There were two main concepts that were thought to have motivated European countries to explore and colonize in America: the excitement and the profit of the “New World”. Throughout the 17th century England and Spain began to fight for control of the North American Continent, with different economic goals in mind. The success in the colonization of the New World depended on many factors one which included the treatment of the natives.
Although the ideal treatment of natives within the countries’ colonies was identical by violently taking the Native American lands and turning them into outpost for their empires; however, their incentive for the treatment was different.
The Spanish revealed a more systematic way of mistreating the natives because they intended to colonize America for gold and slaves without any obstacles, and the English colonized for land with no intention or preparation to interfere with the native people intensely until they necessarily had to.
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led a massive expedition bent on finding and conquering “Seven Golden Cities of Cibola”, while doing so, he embittered many Native Americans toward the Spanish.
As the Spaniards trudged through the North American borders in search of gold and slaves, they established a labor system called the encomienda system which helped sustain control over the natives in North, Central, and South America, so they can have certain opportunities to roam the lands in search of gold without any unwanted interruptions.
Conquistadors were granted trusteeship over the indigenous people they conquered, in an expansion of familiar feudal institutions, notably the commendation ceremony, which had been established in New Castile during the Reconquista. The conquistadors scrupulously adhered to the Spanish law of conquest by reading the Requerimiento, which ordered defiant Indians, in Spanish, to accept Spanish rule and Christian conversion immediately. If the Indians ignored this order, they deserved the harsh punishments of a “just war.
” For example, as the Spanish encountered swift resistance at the mesa-top pueblo of Acoma, the Indians refused Spanish demands for provisions for an exploring expedition. Spanish troops captured the pueblo, killing eight hundred inhabitants in the process, forcing surviving men to have one foot cut off and along with the women and children, to be servants of the soldiers and missionaries. As for the English and their colonalization, they strived for the land of the Americas, with little rivalry from the natives as possible; therefore, unlike the Spaniards they did not have a systematic way of controlling the natives.
At first all went well, the Native Indians eagerly traded and shared their corn. Given such abundance and native hospitality, the colonist wondered why they should work at all. Refusing to grow their own food they expected the Roanokes to feed them. However, the English had outlived their welcome, and fearing that the natives were about to attack, the English soldiers killed the Roanoke leader.
Although some settlers were curious and open-minded about the Indians’ way of life, most assumed that Native Americans would submit to their authority and feed them while they looked for gold. The Spaniards had different ways of conquering the American land treating the indigenous people than the English people however, they each shared the same idea that the Indians needed to be controlled and cater to the needs of those who conquered them.
They felt that they did not need to respect the culture, the religion, and the people of the land. The Europeans had a high self respect which they felt overpowered that of the natives. They wanted what was not theirs in order to better their economy without any compromise, while destroying another society’s culture. Because of this they were able to come to the same conclusion that they could treat the Natives as they did.
To conclude, the Spanish and the English had a similar perspective of how they wanted to treat the natives of the lands they conquered, however they differed in strategy in how they were able to confine them because of the goals they individually had in mind prior to their conquest.
The English had a simple idea of coming into America sharing the land and the crops with the natives until they got afraid and too greedy, leaving violence as a resort. With the Spanish, they strategize according to the fact that they wanted the gold and to enslave the native people with no mercy, resulting in striping the natives away from their dignity.