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Life in New Spain

Posted by on October 12, 2012

The Search For Gold

In 1540, Hernado de Soto and 700 other men were searching for Cofitachiqui which is a rich American Indian City that they heard about. Hernando de Soto thought that city would be loaded with gold but he was wrong. One day, they came across a native american woman which later on, they called The Lady Of Cofitachiqui. They saw that she had fresh water pearls with her and he asked where he could get more of those pearls. She lead him and his group to a building with a lot more pearls than just one, but he wanted gold. Hernando de Soto wanted her to lead them to the gold but she would not tell them anything and escaped.

Society in New Spain

In New Spain, there were different parts of the colonial society. It was kind of like first class, second class, and third class. First, came the peninsulares which were people who were born in Spain. Next, came the creoles which were people that had a Spanish background but were born in the Americas. Then, came the Mestizos which were people with Indian and Spanish background. Finally, came the people who had no Spanish background and no Spanish ancestry like the Indian and the Africans. The peninsulares were like first class and the creoles were like middle class. The mestizos, the Indians, and the Africans were like the third class. Some peninsulares had large farms and plantations and others had something called an encomienda. An encomienda gave a peninsulare the power to control all of the native americans that lived on their land.

More Changes For Native Peoples

The peninsulares were abusing the native americans because the native americans were getting beaten and they did not even get paid. A priest named Bartolome de Las Casas did not approve of native americans being mistreated and he spoke out against it. Unfortunately, the efforts of Las Casas did not last long. He tried to enforce a law saying that native americans should be paid to work but later on those laws were canceled.

Slavery In The Americas

Las casas’s efforts did not end slavery in the americas. The Spanish started bringing Africans to be enslaved. At first, Las Casas supported this but then he tried to pass a law that Africans should not be enslaved either. Soon the Africans died just like the native americans. They were mistreated and beaten.

This is Hernando de Soto and his men burning Mabila.

2 Responses to Life in New Spain

  1. Dr. Jon Mitzmacher

    Great post Elior!

    I think you did a great job organizing your thoughts into sections. You also provided lots of helpful facts. I would have loved an illustration or image – do you know how to add those to you posts?

    Keep blogging!

    • eliorl

      I do know how to add images and thank you for telling me that. Now I will add an image!

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