The Colonization Of The Americas Essay

The Colonization Of The Americas Essay

Length: 1337 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The colonization of the Americas by the Spanish, starting in the late 15th century, was marked by the violent suppression and exploitation of the indigenous populations. Legitimized by royal support and proselytizing papal decree, the colonists expanded territory by force and enslaved natives for the purpose of labor. The colonists had differing views on the practices involving the natives and produced varying descriptions of them. The way in which these men and other settlers viewed the native cultures, practices, and achievements provided the justification or condemnation of the actions that unfolded around them. Men such as Bernardo de Vargas Machuca actively participated in conflicts and persecution in the name of the Spanish crown, while pious men such as Bartolomé de las Casas pursed peaceful conversion and condemned the violence. Both men actively observed the natives in their technologies and societies. The descriptions, “Apologetic History of the Indies” by Bartolomé de las Casas and “Qualities and Customs of the Indians in General” by Bernardo de Vargas Machuca, seem to define the Indians in one general group, which leads multiple contradictory and embellishing statements. Both men came from the perspective of a Spanish settler, and therefore not only described the natives in an objective manner but also in a way that reflected their interpretations of their own identities and purpose.
In order to best understand the descriptions of the natives given by the Bernardo de Vargas Machuca and Bartolomé de las Casas, it must first be understood who they are and the ways in which they described the Spanish, or themselves. Bartolomé de las Casas was a Dominican friar who had once owned native slaves. In his observances of Span...

... middle of paper ...

...heir descriptions, to their own personal ideologies and intentions.
It is certain that both Bernardo de Vargas Machuca and Bartolomé de las Casas were not entirely accurate in their descriptions of the native populations of the Americas. Their descriptions were targeted generalizations made of off objective observation and hyperbole. In these generalizations Indians are described as uncivilized, but inventive and skilled musicians. Spanish are described as unjust and violent, but had the moral obligation to bring the message of God to the people of the Americas. The descriptions depict not only the native, but also provide an understanding of the Spanish and their own society. The conflicts of colonization and the person agends/ purposes of Bernardo de Vargas Machuca and Bartolomé de las Casas are reflected in their writings on the Native populations of the Americas.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Colonization Of The Americas Essay example

- Colonization of the Americas was done by both the Spanish and English in the late 1400s to late 1500s respectively. They had quite a few similarities such as the hardships they encountered in their homelands that embarked them on their journeys to explore and even, in some ways, their rule over the new land had some likeness as well. The differences between them lie in the specifics of their exploration and their relationship with the Indian groups who already inhabited the space they took over....   [tags: Colonialism, United States, Spanish language]

Better Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on America 's First Colonization Of The Americas

- America. How did it come about. We all learn about Christopher Columbus, but little people know or fail to acknowledge the people who in fact came to the Americas before him. The people who first came to America were part in numerous events that help the Americas as they are now. From the first colonized empires, war over territory, to presidency, America has experienced many things. Huge point or not these things all played a huge role in America 's first colonization and so forth. Early when Native Americans first settled in the Americas long before Europeans arrived they had all the land to themselves....   [tags: United States, South America, Americas]

Better Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

The Colonization Of The Americas Essay

- Slaves were property, not people; they were treated as such by the Europeans who enslaved them.After the discovery of the Americas by the Europeans, many colonies were established throughout the New World, with mother countries in western Europe. These colonies were established to provide the mother countries with cheap raw materials to boost industry; after the colonies were settled, great amounts of silver and gold were found in South America. The farming of crops and extraction of precious metals required workers; because the natives did not survive the European migration, African slaves were forcibly taken to the Americas for cheap, practically free labor....   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade]

Better Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)

European Colonization Of The Americas Essay

- Civilization is created by numerous different elements that come together to develop a human community. This community becomes a highly complex organization such as towns or cities that require sufficient food production. The large minority of the community must be efficient enough to engage in activities such as the creation of infrastructure or works of art, the practice of skilled warfare, and the administration of a government that is capable of running the machinery of state. This paper discusses American civilization and the events that led to England gaining control over the Atlantic and establishing settlements in the North America; and the events that led to the demise of Spanish po...   [tags: United States, North America]

Better Essays
1743 words (5 pages)

Essay on Colonization Of The Americas Became Increasingly Popular

- As colonization of the Americas became increasingly popular, people of different backgrounds began travelling to America with different motivations. The Spanish conquistadors, for example, came to spain in the fifteenth century in search for wealth in gold and silver. Meanwhile, missionaries, also from spain, came for the completely different motivation of looking to spread Christianity each setting up very different styles of settlements. The Puritans in England first came in 1620 in a joint venture with the Virginia Company due to religious persecution under King James I....   [tags: Puritan, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Religion]

Better Essays
1090 words (3.1 pages)

European Colonisation Of The Americas Essay

- How did European colonisation of the Americas affect the society and culture of the continent’s indigenous people up to 1650. Focus on colonial region of Mexico The European colonisation of the Americas is often portrayed as a definitive turning point in which the culture of the natives was instantly driven to extinction (or at least altered beyond recognition). While this is certainly true in some cases, such as for the natives living on Caribbean islands, in other cases it is fair to say that native culture saw relative continuation....   [tags: Colonialism, Spanish colonization of the Americas]

Better Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

The First Age Of Colonization Essays

- The first age of colonization, puts a spotlight on the birth of European exploration of the Americas and the peoples who inhabited them. Numerous countries of Europe sent adventurers to explore, with primary intentions to discover resources, to trade, and spread Catholicism to the “uncivilized” natives of the areas. Spain, after the Reconquista, started their golden age. After Columbus’ discovery of the new world, explorers and treasure ships made their way to the Americas. The Spanish conquest through South America was a huge success in terms of Spanish influence, power, and economy....   [tags: Spain, Spanish colonization of the Americas]

Better Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

Bartolome De Las Casas : The Colonization Of The Americas Essay

- Bartolomé de las Casas Christianity itself might have been the main oppressor during the colonization of the Americas and not necessarily the greed or hunger for expansion. Bartolomé de las Casas, was a Spanish Bishop, who was sent to the Americas to teach the “Indians” about Christianity, but through his own eyewitness accounts saw the inhumane treatment of the Natives and criticized the Spanish monarchs and colonizers for being driven by greed and not their Christian beliefs. Although, de las Casas greatly criticized the Spanish, he himself, through his Christian teachings, was still indirectly oppressing the natives....   [tags: Christianity, Religion, Christendom, Baptism]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

The Social, Economic, and Political Implications of the Conquest and Colonization of the Americas

- The history of the conquest and colonization of the Americas is very complex. The social, economic, and political issues and circumstances that took place many years ago are the foundation of who America is today. Most Americans do not realize how many people were affected by immigration, or understand the real struggles and sacrifices that the indigenous people and the colonists made for the freedoms we have today. During these historical events, many cultural, social, and economical events were impacted....   [tags: U.S. History ]

Better Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Spanish Colonization And The New World Essay example

- Starting in 1492 with Columbus and continuing for 350 years, Spain settled and conquered almost all of South America, the American Southwest, and the Caribbean. The Spanish empire grew to be the largest European empire since ancient Rome, and it used the wealth that it obtained from the Americas to support nearly endless warfare in Europe, which protected the Americas with a large navy and a very powerful army and brought Catholicism to the New World. At this time, Spain saw the New World as unruly and uncivilized because most of the people there were pagan....   [tags: Colonialism, Spanish colonization of the Americas]

Better Essays
1257 words (3.6 pages)