The Encomenderos of New Spain, 1521-1555 by Robert Himmerich y Valencia

By Robert Himmerich y Valencia

While the Spanish conquistadors were stereotyped as rapacious treasure seekers, many firstcomers to the hot international learned that its maximum wealth lay within the local populations whose exertions can be harnessed to construct a brand new Spain. for that reason, the early arrivals in Mexico sought encomiendas—"a supply of the Indians of a prescribed indigenous polity, who have been to supply the grantee (the encomendero) tribute within the type of commoditiesand provider in go back for defense and spiritual instruction."

This examine profiles the 506 identified encomenderos in New Spain (present-day Mexico) through the years 1521-1555, utilizing their lifestyles histories to chart the increase, florescence, and decline of the encomienda approach. the 1st half attracts basic conclusions in regards to the genuine workings of the encomienda method. the second one half presents concise biographies of the encomenderos themselves.

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Sample text

Three of this group, don Luis de Castilla, don Luis de Guzmán Saavedra and don Tristán de Luna y Arellano, were the only first­generation encomenderos entitled "don" by birthright.  The combination of merchants and mariners constituted less than three percent of the encomenderos.  Innkeeper Gonzalo Rodríguez de la Magdalena was a vecino of Puebla, his small grant forty­five miles distant.  The skill was necessary if the encomienda was to be profitable. " Experience was a sought­after quality during the organization and execution of entradas, both in the Caribbean and in New Spain after the capture of Mexico City.

The skill was necessary if the encomienda was to be profitable. " Experience was a sought­after quality during the organization and execution of entradas, both in the Caribbean and in New Spain after the capture of Mexico City.  Survival without disgrace was often the sole qualification.  By mid­1521 two­thirds were veterans and felt justified in demanding the rewards due experienced conquerors. 32%) Unknown 3 — — 1 Totals 3 135 178 32 a Cortés. b Narváez and others. c Arrival of royal treasury officers.

Page 39 Veracruz, the first of New Spain's early municipalities, was founded as Villa Rica de la Veracruz in April 1519 at Ulúa, a sandspit across the bay from the present city.  By mid­1525, with a reconstituted municipal government, the site of the town was moved again.  6 It was not possible to establish a roster of the encomendero vecinos of this municipality.  Just as Tenochtitlan had been the political, social, and economic center of preconquest Mexico, the Spaniards quickly gave Mexico City the same role in postconquest New Spain.

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