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Adelantados And Encomenderos In Spanish America

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Chapter Summary

The creation of Spanish America started with Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493. Using Hispaniola as a base, the conquistadors extended their domination over a large part of the Caribbean, then to Mexico and Central America before taking over much of South America. The two main foundations of the territorial reorganization of the Spanish Caribbean lay in the resulting practices of adelantamiento and encomienda, which brought about the settling of indigenous populations and a new urban expansion. The encomienda was also a way to organize Spanish colonial society into a hierarchy and legally keep the exclusion of indigenous populations from all social and economic benefit. It was the source of many settled incomes. Encomienda first foundation lay in the right of war, the descendants of which ensured the continuity through the production of a historical and legal literature designed to maintain and legitimize their status.

Keywords: adelantamiento; Christopher Columbus; encomienda; historical literature; Spanish America

10.1163/ej.9789004156760.i-425.10
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