Global Age Conquering Americas

The Beginnings of a
Global Age
Europe and the Americas from 1492-1750:
How did European Colonization of the
Americas shape global economies and
First Encounters
West Indies
– Columbus encountered the Taino people
– Friendly toward Spanish
– Spanish treated them badly (assault, claimed
land, killed resistance, demanded gold)
Conquistadors (conquerors)
– Arrived in Haiti, Cuba, and the DR
– Seized gold, forced conversion to Christianity
Spanish Conquistadors
Guns, Horses and Disease
– Only 100’s of conquistadors versus millions of
natives…but they had the advantage
 Superior guns/cannons to native arrows/spears
 Horses (natives had never seen horses)
– Carry supplies, useful in battle, scary to natives
 Smallpox, Measles, Influenza
– Native Americans had no immunity
– Spread rapidly and wiped out entire villages
– Native American population of the Carribbean Islands
declined by 90% in the 1500’s!!!!
– Millions more would die as Europeans made their way
Cortez Conquers Mexico
Hernan Cortez landed on Mexican coast in 1519
– Went to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec Empire’s capitol.
– Aztecs had gained power and built their empire by
conquering others and sacrificing captives to the
Aztec gods.
The Takeover: Aztec Empire
– Moctezuma, the Aztec Emperor, welcomes Cortez and sends
religious gifts of gold, silver, turquoise and feathers.
– Cortez persuades Moctezuma to sign over the land and treasure
by forming alliances with the people that the Aztecs had
– MORE Spanish conquistadors land on the coast and challenge
Cortez! Aztecs drive Spanish out due to the confusion
– Cortez retreats, plans assault.
– Smallpox has begun to spread.
In 1521, Cortez attacks and demolishes Tenochtitlan.
Tenochtitlan is the cite of modern day Mexico City, built
by the Spanish on the ruins.
Pizarro take Peru
Francisco Pizarro was inspired by
Cortez’s success
– Arrived in Peru in 1532
– Atahualpa had just won the throne of the
Incan Empire after a bloody civil war.
The Takeover: Incan Empire
– Atahualpa refused to convert to
Christianity or be ruled by the Spanish.
– Pizarro captured and killed the ruler and
slaughtered thousands of Incans.
– Pizarro and Spanish forces took over the
Incan empire (Peru, Ecuador and Chile)
 Superior weapons, disease
Effects of the Spanish Conquistadors
A few hundred European Soldiers conquered millions of
Native Americans (note: not Native NORTH Americans)
in only a few decades.
– Seized valuable goods
– Used N.A. labor to mine silver
– Spain became Europe’s greatest power
– Tens of thousands died
– Many converted to Christianity hoping suffering would end
– Maya kept fighting the Spanish, revolts among Inca, passive
resistance through promoting native culture
What next?
 Settlers and missionaries followed the
conquistadors—established colonies.
 New culture emerges:
– Reflected European, Native American, and
African tradition
Ruling the New Spanish Empire
By mid-1500, Spain claimed
an empire stretching from
California to South America.
– Viceroys—representatives to
rule in the king’s name in each
of the four new provinces.
– Council of the Indies—passed
laws for the colonies
Ruling the Empire (continued)
Catholic Church converted natives to Christianity
 Controlled Economic Activity (Trade)
– Silver and gold
– Sugar cane
Encomienda—a system of forced labor
– Natives forced to work mines and plantations
– Brutality caused drastic declines in population
– Workers brought from Africa to fill shortages (slaves!)
Colonial Society and Culture
Mixing diverse people gave rise to a new social
– Blending traditions
– Europeans learned:
 Native architecture, ate native foods, traveled in Indian-style
canoes, new artistic styles
– Natives learned:
 New religion, new animal like the horse
– Africans contributed:
 Farming methods, cooking styles, new crops, drama dance
and songs for Christian services
Society Continued
Social Classes:
(people born in spain)
Filled highest level of gov’t
(American-born descendants of Spanish Settlers)
Owned most of the plantations, ranches and mines
Mixed Populations:
Mestizos (mix of Native and European)
Mulattoes (mix of African and European)
Native Americans & Africans
Beyond the Spanish Empire
Treaty of Torsedillas (1494)
– Portugal claimed Brazil
Tupian Indians – Native Americans who lived in Brazil
– Wiped out by disease
Portuguese Colonies began in 1530s
Grants of land given to nobles if they shared wealth with king
Exported brazilwood (dye) -- very profitable
(No gold or silver mining!)
Raising cattle
Plantation agriculture
Slaves used to clear land (Native and African)
New culture blending Euro, Native and African elements
English, French & Dutch Challenge
Other Euro powers jealous!
– Portugal and Spain have strict control over
Dutch, English and French Pirates prey on
treasure ships leaving the Americas.
– Privateers -- Pirates operating with European
gov’t approval
– Other explorers kept searching for gold, other
treasure, and a northwest passage to Asia.
Using your notes from today and previous
days, create a Venn Diagram comparing
and contrasting the Portuguese Empire
and the Spanish Empire.
– You should have at least 5 significant
differences on each side, and 5 significant
similarities in the center.
– Complete this in your notebooks.
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