Spanish Assumptions Towards Native Americans Essay

Spanish Assumptions Towards Native Americans Essay

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There are millions of people in the world, with different understandings, values and ways to look at things. When you first meet someone, you make assumption from the way they act and dress, but that’s not all there is to a person. When Cortes arrived in the new world he didn’t understand the values of the Native Americans and how their beliefs differed from those of Cortes and his people.
Cortes took everything that was part of the Native American culture and turned it into something that was evil or unmannered. He didn’t understand the sacrificial part of their religion, explaining it as “horrible, and abominable, and deserving punishment…”* He also didn’t like their piercings, saying it made them “appear very deformed”* (talking about large stones, and gold that they hung from their lips.). Cortes didn’t get their way of life, and wasn’t eager to learn about it. He didn’t want to gain knowledge of their culture or find out how these things played a part in their life. He was just focused on making a profit off of them.
Native Americans valued things differently then the Spanish did. They looked for exotic feathers, and precious animal skin, while all the Spanish wanted was gold. In Document Six of Discovering The American Past, you see the Native Americans bowing down to Cortes, with the offerings of food, flowers, and other important items, (to the Native Americans,) while Cortes has a look of disgust on his face. This tells as a lot about the relationship between them. The Native Americans wanted to help Cortes, believing they were Gods, yet the Spanish didn’t perceive the offerings in the same way.
In Cortés’s first letter to King Charles I of Spain, Cortes talks about how the Native Americans had tried to attack the...


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...ed that the Spanish weren’t all good; they exerted harsh rules on the Native Americans and were extremely cruel to them.
Bartolome de las Casas agreed that the Spanish were being too mean to the Native Americans. He thought of the Native Americans as very weak people that didn’t know any better. He described the treatment they were getting as worse then those of animals, or even “as piles of dung in the middle of the road.” He knew that the Spanish were there only to make a profit off of them and thought that it wasn’t right. He was constantly criticizing the Spanish rule.
The Spanish made many assumptions, which lead into many unjust actions towards the Native Americans. The Spanish did much wrong to the Native Americans just because they had different values, and ways of looking at the world.

* Taken from Cortés’s First letter to King Charles I of Spain

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