Although the Spanish conquerors lived among and inter- married with the native people, they also oppressed them. In their effort to exploit the land for its precious resources, the Spanish forced the native workers to labor within a system known as encomienda, in which the natives farmed, ranched, or mined for Spanish land- lords, who had received the rights to their labor from Spanish authorities. The harsh pattern of labor that emerged under the encomienda caused priests such as Antonio de Montesinos to demand its end in a sermon delivered in 1511. A P ERSONAL V OICE FRAY ANTONIO DE MONTESINOS “ Tell me, by what right or justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? . . . Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them? . . . Are you not bound to love them as you love yourselves? Don’t you understand this? Don’t you feel this? ” — quoted in Reflections, Writing for Columbus In 1542, the Spanish monarchy, which had tried to encourage fair treat- ment of native subjects, abolished the encomienda . To meet their intense labor needs, the Spaniards instead turned to other labor systems and began to use African slaves. The Conquistadors Push North Dreaming of new conquests and more gold, and afraid that European nations might invade their American empire from the north, Spain undertook a series of expedi- tions into what would become the southeastern and southwestern United States. EXPLORING FLORIDA In 1513, on Easter Sunday—a day the Spaniards called pascua florida , or “feast of flowers”— explorer Juan Ponce de León spied a tree- covered beach. In honor of the holiday, he named the land La Florida. For almost five decades, the Spanish probed La Florida and the surrounding areas for gold, battling the local residents, disease, and starvation. In 1562, discouraged by the lack of economic success, Spain abandoned further exploration of Florida. Within months of Spain’s departure, a band of French settlers arrived near what is now Jacksonville. Accompanying the settlers were French pirates, or buc- caneers, who quickly took interest in Spain’s treasure-filled ships sailing from the Gulf of Mexico. Consequently, Spain reversed its decision to abandon Florida and ordered one of its fiercest warriors, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, to drive the French out of the area. 38 C HAPTER 2 “ You and your people, . . . entering with such speed and fury into my country, . . . as to strike terror into our hearts. ” NATIVE AMERICAN CHIEF, TO SPANISH EXPLORER HERNANDO DE SOTO MAIN IDEA MAIN IDEA C Analyzing Causes Why did the Spanish begin to use African slaves on their plantations in the New World?
PACIFIC OCEAN ATLANTIC OCEAN V e r r a z z a n o 1 5 2 4 C o l u m b u s 1 4 9 2 C o l u m b u s 1 4 9 3 – 9 6 C o l u m b u s 1 5 0 2 – 0 3 C o l u m b u s 1 4 9 8 H udso n 160 9 H u d s o n 1 6 1 0 – 1 1 Cabot 1 49 7 C a r t i e r 1 5 3 4 – 3 5 P i z a r r o 1 5 3 0 – 3 3 C o r t é s 1 5 1 9 C a b r
- Spring '16
- Native Americans in the United States