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Ancient Civilizations of Mexico: The Mayans and Aztecs Questions to answer… 1. Identify the Maya and Aztec civilizations and examine the characteristics.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Civilizations of Mexico: The Mayans and Aztecs Questions to answer… 1. Identify the Maya and Aztec civilizations and examine the characteristics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Civilizations of Mexico: The Mayans and Aztecs Questions to answer… 1. Identify the Maya and Aztec civilizations and examine the characteristics of their cultures. 2. Analyze the Spanish influence on the survival of the Maya and Aztec cultures. 3. Determine the periods during which the Maya and Aztec empires thrived and analyze their chronology in terms of what they achieved in culture, art, science, and technology compared with what other world civilizations had achieved by the same period of time.

2 Early Latin America Chapter 19 Focus Questions: How did the Spanish Conquer and Colonize the New World? What were the methods they used and the impacts of their methods?

3 A Summary of Conquest The first period of Spanish conquest from 1492 to 1570 established… 1. a military presence leading to the destruction/assimilation of native civilizations 2. a religious presence (Christianization) 3. a basic administrative presence in Latin America The second period from 1570 to 1700 saw the official establishment of many settlements by Spanish colonists (regular citizens) The third period during the 18 th century was a time of reform and political reorganization in the colonies that lead to revolt

4 Paths of Conquest Spanish conquest of Latin America had 4 motivations: Gold, God, Glory, and GREED…and took 2 main directions, towards Mexico and South America, directly to the civilizations of the Aztec and Inca that the Spanish had been hearing rumors of Conquistadors were a mix of interesting characters…not ALL were official members of the Spanish military, some were just average joes with influence seeking their fortune…most expeditions averaged around 50 to 500 men only Conquistadors were given free reign in their efforts by making agreements with the crown to share their spoils…they even recruited their “soldiers” much the same way, promising them spoils from the conquest Many were later granted land titles in Latin America (encomiendas)…most established themselves as new nobility and created a new class system in the New World Their eventual SUCCESSES were attributed to several simple factors: superior military technology (horses and weapons), European diseases, ruthless leadership, and the taking advantage of crumbling native empires

5 The Caribbean Crucible Columbus’ establishment of colonies in the Caribbean established a pattern of conquest and settlement for the mainland…it would be from these colonies that conquistadors would set out to stake their fortune in the New World On these islands, the patterns of plantation agriculture, set up in a system of encomiendas (land grants) allowed the owner (encomendero) to enslave/tax whoever lived on the claimed land…overtime, hard labor and disease eradicated the native populations For around the next 40 years, the islands served as a test ground for Spanish colonization in the New World

6 Patterns of Spanish Colonization The Spanish proceeded to layout a strict colonial system (later legitimized in the Law of the Indies) They designed cities in a grid like structure similar to their own in Spain (influenced by Muslims)…at the center of these towns/cities was a large plaza, surrounded by government buildings, military offices and a CATHOLIC CHURCH…a market would also be held in the plaza The church became a central figure in the government/colonization process (more later)

7 Questioning the Conquest Were conquest, exploitation and conversion of natives justified? Many believed YES, that natives were indeed not human, more like animals, meant to be tamed and controlled…their conversion to Christianity and impending “civilization” through this process was necessary (Juan Gines de Sepulveda) In 1550, the king held a commission on these questions…opposing the standard conquistador view was Bartolome de Las Casas, a priest who had written/commented on the evils of Spanish conquest in his History of the Indies…this “trial” had been too late, the damage had already been done! The era of conquest was officially over by 1570.

8 Treatment of the Natives Naturally, many died (war, diseases, general mistreatment (see graphs Pg. 429) Native populations were forced into Spanish towns and their lands were seized and granted to the conquerors The Spanish maintained some aspects of the former native civilizations…while eliminated their religious structures, they maintained connects with nobles in each society to use them as middlemen…they were forced to either gain taxation tribute from natives or provide them as slave labor…in Peru, the prior mita system was absorbed, though the laborers received meager wages for their work. Eventually, natives left their villages to become wage workers in mines or plantations to escape forced labor situations…by this point, encomiendas had been suspended and natives were no longer to be held legally as serfs…as a result, many natives began to learn how to “use the system” to their advantage, and retained their cultural and ethnic identity, simply adapting to European ways.

