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The Spanish And Native Encounters Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

Ryan SteimerNovember 19, 2014Atlantic WorldDr. CordovaIn 1492 Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to find a faster route to eastern Asia to trade without traveling by land and passing through land owned by Muslims. He had hoped that if he sailed far enough west he would reach eastern Asia, yet he did not know that between Asia and Europe were the American continents. Columbus's journey led to the discovery of the Americas and the first encounterment of the Native American people, discovering for Spain new resources for trade and land to control. After this discovery the Spanish began to become more involved with the new found land and its people across the Atlantic and started to interact with them through trade, alliances, and war. Over time the relationship between the Spanish and the Native Americans became hostile and trade no longer became an option, as a result the Spanish began to conquer and colonize the Native Americans for their personal gain. While in contact with the natives many diseases spread and both Europeans and the natives suffered as a result. The Spanish interactions and conquest with the newly discovered Native American people and cultures of the Americas led to huge demographic disasters, and the growth of the Spanish empire's power.After finding the New World in 1492, all of the Spanish social and economic relations with indigenous people became controlled by the Spanish crown. Spain's settlement and exploitation was led by officials and religious leaders and their goal was to gain as much as possible from the natives land to benefit their economies. Much of the first interactions with the natives resembled those of the Portuguese in order to scout the new land and learn of what it has to offer such as gold and labor. Like the Portuguese, the Spanish relied on the hospitality of the local natives if they were to survive and create a strong presence within the Americas, depending on the native hosts for food, shelter, and their cooperation in trade. Columbus knew this and it was the reason he attempted to hold peace with the natives so that he may trade and learn more of the riches within the area until he returned the next year. After realizing that peaceful trade with the natives was not enough to satisfy the Spanish demand for gold and other resources of the Caribbean they turned to taking it by force and began to colonize the area. The Spanish's intent in colonizing the Americas was one that used control and the forced conversion of the Native American cultures to benefit the Spanish and use the natives as labor to collect the riches of the New World. Conflict became a normal problem in the Spanish settlements since the natives were not willing to just give up their resources; the Spanish took them by force. Upon arrival to the Americas, the Spanish first intended to only gain from this discovery through peaceful trade and interactions with the natives, when this was not enough for their thirst of the native's...

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