The Spanish and Native Encounters

Essay by Rsteime6College, UndergraduateB+, December 2014

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Ryan Steimer

November 19, 2014

Atlantic World

Dr. Cordova

In 1492 Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to find a faster route to eastern Asia to trade without traveling by land and passing through land owned by Muslims. He had hoped that if he sailed far enough west he would reach eastern Asia, yet he did not know that between Asia and Europe were the American continents. Columbus's journey led to the discovery of the Americas and the first encounterment of the Native American people, discovering for Spain new resources for trade and land to control. After this discovery the Spanish began to become more involved with the new found land and its people across the Atlantic and started to interact with them through trade, alliances, and war. Over time the relationship between the Spanish and the Native Americans became hostile and trade no longer became an option, as a result the Spanish began to conquer and colonize the Native Americans for their personal gain.

While in contact with the natives many diseases spread and both Europeans and the natives suffered as a result. The Spanish interactions and conquest with the newly discovered Native American people and cultures of the Americas led to huge demographic disasters, and the growth of the Spanish empire's power.

After finding the New World in 1492, all of the Spanish social and economic relations with indigenous people became controlled by the Spanish crown. Spain's settlement and exploitation was led by officials and religious leaders and their goal was to gain as much as possible from the natives land to benefit their economies. Much of the first interactions with the natives resembled those of the Portuguese in order to scout the new land and learn of what it has to offer such as gold and...