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Recent Posts

The Encomienda

A New System for the New World The Encomienda system was established during the second voyage of Columbus to help facilitate mining and other needs. The term comes from the spanish word for “to entrust” and was essentially slavery with extra steps. Although they would never call it slavery because again the queen did not approve of enslaving the native people. The basic concept was that Spain would grant a parcel of land to a conquistador, soldier, official, etc. and they would be “the entrusted.” They would then be allowed to exact a tribute from the locals in the form…

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Other Voyages & Legacy of Columbus

The Second Voyage (1493-1496) After a brief trip back to Spain following his first voyage, Columbus set sail back to what he believed to be islands off the coast of Asia with a fleet of 17 ships. On this journey back the Spanish were loaded down with more men, equipment, and dogs (Mastiffs used by the Spanish against their enemies) which highlights their intentions for more colonization on this second and longest voyage. They took a more southern route this time around and claimed a few more islands by force and with the use of the Mastiffs on their way…

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The First Voyage of Christopher Columbus

The Man from Genoa The first big thing I learned about Columbus that I was never taught in school is that he is not Spanish. He is technically Genoese, which is now part of Italy. While that isn’t particularly important to the overall story, I thought it was interesting. During the Age of Exploration, when everyone and their mother was looking for a new way to the far east, Columbus had an idea he wanted to test out. He believed, based on Marco Polo’s work as well as other documents, that he could sail west and reach Asia that way.…

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