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  #1  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:24 PM
11811 11811 is offline
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Spaniards conquering Mexico vs Europeans conquering the US territories

When Europeans came to what is now the US, they began acquiring land and segregating Indians to reservations. There doesn't seem to be (or I'm not aware that there is) a lot of Indian blood in the average American in the US or a lot of American Indians in the general population.

When the Spaniards colonized Mexico, they didn't ghetto-ize the native population, and the present-day population of Mexico appears much more representative of the original Mexican peoples.

What accounts for the difference in approach between the conquest of the 2 countries?
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2010, 02:42 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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The Spanish colonists of the Americas were initially most interested in simply exploiting the new territories for gold and other wealth. The colonists were almost exclusively men looking to make their fortune; very few Spanish women came with them. They by and large set up shack with native women, with the result that the population is now largely mestizo. Interestingly, recent genetic work in Panama on mitochondrial DNA (inherited maternally) and X-chromosomes (inherited paternally) has shown that for about 70% of the population, their maternal ancestry is indigenous, while for 70% of the population their paternal ancestry is European.

In contrast, while some initial colonists in the English colonies were after gold, the English were interested from the start from establishing agricultural settlements. Many English women came over early in the colonization process. There also, I think, was much more stigma among the English about liaisons with native women (with some exceptions, such as Pocahontas' marriage to a settler.) Because of this, there was much less intermixture.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:48 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
The Spanish colonists of the Americas were initially most interested in simply exploiting the new territories for gold and other wealth. The colonists were almost exclusively men looking to make their fortune; very few Spanish women came with them. They by and large set up shack with native women, with the result that the population is now largely mestizo. Interestingly, recent genetic work in Panama on mitochondrial DNA (inherited maternally) and X-chromosomes (inherited paternally) has shown that for about 70% of the population, their maternal ancestry is indigenous, while for 70% of the population their paternal ancestry is European.

In contrast, while some initial colonists in the English colonies were after gold, the English were interested from the start from establishing agricultural settlements. Many English women came over early in the colonization process. There also, I think, was much more stigma among the English about liaisons with native women (with some exceptions, such as Pocahontas' marriage to a settler.) Because of this, there was much less intermixture.
English colonists were, for the most part, under contract to English trading houses to provide goods. It amounted to indentured servitude, as they were seldom able to pay off the debt. It is correct that women often came with their husbands to the New World, and that the Indians were looked upon as an inferior race.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:53 PM
11811 11811 is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
English colonists were, for the most part, under contract to English trading houses to provide goods. It amounted to indentured servitude, as they were seldom able to pay off the debt. It is correct that women often came with their husbands to the New World, and that the Indians were looked upon as an inferior race.
So it's the intermarriage that prevented/discouraged the creation of reservations? I'm not sure that that's what you or Colibri are implying, but it seems logical.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:00 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Also, the population density was much greater in Central America--and even more so because the relatively quicker colonization of Central America meant that Europeans got there at the same time as European diseases, not a generation later, as happened further north. The Spanish found Central America filled with vast civilizations. The English found New England full of abandoned villages.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:07 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by 11811 View Post
So it's the intermarriage that prevented/discouraged the creation of reservations? I'm not sure that that's what you or Colibri are implying, but it seems logical.
It's certainly not a huge leap of logic to arrive at that as at least part of the answer. Some of the Spaniards had families back in Spain, I'm sure, but the men who stayed to make their fortunes would have ended up with families who in turn may have been awarded Spanish citizenship and inheritance rights. There would have been some serious frowny faces amongst the English colonists for those who took Indian spouses or temporary lovers. The men may have looked the other way (doubtful for Puritans), but with the presence of English wives there would have been intense peer pressure (and religious tut-tutting) not to intermingle.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:25 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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It's not that intermarriage prevented the system of reservations. It's that Mexico's indigenous population was much greater than North America's. There were population crashes in both places, but in North America the population crashed so hard the European settlers were able to eventually outnumber and expell the indians. That never happened in Mexico, there were always many more indians than europeans, and so expulsions were never possible.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:35 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is online now
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Actually, there is a fair amount of American Indian ancestry among Americans. Besides the 2.4 million Americans who call themselves American Indians (I suspect these are people with somewhere between 50% and 100% American Indian ancestry) and the 2.3 million Americans who call themselves part-American Indian (I suspect these are people with somewhere between 25% and 50% American Indian ancestry), it's estimated that there are about 15 million Americans with smaller amounts of American Indian ancestry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_an..._United_States

