Chapter 16 -- Part 2: The Acceleration of Global Contact
Thousands of groups of indigenous peoples with distinct languages and cultures lived in the Americas before Columbus arrived.
These groups ranged from hunter-gatherer tribes organized into tribal confederations to large-scale empires containing bustling cities and towns.
Between 50 and 60 million people lived in the Americas in 1492.
The lives of survivors were altered by the arrival of Europeans.
The first two decades after Columbus's arrival in the New World saw Spanish settlement of Hispaniola, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean islands.
The Spanish governor in Cuba sponsored expeditions to the Yucatan coast of the Gulf of Mexico based on rumors of a wealthy mainland civilization.
Spanish for "conqueror," a Spanish soldier who wanted to conquer the New World for the Spanish crown.
The governor withdrew his support because he was alarmed by Cortes's ambition.
On April 21, 1519, Cortes and his party landed on the Mexican coast.
His camp was visited by delegations of Aztec leaders with gifts and news of their emperor.
Spanish for "conqueror," a Spanish soldier who sought to conquer the New World for the Spanish crown.
The Mexica people and their allies had risen in size and power over the course of the fifteenth century.
The capital of the empire was Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, at the time of the Spanish arrival.
The Aztecs had advanced mathematics, astronomy, and engineering.
An alliance between the Mexica people and their conquered allies, with its capital in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), that rose in size and power in the fifteenth century and possessed a sophisticated society and culture, with advanced mathematics, astronomy, and engineering.
The map was published along with the letters about the conquest of the Aztecs.
Tenochtitlan was laid out in circles on an island.
The administrative and religious buildings were located in the center of the city.
The city is as large as any other city.
The bridges are large, strong, and well constructed so that many horsemen can ride on them.
There are many squares in the city where markets are held.
There is a square where there are more than sixty thousand souls buying and selling.
The local resentment against the Aztec Empire was provided to Cortes by the translators he acquired.
Aztec state used brutal warfare to secure captives for religious sacrifice and laborers for agricultural and building projects.
Subject tribes paid tribute to the empire through their local chiefs.
Realizing that he could exploit the differences within the empire to his own advantage, Cortes forged an alliance with Tlaxcala, a kingdom of the Aztecs.
The Aztec city of Cholula was occupied by a Spanish-Tlaxcalan force in October and massacred thousands of inhabitants.
Cortes formed alliances with other native kingdoms after this victory.
In November 1519, with a few hundred Spanish men and some six thousand indigenous warriors, he marched on Tenochtitlan.
Moctezuma did not attack the Spaniards and instead welcomed them into Tenochtitlan.
Moctezuma believed the Spanish were unbeatable.
The emperor's influence crumbled when he was taken hostage.
Moctezuma was killed during the ensuing attacks.
Heavy losses were suffered by the Spaniards and their allies as they escaped from the city.
New alliances were formed against the Aztecs.
After establishing a new capital in the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the conquistadors began the systematic conquest of Mexico.
The fall of the remotein Peru was more remarkable than the defeat of the Aztecs.
The inhabitants of a settlement more than 9,800 feet above sea level were isolated from the Aztecs.
The Mexica had a polity that was more complex than the Europeans and had reached its height in the fifteenth century.
The bureaucratic efficiency of the Incas made them strong.
The empire was divided into four major regions, each with a province and a district.
The network of roads was used to transmit information.
The Aztecs used a system of glyphs for writing, while the Incas used a system of colored and knotted cords.
The capital city of Cuzco was weakened by civil war at the time of the Spanish's arrival, but it was still the center of the vast and sophisticated empire.
A collection of illustrations by a Spanish bishop in the 1780s offer a valuable view of life in the region.
By the time of the Spanish invasion, the Inca Empire had been weakened by a civil war over succession and an epidemic of disease.
On May 13, 1532, the leader of the empire, Atahualpa, won control of the empire.
As Pizarro moved toward Cuzco, Atahualpa was also going there to be crowned.
Atahualpa sent envoys to greet the Spanish.
