Theme 3: The Spanish Empire

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Theme 3: The Spanish Empire

  1. 1. History 140, Spring 2011<br />Shannon Lopez<br />Theme 3American Colonial Empires:The Spanish Empire<br />
  2. 2. The Spanish Empire<br />With the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1942 over 4 centuries the Spanish Empire would expand across most of present day Central America, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and much of the rest of North America with motivations of trade and the spread of the Christian faith. <br />With his rejection by King John II of Portugal in 1485 as the sponsor for his expedition, he turned to Queen Isabella of Castile and her husband King Ferdinand II of Aragon. <br />Although he presented his proposition as early as 1486, he did not convince them until 1491 and finally set sail from the port of Palos de la Frontera in 1492.<br />
  3. 3. Most of the primary sources of the conquest come from Hernan Cortes’ letters to Charles V, but some indigenous accounts written in the native tongue of the Sahugan natives of the Aztec empire described 8 omens that were believed to have occurred 10 years prior to the arrival of the Spanish. <br />The 8 omens were:<br />Fire falling from the sky<br />Fire consuming the temple of Huitzilopochtli<br />A lightning bolt destroying the straw temple of Xiuhtecuhtli<br />The appearance of streaking fire across the oceans<br />The “boiling” and water flooding of a lake nearby Tenochtitlan<br />A woman weeping in the middle of the night for them to flee while they could<br />A two headed man running through the streets<br />Montezuma saw images of fighting men in a mirror on his birds head<br />The Spanish accounts incorporated the omens to emphasize that the conquest was preordained and a part of their destiny. <br />The Spanish Empire:Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Cont.<br />
  4. 4. Hernan Cortes was instructed by Governor Velazquez in an agreement signed October 1518 to lead an expedition to initiate trade relations with the indigenous costal tribes and that invasion of the mainland was a privilege that he would reserve for himself.<br />Cortes spent some time at Cozumel Island trying to convert the locals to Christianity but his greatest result of that landing was Geronimo de Aguilar who was now fluent in the indigenous language after being shipwrecked there in 1511. He became a great asset as a translator for Cortes.<br />Next he continued around the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and landed at Potonchan were he found little gold but he found another asset that proved valuable, Dona Marina. <br />He was able to communicate with the Aztecs quite effectively through the use of Aguilar and Dona Marina by him speaking to Aguilar in Spanish who would then translate into Mayan for Dona Marina. She would then translate from Mayan to Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.<br />After learning of an indigenous settlement called Cempoala, he marched his forces there and quickly persuaded the Totnac chief Chicomecoatl to rebel against the Aztecs. <br />The Totonacs helped Cortes build the town of La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, which became the starting point for his attempt to conquer the Aztec empire and this settlement grew into the city now known as Veracruz.<br />The Spanish Empire:Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Cont.<br />
  5. 5. September 1519, Cortes arrived in Tlaxcala and the rulers saw the Spanish as an ally against the Aztecs.<br />October 1519, Cortes and his men along with around 1,000 Tlaxcalteca marched to Cholula. After arriving he seized their leaders and ordered the city set fire.<br />November 1519, Cortes arrived at the outskirts of Tenochtitlan where according to legend the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II welcomed him and dressed him with flowers from his own garden.<br />After Moctezuma prepared his father Axayacatl’s palace for the Spanish and their native allies, Cortes seized Moctezuma in his own palace and made him prisoner as insurance against Aztex revolt and demanded ransom of gold. <br />While Cortes set out to a surprise night attack against his antagonist Panfilo de Narvaez, the men he left behind attacked and killed many of the Aztec nobility during a festival.<br />When he returned the Aztec troops besieged the palace housing the Spaniards, their native allies, and Moctezuma and in July 1520 they had to flee the city via the cause way to Tlacopan.<br />Cortes then joined forces with the Tlaxcala and returned to siege Tenochtitlan which lasted for eight months. <br />Despite the resistance, Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco fell in August 1521 when the last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtemoc, surrendered to Cortes.<br />The Spanish Empire:Conquest of the Aztec Empire, Cont.<br />
