The central concerns of the readings include the oppressed state of native Indians in America, the role of religion and the Spanish rule. The labor policy of the Hispaniola also reflects crown’s need for the monetary resources. The implementation of the policy has influenced the cultural, religious and economic aspects of the natives. The central concerns highlighted by Peyak and Petry states that Indians enjoyed certain degree of freedom and liberty which they were not willing to compromise. This convinced them to avoid contact or building friendships with the Spaniards. Religion played a positive role that was based on the ideology of catholic faith. The people in the island were concerned about growing fruits and crops that caused them to force Indians to work for increasing the agricultural produce. The system was cruel because the commander of the area sent Indians to distant mines for work. The hardships were worst for the entire Indian community. They had to spend months in the mines and were allowed to meet their wives only once in eight to ten months. Indians in Spain continued to suffer in the area due to the strict rules for them. The readings have highlighted that native Indians were living in terrible conditions as Spanish forced them to work for hours while they were given only scare food. Poor living conditions resulted in illnesses and deaths of many natives. It was difficult to survive in the complex circumstances.
I was surprised to learn that Indians Latin America were treated as slaves. I think that the central issue faced by Indians was enforced acceptance of American culture. They had to quit their cultural ways of living and tradition causing inconvenience for them. I am surprised to find that there were no human rights for the natives until 1511. The issue was only raised when Columbus visited Spain in that year. He claimed that natives are treated harshly that is unfair and unjust. It is surprising to know that no action had been taken earlier for giving rights to the natives.
I am still wondering when was church strongest presence in the society? Also what role it played in resolving the religious issues of natives and the Americans? Why natives were not given the rights as other people of Spain. The stories of the natives portrayed in the readings were not in my knowledge. It is surprising to know that Indians still survived in such critical situations. There was no humane mode of life for the Indians and they relied on the mercy of the Spaniards. The rules were unjust because they neglected the sentiments of the Indians.
I have been challenged by the readings because I was unaware of the harsh treatment faced by the native Indians. Natives fought for years to prove that they were slaves. Spaniards were more powerful and used their force to crush the natives. The Spanish mindset reflected that Indians were slaves of the nature and they must follow the Spanish rule. Indians were forced to work for the Spaniards while they only received little food. They lacked human rights and they were defeated in the war by Spaniards. The readings have challenged my views because I was only aware about the enforcement of certain condition such as quitting cultural values and traditions. However I was unfamiliar with the unfair laws such as the services of each Indian man in harsh conditions of the mines for several months. The laws distances Indians from their families and children.
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