He was interested in learning more about the Spanish and their intentions.
The Spaniards captured him, extorted a huge ransom in gold, and then executed him on trumped-up charges.
As with the Aztecs, the Spanish profited from internal conflicts and formed alliances with local people.
The Spanish stole gold and silver when Cuzco fell.
Spanish gunpowder, steel swords, and horses, as well as divisions within the Aztec and Inca Empires, which produced many native allies and interpreters for the Spanish, have been emphasized as factors in the answer to this question.
The independence of the Maya in the Yucatan peninsula was not completely crushed until the end of the 17th century, but the Aztec and Inca Empires were more vulnerable to takeover than they were.
Twenty women were given to the Spanish as slaves in April 1519.
Fluent in Nahuatl and Yucatec Maya, she acted as an interpreter and diplomatic guide for the Spanish.
She bore his son, Don Martin Cortes, in 1522.
She is a prominent figure in both Spanish and indigenous sources on the conquest.
One of the two written references to Dona Marina found in Cortes's correspondence with the king is in this letter to Charles I.
The lords and principal persons of the city came rarely to see and speak with me during the three days I was in that city.
My interpreter, who is an Indian woman from Putunchan, which is the great river of which I spoke to Your Majesty in the first letter, was told by another Indian woman and a native of this city that very close by.
She told Geronimo de Aguilar, the interpreter I acquired in Yucatan, all of this.
The conquest of the Aztecs was done with the help of the Castillos.
His historical account of the conquest is the longest description of Dona Marina.
The chiefs of Tabasco and the surrounding towns came early the next morning and paid respect to us all, and they brought a present of gold, and some other things of little value.
The present was not worth anything in comparison to the twenty women that were given to us.
One of the women was given to each of the captains by Cortes, as she was good looking and intelligent, and without embarrassment.
When Puertocarrero went to Spain, he had a son named Don Martin Cortes.
Her parents were chiefs of a town called Paynala.
Her father died while she was a child, and her mother married a young man, and they had a son.
They gave the little girl, Dona Marina, to some Indians from Xicalango, so as to escape observation, and then spread the report that she had died, as it happened at this time.
The Indians of Xicalango gave the child to the people of Tabasco.
During the wars in New Spain, Tlaxcala and Mexico, Dona Marina was married to a man named Juan Jaramillo, who was also an excellent interpreter.
The Indians of New Spain obeyed the person of the greatest importance, Dona Marina.
Marina said that she had been freed from the worship of idols and made a Christian, as well as being allowed to have a son with Juan Jaramillo, who was her husband.
She would rather serve her husband and the people of New Spain than anywhere else in the world.
The language of Coatzacoalcos, which is common to Mexico, is the same as the language of Tabasco, which is one and the same.
So that these two could understand each other.
Dona Marina spoke for Hernan Cortes during their meeting.
The Tlaxcalan artists created this image shortly after the conquest of Mexico.
Bernardino de Sahagun, a Franciscan monk, worked with indigenous partners to create a history of Aztec society.
The entry of the Spanish into Tenochtitlan is described in the following excerpt.
They went to the storehouse where his personal treasures were kept.
The Spaniards were happy and patted each other on the head.
It was as if they had arrived in Paradise when they entered the hall of treasures.
They were slaves to their own greed and searched everywhere for everything.
As if this plunder were a result of good fortune, they seized these treasures as their own.
They put everything else in the middle of the patio after taking all the gold.
The nobles were called together by La Malinche.
Bring food and water.
The Mexicas were too scared to approach.
They wouldn't risk coming forward because they were crushed by terror.
As if the hour were midnight on the blackest night of the year, they shied away as if the Spaniards were wild beasts.
They didn't abandon the Spaniards to hunger and thirst.
They brought what they needed, but were terrified as they did so.
Imagine the events and experiences described in the sources above, along with what you have learned in class and in this chapter.
Write an essay that uses her experience to explore the interaction among Spanish, Aztec, and other indigenous groups during the conquest period, and reflect on the various aspects of Dona Marina described in the sources.
