Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 24: New Worlds: The Americas and Oceania

Chapter Outline

  1. Colliding worlds
    1. The Spanish Caribbean
      1. Indigenous peoples were the Taino
        1. Lived in small villages under authority of chiefs
        2. Showed little resistance to European visitors
      2. Columbus built the fort of Santo Domingo, capital of the Spanish Caribbean
        1. Taino conscripted to mine gold
        2. Encomiendas: land grants to Spanish settlers with total control over local people
        3. Brutal abuses plus smallpox brought decline of Taino populations
    2. The conquest of Mexico and Peru
      1. Hernan Cortés
        1. Aztec and Inca societies wealthier, more complex than Caribbean societies
        2. With 450 men, Cortés conquered the Aztec empire, 1519-1521
        3. Tribal resentment against the Mexica helped Cortés
        4. Epidemic disease (smallpox) also aided Spanish efforts
      2. Francisco Pizarro
        1. Led a small band of men and toppled the Inca empire, 1532-1533
        2. Internal problems and smallpox aided Pizarro's efforts
        3. By 1540 Spanish forces controlled all the former Inca empire
    3. Iberian empires in the Americas
      1. Spanish colonial administration formalized by 1570
        1. Administrative centers in Mexico and Peru governed by viceroys
        2. Viceroys reviewed by audiencias, courts appointed by the king
        3. Viceroys had sweeping powers within jurisdictions
      2. Portuguese Brazil: given to Portugal by Treaty of Tordesillas
        1. Portuguese king granted Brazil to nobles, with a governor to oversee
        2. Sugar plantations by mid-sixteenth century
      3. Colonial American society
        1. European-style society in cities, indigenous culture persisted in rural areas
        2. More exploitation of New World than settlement
        3. Still, many Iberian migrants settled in the Americas, 1500-1800
    4. Settler colonies in North America
      1. Foundation of colonies on east coast, exploration of west coast
        1. France and England came seeking fur, fish, trade routes in the early seventeenth century
        2. Settlements suffered isolation, food shortages
      2. Colonial government different from Iberian colonies
        1. North American colonies controlled by private investors with little royal backing
        2. Royal authority and royal governors, but also institutions of self-government
      3. Relations with indigenous peoples
        1. Settlers' farms interrupted the migrations of indigenous peoples
        2. Settlers seized lands, then justified with treaties
        3. Natives retaliated with raids on farms and villages
        4. Attacks on European communities brought reprisals from settlers
        5. Between 1500 and 1800, native population of North America dropped 90 percent

  2. Colonial society in the Americas
    1. The formation of multicultural societies
      1. In Spanish and Portuguese settlements, mestizo societies emerged
        1. Peoples of varied ancestry lived together under European rule
        2. Mestizo: the children of Spanish and Portuguese men and native women
        3. Society of Brazil more thoroughly mixed: mestizos, mulattoes, zambos
      2. Typically the social (and racial) hierarchy in Iberian colonies was as follows:
        1. Whites (peninsulares and criollos) owned the land and held the power
        2. Mixed races (mestizos and zambos) performed much of the manual labor
        3. Africans and natives were at the bottom
      3. North American societies
        1. Greater gender balance among settlers allowed marriage within their own groups
        2. Relationships of French traders and native women generated some métis
        3. English disdainful of interracial marriages
        4. Cultural borrowing: plants, crops, deerskin clothes
    2. Mining and agriculture in the Spanish empire
      1. Silver more plentiful than gold, the basis of Spanish New World wealth
        1. Conquistadores melted Aztec and Inca gold artifacts into ingots
        2. Two major sites of silver mining: Zacatecas (Mexico) and Potosi (Peru)
      2. The global significance of silver
        1. One-fifth of all silver mined went to royal Spanish treasury (the quinto)
        2. Paid for Spanish military and bureaucracy
        3. Passed on to European and then to Asian markets for luxury trade goods
      3. Large private estates, or haciendas, were the basis of Spanish American production
        1. Produced foodstuffs for local production
        2. Abusive encomienda system replaced by the repartimiento system
        3. Repartimiento system replaced by free laborers by the mid-seventeenth century
      4. Resistance to Spanish rule by indigenous people
        1. Various forms of resistance: rebellion, indolence, retreat
        2. Difficult for natives to register complaints: Poma de Ayala's attempt
    3. Sugar and slavery in Portuguese Brazil
      1. The Portuguese empire in Brazil dependent on sugar production
        1. Colonial Brazilian life revolved around the sugar mill, or engenho
        2. Engenho combined agricultural and industrial enterprises
        3. Sugar planters became the landed nobility
      2. Growth of slavery in Brazil
        1. Native peoples of Brazil were not cultivators; they resisted farm labor
        2. Smallpox and measles reduced indigenous population
        3. Imported African slaves for cane and sugar production after 1530
        4. High death rate and low birth rate fed constant demand for more slaves
        5. Roughly, every ton of sugar cost one human life
    4. Fur traders and settlers in North America
      1. The fur trade was very profitable
      2. Native peoples trapped for and traded with Europeans
      3. Impact of the fur trade
        1. Environmental impact
        2. Conflicts among natives competing for resources
      4. European settler-cultivators posed more serious threat to native societies
        1. Cultivation of cash crops--tobacco, rice, indigo, and later, cotton
        2. Indentured labor flocked to North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
      5. African slaves replaced indentured servants in the late seventeenth century
        1. Slave labor not yet prominent in North America (lack of labor-intensive crops)
        2. New England merchants participated in slave trade, distillation of rum
    5. Christianity and native religions in the Americas
      1. Spanish missionaries introduced Catholicism
        1. Mission schools and churches established
        2. Some missionaries recorded the languages and traditions of native peoples
        3. Native religions survived but the Catholic Church attracted many converts
      2. In 1531, the Virgin of Guadalupe became a national symbol
      3. French and English missions less successful
        1. North American populations not settled or captive
        2. English colonists had little interest in converting indigenous peoples
        3. French missionaries worked actively, but met only modest success

  3. Europeans in the Pacific
    1. Australia and the larger world
      1. Dutch mariners explored west Australia in the seventeenth century
        1. No spices, no farmland
        2. Australia held little interest until the eighteenth century
      2. British captain James Cook explored east Australia in 1770
        1. In 1788, England established first settlement in Australia as a penal colony
        2. Free settlers outnumbered convicted criminal migrants after 1830s
    2. The Pacific Islands and the larger world
      1. Spanish voyages in the Pacific after Magellan
        1. Regular voyages from Acapulco to Manila on the trade winds
        2. Spanish mariners visited Pacific Islands; some interest in Guam and the Marianas
        3. Indigenous Chamorro population resisted but decimated by smallpox
      2. Impact on Pacific islanders of regular visitors and trade
        1. Occasional misunderstandings and skirmishes
        2. Whalers were regular visitors after the eighteenth century
        3. Missionaries, merchants, and planters followed
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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