  6. 6. It seems that Cortes’ intention was to maintain the basic structure of the Aztec empire under his leadership. <br />The upper class learned Spanish and some learned to write. <br />The first missionaries tried to learn Nahuatl and some learned as much as they could about the Aztec culture.<br />Although the natives were not to become slaves officially, to reward the Spanish army that captured what is now Mexico, they were granted large areas of land and native labor under the Spanish land management system of Encomienda.<br />The system became one of oppression and exploitation of the natives and due to some horrifying instances of abuse, Bishop Bartolome de lasCasas suggested importing black slaves to replace them.<br />The Aztec education system was abolished and replaced by a very limited church education.<br />Some foods associated with Mesoamerican religious practices, such as amaranto, were forbidden.<br />The majority of the Spanish colonists were single men who married or made concubines of the natives, and were even encouraged to do so by Queen Isabella during the earliest days of colonization. As a result a vast class of people known as “Mestizos” and mulattos came into being.<br />The Spanish Emprire:Conquest of the Aztec Empire<br />
  7. 7. Diego was one of hundreds of natives that were converted Catholics that still preserved their indigenous religious beliefs and practices that the Catholic priests called idolatry. <br />His parents and grandparents taught him the prayers and how to perform the ceremonies of their god Sorimana, which he then taught those rituals to various Indian women.<br />The priests relied on luck of informants to get rid of the cults and Diego’s luck would run out in May 1671 when he found himself being charge of heresy before Father de Prado at which time he was over 90 years old.<br />Even though the person who turned him in, Catalina Paicaua, was considered a local sorcerer; what took place more often than not was they would lead the priests to the rival cult rather than its own.<br />Father de Prado described the Sorimana rites as idolatrous and heretical but did not consider them witchcraft.<br />Father de Prado threatened to imprison Diego if he did not turn the stone image over to him. The common punishment was to denounce the convicted idolater in public and then have them whipped by the parish priests or have them paraded through the town carrying a cross as a sign of their repentance. <br />Diego and his convicted followers complied with the punishment and afterward laid low but most likely continued their ceremonies in secret. <br />Diego Vasicuio: Native Priest<br />
  8. 8. Baquero was a dark-skinned mestizo born in Buenos Aires and at the age of 12 he entered the shoemaking trade as an apprentice by leaving his parents home and living with a master shoemaker.<br />After 4 long years he successfully passed the journeyman’s test and worked for 10 years to acquired his own tools and enough money to open his own shop in Santo Domingo; there he married Bonifacia Vera.<br />Even though he was a master at his trade, he had a hard time getting access to the clientele that were going to be essential to his success and this gave him reason in April 1779 to join the efforts of Juan Jose Romero to create a guild that would create a self-regulating organization of master shoemakers.<br />Through the next 10 years there would be a series of drafts and in the draft in 1789 would force Baquero to begin to organize the black and mestizo masters because of the discriminatory proposals of the draft and the quick.<br />By this time he had saved enough to buy a small house and had his own shop where he, his son and his apprentice Jose worked. He also joined one of the city’s segregated militia units reserved for Indians and became an officer. <br />He began to form alliances in order to prevent racial discrimination where they joined Juan Jose Romero. <br />Through a series of elections, in March 1791 and again in July 1792 Romero was elected guild president and Baquero held one of the offices reserved for Indians.<br />Another election was held in December 1792 and neither Romero nor Baquero was elected to office.<br />Baquero then became the legal representative of the Negro and casta shoemakers and they empowered him to look to create a separate guild for them.<br />With the moral and financial support, he traveled to Madrid in December 1793.<br />Then in January 1794 he brought his appeal before the king summarizing the effort to create a guild of shoemakers in Buenos Aires and their request to create a separate guild for the casta shoemakers. <br />Their request was granted in January 1795 and a royal order was issued permitting the casta shoemakers to hold meetings and formulate a constitution. <br />The Guild of Negro and Mulatto Shoemakers was completed and sent to the cabildo in July 1798 and in May 1799 the cabildo denied them.<br />Although he was quick to appeal this decision, the royal court and the viceroy upheld the cabildo and Baquero and his allies lacked the finances to take another appeal to Madrid.<br />Francisco Baquero: Shoemaker and Organizer<br />
