Encomienda System Essay

810 Words 4 Pages
Medieval Period Brought to America
Even when the discovery of the New World took place during the Renaissance period, I consider that Spain revived medieval elements in the New World by conquering and plundering Indian empires, establishing the encomienda system, and bringing epidemic diseases. First, I will demonstrate how Spaniards conducted the Conquest as a type of crusade by crossing the Pacific Ocean in search of riches and fame. Second, I will show how Spaniards transplanted feudalism in the New World by creating the encomienda system. Finally, I will demonstrate that Indians also experienced what Europeans suffered with epidemic disease, such as the Black Death and Measles, during the medieval era.
The Spaniards bring back to life
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Spaniards revived feudalism when they implemented the encomienda system. In this system, the Spanish crown awarded the right to control and regulate American Indians groups during the colonization. As in the Middle Ages, The system also allowed the crown to keep control of the new territory and loyalty from its elites. For the most part, the holders of Indians groups, known as encomenderos, used natives for labor and extract tributes. In return, the owners needed to protect, educate, and take care of their Indians. They also had the responsibility to convert natives into Christianity. In reality, the encomienda system was a type of slavery that led to some of the worst atrocities of the era. Some encomenderos did not follow their responsibilities. They abused of the natives by forcing them to do hard labor and demanding ridiculous tributes. Indians were subject to extreme punishments when they did not satisfy the demands of their owners. In short, natives were the peasants of the New World; peasants that had to give tribute to their feudal lords, who now were known as …show more content…
Europeans indirectly carried infectious diseases to the new discovered world. Some of these diseases were the smallpox, measles, and typhus. This illnesses caused Native Americans to experience what Europeans suffered with the Black Death. Natives were exposed to deadly diseases that they have never seen or been exposed before. In other words, they suffered of virgin-soil epidemics. Similar to the Medieval Period, all Indians were prone to get sick: emperors, political elites, warriors, and peasants. It was at this time that most natives were confused, as they did not know what was causing the large amount of deaths. Some natives considered the illnesses to be a form of punishment from their gods or Bad Spirits. Likewise, Indians did not know how to treat or cure such epidemics. Moreover, the epidemics caused demographic collapse as well as destruction of native communal life. It is estimated that around 95% of Native Americans die by cause of epidemics. In short, the extreme rates of death and confusion caused by epidemic diseases among the Indians mirrored the era of the plague during the Medieval

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