That’s because of what followed that “discovery.” News of Columbus’s voyages spread across Europe. It began the Age of Exploration. It led to many more transatlantic journeys from Europe to the Americas. Contact between Europeans and native people led to deadly conflicts. It also exposed the local inhabitants to European diseases. Native people had no natural immunities to those illnesses. Nor did they understand how the diseases traveled. Their efforts to flee from places filled with dying people ended up spreading the diseases.
Just prior to Spanish arrival in 1492, it is believed that an estimated 50–100 million indigenous people lived in the Americas. Disease may have wiped out 90 percent of them. Millions of indigenous people died of smallpox, measles, cholera, and other contagious illnesses. Within 50 years of contact with the Spanish, the native Tainos, who welcomed Columbus in 1492, no longer existed as a distinct group.
The Spanish also employed the encomienda system in their colonial holdings. The system “gave” conquistadors a specific community or number of native people. The native people were expected to work for their Spanish overlord and to pay a tribute in goods or produce. In exchange, the Spanish conqueror was expected to take care of his laborers. He was supposed to teach them about Christianity and the Spanish culture. He also was supposed to protect them.
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Celebrating Our Southwest Heritage
A talk with Khristaan Villela
Neighbors North And South
Refugees from the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s head for Marfa, Texas.
A New Conflict Threatened The US And Mexico's Relationship
More than 60 years after the United States and Mexico fought their last battle over land, a new conflict threatened the two countries’ relationship.
The Final Piece
The dark green color in the map depicts the land that was the Gadsden Purchase.
Alta California Becomes A State
This 1750 map captures the Spanish belief—based on the Baja Peninsula—that California was an island.
From Tejas To Texas
The republic of Mexico—newly independent from Spain—faced some big problems in the early 1820s.
The Rise of New Spain
Within a couple of years of arriving in Mexico, Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire.
Rethinking A Holiday
Columbus Day has been an official U.S. holiday since 1937. But some people question the idea of celebrating Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the “New World.”
The Promise Of Gold And A Sea Route To India
The promise of gold and a sea route to India.
Did you know that the Spanish arrived in North America more than 100 years before the English settled their first colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts?
IS THIS A NEW AGE OF CULTISM— OR A NEW CULT PANIC?
RETURN the NATIONAL PARKS to the TRIBES
THE JEWELS of AMERICA’S LANDSCAPE SHOULD BELONG TO AMERICA’S ORIGINAL PEOPLES.
A Healthy Berry Very Easily Turns Decadent
Gender equity drive in racing
As part of a remix for the coming season of the foiling SailGP series, each of the eight teams are to add one female athlete per team. Teams will be incentivised to include female athletes in rotation for ‘active roles’ and to include women in the sixth position, progressing to ‘practice and/or training in key roles’.
HELEN FRETTER ON JZERRO
BidenBucks Is Beeple Is Bitcoin
In a system rigged by the rich, outsiders have to make their own volatility.
The Soul Of Bravo
A year of national reckonings on race and inequality has tested how real the Housewives should be.
Be prepared to be surprised by the wonders of the open road, the places you will visit and the wonderful people you will meet on your travels across the Western U.S.
How Will You Celebrate National Ag Day?
WE’VE ALL SEEN #NationalDogDay or #NationalCoffeeDay sweep our social media feeds at some point every year. While there are many interesting avenues you can celebrate via National Today, there is one that remains all-important to maintain a stable economy and to live our healthiest lives. Can you guess it? National Ag Day on March 23.
Stephen ‘Thundercat' Bruner – 'Bass Traverses Different Worlds'
Want to learn the secrets of the universe? Then you’d better join us as we sit down with Stephen ‘Thundercat’ Bruner, the pre-eminent bassist of his generation. This one goes deep!