History Other / Describe And Analyze The Social, Political, And Economic Effects Of European Contact With The Americas Between 1450 And 1550

Describe And Analyze The Social, Political, And Economic Effects Of European Contact With The Americas Between 1450 And 1550

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Autor:  anton  14 March 2011
Tags:  Describe,  Analyze,  Social,  Political,  Economic,  Effects
Words: 703   |   Pages: 3
Views: 639

Between the 1450, and 1550, as the Europeans infiltrated and dominated the Americas, this revolutionizing contact altered “the way of life” for the Native Americans. The Spanish empire imbibed the Native American culture and took them under their rule due to the Spaniards advanced weapons and technologies which overpowered the simple defense systems of the Americans. Although the Spaniards opened the American’s eyes to the potential of their lands, the Americans were put under slave trade and were forced labor to produce goods which were used to increase wealth for the Spaniards. This contact with a new and engulfing people transformed the Americans known society and left only a few practices to continue over what used to be their lands.

At the beginning of the era, the Native Americans were polytheistic. In contrast, after the European contact and the introduction of Christianity, Christianity became the forced dominant religion. With the European’s travel over seas came European and African deadly new diseases that diminished the population of the Natives greatly. The Spanish dominance also changed the social classes. Where before the emperor was the superior leader, the Europeans changed the classes based on race, such as mulattos, people from African-European descent, mestizos, people from Amerindian and European descent, and creoles, people with European descents born in the New World. The production of maize continued to play an important role in the civilizations even after the European contact due to their dependence on corn’s dietary staple, and large-scale irrigation projects. As well as crops, Native American languages persisted through their society upheaval.

Due to the Spaniards control over the American kingdoms, all power was taken away from the Natives. Their multiple kingdoms such as the Aztec, Inca, Arawak, and Taino, all went down into the hands of the Spanish. Some tried to resist, such as the Arawaks, who were provoked into war with the Spaniards in 1495, for the Spaniards were stealing their gold, food, and raping their women. They Spaniards’ stood a great advantage over them with their horses and armor, and killed tens of thousands of Arawak, leaving the surviving ones to pay a heavy tax in gold, cotton, and food, and if not met to needs, they would go under forced labor. The Spaniards dominance led to the collapse of the major empires and enslavement of the Natives. Politically, the only continuance of the Amerindian peoples was women’s rights. Women shared in agricultural tasks and were specialized in many crafts. They were responsible for food preparation and childcare, making them essential to the household.

Economically, the American societies used goods as their primary bartering items. Llamas were used to transport goods for merchants thoughout the whole era. The Arawak mined gold but didn’t trade, the Aztec used cocoa beans as currency; exchanging and obtaining goods granted them prosperity. Another form of gaining wealth was the tribute system, an important component of the Aztec and Inca economies; a system in which defeated peoples were forced to pay a tax in form of goods and labor, which aided in the development of large cities. From the arrival of the Europeans, the encomienda system was bestowed to the Amerindian peoples. It provided a grant holder over a population of Amerindians to force labor of the Amerindians, who were also forced to pay them food or goods. The Europeans control resulted with the major production of gold, silver, sugar and rum, as well as the establishment of plantations. Goods produced were used to increase wealth of mother countries.

European contact with the Americas caused a grand transformation for the Amerindian peoples. Their empires were engulfed by the Europeans with their new weapons and animals. Old world diseases wiped out Native populations as well as wars with the Europeans. Native Americans were forced to pay taxes in food and goods made from labor work, which were used to increase wealth of the mother countries for the Europeans. Under rule and slavery, Christianity became the dominant religion, new social classes based on race developed, and the creation of plantations to produce major goods emerged. Corn’s importance, the use of llamas, and the mining and trading of gold and silver continued throughout this era of manifestation of the Europeans in the Americas.



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