Colonial Latin American Society Essay

700 Words3 Pages
Over time, America has been nicknamed a ‘melting pot’ due to the plethora of ethnicities, religions, and lifestyles. Since contemporary America is a land of diverse beliefs, there’s not one main religious organization that largely influences society. This paper will argue that the Catholic Church played a notable role in shaping Colonial Latin American society compared to religious organizations in U.S. society today since the initial exploration of Latin America was set-off by the church’s desire to spread Catholicism, the monarchy’s continued involvement in the New World, and the church’s conservative ethics guiding how people lived. America and Colonial Latin America were both established due to religious motives. Today, American society…show more content…
Since Colonial Latin American society was shaped by Catholic principles, this helped govern how people lived. This strict hierarchical society dictated people’s worth on their race, ethnicity, gender, occupation, and family name. Society followed patriarchal ideals, so women were treated as lesser citizens with few rights. The Iberians were not fans of social mobility, so family name often outlined your fate. “Both Castilian and Portuguese societies were divided into three estates-- nobles, clerics, and commoners”, with commoners forming majority of the population. As the Europeans settled into Latin America, a racial hierarchy formed. Europeans and those of European descent viewed themselves as superior to the other races, so “Indians, Africans and their American-born descendants and racial mixtures, castas, were defined as inferiors by law and discriminated against in practice”. Rape became common between white men and native or black women which brought the rise of new ethnic groups. The church did not recognize unions between whites and the indigenous or black people. In contemporary American society, it’s common to see interracial marriage and not face discrimination from their union. U.S. society today is much more progressive and secular than Colonial Latin America. Gay marriage is legal, which would not be accepted whatsoever in colonial times. Women can hold jobs and not have to rely on men. People have the choice to choose their occupation and move up in society. Today, any American citizen has the ability to vote regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic
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