Racial Formation In The New World 1521-1590's (Essay Sample)
CTQs: What sort of laws and policies did Spain institute in Mexico post-conquest and what were their effects on the Native peoples? Why did the Spanish Crown support the slave trade? What was the casta system and what was its effect(s) on Mexico (New Spain)? What was the colonization process of New Mexico like and what were some significant features/events in that process?
Menchaca: Chapters Two and Three
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Racial Formation in the New World 1521-1590'S
Spain instituted a number of laws and policies in Mexico post-conquest. An example of a law that was instituted includes the miscegenation law, which supported marriages between Spaniards and Indians in Central Mexico. The colonists perfectly understood that apart from political alliances intermarriages would also aid them to maintain control of the masses in central Mexico. Unfortunately, the Spanish men were not in support of the idea. For that reason, the Spanish crown was forced to increase pressures on the Spanish men so that they could ultimately agree to marry the Indian women. For example, a Spanish man would lose his properties if he failed to marry an Indian woman. The law significantly helped in lessening the number of concubines in Central Mexico.
One of the policies instituted includes the encomienda system, which demanded the Indian people to reward the conquistadores with labor and material goods such as crops and ceramics. The policy was explicit exploitation but it was instituted under the pretense that it was the most efficient technique of acculturating the Indian people. The policy led to the abuse of the legal rights of the Indian people. For instance, the colonists treated the Indians as animals and consistently overworked them. Additionally, the Indians' right to own property was violated after they were dispossessed of their lands and other essential properties.
The Spanish crown supported the slave trade because there was scarce labor to implement its projects. The Indian persons that were supposed to work on the projects commanded by the crown had dramatically been reduced after multiple of them succumbed to the disastrous epidemics that had plagued Central Mexico. The Spanish crown understood utterly that it had to support the slave trade so that labor demands could be met. Africans were the majorly enslaved individuals. Enslaving people imported from Africa was common because it was deemed that one individual from Africa could generate the labor
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