Understanding Spain's Contact with the Natives.

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The Spanish Conquest:

Understanding Spain's Contact with the Natives

By the end of the sixteenth century, under the monarch of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Spain established permanent settlements in North America. Taking advantage of the Columbus Discovery, "Spain's rulers had developed efficient techniques for controlling newly conquered lands that could be applied to New World colonies" (Goldfield, et al. 19). With the completion of the reconquista, the Muslims were finally out of Spain and the Spanish grew hungry for riches and wealth. As noted by Professor Anderson, the Spanish began their conquest, near the end of the fifteenth century, with creating an empire in the Caribbean. Eventually the Spanish developed a one-way transmission of power through the sixteenth century, from the Caribbean to Mexico and finally Peru. Their goal was focused on obtaining gold to reestablish Christianity. The Spanish conquest was only possible with intercultural contact and by adapting to unforeseen conditions.

Although Spain was primarily focused on land dominance, the use of the natives for labor, and their conversion to Christianity, Spanish settlements appeared stronger where they had accepted the Indians and formed alliances with them.

After Spain consolidated the Caribbean, the Spanish moved on to Mexico and Peru, where they overtook the Aztec and Inca Empires. Both empires were well developed before the Spanish had arrived, but not strong enough to defend themselves. Hernán Cortés led Spain in Mexico. On their voyage, many troop members suffered from disease. More importantly and to their advantage, the native people were more susceptible to these diseases and they began to decline. Spain also developed an alliance with Aztec natives who were against the Aztec government. The Spanish soldiers "eventually gained 200,000 Indian allies eager to throw off Aztec rule" (Goldfield, et al. 21). With these two factors at hand,