even though the people were sick, it is safe to say that Columbus did not show mercy and still made the slaves work so he would be able to bring gold, spices and other new world items he promised to the King and Queen of Spain, in high hopes that they would fund for more explorations . He did not wish to disappoint the very people that invested in him. After “discovering” the diversity of the Indies, intellectuals of Spain argued over the humanity and proper social role of the indigenous people they have come to encounter and the offspring of the men that Columbus...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document