From Conquest to Empire 1500-1600
According to Jared Diamond, What Made the Europeans “Accidental Conquerors” • European aggression and greed did not determine final outcome of conquest • Outcome determined by geography tilted in favor of the Europeans
Geography enabled Europeans to develop guns and steel • Domesticated crops and animals. The Europeans had the majority of the world’s domesticated crops and animals which enabled them to specialize in other areas like making guns and swords. • Native Americans had less domesticated crops and only 1 domesticated animal (llama). • Shape of continent. Ideas and technology travel much easier among locations located on the same east/west axis (like Europe and Asia). • Relative to other empires in the Americas pre-conquest, the Incas were on a north/south axis and therefore ideas and travel did not transfer as readily (Example: writing system of the Mayas in Mexico and Central America did not transfer to Incas in South America who were further isolated by the Andes Mountains).
Geography enabled Europeans to develop immunity to certain deadly germs • Europeans built up immunities from contact with domesticated animals. • Because of geographic luck, the majority of domesticated animals were in Eurasia and North Africa. • Domesticated animals were original carriers of deadly diseases. • Europeans had contact with domesticated animals for centuries and overtime built up immunities to diseases the animals carried. • Europeans also built up immunities because of epidemics in Europe. • With repeated epidemics survivors built up genetic resistance to certain deadly diseases.
Native Americans not develop immunities to European diseases nor have deadly diseases to pass on. • Native Americans had less domesticated animals and less contact with domesticated animals not develop immunities • No evidence of devastating epidemics in the Americas pre-conquest not develop immunities • 1 person sick withEuropean disease millions of Native Americans at risk because no immunity. Over 20 million Native Americans died as a result of European conquest estimated that 95% of them died from European diseases like small pox According to Jared Diamond, European conquerors were “accidental conquerors” because, due to their geographical luck, they were the first to develop guns, germs, steel.
Deadly Small Pox • Americas virtually emptied of its native peoples as result of European diseases • Vaccine developed in 1796
Spanish Conquest to Spanish Empire • After conquest of Aztecs and Incas, Spanish continue to conquer almost all of South America and Central America, parts of North Americaand Asia: • All of South America except Brazil • Mexico and Central America • Parts of Western North America • Florida • Caribbean • Cuba • San Domingo • Puerto Rico • Philippines
How Spain Became an Empire in the Americas • Set up colonies where live among, mix, and rule over conquered peoples • Not many Spanish women come with conquerors so Spanish men marry native women • Result is mestizoclass (mix of Spanish and Native American)
How Spain Became anEmpire in the Americas Dominate Silver and Gold Supplies Cerro Rico (the “Rich Mountain”) in Potosi, Bolivia • Found gold when conquered Aztecs and Incas • 1545: Discover huge silver mine in Potosi, Bolivia • Potosi becomes one of richest and most fashionable cities in the world • Under “Royal Fifth” rule 1/5 of gold and silver must be sent back to Spanish king • Spain, who had previously been relatively poor country, becomes the richest and most powerful country in Europe
How Spain Became anEmpire in the Americas • Met labor needs initially through the encomienda system • Economic and social organization in Spanish America required Native Americans to work on Spanish farms and ranches and in the mines • Theory: Native Americans work for Spanish and Spanish protect them and teach them Christian faith • Reality: Exploit and oppress Native Americans • Criticism regarding abuse of Native Americans voiced to Spanish king by missionary priest Bartolome de las Casas in his book Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542 • Spanish government eventually abolishes formal encomienda system, but Spanish abuse of Native Americans continues for centuries
How Spain Became an Empire in the Americas Spread their religion La Pachamama del Cerro Rico • Missionaries accompany conquistadors • Most zealous missionaries from religious orders: Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits • While taught Christianity, blending of religious practices does occur (mix Christian beliefs with Native American beliefs) • Example: Indigenous worshipped mountains and Virgin Mary often depicted in shape of a mountain
Atlantic Slave Trade 1500-1870
Need for Large Labor Force • Native American population dramatically reduced because of small pox • Encomienda system abolished • Crops that Spanish were harvesting were very labor intensive • Sugarcane (Brazil and Caribbean) • Tobacco (North America) • Cotton (North America) • Europeans turn to Africa for slave labor • Advantage: Africans immune to European diseases because of contact with Europeans for more than 100 years • Religious climate at time permitted slavery
History of Slavery • Had existed in Africa for centuries • Intensified between 600-1600 when Muslim traders take African slaves to North Africa and Southwest Asia • Slaves treated relatively humanely • Europeans become involved in African slave trade in 1500s and make it a massive enterprise
Slavery in the Americas • 1500-1870: approximately 9.5 million African slaves brought to Americas • Greatest amount of slaves went to Caribbean and Brazil(to work on sugar cane plantations) • African slaves sold to Europeans by African rulers and merchants in exchange for goods from Europe or the Americas
Atlantic Slave Trade One example of a triangular trade route Africans transported to Americas by way of transatlantic trade networkknown as triangular trade • Represents various trade routes among Africa, Americas and Europe involving slaves and goods • Various routes existed but circuit formed a triangle
Examples of Triangular Trade Routes • See student maps and written descriptions of other trade routes
The Middle Passage • Refers to voyage of bringing Africans to the Americas (the middle leg of the transatlantic trade triangle) • Characterized by sickening cruelty • Approximately 20% of African slaves died during Middle Passage • One of the greatest horrors in world history • Atlantic slave trade was abolished by 1870