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The Voyage to the New World

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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First of all, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of

  Castille got married in 1464.   The main reason that they got married was

  to unite their kingdoms into Spain.   The king and queen were Roman

  Catholic, so they gave power to certain people to convert non-Catholics to

  Catholicism.   In 1482, the Roman Catholic monarchs renew the reconquista,

  the military crusade ordered to conquer the remaining Muslim state in

  Iberia, Granada.   In 1492, the Roman Catholic monarchs ordered all

  non-converted Jews expelled from Spain.  

  In April, 1492, Spain received reports that the Portuguese

  succeeded in reaching the Indian Ocean, therefore Spanish monarchs

  authorized Christopher Columbus to sail to Asia and establish trade and

  start to convert natives to Christianity.   The reasons that the monarchs

  let Columbus sail were mainly to search for spices and profits, spread

  Christianity, and to use some of their new technology like the caravel.

  Columbus would receive one-tenth of all the profits, and governance of the

  new lands would be shared by the monarchs and by Columbus.

  There were mainly three different types of natives who lived in

  the Caribbean.   There were the Ciboneys (in Cuba), Caribs (in the lesser

  Antilles), and Taino-Arawaks (in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispanola,

  and Puerto Rico).   The population of the Caribbean Islands was probably

  not too much more than 1,500,000 of which about 1,000,000 lived mainly in

  Hispanola.   Hispanola was the center of Taino culture.   Between 1509 and

  1520, the demand for native labor increased and the native population

  steeply decreased.   Here is a table of how rapidly the population of the

  Tainos decreased:  

  1492- 1,000,000 (about) 1514- 28,000

  1508- 92,000                 1518- 16,000



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