Comparative Essay of Spain and Portugal

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Comparative Essay of Spain and Portugal Over the course of world history there are several major events, one of these being the meeting of the new and old world. From the period of 1500-1700 both Spain and Portugal treated the natives of their respective areas very similarly; however, the ways each obtained their wealth in America was different. When Spain and Portugal arrived in the Americas, the natives of each area were treated the same, with cruelty and violence. Both Spain and Portugal required large work forces, Spain to mine gold and silver and Portugal to cultivate sugarcane. The immediate solution to this problem was the enslavement of the native people through force. Spain devised two forms of forced labor, the encomienda and mita while Portugal had a more generic form of slavery. The natives, along with their cities, near New Spain were captured through conquests by people like Pizaro and Cortes. The natives of Brazil were captured by Portuguese Jesuit expeditions called bandeiras. The main reason for the natives’ enslavement was simply because Spain and Portugal viewed them as inferior and easily dominated them. The ways in which Spain and Portugal obtained their wealth were quite different. Spain having landed in a mineral rich environment saw immediate reward for their exploration and began shipping back the vast amounts of gold and silver they found. The ships that carried the gold and silver to Spain where called the Treasure Fleet; though other names were used such as: Silver Fleet, Plate Fleet, and West Indies Fleet. So great was the amount of silver the colonists shipped back that it caused inflation in Spain and hurt its economy. Portugal however, did not find great mineral wealth; instead they found an environment suited to growing sugar cane. Because sugarcane could be used to make rum as well as sweeten foods Portugal gave up their
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