top-rated free essay

Cabeza de Vaca

By laurendevoy Oct 26, 2014 544 Words
After arriving in the Americas early european explorers claimed the land as their own despite it already being inhibited by the Indians. The Europeans initially ignored the native populations customs despite there being evidence that the culture had evolved over hundreds of years. Explorers did not consider the Indians worthy of their respect or of humane treatment equal to that displayed towards other Christians.

The Europeans invaded and claimed the indians land along with all the resources found on it. The explorers did this without thanking the natives, instead they prayed to god feeling it was him who led them to the fertile lands filled with corn ready to be harvested. Cabeza de Vaca even mentions that towards the beginning of their expedition they captured five or six indians and forced them to lead the explorers to their homes. There they found the indians corn that was ready to be harvested. He is quoted saying "And we gave infinite thanks to our Lord for having aided us in so great need, because we were most certainly new to these hardships, beyond the fatigue we suffered, we came very worn out from hunger". At no point does he mention thanking the indians who grew and tended to the corn only to have it stolen from them in an unholy manor from the holy Spaniards.

The Spaniards considered the native population of the Americas "barbarians". The possibility that their way of life could be an alternate yet equally successful way to theirs was never considered. They felt it was their job to bring their Lord to who they felt to be uncivilized people. Cabeza de Vaca begins his testament to the King of Spain by saying he would like to bring their faith in the Christian God to the Indians. At the end of Cabeza de Vaca's eight year endeavor once he was reunited with other soldiers of the crown they forced indians they had captured to begin building a cathedral. The idea being that the first monument made in the new lands should be a testament to their God, without any thoughts to what the natives may hold sacred.

Once realizing the terrain was strange and different to what they were used to navigating it became evident to the explorers they would need guidance. Instead of making peaceful agreements with the indians they are seen taking them captive at many points towards the beginning of the novel. Once they have overpowered the natives they force them to act as guides for the soldiers. Although their lines of communication are weak they gesture that they wish to be led to treasures such as gold and corn. The indians have no choice but to attempt to bring them towards anything that might satisfy their captors. The Spaniards would have never overpowered a fellow Christian man with such little regard to their families and lives they were leaving behind like they did to that of the indians.

European explorers had little respect and placed little value on the lives of the non Christians they encountered upon their arrival in the Americas. The spanish soldiers over powered the indians, and used all their available resources. Such cruel treatment would have never been displayed towards followers of the Christian faith.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Cabeza de Vaca

    ...1. You are a sixteenth-century Spanish official serving as an advisor to the Council of the Indies, the body that governs Spain’s American empire. You have been given the task of making recommendations to the council on whether or not to expend the crown’s resources to explore and possibly colonize La Florida (North America). You must make y...

    Read More
  • Cabeza de Vaca

    ...Jessica Cleveland Cabeza De Vaca History 102 Dr. Rezende 12 Pm Class Cabeza De Vaca In Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America the author Cabeza De Vaca describes the hardships and challenges faced of exploring an unknown region of the America’s. It goes into detail of many encounters with the Native peoples, and describes the ...

    Read More
  • Cabeza De Vaca Outline

    ...Cabeza De Vaca Outline Thesis: Reséndez’s argument that Cabeza wanted a more humane wane to colonize holds some validity, but his argument has some holes because Cabeza did not believe some Native Americans could become loyal Christian citizens of Spain. I. Introduction to controversy: 1.  Andrés Reséndez’s central argument for hi...

    Read More
  • Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Humane Colonialism

    ...Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, and A Land So Strange, the Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca, by Andre Resendez, a transformation is seen through the thoughts and actions of the four Spanish survivors. Clearly motivated by curiosity, greed, and religion, at first, a dramatic transformation from explorers and conquistadors into assimilated Spanish Indians and...

    Read More
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Cabeza de Vaca written by Alvar Nunez (focusing on ethos, pathos, and logos in chapter 34 of the book)

    ...In Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Relacion, Cabeza de Vaca writes an account of his disastrous expedition to the New World, as well as providing a legal document in which the rhetoric of his narrative transforms his story of failure into a story of success. In chapter thirty-four, Cabeza de Vaca uses the three elements of rhetoric; ethos, logos, a...

    Read More
  • cabeza de vaca

    ...Persuasive Research Essay The world is full of many explorers, much of many who honestly are unqualified and are worthless, as explorers. In contrast, once they do a single thing that is miraculous and they change the entire perspective of who they are and what they are really capable of. Out of any explorer out there my explorer is beyond the ...

    Read More
  • Smith vs. Cabeza de Vaca

    ...Both Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and John Smith hold different attitudes regarding their accounts of Indian life. The difference in attitudes may have resulted from the difference in treatments that each man received while in captivity. De Vaca’s experience is a humbling one. His account of Indian life is written in a thoughtful manner, and ...

    Read More
  • Christopher Columbus And Cabeza De Vaca

    ...Christopher Columbus and Cabeza de Vaca are two known adventurers who have interested Historians for many years. While Columbus is an explorer and Cabeza de Vaca is a treasurer, both of these men had great reputations, leading to positions of high status. Cabeza de Vaca went to explore the Gulf coast as a young nobleman and became the treasur...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.