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Encyclopedia > Encomienda

The encomienda[1] system was a trusteeship labor system employed by the Spanish crown during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Philippines in order to consolidate their conquests. Conquistadores were granted trusteeship over the indigenous people they conquered, in an expansion of familiar medieval feudal institutions, notably the commendation ceremony, which had been established in New Castile during the Reconquista. The encomiendo system differed from the developed form of feudalism in that it did not entail any direct land tenure by the encomendero; Indian lands were to remain in their possession, a right that was formally protected by the Crown of Castile because at the beginning of the Conquest most of the rights of administration in the new lands went to the Castilian Queen.[2] These were laws that the Crown attempted to impose in all of the Spanish colonies in the Americas and in the Philippines. The maximum size of an encomienda was three hundred Indians, though it rarely reached near to that number. The encomenderos had the authorization to tax the people under their care and to summon them for labor, but they were not given juridical authority. In return, the encomenderos were expected to maintain order through an established military and to provide teachings in Catholicism. The little respect that the Europeans had for the Amerindians, however, helped corrupt the system rather quickly. So, what was supposed to assist in the evangelization of the Natives and in the creation of a stable society became a blatant tool of oppression. The Crown established the encomienda system in Hispaniola in May 1493. While it reserved the right of revoking an encomienda from the hands of an unjust encomendero, it rarely did. In common law legal systems, a trust is a relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal control over certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of someone else (the beneficiary), according... The Spanish colonization of the Americas was Spains conquest, settlement, and rule over much of the western hemisphere from 1492-1898. ... Conquistador (meaning Conqueror in the Spanish language) is the term used to refer to the soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under Spanish rule between the 15th and 17th centuries. ... For other uses, see Native Americans (disambiguation). ... Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste Feudalism, a term first used in the late modern period (17th century), in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval European political system comprised of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the... Charlemagne receiving the oath of fidelity and homage from one of his great vassals:facsimile of a monochrome miniature in a 14th century Ms of the Chronicles of St. ... New Castile (Spanish: Castilla la Nueva) was the southern part of the Kingdom of Castile in central Spain, taken during the reconquista of the peninsula by Christian kings from Muslim rulers. ... For other uses, see Reconquista (disambiguation). ... This article needs cleanup. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas in an equal-area projection The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...


In the papal bull Inter caetera (1493) the Borgia Pope Alexander VI had granted the western newly found lands to the Castilian Crown, on the condition that it evangelize these new lands. "...By this he allocated everything discovered by Columbus to the Crown of Castile, on the condition that the monarchs set about propagating the Christian faith there, and provided the lands concerned…"[3] Because the ultimate title of the Amerindian's land lay with the Castilian Crown[citation needed], the system in the New World differed in that it did not entail any direct land tenure by the encomendero. Amerindian lands were to remain in their possession, a right that was formally protected by the Crown of Castile's initial title.[4]. These were laws that the Crown attempted to impose in all of the Spanish colonies in the Americas and in the Philippines. Inter caetera (Among other [works]) was a papal bull issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493, which granted to Spain (the Crowns of Castile and Aragon) all lands to the west and south of a pole-of-pole line 100 leagues (418 km) west and south of any... Pope Alexander VI (1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503), born Roderic Borja (Italian: Borgia), (reigned from 1492 to 1503), is the most controversial of the secular popes of the Renaissance and one whose surname became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era. ... This article needs cleanup. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas in an equal-area projection The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ...

