Question: Describe the nature of the exploitation of Indians in the AmericasContextualization: The nature of the exploitation of the Indians was the most beneficial to the Spaniards. The Spanish maintained native institutions, that served more as a primary source to the Spanish and their goals.
Many Indians were killed by European diseases, either being small or big, but if they had any survivors after the death of the European diseases, they were captured and later forced into slavery. The Indians were either forced to work on a plantation (farm), mine(s), or in the city(ies). Many of the Indian women were forced to marry a Spanish settler (in some (most) cases the women didn’t know the Spanish settler). Later, the Indians were defeated, and the culture and life that they had, was destroyed.Argumentation: Enslavement of natives, except in the case of war, was prohibited until the middle of the 16th century. Instead of giving away slaves, the government instead awarded encomiendas (280 total land grants) to any conquerors, who would use their natives as a source of labor and taxes.
The Spaniards didn’t interfere with any of the aspects of the American Indian life that served colonial goals nor did they have any open conflict with Spanish authority. During the exploitation of the Indians, encomienda, labor, and culture was a major occurrence.Body Paragraph 1: EncomiendaClaim 1: DestructiveConcrete evidence: Mainly towards the Indian societiesQuote: “Occurring in the Americas, the encomiendas were the most destructive to Indian societies” (Stearns 414)Claim 2: The Spanish crownConcrete evidence: Had prohibited the right to demand any kind of labor from the IndiansQuote: “The Spanish crown prohibited the rights to be able to demand any certain kinds of labor from the Indians” (Stearns 414)Claim 3: All the encomiendas were gone by the 1620sConcrete evidence: Continued to exist in marginal regions that were located at the fringes of the empireQuote: “Although encomiendas continued to exist in marginal regions at the fringes of the empire. The encomiendas were all later gone by the 1620s, occurring in the central areas of Mexico and Peru” (Stearns 414)Body Paragraph 2: LaborClaim 1: WagesConcrete evidence: Indians were paid to work, but there were lots of cases of abuseQuote: “The Indians were paid a wage for the work that they did, and there were many cases of abuse of the system by the local officials” (Stearns 414)Claim 2: Indians left their villagesConcrete evidence: Indians tried to avoid the labor and tax obligationsQuote: “By the time of the 17th century, many Indians had left their villages to avoid the labor and tax obligations. Although they preferred to work for Spanish landowners or to seek employment in the cities” (Stearns 414)Claim 3: Colonial governmentConcrete evidence: Led to the growth of a wage labor system, causing Indians to work on Spanish-owned mines and farmsQuote: “The colonial government eventually led to the growth of a wage labor system, causing Indians, to work for wages on a Spanish-owned mine(s) and farm(s)” (Stearns 415)Body Paragraph 3: CultureClaim 1: The culture of the Native Americans, demonstrated a greater type of resiliencyConcrete evidence: Spanish institutions and forms, adapted and modified them to indigenous waysQuote: “Native American culture demonstrated a greater type resiliency in the face of Spanish institutions and forms, and adapted and modified them to indigenous ways” (Stearns 415)Claim 2: Spanish legal systemConcrete evidence: Litigation became a way of lifeQuote: “Native people learned to use the Spanish legal system and the law courts. So later on, litigation became a way of life” (Stearns 415)Claim 3: Native Americans proved to be selectiveConcrete evidence: In their adaption of European culture, technology, and foodsQuote: “Many Native Americans proved to be selective in the adaption of European foods, technology, and also culture” (Stearns 415)