Europe was economically stagnant between 1500 and1900, and was one of the weakest continents unlike its current position centuries later. The continent faced economic difficulties such as the plague, and famine, however, it adapted to other cultures innovations e.g. ships and firearms. Overtime, the European countries fought against each other and this lead to innovation in Europe’s technology and expansion of territory overseas. Through exploration, Columbus navigated the Pacific Ocean and identified military capacity that indigenous people had in order to prepare their Army with the intelligence on their conquest. The Spanish and Portuguese began their conquest of Latin America in the 15th century. Spain initially planned to colonize Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. However, they lacked the labor required to benefit from the agricultural revolution. The Latin America’s natives who confronted the European colonizers were killed in large numbers and their crops burnt. The European used local allies through granting favors and preferential treatment in taking control of Latin America.
It is evident that the European conquerors “Spaniards” won their battles in colonizing Latin American countries through superior weapons, intelligence, and the collaboration of local warriors. Such an advantage over their opponents, guaranteed wins in their fights. Their conquests were successful whenever the native’s organizational structure and will to resist were broken.
- How did the local natives view the Europeans who had superior weapons and were spreading Christianity?
- Did the indigenous people view them with awe as if they were superior?
Answer: The locals viewed the European colonizers as common people who had similar motives, values and goals. Christianity was a new religion to the natives who had their own religious practices and they adopted Christianity. They did not view hem in awe or being special that is why most native leaders from resilient cultures proposed alliances with Spaniards to benefit from their war fare technology and territory.
Kicza, J. E., & Horn, Rebecca. Resilient Cultures; America’s Native Peoples Confront European Colonialization 1500-1800. London: Routledge, 2016. Print.