Contents

Encomiendas in the New World and the Philippines

The Crown established the first encomiendas in the New World on Hispaniola in 1493[citation needed]. The maximum size of an encomienda was three hundred Amerindians, although they were usually much smaller. The encomenderos were similar to feudal lords in that they were entitled to demand tribute from the people under their care in the form of specie, kind, or corvee, but great distances, and the encomenderos ruthlessly exploited the people under their ostensible care. Using their influence and power as encomenderos and land owners of the plantations that existed side-by-side with the encomiendas, they increased taxes, seized more lands from the natives, and ultimately forced many Amerindians into a quasi-slavery[citation needed]. They reasoned that riches were wasted on pagans and more properly bestowed upon Christian subjects of the Spanish king. Bernal Diaz concisely summarized his motives as "to serve God and His Majesty, to give light to those who were in darkness, and to grow rich, as all men desire to do." Early map of Hispaniola Hispaniola (from Spanish, La Española) is the second-largest and most populous island of the Antilles, lying between the islands of Cuba to the west, and Puerto Rico to the east. ... This article is about crop plantations. ... Slave redirects here. ... Bernal D az del Castillo (1492 or 1493 - 1581) was a conquistador, who wrote an eyewitness account of the conquest of Mexico under Hern n Cort s. ...


By reading the Requerimiento, which ordered defiant Indians, in Spanish, to accept Spanish rule and Christian conversion immediately. If the Indians ignored this order, they deserved the harsh punishments of a “just war.” The requerimiento was, therefore, a justification of conquest on account of being denied right of way. The Requerimiento was a declaration of sovereignty and war read by invading Spanish military forces to assert their sovereignty over the Americas. ...


This exploitation of the indigenous natives and the other negative influences of the European presence of encomenderos were some of the factors that led to the breakdown of the entire encomienda system. Another equally important factor was the scrupulousness of the Spanish laws governing the encomienda system, which made it difficult for mestizos or people with no clear Amerindian lineage to be liable to encomienda service. The breakdown of tribal lineages coupled with European intermarriage undermined the labor pool available by the end of the 16th century.


The downfall of the encomienda system began in 1544, when Blasco Núñez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru, tried to enforce the New Laws, which provided for the gradual abolition of the encomienda. Many of the encomenderos were unwilling to comply with the New Laws and soon revolted against Núñez Vela. Events April 11 - Battle of Ceresole - French forces under the Comte dEnghien defeat Imperial forces under the Marques Del Vasto near Turin. ... Blasco Núñez Vela was the first Spanish viceroy of Peru Blasco Núñez Vela (1490 - 1546) was the first viceroy of Peru (1544–46). ... Created in 1542, the Viceroyalty of Peru (in Spanish, Virreinato del Perú) contained most of Spanish-ruled South America until the creation of the separate viceroyalties of New Granada (now Colombia, Ecuador, Panamá and Venezuela, the last-named previously in the Viceroyalty of New Spain) in 1717 and Río... During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the New Laws of 1542 were created to prevent the exploitation of the indigenous people by the encomenderos. ...


Other problems of the encomienda system in Peru resulted from the breaking up of extended families, or ayllus, bringing an end to their economic system of vertical exchanges. Further, epidemic diseases that the Europeans brought to America - such as the plague and smallpox - killed a large percentage of the indigenous population, which had no natural defenses against them. Ayllu were the basic political unit of pre-Inca and Inca life. ... World map showing the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere historically considered to consist of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... Bubonic plague is the best-known manifestation of the bacterial disease plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. ... Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a contagious disease unique to humans. ...


It must be noted, however, that the breakdown of allyus and geographical relocation of entire communities was a domination practice already put in place by the ruling Inca class in order to control a vast population. The Spanish simply continued the practice. The reality of this system, arbitrary as it was, was complex and never one-sided in terms of ethnicity. Among the principal social actors interested in the continuation of the encomiendas one could usually find the pre-Incan tribal chiefs or curacas themselves, eager to be assigned encomiendas. For other meanings of Inca, see Inca (disambiguation). ...


The encomienda system was also introduced to the Philippines when Legazpi started to give lands to Spaniards who helped enrich Spain. Encomienda were a reward of the King of Spain to Spaniards who acted for the benefit of the name of Spain. Taxes came from Filipinos.[citation needed] Miguel López de Legazpi (1502 - August 20, 1572, Manila), also known as El Adelantado (The Governor) and El Viejo (The Elder), was a Spanish conquistador who established the first colony in the Philippine Islands in 1565. ... The Spanish monarchy, referred to as the Crown of Spain (Corona de España) in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, is the office of the King or Queen of Spain. ...