The updated and expanded edition was published in 1992.
It was published by the Beacon Press in Boston.
The territory of Brazil had 2.5 million nomadic and settled people who were divided into small tribes and different language groups.
Pedro Alvares Cabral, commander of the fleet, was named by the Portuguese crown in 1500.
The coast where they accidentally landed for Portugal was claimed by the fleet as they sailed far to the west.
The name of the new colony was inspired by the trade that the Portuguese undertook with the local people in Brazilwood.
The settlers brought sugarcane production to Brazil.
The rapid decline in the indigenous population led to the use of forcibly transported Africans.
Large plantations worked by enslaved people were created by the Portuguese in Brazil.
The model of sugar plantations would spread throughout the Caribbean in the 17th century.
The Spanish and Portuguese conquered most of the indigenous groups in Mexico, the southwestern United States, and Central and South America by the end of the 16th century.
The Spanish took over the cities and tribute systems of the Aztecs and the Incas based on the prior existence of well-established polities with organized tribute systems.
The Spanish and Portuguese governments were in charge of early conquest and settlement.
The House of Trade was established by the Spanish in 1503 in order to oversee economic matters.
In 1523 Spain created the Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies, with authority over all colonial affairs subject to approval by the king.
New Spain was created in 1535 and the other was created in 1542.
Two new viceroyalties were created in the 18th century.
The viceroy, or imperial governor, exercised broad military and civil authority in each territory.
Settlement in the Americas was centered on cities and towns.
Women were not allowed to participate in public life from both Spain and precolonial indigenous society.
Similar patterns of rule were adopted by Portugal, with India House in Lisbon functioning much like the Spanish House of Trade and royal representatives overseeing Portuguese possessions in West Africa and Asia.
The Crown appointed royal governors to act as administrators over time.
The governor general and other royal officials lived in the capital of the captaincy of Bahia.
In Brazil in the 1530s, hereditary grants of land were given to nobles and officials who bore the costs of administering their territories.
Iberian rule was ruled by the Catholic Church.
The papacy gave Portuguese and Spanish officials more control over the church than at home, allowing them to appoint clerics and collect tithes.
The Spanish profited from the peoples and territories they encountered in the Americas during Christopher Columbus' time in Hispaniola.
The methods used to reward military leaders in the time of the reconquista were a legacy of this system.
The system was first used in Hispaniola to work gold fields and then in Mexico for agricultural labor when silver was discovered.
The Spanish crown granted the right to forcibly employ groups of indigenous people as laborers and to demand tribute payments from them in exchange for providing food, shelter, and instruction in the Christian faith.
The encomienda was authorized in 1512 by a Spanish law that called for fair treatment of indigenous people.
Spanish missionaries publicized these abuses, leading to debates about the nature and proper treatment of indigenous people.
The New Laws set limits on the authority of encomienda holders.
The New Laws caused a revolt among elites in the South American country.
In central areas of the empire, the Crown gained control over encomiendas and required indigenous people to pay their respects in cash.
Each year administrators assigned a certain percentage of the inhabitants of native communities to labor in public works, mining, agriculture, and other tasks.
After the arrival of Europeans, Spanish systems for exploiting the labor of indigenous peoples caused a decline in their numbers.
Some indigenous people died as a result of the violence of conquest and warfare.
infectious disease was the most important cause of death.
The inhabitants of the New World had little or no resistance to diseases from the Old World.
Spanish conquistadors supervised indigenous laborers as they carried arms along a steep road in 1520.
The Spanish colonies established a pattern of devastating disease and population loss.
With important regional variations, the population declined by as much as 90 percent.
densely populated urban centers were worse hit than rural areas, and tropical, low-lying regions suffered more than cooler, higher-altitude ones.
The encomienda and repartimiento were imposed by the colonial administrators after they forcibly combined dwindling indigenous communities into new settlements.
The new tragedy of the Atlantic slave trade was caused by the search for fresh sources of labor by the end of the 16th century.
The high point of Iberian immigration to the Americas occurred in the century after the discovery of silver.
