Slavery in Latin America

Check out more papers on America Latin America Slavery

During the time period of the Atlantic trade, Latin America was the main destination of millions of slaves that were transported from Africa. It is estimated that 85% of African slaves arrived and were sold in Central and Latin America. After the gradual emancipation of most African slaves, slavery continued along the Pacific coast of South America throughout the 19th century, as Peruvian slave traders kidnapped Polynesians, primarily from the Marquesas Islands and Easter Island and forced them to perform physical labour in mines and in the guano industry of Peru and Chile.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get your custom essay on

“Slavery in Latin America”

Get custom essay

Encomienda was a labor system developed by the Spaniard empire. It rewarded conquerors with labor from certain groups of people. This labor system was first established by the Spanish, in Spain, during the Roman period, but also used following the conquest of Muslim territories by Christians. It was implemented on a much larger scale during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Philippines. Conquered individuals were considered “vassals”, a person or country in a subordinate position to another, of the Spanish monarch. The crown awarded an encomienda as a grant to a certain individual. In the conquest era of the 16th century, the grants were considered to be a monopoly on the labor of particular groups of Native Americans called the “encomendero” and all of his descendants.

With the dismissal of known explorer Christopher Columbus, the Spanish crown sent Fray Nicolás de Ovando, a royal governor, who established the encomienda system. In many cases natives were forced to do hard labor and subjected to extreme punishment and death if they resisted. However, Queen Isabella of Castile forbade Indian slavery and deemed the indigenous to be “free vassals of the crown”. Various versions of the “Leyes de Indias” or “Laws of the Indies” from 1512 onwards attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives. Both natives and Spaniards appealed to the Real Audiencias for relief under the encomienda system.

The encomienda system brought many indigenous Taíno to work in the fields and mines in exchange for Spanish protection, education, and a seasonal salary. Under the pretense of searching for gold and other materials, many Spaniards took advantage of the regions now under control of the anaborios and Spanish encomenderos to exploit the native population by seizing their land and wealth. It would take some time before the Taíno revolted against their oppressors and many military campaigns before Emperor Charles V eradicated the encomienda system as a form of slavery. Raphael Lemkin considers Spain’s abuses of the Native population of the Americas to constitute cultural and even outright genocide including the abuses of the Encomienda system. He described slavery as “cultural genocide par excellence” noting “it is the most effective and thorough method of destroying culture, of desocializing human beings.” He considers colonist guilty due to failing to halt the abuses of the system despite royal orders. Recent research suggests that the spread of old-world disease appears to have been aggravated by the extreme climatic conditions of the time and by the poor living conditions and harsh treatment of the native people under the encomienda system of new Spain.

Did you like this example?

Cite this page

Slavery in Latin America. (2020, Dec 18). Retrieved November 29, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/slavery-in-latin-america/

Save time with Studydriver!

Get in touch with our top writers for a non-plagiarized essays written to satisfy your needs

Get custom essay

Stuck on ideas? Struggling with a concept?

A professional writer will make a clear, mistake-free paper for you!

Get help with your assigment
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Stop wasting your time searching for samples!
You can find a skilled professional who can write any paper for you.
Get unique paper

Hi!
I'm Chatbot Amy :)

I can help you save hours on your homework. Let's start by finding a writer.

Find Writer