Spain had confidence that their culture was superior than any other beliefs. If anybody didn’t accept their religion as that, then those people were uncivilized “heathens”. This was the reasoning that justified their colonization of the New World. The Spanish travelled to the New World with the primary goal of “saving” the Indians. By converting them to Christianity the Indians could gain freedom, according to them. They didn’t harm any of the Indians, as they only wanted to change them into Christian subjects. But that meant destroying the already existing Indian political structures and way of life. Compared to the Spanish, the French were more tolerant with religion. But the Jesuits; a missionary religious order, did hope to convert Indians
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Religion was a key factor in the way La Casas and the Spaniards protrayed the indigenous people of the Caribbean. Queen Isabella 's role in the avocation of converting the native people to Catholicism allowed Religion to play a major role in the Spanish ConquestLas Casas mentions Queen Isabella’s religious influences in the opening chapter of the book. He also states that her death and the disappearances of her influences is the reasons the Spaniards genocide of the native people increased. Both Las Casa and the Spaniards agreed that religion was a reason for the conquest of the Caribbean. However, they concept influenced their portrayal of the natives in different ways.
The Europeans often tried to enforce violence in order to force the acceptance of baptism. However, this violence merely provoked resistance and rejection from the Native Americans. Ironically, though they wanted to escape religious persecution, they persecuted the natives for religious reasons. Also, since they were met with so much resistance, their ideal settlement with everyone being Christian contrasted with the reality of the New
When the three cultural extremes of the Spanish Conquistadores, the English Settlers, and the Native Americans converged in the New World, their morals and values were negatively influenced. The Conquistadores were in search of wealth in abundance in the New World, and were determined to find it. The English Settlers came to establish a colony absent of the pressures of Roman Catholicism. The Native Americans were living in peace until the disruption of foreign civilizations. All three factions would have to adapt once their beliefs and ideals clashed.
When the Spanish found America, the found the riches. They were seen as “Gods” to the native American Indians. The Spanish were Catholics. They tried to spread their religion to the natives of the land because they believed Catholicism was the only religion to practice; all other religions had
The Aztecs were constantly launching raids to capture prisoners for the enormous number of human sacrifices they conducted. There is important archeological evidence showing that several Indian civilizations suffered violent ends at the hands of other Indian cultures long before the arrival of the Europeans in America. • In effect, the Spanish employed a colonization strategy of "gold and souls. " Converting the native population to Catholicism not only spread the doctrines of the Catholic Church, then under threat in Europe, but could, it was believed, further the control of Indian behavior in the mines and on the plantations.
Ultimately, the arrival of Christianity in the Americas created cultural diffusion amongst the indigenous population to certain extents based on willingness and capabilities of the natives, while also forcing other native religions to continue to carry out in secret due to the fact that the church wanted to make Christianity prominent in the Americas and push aside all others, mainly using the Inquisitions to punish anyone against them (all the while simultaneously encouraging Christianity). The Catholic Church attempted to spread Christianity amongst the indigenous people of Latin America; however, they were only successful to a certain extent with converting people to Christianity depending on the willingness of the natives as well as the capabilities of the priests. For example, in document 3, a manuscript written by Jacinto de la Serna to aid priests working among the natives of Mexico in 1656, the priest had worked to try to teach the Amerindian population the religion of Christianity, but the natives outside of the main towns held onto their old faiths, merging the Christian rituals with their own to stay hidden. From this, it can be seen how,
When Columbus came to the Americas in search of land for his king, he also came to claim land for God” (Spreading Religion in the Age of Exploration). The Europeans spread Christianity, and it became very popular among the colonies of the New World. “Roman Catholicism was the official religion of Spain, so the Spanish conquistadors sought to spread Catholicism throughout their colonies, in addition to accumulating wealth and power” (Spreading Religion in the Age of Exploration). The Spanish missionaries worked very hard throughout the Americas and attempted to evangelize Native American groups.
The English were more concerned with finding gold rather than building functioning societies; which were primarily built around biblical teachings, while the Spanish intended for European national power to extend to western civilization beginning with Catholicism and influence of the pope. English settlers were driven from England due to religious practices and perceived themselves as saving the Indians from the Spanish and their tyrannical ways. For the English, owning land would give men control over their own labor and the right to vote in most colonies, and this land possession would show wealth. This new obtained wealth would not only have demonstrated power, but it could also be used to influence a society a certain way to convince others to follow suit. The English believed that their motives for colonization were pure, and that the growth of empire and freedom would always go together, unlike the Spanish.
Since 1492, Spain recognized Christianity as its official religion because there was no distinction between Catholicism and Protestantism. Most of the Spanish population practiced Christianity due to Jews being banished and Muslims being converted. In 1517, the Protestant Reformation divided the Christian religion half - into Catholicism and Protestantism. Spain supported the Catholic religion, and they saw the New World as an opportunity to convert others to Catholicism. They believed that religion gave them the right to conquer new land, because they “came to serve God and to get rich, as all men wish to do,” which Bernal Diaz del Castillo said while working with Hernán Cortés in the conquest of Mexico.
The natives did not receive correct treatment from those who conquered their land. For example, Hernan Cortes demanded that the natives must change their beliefs. The Aztecs would sacrifice 50 souls every year to their gods. Cortes opposed of this and therefor forced them to adopt a new religion. The Aztecs didn’t easily accept the new religion since they have been following their religion for a very long time (document 3).
He noted their sophisticated, very well-developed societies. When Europeans came into contact with Native Americans, they tried to spread Christianity and force Natives to convert to their religion. This is because people who sided with Sepúlveda felt that their religion was superior and wouldn’t ever fathom that they could adopt any of the Natives’ religions. Places in the “new world” that were under Spanish rule often were exceedingly religiously intolerant. As the Europeans gained more and more power religiously, Native American religions were silenced.
On the surface, it is easy to get the impression that the Spaniards’ goal for going to new lands focused on only gold. If it is only looked at in that aspect, it makes them look greedy. Often times in high school history classes, they focus on the voyages themselves rather than the culture of the Spanish society. They were very religious, as were many other empires. Despite a major concentration on the riches of the New World, the conquest of the Americas is best understood through the evangelism and theology of both the indigenous people and Spanish voyagers.
Spanish claims to Latin America were based on the Christianizing mission. When Christopher Columbus arrived at the ‘New World’ in 1492 he quickly and forcibly took advantage of the wealth of the Indian tribes; those who refused to hand over their gold and jewels faced brutal punishment of all sorts. In return, Columbus and other Spaniards bestowed the Indians with Catholicism by baptizing them and teaching them the rituals of the religion. Hence, the colonization of Latin America was justified under the guise of spreading Christianity.