The encomienda system was essential to the Spanish crown sustaining its control over North, Central and South America in the first decades after the conquest, because it was the first major organizational law instituted on a continent where disease, war and turmoil reigned. The encomienda system was succeeded by the crown-managed repartimiento and the privately-owned hacienda as land ownership became more profitable than acquisition of labor force[5] The last encomiendas were abolished in 1791. North American redirects here. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... The Repartimiento de Mercancias was a colonial labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America. ... Hacienda is a Spanish word describing a vast ranch, common in the Pampa. ...


See also

The cargo system (also known as the civil-religious hierarchy, fiesta or mayordomía system) is a collection of secular and religious positions held by men or households in rural indigenous communities throughout central and southern Mexico and Central America. ... The Repartimiento de Mercancias was a colonial labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America. ... Hacienda is a Spanish word describing a vast ranch, common in the Pampa. ... Reductions were colonies settled by the Jesuits in the Tupi-Guarani areas of Brazil and Spanish America in order to civilise and cathequise the Indians. ... The Jesuit Reductions were a particular version of the general Spanish colonial strategy of building reducciones de indios in order to civilise and catechise the native populations of South America. ... The Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious order, have had a long history of missions in East and South Asia almost since their very foundation in the 16th century under St. ... Beginning in 1493, the Kingdom of Spain maintained a number of missions throughout Nueva España (New Spain, consisting of Mexico and portions of what today are the Southwestern United States) in order to facilitate colonization of these lands. ... The Spanish missions in California (more simply referred to as the California Missions) comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1823 to spread the Catholic faith among the local Native Americans. ... The Spanish missions in Mexico are a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians, and Dominicans to spread the Christian doctrine among the local natives. ... The Spanish Missions of the Sonoran Desert are a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Jesuits and other orders to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier lands of its colony of New... The Spanish Missions in Texas comprise a series of religious outposts established by Spanish Catholic Dominicans, Jesuits, and Franciscans to spread the Christian doctrine among the local Native Americans, but with the added benefit of giving Spain a toehold in the frontier land. ... Spanish Missions were established in the New World as part of the Spanish colonisation of its new possessions. ...

References

  1. ^ The etymology of encomienda and encomendero lies in the Spanish verb encomendar, "to entrust".
  2. ^ http://muweb.millersville.edu/~columbus/papers/scott-m.html Meredith Scott, "The Encomienda system"
  3. ^ Hugh Thomas, Rivers of Gold (New York: Random House, 2004)116.
  4. ^ http://muweb.millersville.edu/~columbus/papers/scott-m.html Meredith Scott, "The Encomienda system"
  5. ^ America: A NARRATIVE HISTORY, sixth ed. George Brown Tindall & David E. Shi. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., published 1984. pg. 280.

Bibliography

  • Avellaneda, Jose Ignacio (1995). The Conquerors of the New Kingdom of Granada. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826316123. 
  • Himmerich y Valencia, Robert (1991). The Encomenderos of New Spain, 1521–1555. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292720688. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Encomiendas definition of Encomiendas in the Free Online Encyclopedia. (460 words)
This resulted in efforts by the Spanish king and the Dominican order to suppress encomiendas, but the need of the conquerors to reward their supporters led to de facto recognition of the practice.
An encomienda consisted of a grant by the crown of a specified number of Indians living in a particular area.
The encomienda did not include a grant of land, but in practice the encomenderos gained control of Indian lands.
Encomienda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (796 words)
The encomienda system was a trusteeship system used during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, whereby conquistadors were granted trusteeship over the indigenous people they conquered, in an expansion of familiar feudal institutions that had been established in New Castile during the Reconquista.
The encomienda system was essential to the Spanish government sustaining their control over North, Central and South America, because it was the first major organizational law instituted on a continent where disease, war and turmoil reigned.
The etymology of encomienda and encomendero lies in the Spanish verb encomendar, "to entrust".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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