  9. 9. She was the first born of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma and Teotlalco in either 1509 or 1510 and her name was Tecuichpotzin which means little royal maiden.<br />In 1520 the Aztec emperor had become captives of a small force of Spaniards led by Fernando Cortes and his Indian allies. <br />Shortly after his capture he died but before his death he asked Cortes to take custody of his children which included Tecuichpotzin which she would later be known by the Spaniards as dona Isabel.<br />At the age of 11 her first marriage was to her uncle, Cuitlahuac, the brother of Moctezuma but within 60 days he fell victim to smallpox.<br />Soon after the death of her first husband, she was claimed as a bride by her cousin Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec emperor. <br />When she was sixteen or seventeen, she learned of her husband’s hanging by Cortes for his alleged plot to rebel. <br />On June 1526 Cortes granted donaIsabela and her descendants the revenues and income from the town Tacuba and the smaller villages that were subject to Tacuba, pending approval by the crown. This grant of encomienda included 12 estancias and the town of Tacuba for a total of 1,240 houses and several thousand Indian vassals.<br />The crown approved this and in June 1526, just a day after his grant to dona Isabel, Cortes appointed his friend and associate, Alonso de Gardo, to the post of visitor general of Indians and awarded dona Isabel as his bride. <br />She was married to him for less than 2 years, he died of unknown causes.<br />Shortly after his death, being that she was childless and beautiful, she became one of Cortes mistresses. She soon became pregnant with his child and Cortes began to make arrangements for her second Christian marriage. <br />She married Pedro Gallego de Andrade and a few months after their wedding, dona Isabel gave birth to Cortes daughter. She was the first of 7 children to be born to dona Isabel.<br />Within 2 months Pedro was dead of unknown causes and at 21 dona Isabel was a widow once again.<br />In the spring of 1532 she would marry Juan Can de Saavedra and their marriage would last nearly 2 decades and she would bear him 4 children. <br />She died in 1550 and the town of Tacuba that was given to her in the encomienda would be a center of litigation that occupied courts in Mexico and Spain for years.<br />Isabel Moctezuma: Pioneer of Mestizaje<br />
  10. 10. She was the oldest of three children borne by Cecilia de Alvarado; she was born a slave in a Mexico City household of the viceroy don Luis de Velasco.<br />Beatriz inherited her mother’s status but then had been granted her freedom thanks to the kindness of her employer.<br />In 1650, at the time of her arrest for being accused of causing dreadful things to happen to 2 of her lovers, she had been a housekeeper and mistress of don Diego de las Marinas.<br />Although she had never been married she had 4 children, the oldest which was Agustin Ortiz the son of the priest Diego Ortiz, which she was now being accused of poisoning him.<br />Of her lovers, Ortiz was the man whom she really loved throughout and his lover for her grew after the birth of their son Agustin and he would tell her that when he died that his hacienda would be hers to administer to support her and their son.<br />She admitted that the people in her town were envious of her, that her lovers were important men and they would ask her what charms or potions she would use to attract them.<br />As her trial continued, it became apparent that the envious relatives of Ortiz had created a conspiracy against Beatriz when they realized he loved her and was leaving his estate to her.<br />Their information was supplied to them by an ex-servant of Beatriz, Catalina la Garay, who now served Ortiz’ sister dona Luisa. <br />After Catalina’s confession she was made an example of for all the gossipers of Lagos by punishment of 200 lashes in the streets of the village.<br />Beatriz was released from the jail of the Inquisition. She was acquitted and allowed to return to her home without any punishment or reprimand. <br />Beatriz de Padilla: Mistress and Mother<br />
  11. 11. He was born in Mexico City, son of Pedro and Ana Hernandez who were also natives of the city. His wife, Ana Hernandez, was also born in Mexico City. Together they had 4 children.<br />He became a muleteer and became more familiar with the trade and developed personal and financial ties with wealthy individuals. He later moved to the town of Queretaro and established his home there.<br />In 1598 he owned his house and garden and was also able to buy a black slave. <br />He quickly became one of the leading mulatto citizens because he was a free, literate, and skilled as a muteteer and because of his ability to contract large debts without being forced into servitude. <br />Once he moved to Queretaro he began building his own freighting business and his success allowed him to expand that by March 1599 he bought 6 mules, then in August he bought 2 more. <br />In 1604, he expanded again and bought 8 more mules.<br />He had other means of supplemental income by small profits from petty trade, from the collection of the tithe, and also by selling mules.<br />By the facts that survived Miguel imply that he was an aggressive and enterprising man willing to take risks. To help finance his business, he turned to local landowners and merchants.<br />By 1604 he had opened accounts with merchants Fulano de Oviedo, Hernando de la Vega, and Francisco Vasquez and also by that time he had become a senor de recuas, master of mute trains. <br />When Miguel died in 1604, he left his wife and children as survivors. His wife Ana gave their son Juan power of attorney to represent her and manage her husband’s property. <br />Miguel Hernandez: Master of Mule Trains<br />
