Today in the class of Social Sciences Cristina Blanco has come to the class because Paqui has had some personal problems. First Cristina has given us some instructions about what to do that Paqui has sent to her in an email. We have to do a summary of:
- The 17th century in the Hispanic Kingdoms.
- Renaissance art in the Hispanic Kingdoms.
- Baroque art in the Hispanic Kingdoms.
We have spoken about the trip to London. Cristina has said that she'll going to inform us next week.
The previous day Paqui gave us for homework to do a scheme about: "Conquest, colonization, administration and colonial society of the Indies"
-It was a quick conquest due to:
- The Europeans' military superiority of the conquistadors: horses, gunpowder, guns...
- Ambitions of the conquistadors.
- Impact of the European diseases over the indigenous people (Amerindians), like Viruela.
-It had three different stages:
- Conquest of the Antilles.
- Conquest of the Aztec Empire by Hernán Cortés.
- Conquest of the Inca Empire by Pizarro and Almagro.
-Other conquests and discoveries:
- Pedro de Valdivia conquered Chile.
- Orellana sailed the Amazon river.
- Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca explored Florida, Texas, California, Iguazú and the gulf of México.
- Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.
- Juan de Garay founded the city of Buenos Aires.
- In Asia, Legazpi and Urdaneta conquered the Philippines Islands.
-Some new institutions were created:
- Viceroyalties (Administrative division) : the Indies were divided into two viceroyalties: Nueva España and Perú. In the 18th century two more viceroyalties were created: New Granada and Río de la Plata.The viceroyalties were divided into provinces, ruled by governors.
- Municipalities: Were ruled by cabildos (town councils).
- Courts of Justice (Audiencias): were established to administrate justice.
- A new council was created:
It was created a new specific Council in Castile: the Council of the Indies. It's role was to advise the kings about the affairs of the Indies and to write down the Laws of the Indies.
- Creation of a trading house:
In 1503 the "Casa of contratación" was created in Seville, to control the trade with the Indies and to collect the royal fifth (Economic matters). The 20% of all the wealth and trading transactions made in the Indies, which was assigned to the Crown.
The main purpose of the colonists was the economic exploitation of the colonies.
- At first:
Their interest was focused only on precious metals, but later they showed interest in the lands. The lands were distributed among the colonists.
- New types of systems:
There were created two different types of systems for the exploitation of the Indies:
- The encomienda system: Every colonist received a plot of land and a number of Amerindians to work his lands. The colonist was obliged to teach the Amerindians the Catholic religion and to protect them in exchange of their work and payment of tributes.
- The mita system: was used for the exploitaion of the mines: it consisted of forced work in the mines. In exchange for their work, the Amerindians received a salary established by the colonists.
The kings forbade slavery in the Indies and considered the Amerindians as subjects of the Hispanic Monarchy, but many colonists abused of them. Brother Bartolomé de las Casas denounced the exploitation of the Amerindians and defended them from the brutality of the colonists. He wrote a short account of the destruction of the Indies. His fight led to the passing of the encomienda system and forbade indigenous slavery. He was appointed "Protector of the Indians".
4. Colonial society:
Different social groups lived in the Indies. Their position in the colonial society depended on their origin:
- The Peninsulars: people who came from the Iberian Peninsula. They had economic and political power and they held the main posts in the administration.
- The Creoles: were descendants of the colonists. As time went by, they started complaining about their subordinated position with respect to the Peninsulars.
- The Mestizo: were a mixture of the colonists and the American Indians.
- The Amerindians: were the native inhabitants of the Indies.
- The Black slaves: bought from África, were sold in the depopulated territories to work in the platations.
- Products from American origin:
Such as tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkins, corns, cacao, peanuts, sunflowers...
Some of them (corn and potatoe) were basic to reduce hunger and improve the Europeans' diet.
We have learnt some new words:
- Conquistadors: Conquistadores
- Royal fifth: Quinto real