Women: Lives, Roles, and Statuses Essay

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Overview When Columbus stumbled upon the “New World” in 1492, he unwittingly initiated one of the most profound transformations in world history – a transformation that continues to shape the world in which we live today. One of the most important early phases of this transformation, was the so-called Spanish “conquest” of the New World, and the creation of the Spanish colonial empire. For within a few short decades of Columbus’ arrival on Caribbean shores, the Spanish created one of the most formidable empires in European history by conquering and colonizing vast stretches of the Americas. By 1550, Spain dominated the lands and peoples around the Caribbean, and deep into both North and South America: a domain more than ten times larger than Spain itself. The approximately twenty million or more Indians they encountered dwarfed the seven million Spaniards at home. In extent and population, and cultural diversity, the Spanish empire in the Americas exceeded even the ancient Roman, previously the standard of imperial power. | Overview When Columbus stumbled upon the “New World” in 1492, he unwittingly initiated one of the most profound transformations in world history – a transformation that continues to shape the world in which we live today. One of the most important early phases of this transformation, was the so-called Spanish “conquest” of the New World, and the creation of the Spanish colonial empire. For within a few short decades of Columbus’ arrival on Caribbean shores, the Spanish created one of the most formidable empires in European history by conquering and colonizing vast stretches of the Americas. By 1550, Spain dominated the lands and peoples around the Caribbean, and deep into both North and South America: a domain more than ten times larger than Spain itself. The approximately twenty million or more Indians they encountered dwarfed the seven

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