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The Pueblo Revolt Of Native America

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When the Spanish first began to colonize the western hemisphere, and create the land they would call New Spain, they were notoriously motivated by the “Three G’s”: Gold, Glory, and God. Conquistadors set out to claim new territory and conquer new people with the hopes of converting them to Catholicism, and exploiting them for resources and labor. These Spanish interests, along with other significant cultural and ideological differences, clashed with the Native’s desires to keep their religion and remain un-enslaved. The Spanish were able to bring many of the Native Americans to live, work, and pray in their missions, sometimes with appeals to reason or faith, and often with threats. Many Pueblo Indians were converted under the threat of death, giving the Spanish a false sense of success in their ability to subjugate the native people. Spanish leaders and priests were either oblivious or uncaring to the discontent of the Pueblo, allowing dissention to grow right under their noses. The Pueblo Revolt of 1680, which occurred in present day New Mexico, saw 20 Pueblo villages unite to rise up against the Spanish, who had been colonizing the area, and at the time was the biggest Native American victory over European colonizers. Much of the reason for this rebellion can be traced back to Spain’s misunderstanding of Pueblo life, and their belief in their own superiority, as well as the Pueblo’s desires to hold on to their ancient traditions, and to renounce the Catholic doctrine that had often seen them abused. Understanding either side’s views of the other can help one to understand what lead up to this revolt. When the Spanish came to North America, they set out to build missions deep in what is now the South-West United States in order... ... middle of paper ... ...other European powers were either unable to do or unwilling to risk. This was not the last religious revitalization attempted by Native Americans in North America against white settlers. In fact, the Story of Pope and the Pueblo in many ways mirrors the story of Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa of the Shawnee, and their attempts to unite the local tribes against colonists encroaching on their land through religious revitalization. The actions of the Spanish during this time gave rise to the black legend, which some British pointed to as a motive for their colonization of the Americas in order to save the Indians, which was exactly what Spain felt they were doing. This is just one example of a continuing theme of American history, in which the Europeans believe their culture is better, and as such “save” the Indians by forcing them to adopt it through any means necessary.
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