  12. 12. He was born in Hamburg around 1557 and then taken by his parents to Seville when he was 8 years old where he lived there for about 10 years. Germans like the Martinez family were originally called Martin.<br />When Enrico was in his teens he left Spain to northern Europe to study his interests. His travels took him to Sorbonne, Germany, Poland, and his native Hamburg.<br />From his travels he learned to speak German and Flemish and gained interests in astronomy, astrology, physics, and mathematics.<br />After arriving in Veracruz in 1589 he offered his services as a translator to the Inquisition. <br />His problem of earning a living was solved when he acquired his stock of printing equipment when a press was confiscated from a convicted printer of Lutheranism. <br />The first book he published was in 1599 and he specialized in public announcements of university theses, the acts of the Dominican chapter meetings, and textbooks for use in the Jesuit colegios.<br />His book, Reportorio de los tiempos e historia natural desta Nueva Espana, which he publish in 1606 was one of the only scientific works published in New Spain. Its topics included a resume of current cosmology that the average reader would be able to understand; answers to theoretical questions raise by certain natural phenomena in the New World; an assortment of information about crops, weather conditions, and medicine; and he made a case for the practice of informed astrology. <br />The last topic ran him the risk of provoking the Inquisition because it was forbidden to make astrological predictions of certain kinds.<br />He also included local problems in his Reportorio of which was the silting up of Lake Texcoco. <br />His plan for the project was chosen by the authorities and in 1607 it changed his career path from author to chief engineer of the desague.<br />This public works project carried scientific as well as political weight as well. It had to be built quickly, economically, without antagonizing important people, and with royal approval.<br />He was able to conceive the solutions to the flooding and had the desague built but was unable to keep it functioning after. <br /> He was briefly imprisioned on the charge of sabotaging his own work in 1629 after which he entered a period of disappointment. <br />He died in 1632 at the age of 75.<br />Enrico Martinez: Printer and Engineer<br />
  13. 13. Micaela was the daughter of a Spaniard named Diego Carrillo and an Indian of a cacique of Amozoque, Maria Gutierrez and they lived in Nuestra Senora de Asuncion Amozoque.<br />She married a cacique, Juan Tapia y Luna, which strengthened her ties to the hereditary nobility of the town.<br />Their homes were built in the Indian style and they enjoyed the privilages of the Indian nobility which they were referred to as don Juan and donaMicaela. <br />Don Juan died in the late 1730s and left Micaela and their two sons with a piece of land which she referred to as the gananciales or gains from her marriage.<br />During the early years of her widowhood she gave birth to three daughters, the youngest which was Maria Antonia.<br />Micaela never remarried and maintained her independence. <br />She earned a living by renting maguey plants on other people’s property. When the plant was ready to flower, she would go and tap the plant, extracting the aguamiel which she fermented in a vat of cowhide to make an intoxicating drink called pulque. <br />She began to distribute her property among her children as early as 1751 of which her most prized possessions included religious objects: two statues of the child Jesus, both on pedestals; three large oil paintings on cloth in gilded frames, representing the Virgin of the Assumption, Saint Michael, Saint Vincent, and Saint Gaitan, and two small prints of Jesus and Saint Michael. <br />When Micaela died, her son Esteban was determined to own the house and property that she left for Maria Antonia. <br />He initially won on the point of law and Maria had to leave her house but the judge’s final decision gave Maria back her house and forced Esteban to pay the court costs and made him liable for tribute payments when it was brought out that he had been claiming both Indian and mestizo rights.<br />Micaela Angela Carrillo: Widow and Pulque Dealer<br />

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