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Exploitation of Indigenous Peoples

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    The Native Americans were slaves from the north to the South of the Americas and right across the North American continent. The percentage of Native American slaves was larger than black slaves and they were enslaved far longer than Black slaves. Native Americans were slaves for about 500 years, from the 1400s to the 1900s. Native Americans slaves were for 200 years before African Americans made it to the new world. The slaves of Native American were shipped to several areas around the world, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. 1] Native Americans were slaves even after slavery was removed because they were not citizens and the laws did not apply to them, the first Native American group was under Columbus, about 200,000 natives were harshly enslaved by him. Only 500 survived by the year 1550 and the group were extinct before 1650. [2] When Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in the late 1400s, his goal was to take all it natural resources and take it to Spain, he named it the new resource for Spain.

    Columbus figured an opportunity to convert the natives to Christianity, to provide another trade point with his mother country, and to learn about a vast extent of the agriculture and animals, as well as interesting cultures that the Old World had ever seen. However, one of the strongest causes of this difference in objectives was Hernando Cortes. Hernando Cortes’s purpose for the occupation of present-day Mexico was the conquest of the native peoples. Through harsh force and dishonesty, he destroyed the native tribes, making the Aztec Empire his own empire.

    In Bartolome de Las Casas writing about the indigenous peoples, witnessed a massive murder of the original people of Cuba, and became an opponent to the violent conversion of the Native Americans. He is considered the Father of Liberation Theology, arguing with Juan Gines de Sepulveda. De las Casas argued that Native Americans should be treated as other Spanish subjects of the king. He suggested that instead of making the Native Americans slaves, the Spanish should ship Africans to the New World for use as slave labor. [3] Alonso Zuazo said in his writings about the native Americans that the

    Indians would serve as slaves for the Europeans in the sugar cane plantation in the coasts of Northern Africa. The main thing he was focused on was when the enslaving of the natives was failing in the sixteenth century; they wanted to replace them with slaves from western Africa. He found out that Africans were better slaves than the Native Americans because they came from agricultural societies and they know about agriculture more than the Native Americans. [4] Native Americans interacted with enslaved Africans in every way possible.

    Native Americans were enslaved along with Africans, They worked together, lived together in the same houses, produced recipes for food, shared herbal remedies, myths and legends, and in the end they breed together. Because both races were non-Christian, Europeans considered them under the Europeans. They worked to make enemies of the two groups. In some areas, Native Americans began to slowly engage with white culture. Africans were not affected with the conditions and diseases. It was because the Africans were already in contact with the Europeans when they had started trading with one another.

    Europeans felt they could handle the climate because of their skin color. Many Native Americans started to die because of the diseases. A lot of the Native Americans also started to escape and fight back, and many of them died. They also felt that Africans were cheaper. The Native Americans were less resistant to the diseases that the Europeans brought with them. In North America, the conquerors at first weren’t thinking of taking take Native Americans as slaves because they lived a harsh life that needed to be at peace with the Natives to continue.

    There were more Africans available and the Europeans found it more meaningful to buy Africans from Africans than to attempt to capture Indians. [5]


    Ivison, Duncan, Paul Patton, and Will Sanders. Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 2nd ed. publication place: Cambridge University Press, publication year. http://books. google. com/books? hl=en&lr=&id=JkqahTHpUmUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA36&dq=exploitation+of+indigenous+peoples&ots=DojNLSzhZd&sig=oW_5zCg8jDjBuKeOQbRVDVO9x9Q#v=onepage&q=exploitation%20of%20indigenous%20peoples&f=false (accessed November 23, 2012). Saco, J.

    A. “Alonso de Zuazo (1518). ” http://www. digitalhistory. uh. edu. http://www. digitalhistory. uh. edu/active_learning/explorations/spain/spain_zuazo. cfm (accessed November 23, 2012). TAINO-L. “Bartolome de Las Casas and His Defence of the Indians. ” http://www. hartford-hwp. com. http://www. hartford-hwp. com/archives/40/186. html (accessed November 26, 2012). Columbus, Christopher. “Letter to King Ferdinand of Spain, Describing the Results of the First Voyage. ” www. xroads. virginia. edu. http://xroads. virginia. edu/… hyper/hns/garden/columbus. html (accessed November 26, 2012).

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