Presentation on theme: "Impressions each side had of each other. Spain was recently united with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabelle Reconquista: reconquest of Spain,"— Presentation transcript:
Impressions each side had of each other
Spain was recently united with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabelle Reconquista: reconquest of Spain, Jews and Moors(Muslims) were either kicked out or forced to convert to Spain’s Catholic Faith Spain and Portugal’s (Iberia) windfall of wealth and information along with the Ottoman Empire’s control over the Eastern Mediterranean (along with Italian city- states) led those nations to look volta da mar ( to the Atlantic) Motives of God, Gold and Glory help to understand religious, economic and political reasons for exploration, discovery and conquest Gold and silver was the basis for European currency The Protestant Reformation was creating was, disunity and conflict between various Christian faiths (Spain and Portugal were Roman Catholic countries) Native Americans (i.e Tainos, Aztecs, Incas) had no contact with the “old world” peoples and lacked large draft animals, guns and swords, and large sailing vessels Native Americans varied in their beliefs, ways of life and perceptions of these new “visitors” during the “encounter” Historical context:1492
Christopher Columbus uses biblical passages to justify his 4 th Ocean voyage co-opting noted heroes of biblical lore like the Israelites or David to perhaps give a cultural or political justification for his actions of claiming territories in Hispaniola on both his behalf as well as for King and Queen of Spain Doc #1
“ If you are familiar with the character and morals of the two peoples, that it is perfectly right that the Spaniards exercise their dominion over those barbarians in the New World and its adjacent lands. For in prudence, talent, and every kind of virtue they are as inferior to the Spanish as children to adults, or women to men, or the cruel and inhumane to the gentle… A clearly ethnocentric perspective of Spanish superiority of the native inhabitants of the Americas and a justification for the exploitation of the land ( natural resources) labor ( of natives) and capital ( use of the local markets for their own profits) Doc#2Juan gines de Sdepulveda ( ), a Spanish aristocrat, from "The Just War Against the Indians"
The mention of Montecezuma suggests its an Aztec perspective “ bodies are completely covered, so as only their faces can be seen. Their skin is white, as if it were made of lime. They have yellow hair, though some have black and their beards are long and yellow. Their dogs are enormous, with flat ears and long dangling tongues. The color of their eyes is a burning yellow; their eyes flash fire and shoot off sparks. They bound here and there, panting, with their tongues hanging ou t” Suggests that the appearance of the Spaniards were quite different and odd to the native inhabitants from their dress (much more in covering) and their coloring and beards ( natives could not grow beards) This could be grouped under culturally or a moderate to negative perspective Document # 3 Indian Account of Cortes' Conquest, 1530s
This was Columbus’ first encounter ( much different than later encounters by other Spaniards). “They do not carry arms nor are they acquainted with them, because I showed them swords and they took them by the edge and through ignorance cut themselves. They have no iron… They should be good and intelligent servants, for I see that they saw very quickly everything that is said to them and I believe that they would become Christians very easily, for it seemed to me that they had no religion” Tis perspective suggests the peaceful nature of the Tainos not knowing swords anf a cultural perspective that they do not have religion ( well, at least not Columbus’ religion), This can be grouped culturally or a positive perspective of the natives Note: this transmission follows up with “with 50 men we can subjugate them and make them do whatever we want” which strongly suggests the intent of a Native slave trade Document #4 Columbus's Journals. October 12, 1492, first voyage, referring to Taino Indians
The title alone suggests a negative interaction and perspectives with the Spaniards:” There is nothing but grief and suffering In Mexico and Tlatelolco,Have you grown weary of your servants?Are you angry with your servants,O Giver of Life? A negative or perhaps cultural perspective of the tragedies which befell the Aztec civilization either from bloodshed, diseases or loss of culture. This sounds like a prayer through poetry to one of the polytheistic deities in the Aztec civiliazation. Document # 5 Aztec Poetry "Flowers and Songs of Sorrow"
The thunder being discussed here are clearly the cannons and guns (boomsticks) which seem to be utilized to keep the Aztecs under Spanish control, This can be grouped either politically, technological differences or a negative interaction between the Spanish and Aztecs, “order was secretly given to put a match to the cannon which had been loaded, and it went off with such a thunderclap as was wanted, and the ball went buzzing over the hills, and it made a great noise, and the Caciques [chiefs] were terrified on hearing it. As they had never seen anything like it they believed what Cortes had told them was true” This suggest both the damage and psychological impact the Spanish technology had on the Aztecs, Document # 6 Cortez pretends he can control thunder. From Jill Lepore, Encounters in the New World", 1999
From the man from the University of Chicago whose book “The Columbian Exchange” became the most studied event(s) in world history ( he coined the phrase) “The fatal diseases of the Old World killed more effectively in the New and the comparatively benign diseases of the Old World turned killer in the New. There is little exaggeration in the statement of a German missionary in 1699 that "the Indians die so easily that the bare look and smell of a Spaniard causes them to give up the ghost." The most spectacular period of mortality among the American Indians occurred during the first hundred years of contact with The Europeans and Africans. Almost all of the contemporary historians of the early settlements, from Bartolome de las Casas to William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, were awed by the ravages of epidemic disease among the native populations of the Americas” This passage cites historical sources as to the continual ravages that diseases like smallpox, measles, mumps and influenza had on the myriad populations (this can be grouped culturally or demographically or as negative as to the impact of what historians refer to as “the great dying” Document # 7 The Spread of Disease..Alfred Crosby, "The First New World Pandemic and the Fall of the Great Indian Empires", 1967
This picture of natives being hung in honor of Christ and his twelve disciples suggests the cruelty of the Spaniards in their conquest of the Americas, Bartolome De Las Casas discusses about Columbus’ gold quota which, if not made, the Tainos would e treated like this picture It might be important to not Las Casas was trying To stop the practice of enslaving Natives and the Dutch Artist ( a Protestant region) may be pointing out Cruelties in the name of Roman Catholicism to point Out savageries when the Chistian faith was dividing Document # 8 Dutch artist, Theodore de Bry, 16th century, depicting Spanish cruelty in the New World
Document # 9 Drawings by Guaman poma de Ayala, a Peruvian Indian who traced his lineage to the Inca. He was a Christian and hoped his reports would reach King Philip III of Spain, who might end Spanish abuses- (early 1600's) This illustration signifies the economic imperative The Spaniards had for the conquest of the Inca Population. This can be grouped as either economic Or moderate in terms of the interaction betweeen The two cultures.
The interactions between the Spanish and native inhabitants of the Americas was a clash between civilizations (worlds) because the Spanish desire for glory came in the political conquest through superior weaponry (doc #6)( and masscre of population, the economic driving desire for gold and resources they could utilize as well as markets though could exploit and the religious desire to convert the natives to their Catholic faith even though the “scourge” of God was striking them down. In reality it was the diseases( doc #7) which led to the highest percentage of deaths. A document estimating the baptismal rates of native Americans would provide a strong understanding just as to how many native converted to this faith the Spanish appeared to be strongly attempting to convert them to. Thesis