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Causes Of The Pueblo Revolt In 1680

1611 words - 6 pages

Pueblo Revolt

Differences between cultures are not something new. Many of us can still see it in our daily lives. Four hundred years ago two very distinctly different cultures clashed in what we call the American Southwest. The Spanish presence brought new ideas, new culture, and new way of life to the new found Americas much to the demise of the already settled native tribes. Already having controlled much of Mexico and South America, problems were rising in the outskirts of New Spain. Secular and religious authorities were in conflict and the ever growing animosity of its aboriginal tribe made it difficult to maintain Spanish control. Though, for four generations the Spaniards had begun to feel successful in their endeavors of New Mexico. In early August, the sedentary and nomadic tribes banned together and overthrow the Spanish authority. There are many angles needed to be addressed in order to see why this happened. Historians and anthropologists have been trying to go beyond the bias history to uncover what happen. In the book “What Caused the Pueblo Revolt of 1680”, historians try to answer this question, some theories hold more pull then others in terms of what and why. Through reading this anthology I believe the revolt happened for cultural and religious reasons because the Spaniards were threatening the indigenous people’s very way of life through violence, exploitation of land/resources (food), and demoralization of their old ways and practices.
Bowden’s idea of why this happened focused mainly on the old misunderstood traditions of the tribes living in Mexico. He shows how the friars, churches and icons took the blunt of the revolts force. Bowden points out the religious differences and similarities between the two groups could have been used to help the Franciscans woe the tribes into their religion. Instead of punishing the natives for practicing the old ways by using objects to pray and celebrate, the friars could have used that to make a common ground. Both of the groups used something to aid in spiritual activity, prayer sticks, both had alters, both help spirituals holidays and both had spiritual leaders (Bowden). Taking something away from anyone will eventually lead to rebellion especially in time of great stress. What adds more stress in any society then when its very world is turn upside-down? Watching somebody desecrate the very foundation of your spiritual and daily motions will hit close to home. The Spaniards view of the natural world did exactly that. Staking claim on land and seeing it as a commodity goes against the frame these native people entire world view. Their belief of creation is from the earth they are only the stewards of the land, it provides to their society and they must give back to complete the circle of reciprocity. Spaniards took the land for their taking. In the Christian mindset god created the earth and it was good, God created man and he was good. The earth was for us to...

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