Last edited by Wendell Wagner; 12-18-2010 at 03:37 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2010, 03:37 PM
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There was plenty of intermingling going on in North America. But the Virginia colonists, and later the New England colonists, overwhelmed the Indians with numbers. They arrived in waves, kept coming, and bred like flies. (It's not at all uncommon to find families producing twelve or more children in colonial records.)
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:56 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11811 View Post
So it's the intermarriage that prevented/discouraged the creation of reservations? I'm not sure that that's what you or Colibri are implying, but it seems logical.
There were different social and political processes going on in the two colonial spheres. In the US, the government treated Indian tribes to some extent as independent nations. Treaties were signed with them as theoretically equal partners, allowing them their own lands where to an extent they could govern themselves. Indians were not citizens until well into the 20th Century. Even today, reservations are not subject to many state laws.

However, in Latin America just because there was a very large mestizo class doesn't mean pure or nearly pure Indians didn't remain. In many cases, unsubjugated Indians withdrew (or persisted) in the mountains or other remote areas. Even today, in many countries there is a pronounced social divide between mestizos and pure Indians. Often, it is more cultural than racial; those who speak Spanish (ladinos) are more accepted into the majority culture even if by appearance they look pure Indian.

Recently there has been more of a tendency to establish indigenous reserves or homelands for the remaining tribes. The first such homeland, or comarca, in Panama was set up for the Kuna Indians in 1935, after a rebellion. More recently comarcas have been set up for the Embera-Wounaan and Ngobe-Bugle groups. They have considerable autonomy in these homelands, which are regarded as the equivalent of a province.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:58 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Kind of a summary of the above:

The Spaniards came to exploit. The natives were viewed/treated as slaves. Even amongst the whitest Mexicans I know (i.e., crillos, not mestizos), they all express sentiments along the lines of "they came to enslave us" or "we were their slaves."

The English (and French) came to settle. The Indians (First Nations) were mostly treated as other nations. England is our brother!, not some distant "they" that exploited us.

Do some investigating on Belize. It's an interesting island of English settlement amidst a overwhelming Spanish presence.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2010, 04:23 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Spain had a very long history (over 15 centuries) of new people arriving and mingling with the locals. In turn, when the Spaniards went someplace else, they mingled with the locals. It was just what came naturally.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:47 AM
ZomZom ZomZom is offline
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One of my high school history teachers (1981) gave the Spaniards' desire to convert souls to Catholicism as the explanation for the disparity between native population size in the Americas. North America was largely settled by Protestants who were not so much interested in converting the Indians and had less an issue with slaughtering them.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:41 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
There was plenty of intermingling going on in North America. But the Virginia colonists, and later the New England colonists, overwhelmed the Indians with numbers. They arrived in waves, kept coming, and bred like flies. (It's not at all uncommon to find families producing twelve or more children in colonial records.)
Somewhat true, of course. They intermingled enough in the days of Columbus (who never made it to North America) to bring back syphillis to Europe. But the colonists managed to arrive after much of the eastern tribes of the US had been wiped out by disease. By some estimates, 90% of the indigenous population of Massachusetts died from imported diseases. It wasn't difficult to overwhelm the small number that remained, even though some put up a valiant fight.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:32 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Somewhat true, of course. They intermingled enough in the days of Columbus (who never made it to North America) to bring back syphillis to Europe. But the colonists managed to arrive after much of the eastern tribes of the US had been wiped out by disease. By some estimates, 90% of the indigenous population of Massachusetts died from imported diseases. It wasn't difficult to overwhelm the small number that remained, even though some put up a valiant fight.
That's true, but what Spoke is talking about is the continuousness of it. TO this day NorthAm is still getting waves of new immigrants. While there was a certain amount of intermarriage over time, new immigrants often had no contact with AmerIndians. This meant that the AmerIndian-descended population got smaller and smaller (at least as a proportion) over time. Things worked out differently in Latin America, for a variety of reasons.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:36 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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A lot of it has to do with the presence of European women. The British presence in India went through both phases -- early on, British men were in India on their own and it was very common for them to take Indian wives. Later on, when there were many more British women in India, interracial coupling became taboo.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:35 AM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Spain had a very long history (over 15 centuries) of new people arriving and mingling with the locals. In turn, when the Spaniards went someplace else, they mingled with the locals. It was just what came naturally.
So did Britain, to be fair.

