Presentation Title

Catholic Justifications for African and Native Atlantic Exploitation

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

Watkins 1117

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, New World exploration consisted of an economic dependency on natural resources and a religious fervor that sought to spread Christianity throughout the Atlantic. The religious justifications of Native exploitation and African slavery in North and South America still filter into modern racism and systemic oppression today. This presentation examines Catholic Spain’s justifications for the exploitation and enslavement of Native peoples and Africans for the cultivation of sugar and the expansion of Spanish territory. With Christopher Columbus’s desire to expand Spanish commerce across the seas as well as spread Catholicism also came the foundations for Euro centrism in the Atlantic. Queen Isabella’s change in opinion from being against indigenous cruelty to acceptance of Native labor and domination was a result of her desires to spread Catholicism far beyond Spain and convert those her country colonized. As sugar cultivation became extremely successful, Spain continued to use Catholicism as means to justify the massive forced migration of African slaves to the Americas. Utilized as a tool for compliance, conversion, and colonization, Catholicism was a key factor in Spanish dominance of the Atlantic. This presentation focuses on Spain’s use of Catholicism as a tool to economically, racially, and socially overpower indigenous Atlantic peoples and enslaved Africans.

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Nov 12th, 10:15 AM Nov 12th, 10:30 AM

Catholic Justifications for African and Native Atlantic Exploitation

Watkins 1117

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, New World exploration consisted of an economic dependency on natural resources and a religious fervor that sought to spread Christianity throughout the Atlantic. The religious justifications of Native exploitation and African slavery in North and South America still filter into modern racism and systemic oppression today. This presentation examines Catholic Spain’s justifications for the exploitation and enslavement of Native peoples and Africans for the cultivation of sugar and the expansion of Spanish territory. With Christopher Columbus’s desire to expand Spanish commerce across the seas as well as spread Catholicism also came the foundations for Euro centrism in the Atlantic. Queen Isabella’s change in opinion from being against indigenous cruelty to acceptance of Native labor and domination was a result of her desires to spread Catholicism far beyond Spain and convert those her country colonized. As sugar cultivation became extremely successful, Spain continued to use Catholicism as means to justify the massive forced migration of African slaves to the Americas. Utilized as a tool for compliance, conversion, and colonization, Catholicism was a key factor in Spanish dominance of the Atlantic. This presentation focuses on Spain’s use of Catholicism as a tool to economically, racially, and socially overpower indigenous Atlantic peoples and enslaved Africans.