9 The Spanish Colonial Government Remember, sovereignty over the New World was granted through Papal decree (and the Treaty of Tordesillas), so therefore, the church would become a central element in Spanish colonial government The Spanish system became a great bureaucracy, with lawyers, church members and other judicial officers at its central authority The crown ruled through the Council of Indies (est. 1524)…the council created 2 main viceroyalties (territories) known as New Spain and Peru (with several more to come later in the Caribbean and northern and southern South America) which were divided into audiencias (judicial territories) Viceroys were the appointed governors and could ONLY come directly from Spain…most were members of the Spanish nobility The clergy took the lead in conversion and education in the new system, making sure the natives understood the layout of Spanish law, learned to speak the language, and learned to pay their taxes

10 The Spanish Colonial Economy More than 80% of Spanish America was engaged in agricultural production HOWEVER, mining was the essential activity Major silver mines opened up in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia Potosi in Bolivia was the largest and most productive of all mines, the town was populated by over 160,000 people, mostly by mita mining slaves from other parts of Peru According to Spanish law, the crown held all subsoil rights even though mines were owned by individuals…these individuals had to pay 1/5 of their profits to the Spanish crown

11 The Spanish Colonial Economy The Spanish crown established one important provision in the Law of the Indies  ALL luxury goods, gold and silver produced in Spanish colonies had to be directly sent to Spain There was NO direct trade between Spanish Viceroyalties or other European power from the Spanish colonies…Spanish colonies and colonists had to buy Spanish made goods (source of dissatisfaction for future independence movements) Spanish galleon fleets funneled goods from the Pacific (Philippines) through the Americas then directly to Spain…these fleets were well armed to prevent piracy…only one fleet was lost before this era of trade ended in the 1730s The over importing and spending of Spanish silver caused inflation and led to Spain’s eventual downfall

12 The Spanish Colonial Economy Haciendas – large local estates that emerged to sustain the local population…created the landed aristocracy of Latin America (feudalism) Haciendas produced food mainly for the colonies, NOT luxury crops…that was left up to plantations and rancheros (encomiendas) Haciendas tied the native populations and poorer migrants & peasant farmers to the land and created an imbalance of wealth that would lead to future revolutions in Latin America

13 Societal Transformations Intermarriage was big in Brazil (those Portuguese and Spanish loved native and slave “booty”)…the crown actually supported intermarrying between Portuguese Brazilians and natives and Africans and so on, to create a stable vibrant population The “sociedad de castas” was a new social hierarchy based on racial origins Whites and Euros on top, slaves and pure natives on the bottom, mixed peoples in between and ranked based upon what kind of mix 1. Peninsulares – Native Euros who hold highest positions in the colonies 2. Creoles – Spanish/Portuguese born in the colonies who owned the land (plantations) and mines 3. Mestizos (mix between Spanish/Portuguese and native) and Mulatto (mix between Spanish/Portuguese or native and African) 4. Any full blooded native or African was the lowest class Mestizos had restrictions, but were still able to move up the social ladder (some could marry a white woman and be considered white)

14 Colonial Reforms Due to competition from other European powers and impacts of the Enlightenment being felt in Spanish and Portuguese government, changes came… Spain was weakened by poor rulers, competition, and the inflation problems of trade during the late 1700s…the flow of silver declined…local Creoles in the colonies came to power, many were corrupt and selfish…Spain then had wars of Succession where French Bourbons came to power on the throne in Spain The Bourbons monarchs took direct control over the colonies, eliminating bureaucratic and even church power…additional viceroyalties were added to colonies… creoles were removed from any power positions in the colonies but forced to be in colonial militias…trade policies were changed (no more one way trade)…companies similar to what the British and Dutch has were established…certain areas specialized in certain products (Cuba = sugar, Argentina = beef)…new minerals were mined other than gold and silver All of the changes brought on by the Bourbons bought great prosperity again to Spain…BUT it annoyed/angered the colonists (Creoles) as they lost power positions gained from the period of turmoil and were forced into such patterns of specialization…all they had were well-being and control of social aspects

15 Reforms: Reactions and Revolts Reforms led to discontent in the colonies…populations increased dramatically (particularly Creole and mixed)…a culture clash ensued…added this is a tightening of the reigns by the Spanish crown Higher taxes, higher military presence Comunero Revolt – revolt in New Granada (Colombia) over tobacco/liquor consumption…rebels defeated the royal army and chased away the viceroy…but tensions between social groups led to government concessions and ended the rebellion Tupac Amaru II (aka Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui) and the Inca Revolt of 1781 – a mestizo whose grandfather was Inca led a rebellion against the evil Spanish government in Lima…failed because 1) Tupac and his family were captured and brutally slaughtered and 2) Creoles feared they would not be able to obtain power after a Spanish expulsion if the social balance was disrupted


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