The European population began to increase through natural reproduction after the first migrants were men.
The Iberian settlement was mostly urban.
City squares, churches, schools, and universities were quickly developed in new cities that settlers established, because they were familiar to them from home.
Europeans were a small minority of the total inhabitants of the Americas.
The large-scale arrival of enslaved Africans in Brazil in the mid-sixteenth century added new ethnic and racial dimensions to the population.
The European voyages of discovery changed the Afroeurasian trade world.
For the first time, a truly global economy emerged in the 16th and 17th century.
The ancient civilizations of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia confronted each other in new ways.
The confrontations often lead to conquest, forced migration, and brutal exploitation, but they also contributed to cultural exchange and new patterns of life.
The introduction of new diseases to the Americas had devastating consequences.
The results of the exchange brought benefits to both Europeans and native peoples.
The Spanish and Portuguese brought and raised wheat.
Some grapes and olives came from Spain.
The meat and milk of the livestock that the early conquistadors brought with them was the most significant introduction to the diet of Native Americans.
Both the Spanish conquerors and native populations were able to travel faster and farther with the help of the horse.
Europeans returned home with many food crops that became part of their diet.
Tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, peppers, and many varieties of beans, as well as tobacco, came from the Americas.
Maize was one of the most important crops.
The white potato, which slowly spread from west to east, contributed to a rise in population.
The introduction of European pathogens to the New World had a disastrous impact on the native population.
Many people were killed by infectious diseases in Europe.
The European population had time to adapt to these diseases.
Prior to contact with Europeans, the indigenous peoples of the New World had some infectious diseases, but their lack of domestic livestock spared them the host of highly infectious diseases found in the Old World.
The arrival of Europeans spread these microbes among a completely unprepared population, and they fell victim to disease and trade.
The trade in sugar and slaves was an important part of the exchange.
Slavery in the Mediterranean was not based on race.
The flow of European slaves from the eastern Mediterranean was halted after Constantinople was captured by the Ottomans.
The supply of Muslim captives was greatly diminished by the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
Sub-Saharan Africa, which had a long history of slave trading, was cut off from its traditional sources of slaves.
Slaves were one of the first things Portuguese explorers sought when they began their voyages along the western coast of Africa.
While the first slaves were seized by small raiding parties, Portuguese merchants soon found that it was easier and more profitable to trade with African leaders, who were accustomed to dealing in enslaved people captured through warfare with neighboring powers.
The kingdom of Kongo was established by the Portuguese.
Portuguese merchants married Kongolese women and created a permanent AfroPortuguese community.
Many images of the European exploration and settlement of the New World were published by a Belgian engraver.
His images were based on travel accounts and other firsthand sources.
The exploitation of indigenous people in a Spanish sugar mill is depicted in this image.
The history of slavery was intertwined with the history of sugar in this stage of European expansion.
Cane was brought to Mediterranean islands in the Middle Ages.
Demand for sugar increased in the 15th century due to population increases.
It was difficult to produce sugar for profit because of its backbreaking labor.
The invention of roller mills to crush the cane more efficiently meant that yields could be significantly augmented, but only if a sufficient labor force was found to supply the mills.
Plantation owners solved the labor problem by forcing first native islanders and then transporting Africans to perform the backbreaking work.
The slave trade began in 1518 when Spanish king Charles I authorized traders to bring enslaved Africans to New World colonies.
The first slaves to be brought to Brazil were brought by the Portuguese.
The Dutch West India Company transported thousands of Africans to Brazil and the Caribbean to work on sugar plantations.
The English began to bring slaves to the Caribbean and North America in the late 17th century with the chartering of the Royal African Company.
Some 20 percent of slaves died on the voyage from Africa to the Americas when slavers decided it was better to improve conditions.
Death rates among enslaved people from illness and exhaustion were very high on sugar plantations.
The slave trade reached its height in the 18th century due to rising demands for plantation crops.
Silver mined in the Americas was the true source of Spain's wealth, even though it was often called Spain's golden century.
