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The Pueblo Revolt - 1 Catholicism as a Pueblo Liberator Sam...

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1 Catholicism as a Pueblo Liberator Sam Regalado HIST 3802 Kirsten Fischer October 1, 2009
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2 For the Pueblo people of the American southwest, 17 th century New Mexico marked the beginning of their end as free people. With each new wave of Spanish settlers and missionaries, the Pueblos realized that their way of life was being invaded. In Andrew Knaut’s book, The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 , he tells the story of the successful revolt and the events leading up to it. The revolt of the Pueblos in 1680 against the Spanish settlers was successful, and it halted the establishment of new settlements for ten years. Knaut argues that the Spanish settlers oppressed the Pueblos through their Catholic faith. This is undeniable. However, it can also be seen as a vehicle that while limiting religious freedom, liberated the Pueblos from total immersion and destruction into the Spanish way of life. The 17 th century was a tumultuous time for the Spaniards as well, and the Pueblos used this to their advantage in many ways. In converting to Catholicism, this forced oppression actually stalled Pueblo cultural collapse, and the Pueblos found ways to liberate themselves from further oppression through secrecy and taking advantage of Spanish faults. Pueblo encounters with Europeans began in 1539. Franciscan missionaries and other conquistadors entered the southwest to convert the Pueblos to Catholicism and look for gold. Spanish oppression worsened in 1598. In this year, Juan de Oñate began a permanent settlement in New Mexico. Missionaries tried to convert the Pueblos and Spanish settlers tried to maintain a permanent settlement. During this time, oppression of the Pueblos was undeniable. The Spanish used up food supplies, and were essentially destroying the Pueblo way of life. The Spanish oppression was vicious, and the governor realized that this punishment for not conforming to Spanish ways “could greatly influence the Franciscan efforts at converting the Pueblos to Catholicism.”
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