Part 1: Spaniards larger goals in the Americas
Bartolome de Las Casas, the catholic priest, wrote about a brief account of the devastation of the Indies in 1542. He wanted to enlighten his audience that slavery was wrong and the inhumanity that the innocent people experienced. In his writings, Bartolome claimed that the Indians were smart and peaceful. Bartolome argued that the Indians were mistakenly thought to be uncivilized because of their clothing. However, the Indians were undoubtedly civilized, well mannered, clean and intelligent people who opened up to the catholic religion without question.
Unfortunately, the Spaniards continuously committed massacres and atrocities against the Indians between 1518-1532. During the Spaniards conquest, many women, men and children were killed. The Indians were considered weak, and others even said that they resembled the sons of the nobles. The Spaniards committed massacres in order to demonstrate their power whereas there was also a large massacre that included thirty thousand inhabitants called Cholula. The treaties that were established were not effective since adequate laws were not provided in the articles. Nevertheless, the Indians still held no grudges against those who intimidated them. Bartolome preached against the Spanished behavior towards Indians in 1514 thus indicating the need for people to love and respect one another.
The Requerimiento 1513 asserted the Spaniards sovereignty over the Americans. It was used to justify the proclamation that God, through the appointed Papal successors and Saint Peter held the highest authority as ruler of the entire earth. The requirement (requerimiento) was read to the Americans in Spanish so as to inform the Americans of Spain’s rights to conquest. The following three themes can be used to understand the Spanished colonization of the Americas. The themes include power, equality and freedom. Inasmuch as the pursuit for equality and liberty has helped shape the nation, power has indeed been abused by the Spaniards.
As a historian, I have concluded that the Spaniards goal was to use the Indian labor to enrich themselves. However, the debate concerning the rights of Indians arose in Spain. Nevertheless, many explorers visited America for exploration purposes, and this led to the establishment of new business horizons, machines, crops hence strengthening the American economy. Therefore, the Spanish left a legacy of exploitation and cruelty but they also managed to “open” the world.
Part 2: Slavery experiences
Slavery was first introduced in North America in 1619 when Rolfe John acquired black laborers from a Dutch trader. Slavery was considered as the most important institution in the colonial British America during the mid-17th century. Research has established that Britain relied on the slave-produced products as well as the slave trade. The British ships ferried millions of slaves to America thus changing the demographic make-up of the European controlled settlements. Therefore, slavery brought Africans to America and the Africans incorporated the African culture to the Americans. The African culture was transformed through the exposure to the other cultural practices and as such became a distinctive part of the British-American experience.
Slavery as an Institution usually relies on much violence and coercion. Applying such coercion is often met with substantial resistance from those to whom the oppression is committed. Slavery is no doubt a devastating experience since an individual is forcefully separated from his or her family and the extensive kinship networks. In the North American plantations, slaves were allocated jobs in accordance to age, color, gender, birthplace as well as strength. Enslaved persons who were found guilty of plotting or committing serious offenses e.g. destruction of property and violence against the plantation owners were put to death.
Whipping and beating were common punishments. Additionally, leg irons and neck collars were also used for less serious offenses. Some of the less serious offenses include: insubordination and also failure to work hard. Slaves are often subjected to both physical and mental degradation and also denied fundamental rights. In a farm plantation, the roles were divided along gender lines thus whereas the men plowed the fields, the women hoed.
The women’s primary social role is usually that of a mother hence childbirth earns them increased respect. However, in slavery, childbirth was considered an economic advantage by the master. Different laws have been enacted over the years that have since seen the termination of slavery. Today, slavery is no longer practiced hence it is an activity that belongs to the ages.
Part 3 Part Three: “Nation of Immigrants”
The type of migration that was evident amongst the black Africans who moved from Africa through Atlantic Ocean to America can be described as labor migration. It was influenced by the presence of agricultural farms that demanded human labor. Consequently, different people moved into America to offer labor services in the farms. People also migrated from other regions as exemplified by English and Puritan immigrants. In addition, there were different living conditions for three different characters. The characters considered include a sixteen-year-old female enslaved African and brought to Virginia; a twenty-year-old English man of wealth who acquired property in Maryland; and a twenty-year Puritan bride in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Young females aged between twelve years and nineteen years old were subjected to a distinct form of labor. An immigrant from Africa to Virginia would come with high expectations of a better life. However, this was not the case since they experienced numerous challenges in their pursuit for a better lifestyle. They were restricted to work for a maximum period of four years; precisely girls aged sixteen. Socialization was closely monitored amongst females of this age whilst male servants were not allowed to mingle with them. In addition, this character was destined to be indentured servants.
Living conditions for a twenty-four-year-old English man of wealth, who purchased property in Maryland was better than that of those who did not have wealth. They were allowed to acquire other slaves to work in their farms and other areas. In addition, they were treated equally as the indigenous with various benefits such as the provision of labor. However, life was different for the twenty-year-old Puritan bride in Massachusetts. She was tasked with the duty of serving the masters who mostly originated from England. The twenty-year-old Puritan was also subjected to the will and control of her husband hence she was required to meet her husband’s expectations. The Puritan bride’s husband did not discuss important business issues with her. At home, the Puritan bride had several responsibilities including cleaning, making butter and beer, washing and cooking whereas, in church, she was always expected to remain silent. Even though the Puritan bride did not have control over any property attained in marriage; she was however permitted to retain control of the property that she brought to the marriage. Otherwise, their treatment was much better as compared to the sixteen-year-old female who was an indentured servant.
Conclusively, the three characters reveal the actual living conditions that the immigrants experienced in different regions of America. However, it was the African immigrant that suffered the most. She was subjected to hard labor compared to the other two immigrants. Those who had wealth were, therefore, favored and enjoyed better living conditions. Their future lives were also brighter than the African slaves.