The Role Of The Catholic Church In Latin America

1514 Words7 Pages
The Catholic Church and Latin America
The Catholic Church was a great power ruling many civilizations in Europe during the period between 1492 and 1830. Therefore, the role of the Catholic Church was of utmost importance to the colonization and development of Latin America as it was a great force in Spain and Portugal. Despite the peaceful teachings of the Church, greed and a hunger for power led them to make decisions harming Latin America and Christianity, rather than thriving it. In this paper, I will show that the Catholic Church is significantly responsible for the colonization and development of Latin America through, the Christianizing mission, the Treaty of Tordesillas, and the Spanish Inquisition.
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. Meade supports this by saying, “The Crown utilized this system of rewards to encourage the settlement and further conquest of the New World.” In this case, we see how the Catholic Church was used as a moral defense in order to gain the
Open Document