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Age of Discovery wikipedia , lookup

• Since the very beginning, humanity has
felt the necessity of organize all
significant the events (as affecting a
nation or institution) according to in the
order in which they occur. That’s the
main definition and task of history.
• With the arrival of the Europeans following
Christopher Columbus's voyages, the indigenous
elites, such as the Incas and Aztecs, lost power to
the heavy European invasion.
• Hernándo Cortés seized the Aztec elite's power with
the help of local groups who did not favor the Aztec
elite, and Francisco Pizarro eliminated the Incan rule
in Western South America.
• The European powers of Spain and Portugal colonized
the region, which along with the rest of the
uncolonized world, was divided into areas of Spanish
and Portuguese control by the line of demarcation in
1493, which gave Spain all areas to the west, and
Portugal all areas to the east (the Portuguese lands in
South America subsequently becoming Brazil).
You will learn that…
• After the discovery and the conquest of America,
Spanish began the exploration and colonization of
our continent. The colonization last more than 300
• This period was organized in the following way:
– The society: classification of people according
to the race and economic power.
– In the government: Appeared the figure of
viceroyalty in which the Viceroy was
representative of the Monarch.
– The economy: Commercial monopoly that
generated the piracy.
• The arrival of Europeans in the New
World in 1492 changed the Americas
forever. Over the course of the next
350 years, Spain ruled a vast empire
based on the labor and exploitation of
the Indian population. Conquistadors
descended on America with hopes of
bringing Catholicism to new lands while
extracting great riches.
Land Division
When a new territory was discovered and
conquered by Spaniards, they claimed and
occupied their lands in the name of the
King, for this reason he was in charge
of land distribution between conquers
and settlers.
This distribution of the lands was
made thought different laws that
were modified according to the
circumstances, mainly in three periods:
• 1492 - 1591: During this period, the king
rewarded the conquers and settlers with
long extensions of land.
• 1591 - 1680: during this period, the
crown offered the lands with out owners in
a very low price, that way they could
attract new settlers. Indian Reservations
were created during this time.
• 1680 – 1810: Laws of Indies or “Código
de Indias” was created During this period.
The Laws of the Indies consisted of many
regulations about land property.
What kind of people were the
original Spanish settlers?
Spanish settlers, were primarily poor
nobles from the impoverished west and
south of Spain and poor soldiers with noble
titles obtained during the war against the
Moorish (they had the titles of hidalgos
and knights) who came to America with
hopes of finding riches.
They built the aristocracy of the new
cities, and also Governors, mayors and all
the kingdom staff were appointed between
What happened with the Native
Americans during the colony?
• Native Americans who survive to the conquer
wars were reduced to a condition of virtual
slavery and were forced to work in European
plantations and mines. However, some priest like
Dominican Juan Bartolomé de las Casas worked
to avoid their maltreatment arguing that
Americans were being doted with souls, as all
other human beings.
• Then, new laws were created to protect them.
Finally, most of the American Indians of our
country were subjugated by the Spaniards
working as servants.
Social Organization
• During the Spanish colonial period, Spaniards
developed a complex caste-system based on
race, which was used for social control and
which also determined a person's importance
in society.
Social Organization
Spaniards (Españoles): These were
persons of Spanish descent. People of
other European descent who had
settled in Spanish America and adapted
to Hispanic culture
Criollos or Crioles : (Españoles
criollos or Españoles americanos):
People of Spanish ancestry (People
who have a direct lineage from Spain
but were born in the Americas.
Mestizos:Persons with one Spanish
parent and one Indian parent. Mulatto:
Persons of the first generation of
Spanish and Black mix zambos:
Persons who were of mixed Indian and
Black ancestry
Blacks (Negros): With Spaniards and
Indians, this was the third original
"race" in this paradigm, but low on the
social scale because of their
association with slavery.
Indians (Indios): The second of the
original "races" in Spanish America,
the law treated them as minors, and as
such were to be protected by royal
officials, but in reality were often
abused by the local elites.