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Colonizing the New World

September 18, 2012

“The Arrival of Englishmen in Virginia” (1590), engraving by Theodor de Bry (1528-1598)

Below please find a new web question written by your classmate,  Nataliya Chornobryvets. Remember to respond with a comment of at least a paragraph, and feel free to engage comments by other students. It’s best to respond within a week of the post (but posting later will be allowed).

In the sixteenth century, Spanish and Portuguese colonizers established towns and forts in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. Beginning in the seventeenth century, the French, English, and Dutch began to colonize North America. What differences and similarities can be observed in the relationship between indigenous peoples and the different European colonists?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Fuad Hamid permalink
    September 19, 2012 12:49 am

    When the Spanish and Portuguese first arrived in the Americas, the created alliances with indigenous people so that they could use them to gain an advantage of the enemy Aztec and Inca Empires. However, afterwards, the Spanish started recruiting natives to mine for gold and work on plantations (encomienda system). It became more like enforced slavery. They were considered to be on the lowest part of social hierarchy. The Portuguese implemented a mita system in which all Inca people had to do mandatory labor for the portuguese. The Spanish and Portuguese sent out missionaries who were very eager to convert all of the indigenous peoples. The English, Dutch and French settlers had a very different relationship with the indigenous people. The natives of North America were much more loosely organized. The English and Dutch conducted trades (such as the fur trade) with the natives. They did not enslave them but rather created treaties that allowed the settllers to force the natives off of their land. The English, Dutch and and French, however, did not seem that interested in converting indigenous people to Christianity as the Spanish and Portuguese.

  2. aaron ahdut permalink
    September 19, 2012 9:43 pm

    the difference between the Spanish/Portuguese in the aztec and inca empires and the England/French/Dutch in north America was that ; the spanish/Portuguese people used the indigenous people as slaves to work the land they conquered from them .The spanish people were more reliant on their labor, they would enforce the encomienda system and the mita system on them so that they would have no way of going against the spanish people , but in north America they really didnt use the indians as a way of slavery , rather they traded with them different types of furs and garments . Its also true that the spanish people were more eager to convert the indigenous people to their religion ,this is because the spanish and the Portuguese people had more intermarriages between them and relied on their population to form a civilization ,but on the other hand the french and the british people really didnt interact with the native people that much resulting in less of a motivation to convert them into christianity .

  3. Shira Binyaminy permalink
    September 21, 2012 4:02 pm

    When the Spanish/Portuguese and French/English first starting arriving in the new world they starting treating the indigenous people in an unfair manner. The Spanish especially treated the natives cruelly. They forced them to work for them with cheap labor and when they didn’t pay their rent they forced them to work it off. In the north the natives refused to work for them, they kept on eluding them by fleeing farther into the forests. Numerous times the settlers didn’t keep their word with the natives. When Fransisco Pizarro called a conference between the Inca empires to supposedly create peace between the half brothers, he massacred them and gained control over the Incas.
    Before the Europeans started settling the New World the Indigenous people just had some wars. However, when the settlers came they were forced to work and kicked off their land.

  4. Fabiola Ramos permalink
    September 25, 2012 12:26 pm

    When the European colonist arrived in North America, they completely changed the indigenous peoples way of life. The Europeans took over the lands which the idigneous people used for hunting and they cleared it for agricultural use. The English settlers negotiated traties with the native people but this wasnt fully fair because the natives didnt really understand what the treaties were.
    Comparing the colonial goverment, the French and English colonies were more self-governed than the Spanish and Portuguese colonies.
    During this time, the indigenouse people were no longer considered natives of their land, they became properties of the setlers and in a way were seemed a slaves. In the Haciendas, the Spanish setlers created a system known as Encomienda. This system allowed them to use native labor force. While the Spnaish were using forced labor, the Portuguese relied on African slaves. During this time, not only were the natives removed from their lands, but the Spanish setlers also wanted to vonvert them into their religion. This is how they created the Virgin of Guadalupe who is a symbol of the mixed nature of Mexican culture. When it came to the subject of religion, the English colonist didnt have an interest in conveting the natives into their religion.

  5. Joseph DeAngelo permalink
    September 27, 2012 8:12 pm

    The treatment of the indigenous people in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America by the Spanish and Portuguese greatly differed from the treatment of the indigenous people in North America by the French, English, and Dutch. The Spanish and Portuguese came into the ‘new world’ with an arrogant, authoritative standpoint from which many atrocities and immoralities uprose. They took over the Aztec and Inca empires by means of killing, deception, illness, and even massacre. In so doing, the Spanish and Portuguese recognized Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America and extremely resourceful places; hence, they immediately began in stripping the places of gold, silver, crops, etc. The indigenous people were forced to work under their rule (e.g., the encomienda system). Moreover, the Spanish and Portuguese instilled Christianity upon the indigenous people; they essentially brainwashed them into following Christianity and its teachings. Overall, with the death, disease, slavery, and aggressive religious instillment, the Spanish and Portuguese treated the indigenous people as instrument through which self-benefit would shine. On the flip side, the French, English and Dutch treated the indigenous people of North America quiet differently. Firstly, instead of putting the indigenous people under a rule of slavery, the French endorsed their presence and quickly pioneered trading systems with the people (e.g., the fur trade). In North America, there was a more lenient ruling system, as opposed to in the south with the Spanish and Portuguese. The indigenous people were not forced into slavery, nor were they heavily shoved into Christianity or any religious conversion for that matter. Rather, they were, in essence, ‘forcefully’ moved off of their own land in places where the Europeans deemed profitable or appropriate–either for trade or land. In short, the indigenous people in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America were treated noticeably different so to speak.

  6. Richard Cabral permalink
    December 18, 2012 1:26 pm

    In North America, the settlers there did displace some of the locals however they generally bought the land from several of the tribes such as the area of Manhattan. At first the natives helped the settlers learn to live on the land and there was decent trade between the two. Though the difference in language, religion and beliefs made it a bit difficult for the two to coexist. Though generally the two would live in settlements away from each other. Also the mother countries would prevent to a degree encroaching on the natives lands. However in Central and South America, the settlers there would often come and exploit the peoples there. Such as enslaving the local peoples and claiming what they wanted as their own. First gaining the trust of some of the locals then using their knowledge to topple the local government if it didn’t fit their requirements.

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