The history of conquest is disturbing. During conquest, imperial powers used their might to subject weak territories to suffering. The powers achieved their goals by exploiting the poor societies. Put differently, the mighty powers used every means to plunder the economies of the poor for their selfish gains. At the initial stages, the powers came in using friendlier approaches before adopting ways to rein on new territories. In the following essay, the Spanish conquest of the Indies is put into perspective.
American History to 1877
The Indies was discovered in 1492. In the subsequent year, some Spaniards settled in the land. Based on the introductory part of the excerpt, the question of settlement and migration come up. There were several islands in the Indies before the coming of the Spaniards. The Spaniards were among the first settlers having moved from another region. This realization underscores the nature of societies at the time. It is inferred that at the time, people were leading a nomadic life. However, on proceeding further, another issue that contradicts the issue of nomadic life emerges. Based on the excerpts, there were several islands in the region, which were densely populated.
Although explorations were going on, it is evident that the region was packed. Another element that arises out of this discovery lies on human desire for adventure. An aspect of religion is also raised. It is highlighted in the excerpts that the people were guileless, devoid of wickedness, faithful and obedient. The author further indicated that the citizens of the islands were generally well behaved. In this regard, the main theme gravitates around morality. It is demonstrated that the people had high a regard for morals. The merit of leading a moral life rested in the need for a peaceful society. Morals shape norms within societies. In turn, norms control the manner in which people behave.
Among the different races, variations are evident. For instance, the Spaniards led a luxurious culture. As the author revealed, on arrival, the Spaniards came with different behaviors. This is exemplified by the act of engaging in nobly acts such as enjoying refinements. Moreover, the author described them as beastly. The beastly behavior is demonstrable in their negative approach to life at their new destination. On the other hand, Indians exhibited a different lifestyle. As illustrated, the Indians had no desire for worldly possessions. This explains why Indians did not display bitterness, greed and arrogance.
The merit of adopting a beastly culture was to acquire property without regard to respect for humanity. On arrival at the islands, the Spaniards interfered with the locals’ ways of life. As proved, the Cuban island was deserted after a short time. The same fate befell the islands of San Juan, Lucayos, Gigantes and Jamaica. The people who lived in the deserted islands were either killed or taken captive and sold as slaves. The point that emerges at this stage is military conquest and the place of humanity. The Spaniards came with an imperial approach to the islands. They used their greed to wage war against the people who lived in the region. In the end, they succeeded and ruined the lives of the locals. However, by defeating the locals the Spaniards could be able to take control of the occupied territories. They could further render the locals powerless. Thus, they could do whatever that they desired to do with the occupied territories.
Apparently, the Spaniards claimed to be Christians. This presents grounds for contesting the teachings of the Christian faith. The wiping out of people who lived peacefully is in contradiction with the teachings of the Christian faith. Hence, the conduct of the Spaniards raises questions regarding their observance of religious rules that they proclaimed. The main idea of killing the locals of the islands was to acquire such riches as gold and other mineral deposits. The merit of the move was thus to enrich the Spanish Empire. However, destroying life in the pursuit of riches lacks merit. Eventually, the Indians could not stand the suffering the Spaniards were subjecting them, since, they staged a war against them during the conquest of New Spain.
This turn of events shows that when people are conquered, they do not necessarily object immediately. However, when the suffering exceeds certain limits, even the most harmless people are capable of revolting. During the war, uncertainty was a major characteristic. As the narrator reflects, a good percentage of fighters were wounded. The author indicated that the Indian warriors were unwilling to allow anybody from the opposition camp to escape alive. However, the Indian warriors were repelled.
The ability to withstand the attack implies the state of preparedness of fighters. This demonstrates that war was taken seriously as each camp sought to overcome the enemy. Furthermore, the aspect of sacrifice appears, as an important theme. The two sets of fighters showed great individual sacrifices by putting their lives in danger just for the sake of protecting their territories. Upon arrival in Hispaniola, the Christians began their oppressive activities.
The Spaniards used these poor groups for their sectarian gains. The merit of exploiting the locals was to increase production. After such increments, the Spaniards could have plenty for their consumption. However, the rationale to use women and children remains questionable. Despite being subjected to unbearable treatment, the Indians maintained peace. They did not stage an early uprising as most people did whenever they were invaded.
In conclusion, it is observable that empires, kingdoms and other powers used conquest as a means of expanding their territorial prowess. The imperial powers went further to subject other people to suffering, by using exploitation. Although, in most cases, they succeeded to colonize the locals, eventually, they could not sustain conquest. As the case of the Indies reflects, the colonized people were able to rise and defend their rights.