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HIST221: Colonial Latin and South America

Unit 3: Colonization and Settlement   As conquistadors gradually established Spanish military control over the Americas in the 16th and early 17th centuries, the Spanish government struggled to impose civil order on its growing overseas empire.  Royal governors were appointed to administer the major settlements in Central and South America.  These officials attempted to replicate traditional Spanish civil and religious institutions in the New World.  The Catholic Church also played a major role in the colonization and settlement of Spanish America.  Church officials in the Americas challenged the mistreatment and virtual enslavement that native peoples suffered at the hands of the conquistadors and other powerful settlers using the royal system of labor to force Indians to work on their plantations without compensation.  Disease and mistreatment significantly reduced native populations in many parts of Central and South American during the 16th century and some settlers began employing African slave labor to replace Indians.  The presence of Europeans, Indians, and Africans in the Spanish colonies gradually led to the emergence of a diverse, mixed-race society in many parts of the Spanish Empire by the 17th century.  In this unit, we will examine efforts by Spanish colonial administrators and Catholic Church officials to establish political, economic, social, and religious order in Spain’s American colonies.  We will also learn about the new creole society that began to emerge across the Spanish Empire, discussing the impact that it had on Spain’s efforts to administer its expanding colonies.    

Unit 3 Time Advisory
Time Estimate: This unit will take you 10 hours to complete.

☐ Subunit 3.1: 2.5 hours

☐ Subunit 3.2: 4.5 hours

☐ Subunit 3.3: 3 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Identify how Spanish colonists settled Latin and South America in the 16th century. - Analyze the role played by imperial and religious institutions in colonization efforts. - Describe and analyze the settlement patters and emergence of a new creole society. 

3.1 The Spanish Empire   3.1.1 Imperial Organization   - Lecture: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk: “The Encomienda” and “The Mita” Link: Oberlin College: Professor Steven Volk:  “The Encomienda” (Adobe Flash) and “The Mita” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please listen to or watch the entirety of the lectures (28 and 32 minutes respectively).  Professor Volk examines the administration of the early Spanish American colonies with a particular focus on the labor systems.
 
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3.1.2 Imperial Administration   - Reading: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “Mexico’s Colonial Era, Part 1” Link: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “Mexico’s Colonial Era, Part 1” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage to get a sense of the Spanish Imperial administrative system in the colony of Nueva España.
 
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  • Reading: Historical Text Archive: Donald J. Mabry’s “Government and Law in Spanish Colonial America” Link: Historical Text Archive: Donald J. Mabry’s “Government and Law in Spanish Colonial America” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read these pages in their entirety.  Donald J. Mabry, Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University, discusses the measures that the Spanish monarchy took in order to ensure control over their newly acquired lands, including the establishment of political institutions and a commercial monopoly.  This site is maintained by the Historical Text Archive, which publishes high quality articles, books, and historical manuscripts and photographs.
     
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3.2 The Catholic Church   3.2.1 The Church in the Colonies   - Reading: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “Mexico’s Colonial Era, Part 2” Link: MexConnect: Dale Hoyt Palfrey’s “Mexico’s Colonial Era, Part 2” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage. This article will help you get an understanding of the how and why of the “spiritual conquest.”
 
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3.2.2 Civilizing Missions and Missionaries   - Web Media: UC College Prep’s: “The Mission System” Link: UC College Prep’s: “The Mission System” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Please watch the entire video presentation (Topic 3 of Lesson 3–Spanish and French Exploration). This session will give you an excellent introduction to the mission system, with a special focus on the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. You may also want to click on the “Text” tab to read about what is being presented.
 
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 (HTML). It is attributed to The Regents of the University of California and the original version can be found here (HTML). 

3.2.3 The Church and Native Peoples   - Reading: Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Henry Steven’s edition of “The New Laws of the Indies, 1542” Link: Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Henry Steven’s edition of “The New Laws of the Indies, 1542” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the text to get an understanding of a pioneering set of laws that intended the gradual abolition of the encomienda system.  This royal decree, issued in response to the Catholic Church’s complaints about the mistreatment of Indians in the Spanish Colonies, presents clear rules about how Indians are to be treated by colonial landowners.  Landowners are forbidden from treating Indians as slaves and holding them against their will.  The decree warns landowners that they will have their Indian labor force confiscated if they do not treat them justly.   Some landowners refused to recognize the decree and prevented it from being implemented in parts of Spanish America.  The encomienda was replaced by other forms of labor systems after mid-century.
 
This link is maintained by Paul Halsall at Fordham University.
 
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  • Reading: Clinch Valley College's Internet Archive: Bartolome de las Casas' "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" Link: Clinch Valley College's Internet Archive: Bartolome de las Casas' "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read Bartolome de las Casas' "A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies" to learn about the immediate effects of European expansion on the peoples of the Americas.  Bartolome de las Casas was a Spanish Dominican priest who became the first bishop of Chiapas in New Spain (modern-day Mexico).  He sympathized with the plight of the native peoples of Mesoamerica.
     
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  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions for ‘The New Laws of the Indies, 1542’ and Bartolome de Las Casas’s ‘A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies’” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Study Questions for ‘The New Laws of the Indies, 1542’ and Bartolome de Las Casas’s ‘A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies’” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete the questions in the assessment. You can check your answers against the "Guide to Responding" (PDF). For more information about the life and work of Father Bartolome De Las Casas, please visit University of Alabama, History Department's "Bartolome De Las Casas" (http://www.lascasas.org/). This assessment should take you 3 hours to complete.

3.3 Settlement Patterns   3.3.1 Population Changes   - Reading: Smith College: Visual Culture in Spanish America Project’s “Surveying Mestizaje” Link: Smith College: Visual Culture in Spanish America Project’s “Surveying Mestizaje” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this text to gain an overview of the social changes caused by the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and settlers and the creation of the mestizos.
 
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3.3.2 Replicating Iberian Communities   - Reading: Historical Text Archive: Donald J. Mabry's “Conquest and Settlement Patterns” and “Early Attempts to Organize an Empire” Link: Historical Text Archive: Donald J. Mabry's “Conquest and Settlement Patterns” (HTML) and “Early Attempts to Organize an Empire” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read these pages in their entirety.  Don Mabry, Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University, discusses the rationale behind regional settlement pattern differentiations.
 
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3.3.3 Emergence of a Creole Society   - Reading: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: Francisco Cintrón's “A New World and the Emergence of a New Race” Link: Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: Francisco Cintrón's “A New World and the Emergence of a New Race” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page in its entirety.  Pay special attention to the sections titled “Creole as a New Race” and “Criollismo.”
 
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