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The spanish conquerors Essay

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By the 16th century the Spanish empire was sending expeditions to expand their colonies. With the blessing of the Pope the Spaniards sent expeditions mainly to expand their economy in the guise of spreading the Catholic Faith. Countries like Cuba, Philippines, Mexico and etc. were colonized. The Spanish fleet landed at the Yucatan and Mexican Coasts and started conquering the land in the name of the King of Spain who they say was put in power by God himself. Mexico was named New Spain and was under their rule for three hundred years.

There were revolutions by the indigenous groups but none was successful due to advance artilleries of the Spanish Conquerors. Any uprising was immediately crushed by the government. They were subjected to Catholicism, slavery, tributes and other Spanish customs. Churches, Schools and other institutions where built to further pacify the natives. Friars and Dominican priests were sent to educate them and to localize the Catholic Faith so that it would be easier for the natives to make the transition.

The Spanish Regime introduced the “Suffering Christ” which taught the people to be patient and endure sufferings for those who do so will be rewarded in the end. Religion was used by the Spaniards as a tool for oppression and as a way of collecting taxes. In the structure of the Spanish government, religion is regarded as more powerful than the social justice therefore everyone is subjected to the Church making it the most power institution in society. The priest on the other hand was the most powerful individual in society.

Tributes were collected from the natives. All its natural resources, mainly silver, wheat, sugar cane, and etc was exploited for the purpose of export to other countries. This caused unrest since there is a flow of wealth out of the country leaving Mexico impoverished. Land was confiscated from the natives and was transformed into Haciendas wherein they planted money crops having the natives as farmers. Only a portion of the land was rented to the natives and some are even held as slaves.

The crops were exported through the Galleon Trade which supported the economy of Spain. Social class was also changed in favor of the conquerors. The highest among the class were the Peninsulares which are composed of pure blooded Spaniards who where born in Spain. Next to them are the Creoles which are pure blooded Spaniards born in the colonies of Spain. Then the Mestizo which is half Spanish individuals and then the natives which are regarded as higher than the blacks.

The irony of it is that the natives are the ones who rightfully own the land but they are the lowest in the social strata. They were the ones subjected to taxes, land acquisitions of friars, polo y servicio which is a required service for the government for a span of six months in a year without pay, curfews and other laws that directly undermine their rights as citizens of their country. The natives were also forced to strictly follow the religious customs and totally abandon their pagan religion and demigods.

They were baptized and those who refuse to do so are called as an outcast in society which they call as “excomunicado”. The excomunicados are stripped of what little right a citizen has and at time hunted by the church and imprisoned or exiled. There was also little social mobility since the social strata was based on race. If one is born a native, there is no hope from him to alleviate his strata and will therefore suffer the same faith that his ancestors did. It was impossible to move from one class to another unless you marry those of the upper class.

However this case is only applicable to native women since the Peninsulares are very protective of their women. This posted a problem for the Native men since all mothers wanted their daughters to marry a Peninsular creating a shortage in wives for the native men. High positions in the government were also limited to the upper classes which are the Peninsulares. This led to social unrest since the Creoles wanted to hold office. This created resentment and dissatisfaction among the classes.

Many factors affected the declaration of freedom from Spain and some of these are the problems mentioned above. First is the inequality brought about by the case system, the flow of wealth which directly benefits Spain, the inability of Spain to support the needs of its colonies since at that time there was also crisis in their own nation, and the influx of new ideas from Europe and America with regards to Liberalism and democracy. After three hundred years of being under the Spanish Rule freedom was given to the native.

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