Slavery In The Colonies Of New Spain. The Spanish used enslavement as a means of mobilized Native labor but also coerced labor by means of what was then known as “Encomienda.” This was a trusteeship labor system where theThe Spanish first began Spanish Monarchy would grant a person a specified number ofusing slaves in the New natives for whom they were to take responsibility. This personWorld by capturing and was to instruct the Natives in the Spanish language and Catholicsubjugating local Native faith. In return the could exact tribute from the natives in theAmerican Indians. form of labor or gold or other goods. According to the. Encomienda system the natives were not slaves but considered free people. Another way the Spanish used Natives to perform laborious tasks was by “Repartimiento.” A forced labor system where the Natives were forced to do low-paid or unpaid labor for a certain number of weeks or months each ear on Spanish owned farms, mines, workshops, and public projects. Like the Encomienda system, repartimiento was not considered slavery because the Natives were not owned outright and the time of work they were forced to do was intermittent. Although the Spanish claimed that the Natives were not slaves, this was only a technicality.
The Spanish also implemented a mandatory public service on the local Natives called “Mita.”The Mita was a mandatory public service used by the Inca Empire where its citizens were forcedto pay tribute in the form of labor to its government. The Inca citizens had to dedicate a certainnumber of days each year (a large majority of the year) to aid in the construction of roads andtemples and to work in the production of crops. It as used by the Inca as a way not to extort itscitizens but as a collective way to keep the civilization stable and growing. When the Spanishconquered the Inca they continued this policy on the citizens but twisted it for personal gain byforcing natives to tend to Spanish owned farms and institutes of Spanish Production such asthe silver mines being discovered around Mexico.But when the Native locals began dying in massive numbers due to disease and famine theSpanish began importing African Slaves. Between 1502 and 1518 with the permission of theSpanish Monarchs ferdinand and Isabella, Spain shipped out hundreds of Spanish-bornAfricans called “Ladinos”. The Ladinos were sent to work in the extremely valuable silver minesthe Spanish had found in Mexico. It is estimated that between the 15th and 19th centuries theSpanish colonies of New Spain received about two million African slaves.