Hot Seat 3 Essay example

Submitted By s194
Words: 666
Pages: 3

The Encomienda and Hacienda systems were a fundamental part of life for the Spanish in Latin America. Wealth was distributed unevenly in Mexico during this time. The top social class consisted of People called Peninsulares. Peninsulares were given large grants of land to grow crops and raise cattle for trade. These grants of land were called Haciendas. The Haciendas included labor which consisted of the conquered peoples which were the Native Americans and Aztecs. These privileges however, were reserved only for the Peninsulares. The Peninsulares were exclusively Spanish born and from Spanish parents and they were the only ones who could hold high office. Their offspring however, did not have all of the same privileges. The next generation consists of criollos (creoles and they were the social class below the peninsulares. The creoles were of Spanish blood but were born in what was then called New Spain (Mexico). They could not hold the same level of political office and did not receive Haciendas unless they inherited them from their parents if they were Peninsulares but they were still technically upper class. As generations went on, the offspring received less favor from the “homeland”.
The lower class consisted of the Mestizos and Mulattos. Mestizos were of peninsulares and Native blood. They were the working class. Mulattos were African Slaves mixed normally with Mestizos and rarely with creoles or peninsulares. They were slightly higher than slaves. The lowest were the captured Aztecs, natives, and slaves from Africa. They were used for labor with no rights. Under the Encomienda system, “labor” was to be treated fairly with shelter, food, and supplies. The goal was to prevent rebellion, but it also decreased revenue compared to alternative forms such as slavery. It was based on the concept of Muslims in Spain where they supplied labor with natives without enslaving them by definition.
Basically, the Encomienda was a system for the colonials in Mexico to define the status of the Indian Population, so it was just glorified social pyramid where the Indians were used as a labor supply. In this process a village or area would be distributed to a person of relatively high rank and the leader of that village would become a puppet of the Spaniards. This method was less profitable than a system such as slavery, but it helped deter rebellion to an extent and helped spread Christianity. It was detrimental in many other ways as well. For example, they could not be sold to others because the Spaniards did not own them, therefore creating less revenue, they did not have inheritance rights after the second generation, and the natives could not move