New Worlds: The Americas and Oceania

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Colliding Worlds
 1492 is significant in world history because from that point
forward there is permanent and sustained contact between
the people of the eastern and western hemispheres which
brings profound and violent change to each world.
 Neither realm will remain the same.
 Europeans bring new technology and devastating disease
to the Americas and ultimately destroy the existing
American empires.
 Eventually settler colonies would further displace and
discard indigenous people in both South and North
America.
Colliding Worlds
 The Spanish Caribbean
 Mining


When Columbus’s following settlers realized the land was not part of Asia,
they turned to mining for gold to create profits
Encomienda System – System of forced labor used by Spanish to enslave the
Tainos (Caribbean Natives) to work in mines.
 Harsh labor conditions and small pox epidemics wiped out the Tainos
 Agriculture
 When gold was not found, Spain focused on Mexico and Peru and left open
the door for English, Dutch, and French settlers in the Caribbean
 1640s – Began producing valuable cash crops like sugar and tobacco to turn
profits.
 Used enslaved Africans
 1700 – Caribbean populated by small class of European settlers and large
numbers of enslaved Africans.
Colliding Worlds
 The Conquest of Mexico and Peru
 When it became apparent that mineral wealth in the
Caribbean was sparse, the Spanish turned to Mexico and
Peru
 Hernan Cortes – Conquered the Aztec in Mexico
 Francisco Pizzaro – Conquered the Inca in Peru

Both were outnumbered, but disease, superior weaponry, and
alliances with Aztec and Incan enemies allowed them to
overtake the great empires of Central and South America.
Colliding Worlds
 Iberian Empires in the Americas
 Between 1500 and 1800 500,000 Spanish immigrants and
100,000 Portuguese immigrants settled permanently in the
Americas
 Spain



By 1570 the Spanish Crown had set up a formal policy of control and
administration of justice for Peru and Mexico
Mexico – Capital in Mexico City
Peru – Capital in Lima
 Both were ran by viceroys who answered directly to the King of
Spain and were evaluated by audiencias on a regular basis.
 Portugal
 Established an imperial realm in Brazil as a result of the 1494 Treaty
of Tordesillas
 Divided the world into a Spanish sphere in the West and a
Portuguese sphere in the East (Brazil included in this)
Colliding Worlds
 Settler Colonies in North America
 By the mid 1600s the French had set up many permanent
settlements in Canada, while the British had done the same in
what is presently the U.S.

Jamestown, Virginia, Massachusetts Bay, Quebec, etc
 North American settlement life was difficult and often deadly
 Focused on exports instead of food production which meant
widespread starvation and disease
 Only 60 of the original 500 Jamestown settlers survived the first
winter
 Different for French and British than for Spanish
 Indigenous peoples of North America were much different
than those of South America

Superior weaponry and disease led to demise of Native Americans
Colonial Society in the Americas
 The history of colonial societies in America is one of
interactions of cultures: European, American, African
 Mining, fur trapping, and cultivation of cash crops
formed the economic basis of these societies and
Christianity emerged as the dominant religion in the
western hemisphere.
 Mestizos (a mixture of European and Euro-American
offspring) came to dominate political, economic, and
cultural affairs.
Colonial Society in the Americas
 The Formation of Multicultural Societies
 Often, male European settlers and explorers formed
relationships with native peoples or African slaves due to
a lack of access to European women.
 Common in Mexico (Mestizos), Peru, Brazil, and with
French trappers in the North American wilderness.
 Very uncommon in the English colonies of North
America where more European women also came and
settled.

Frowned up interracial relationships and eventually developed
strong racist sentiments against Africans and Native
Americans.
Colonial Society in the Americas
 Mining and Agriculture in the Spanish Empire
 Mining


Most profitable mineral in the Americas proved to be silver
Concentrated in northern Mexico and the Bolivian Andes,
silver provided great wealth for the Spanish Crown and
settlers
 Agriculture

Spanish agricultural production based on systems of forced
labor of the indigenous people
 Hacienda and Encomienda systems
 Led to several major uprisings of indigenous people
Colonial Society in the Americas
 Sugar and Slavery in Portuguese Brazil
 Portuguese did not have the conquistadores like the
Spanish did, so they did not have a large indigenous
work population to choose from.
 Portuguese used African slaves to produce their most
profitable crop: SUGAR.

Slave life
 Imports first came in 1530
 Tropical heat, disease, overwork, dangerous working
conditions, inadequate food, and housing, and horrific
mistreatment
 High death rates – Five to ten percent per year
 One ton of sugar produced at the cost of one human life.
Colonial Society in the Americas
 Fur Traders and Settlers in North America
 Fur


Fish first brought Europeans to North American shores, but
soon fur became the more lucrative commodity.
Quest for furs lead to major conflicts between trappers, Native
Americans, and European countries as territorial disputes
arose
 Agriculture
 Eventually settlers became more interested in cash crop
production – tobacco, rice, indigo, and cotton.
 First used indentured servants for labor, then by 1619 the first
group of African slaves arrived in Virginia.
Colonial Society in the Americas
 Christianity and Native Religions in the Americas
 In addition to economic motivations, the desire to
spread Christianity traveled to the New World with the
European explorers, conquistadores, merchants, and
settlers.
 Missionaries soon followed.



Spanish Missionaries – Quite successful in Mexico and Peru in
spreading Roman Catholicism
English Missionaries – Rarely active or successful in
converting Native Americans in North America
French Missionaries – Fairly successful in spreading
Christianity in St. Lawrence, Ohio, and Mississippi River
valleys.
Europeans in the Pacific
 Australia and the Larger World
 First recorded sighting of Australia was by the Dutch in
1606

Reported the land as arid and barren, containing no mineral
wealth.
 1788



English Captain James Cook exploration of the eastern
coastline discovered it was suitable for settlement
England began to set up permanent settlements
Aborigines did not fair well in contact with European settlers
and the British government.
Europeans in the Pacific
 The Pacific Islands and the Larger World
 Europeans began taking greater interest in the Pacific by
the eighteenth century.
 Most interactions between Europeans and indigenous
people were peaceful at first, but eventually turned
violent as disagreements over trade and cultural
practices lead to escalating tension and armed conflict.
 Rapid and unsettling change would begin for islanders
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as
interest in the Pacific continued to grow.
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