Portugal And Spanish Influence On American Culture

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After years of peasantry and disease, Europe was ready for an economic and cultural upturn. The Crusades introduced Europeans of higher education to the culture of Eastern Europe, and as the renaissance swept throughout Europe, it spurred a revival of knowledge and eagerness to know and see more. This newfound philosophy of living to be happy rather than just to survive triggered European exploration to the Western Hemisphere as well as to the nations to the south. Two countries that did exactly this are Portugal and Spain, leaving lasting impacts, some similar and some different, on Africa and the Americas. The reasons and ways that the Portuguese and Spanish impacted Africa and America, respectively, differed greatly. Spain’s exploration…show more content…
Spain saw the natives as savages and a simple people that needed to be controlled so they were unrelenting in their rule, taking some women as mistresses and killing those who attempted to rebel aftering having wiped out thousands with diseases brought from Europe. Bernal Díaz, a young soldier that took part in fighting the natives recounted, “...all is overthrown and lost, nothing left standing.” The once supreme Mayan, Aztec, and Inca peoples were crushed underneath the rising power of the Spanish. While also mistreating the people of Africa, the Portuguese, rather than killing, bought people as mistresses or slaves. Slavery had long been taking place in Africa, but with the Portuguese came other European countries that benefitted from free labor. Taking advantage of the slave trade, the Portuguese bought and abused thousands of African slave laborers and their descendants every year. Because of the huge dispersion of African slaves, Africans became known as a slave race. For years, the people of Africa and America suffered from the continuous maltreatment from the Portuguese and
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