Global History and Geography I Name: ___________________
E. Napp Date: ___________________
The Spanish conquest of Latin America brought many important changes to Latin American society. Spain sent royal governors or viceroys to rule the colonies in the king’s name. Gold and silver from the Americas were shipped to Spain, making it the strongest power in Europe in the 16th century. Conquered lands in the Americas were often divided among the soldiers. The conquerors used Native Americans to farm the land and work the mines. This system of forced labor was called the encomienda system. In areas where many Native Americans had died, captured African slaves were used to replace a dying Native American Indian population. Native American populations had declined rapidly in parts of Latin America due to a lack of immunity to diseases brought by the conquerors like measles and smallpox.
The European encounter with the Native American Indians led to an exchange of ideas, customs, and technologies. Global cultural diffusion increased. This cultural exchange between the “New World” and the “Old World” is often referred to as the Columbian Exchange. Because of the encounter, the European diet was greatly altered by the introduction of new foods like tomatoes, corn, potatoes, and chocolate. Western Europe became the center of a vast global trading network, with trade shifting away from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast. Raw materials obtained from the Americas hastened European economic development. Wealth from the “New World” enriched European merchants and their kings, especially in the states bordering the Atlantic – Portugal, Spain, England, France, and Holland. While Europeans benefited from the encounter, Native Americans Indians and African slaves suffered greatly. Native American Indians lost control of their lands and cultures while both Native American Indians and Africans were terribly mistreated and exploited by European settlers.
How did Spain benefit from the conquest and colonization of the Americas? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How were Native Americans harmed by the “encounter”? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Describe the encomienda system. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What was the Columbian Exchange? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How did the “encounter” affect Africans? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Although mining was the most sought after source of wealth, most of the inhabitants of New Spain engaged in agriculture and livestock breeding. These activities produced food for the population and products for the trade with Europe and the East.
There were great differences between the agriculture of the Spaniards and the agrarian practices of the Native American Indians. The Spaniards exploited great extensions of land known as haciendas, which were purchased or received as gifts from the king. The great landowners used groups of Indians received under the Encomienda system (the right to use Indian labor) to work their lands. They were supposed to give the Native American Indians protection and a Christian education in exchange for tribute and free labor. When the Encomienda system was ended towards the middle of the 16th century, Indian slavery was also prohibited; nevertheless, land owners still obtained workers in exchange for very low wages.
Two characteristics of Mexican agriculture during the 19th and 20th centuries had their roots in the Colony: the concentration of land in the hands of a small number of owners, and the communal ownership of small parcels of land.
How has Mexican agriculture been shaped by the conquest of the region by Spain? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How did the encomienda system affect the Native American Indians? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The correct answer is number 1. Peninsulares were born in the Iberian peninsula. They had the most powerful jobs in the colonial government and owned vast tracts of land. They were politically and economically powerful. The creoles were born in the Americas but were descended from Europeans. They too were very wealthy but they could not hold the most important government jobs. Mestizos had Indian and European ancestry as Mulattoes had African and European ancestry. Finally, Native American Indians and Africans were terribly exploited and forced to labor under brutal conditions.
What conclusions can be drawn from the colonial hierarchy? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Is this a fixed social class system? Explain your answer. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
One reason the Spanish conquistadors were able to conquer the Aztec and Inca Empires rapid is that
these empires had no standing armies
the Spanish had better weapons than the Aztecs and Incas did
the Spanish greatly outnumbered the Aztecs and Incas