And, Chefguy, the thing about syphilis coming from America: either it didn't, or there's something major we don't know, apparently (skeletons of twins killed in Pompeii eruption show signs of congenital syphilis - I hate it when people just put a link and I have to click it to find out what it is!).

Last edited by Teacake; 12-20-2010 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: Add about Pompeii
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:37 AM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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So did Britain, to be fair.
Yes and no. There's a matter of scale. The Spanish bred with everybody. They'd settle somewhere and immediately start humping the local women. The british didn't, for example, leave India with so many half-ethnic offspring that radically changed the overall ethnic mix.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:40 AM
Teacake Teacake is offline
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I was talking about the history of random punters turning up in their country.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:28 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Yes and no. There's a matter of scale. The Spanish bred with everybody. They'd settle somewhere and immediately start humping the local women. The british didn't, for example, leave India with so many half-ethnic offspring that radically changed the overall ethnic mix.
But they left enough to create the cultural sub-group of Anglo-Indians.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:31 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Teacake View Post
So did Britain, to be fair.

And, Chefguy, the thing about syphilis coming from America: either it didn't, or there's something major we don't know, apparently (skeletons of twins killed in Pompeii eruption show signs of congenital syphilis - I hate it when people just put a link and I have to click it to find out what it is!).
Not from America, but from the islands off the southern coast, such as Cuba. As I said, Columbus never actually reached the shores of NA, and in fact never realized that Cuba was an island. The guy wasn't very bright, by most accounts. I can't dispute that syphilis was present in Europe, but I don't believe it was common; his crews and voyages certainly took care of that aspect.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:18 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is online now
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smiling bandit writes:

> TO this day NorthAm is still getting waves of new immigrants. While there was a
> certain amount of intermarriage over time, new immigrants often had no contact
> with AmerIndians. This meant that the AmerIndian-descended population got
> smaller and smaller (at least as a proportion) over time. Things worked out
> differently in Latin America, for a variety of reasons.

Latin America is also still getting waves of new immigrants too. Americans tend to underestimate the extent to which other countries are also ethnic melting pots.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2010, 07:30 AM
Manda JO Manda JO is offline
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Yes and no. There's a matter of scale. The Spanish bred with everybody. They'd settle somewhere and immediately start humping the local women. The british didn't, for example, leave India with so many half-ethnic offspring that radically changed the overall ethnic mix.
Well, India was vastly more densely populated when they go there AND 90% of the native population didn't fall over dead within a few generations. The math works out very differently.

Last edited by Manda JO; 12-21-2010 at 07:32 AM..
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  #24  
Old 12-22-2010, 05:57 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I was talking about the history of random punters turning up in their country.
I think we may have had a few more, though ("think", ok?). Basque, Greeks, Phoenicians, Punics, Romans, several brands of Germanic barbarians (some of them went through and all the way to Africa, others stopped here), Moors (coming from anywhere in the various Muslim empires for 800 years), "Francos" (which may have been from anywhere north of the Pyrenees, again give it some 800 years). It wasn't so much immigration waves as a continuous current that sometimes changed direction; the biggest break was during the reign of the Goth kings... oh wait...

Last edited by Nava; 12-22-2010 at 05:58 AM..
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