Sections: What became Called “America” | Mediterranean people | Christopher Columbus | Inventing America | Europe claims America | Epilogue


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The dramatic meet of European and American peoples from 1492 to 1600 varied substantially from ar to place and also over time. This section of the exhibition examines the immediate results of call in the 5 geographical locations of America the review previously.

The Indian peoples occasionally greeted europeans warmly, noted them with food, and also taught them important new survival skills. In part cases, they perceived them together being divine, or at least spiritually powerful. Some supplied the newcomers together allies versus old enemies. Others witnessed them as new enemies, to be grudgingly tolerated or strong resisted. However, aboriginal peoples were conveniently disillusioned by treachery or mistreatment at european hands.

The Europeans carried technologies, ideas, plants, and also animals that were brand-new to America and would change peoples" lives: guns, steel tools, and also weapons; Christianity and Roman law; sugarcane and wheat; horses and cattle. They additionally carried diseases versus which the Indian peoples had actually no defenses.

The interaction amongst groups created a complicated mosaic that relationships. Varying develops of resistance and also adaptation amongst Indian, African, and European peoples arisen throughout the region.


The Carribean—Las Indias

The arrival of europeans proved damaging for the civilization of the Caribbean. Within 20 years, it is approximated that native population of Hispaniola dropped indigenous one million to 30,000.

The Spaniards settled an initial on the island of Hispaniola and also later relocated on come Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, forcing the Taínos come mine because that gold. The neurosoup.orgal populace quickly decreased as a result of mistreatment, flight, disruption that agriculture, and also disease. African servants were imported as early as 1502 to change the dwindling labor supply.

As mining decreased, the Spanish presented livestock, crops, and also fruit trees. Cattle ranching and also sugarcane ended up being important as a stable Spanish culture took organize in the big islands. The Caribbean played a vital role together a staging soil for additional exploration and also conquest, and also as a strategy defensive suggest for the Spanish empire.


Middle America—Creating brand-new Spain

After having actually organized the exploration in Cuba, Hernando Cortés led the conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) realm from 1519-1521. Tenochtitlán, the capital city, was razed and rebuilt as Mexico, the resources of the viceroyalty of new Spain.

within thirty years, it had the first printing push in the Americas, a cathedral, and a university. Indian residents far outnumbered the 8,000 or for this reason Spaniards, and also perhaps the 5,000 africans of diverse origins living there by 1550. From the capital, the Spanish spread out come adjoining areas and eventually right into today"s brand-new Mexico and Guatemala.

Silver mining assured the the economic situation would flourish. Spaniards provided Indian labor to create their farms, ranches, and also towns, and religious orders an installed intensive missionary campaigns. In spite of a great reduction in population, aboriginal cultures and communities nonetheless survived, adapting to the new circumstances that Spanish rule.


Testimony from Huejotzingo

A hand-painted document, presented as testimony in a court case versus the Spanish crown, offers a document of a civilization whose vibrant society was beginning to reflect the influence of a brand-new political and religious system. Ten years after allying with Cortés in the siege that Tenochtitlán, the world of Huejotzingo asked him for aid in a legal fight - this time versus the extremely burdensome tributes exacted by Spanish administrators sent out to rule brand-new Spain.

The paintings are on indigenous amatl, a pre-European document made that fig tree bark or maguey. They define tributes paid, including loads of stones, bricks, foodstuffs, and also bolts the woven cloth. One paper depicts a banner made of gold and feathers, bearing an image of the Madonna and also Child. According to the painting, eight male slaves and twelve female servants were offered in order to pay because that the gold.


By 1531, the conqueror Hernando Cortés had actually acquired preeminence over far-ranging properties in Mexico and the title of branch of brand-new Spain. After a lengthy absence indigenous the region, he was asked through the people of the city of Huejotzingo (neurosoup.orgated in the current state of Puebla) to initiate a lawsuit against particular members of the high court of brand-new Spain, worrying their burdensome use of the people and the unjust usage of the incomes and also profits secured from the town throughout his absence. The composed legal paper that ensued and also the accompanying testimony—eight sheets of handsome indigenous drawings on native file of maguey and amatl—are known today as the Huejotzingo Codex of 1531.

This poignant and also visually stimulating paper reveals a extremely stratified Nahuatl Indian social structure, through a facility and an exact accounting system and also an outstanding diversity the crops, products, and professions. It has one of the earliest known images of the Madonna and also Child in these varieties of documents, a representation of a i have lot of money banner do of priceless feathers and also gold. The usage of this very revered type of native artwork to display screen a Christian symbol presented by the Iberian religious missionaries is highlight testimony to the confluence of Spanish and Indian cultures and belief solution that to be to occur later transparent America.


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Incursions in north America

The French, Spanish, Portuguese, and also English come in phibìc America in the 16th century, sporadically and in little numbers. Fishermen plied their profession off the Newfoundland shore from approximately 1500. Some Europeans hope to discover an alternative route to Asia (the Northwest Passage), well-off civilizations, or valuable metals, but few found what they sought. They did not, however, challenge an untamed wilderness, yet rather people who often lived in villages and towns.

The europe intruders depended almost entirely ~ above the aboriginal people, who listed them food and guides, sometimes under duress. Castle made few serious do the efforts to clear up in the early years. Frequently, the most enduring influence of their expeditions was negative. Your diseases devastated native populations, and also violence and also wholesale commandeering that food provides left a heritage of fear and also hostility.