Land of the Brave

The Spanish in America

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

Spanish in America

Spain was one of the 'super powers' in Europe during the Age of Exploration.

England, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden were all looking to new lands, wealth and riches to build their empires and gain power.

The European policies of were designed to extend a nation's authority, power and influence by territorial gain and by the establishment of economic and political dominance.

The discovery of the 'New World' provided new lands and opportunities for Spain and the Spanish in America, including their fervor to convert the indigenous population to the Christian and the Roman Catholic religion.

Spanish in America - The Conquistadors and the Encomienda system
The Conquistadors were the Spanish Soldiers and Explorers referred to as 'el conquistador'. The Spanish word "conquistador" means conqueror. The attitude of the Spanish conquistadors to the Native American Indians was that they were savage and pagan. The initial quest for lands led to the decree by the Spanish government that the Encomienda system should be established in the New World. The primary purpose of the Encomienda feudal system was to indoctrinate the Native American Indians into the Catholic faith. The Indians were expected to pay a tribute to the Spanish Conquistadors in return for protection and religious instruction. The Encomienda system was totally abused, the Spanish Conquistadors had unrestrained power in America and they abused, oppressed, exploited and ill-treated the Native Americans. The Spanish Conquistadors and Encomienda system came to signify the oppression and exploitation of the Native Indians who lost their freedom, their rights, their culture and their religion. The Spanish Conquistadors were feared and hated. The Encomienda system was replaced by new laws in 1542 but the Spanish were feared and hated by the indigenous population of America, a legacy that would continue to blight the Spanish in America.

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