In 1545, at an altitude of fifteen thousand feet, the Spanish discovered an extraordinary source of silver at Potosi.
60 percent of the silver mined in the world was yielded by Potosi.
The most important industry in the colonies was mining.
Millions of indigenous laborers died in the silver mines.
The slave trade was intensified because of the demand for new sources of labor.
The Spanish crown made huge profits.
25 percent of the Crown's total income came from precious metals mined in South America.
Between 1503 and 1650, 35 million pounds of silver and 600,000 pounds of gold entered the port.
Spain's huge profits from silver paid for the expansion of its empire and the large armies that defended it.
The easy flow of money made economic innovation less innovative.
Spain was already experiencing rising inflation in the mid-sixteenth century due to stagnant production and a growing population.
Between 1557 and 1647, King Philip II and his successors wrote off the state debt, which undermined confidence in the government and the economy.
Spain's power was undermined when the profitability of the silver mines decreased in the 1640s.
Spanish inflation was transmitted to the rest of Europe as Philip II paid his debts with silver bullion.
Between 1560 and 1600 prices in most parts of Europe doubled or tripled.
People who lived on fixed incomes were hurt the most.
The middle class prospered because of the fact that their debts decreased in value each year.
The poor were the worst affected by food costs rising.
China was in charge of the world trade in silver.
The Chinese wanted silver for their products and imperial taxes.
Half the world's production of silver was absorbed by China.
New Spain and Japan were major sources of the supply of silver, with China dominating demand.
One of the best examples of the new global economy is the world trade in silver.
For the first time in history, the entire world was linked by seaborne trade when Europeans discovered the Americas.
The Portuguese, the Spanish, and the Dutch became commercial empires after the opening of that trade.
The Portuguese settlement at Macao was reached by ships from their bases at Malacca on the Malay Peninsula.
Chinese goods were exchanged for Spanish silver from New Spain when Portuguese ships loaded with Chinese silks and porcelains sailed to Japan and the Philippines.
In Asia, the Portuguese traded in slaves, some of whom were brought all the way from Arabia to India, and they exported hawks and peacocks to the Chinese and Japanese markets.
Asian spices that had been purchased with textiles from India and East Africa were brought back to Portugal.
They transported sugar produced by African slaves across the Atlantic from their colony in Brazil.
All parts of the world were linked by trade by the mid-seventeenth century.
The trade in slaves was not limited to the Atlantic but also involved other parts of the world.
The Spanish were determined to claim their place in world trade after becoming an imperial power a few decades later than the Portuguese.
Manila in the Philippines was built as a seaborne empire by the Spaniards.
Manila was the transpacific bridge between Spanish America and China.
Spanish traders used silver from American mines to purchase Chinese silk.
In 1597, 12 million pesos of silver moved from New Spain to Manila because of the huge European demand for silk.
The Spanish and Portuguese Empires were challenged by the Dutch in the 17th century.
The Dutch East India Company was founded in 1602 to capture the spice trade from the Portuguese.
CataRINA DE SAN JUAN was a popular saint in Mexico after being freed from enslavement in South Asia.
The small girl who would become Catarina was captured by Portuguese traders on the west coast of India.
Their ship sailed across the Bay of Bengal, across the Strait of Malacca, and across the South China Sea.
The girl was sold at a slave auction while it was docked in Manila.
Catarina boarded a ship in 1619 that was part of the annual convoy of Spanish ships that crossed the Pacific between Manila and the Mexican port of Acapulco.
Catarina walked to Mexico City and then to the city of Puebla after a sixmonth voyage.
Catarina worked as a domestic servant for a Portuguese merchant in Puebla.
Slaves were transported from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and across the Pacific to the Atlantic world as part of a transoceanic slave trade.
Many wealthy Spanish Americans bought Chinos in Manila.
Catarina chose her Christian name after converting to Catholicism.
Catarina was allowed to attend mass every day by her master.
He drafted a will after he died.
Catarina was the servant of a local priest.
Catarina gave up her dream of becoming a lay sister and married a fellow chino named Domingo.