Africa and the Americas 1492 to 1750 Dbq

Topics: Spain, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa Pages: 2 (787 words) Published: April 16, 2013
From 1492 to 1750 in the Americas and Africa, there were social and political changes such as a shift of power in the Americas--- the power going from the natives to European dominance, a change in the demographics of the Americas--- Europeans became a part of the population and the population of natives decreased dramatically, and a change in the demographics of Africa---Africans were taken from their homes and sold for slavery.

In the Americas there was a dramatic political shift of power going from the natives to Europeans. Document two suggests that when the Europeans came in, they destroyed the great cities that the natives had already built and established. Hernan Cortes, in his letter to King Charles V, states “This great city of Tenochtitlan…”, “The city is as large as Seville or Cordoba...”, “their [the natives] fashion of living was almost the same as in Spain, with just as much harmony and order…” suggesting that the cities the Natives had already established were as great as the Spanish’s, before they took over and destroyed them. As a European conqueror Cortes would have seen the greatness of these cities and witnessed how they functioned, also being able to compare it to the cities of Spain, from which he was born and lived in. In his letter he seems honest but contradictory because while he says “their [the natives] fashion of living was almost the same as in Spain, with just as much harmony and order…” he follows that statement with “…considering these people were barbarous...”--- hinting that although they lived almost as extravagantly as the Spanish, he still considered them of less worth than Europeans. Natives were used as slaves to mine silver at the Potosi silver mine for the Spanish (document five). Document Five is an excerpt of Compendium and Description of The West Indies written by Spanish priest, Antonio Vazquez de Espinosa, who would have been able to experience the tough and dangerous working conditions that the natives were forced...
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