Church and Colonial Latin America Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

.. may not lack people to work their holdings for their maintenance, and may be able to take out what gold there is on the island;... And because this can better be done by having the Indians living in community with the Christians of the island, and by having them go among them and associate with them, by which means they will help each other to cultivate and settle and increase the fruits of the island and take the gold which may be there and bring profit to my kingdom and subjects... beginning from the day you receive my letter you will compel and force the said Indians to associate with the Christians of the island to work on their buildings... And so that on feast days and such days as you think proper they may be gathered to hear and be taught in matters of the Faith. (Goodpasture 1989, 7-8) (Gill, 20)."

Here, the direction of the Church in pursuing its economic interests in Latin America is made clear by Queen Isabella. Christianity proved essential to the goals of the Spanish state, and as the Spanish states increased and spread, so did Christianity as an economic partner with the Spanish state. There is no questioning the economic boom to the Spain or the Church during this period in time.

Conclusion

During the colonial period, the interests of the Church and the European Spanish state cannot easily be separated. It can be said, however, that the Church was a more significant social factor in the lives of the assimilating indigenous people and the Spanish colonists who arrived to colonize the country. There was no mistaking the potential wealth in Latin America, and the letter previously cited from Queen Isabella clearly makes mention of the need for the church and the state to be partners in exploiting the natural resources of the region, especially the gold. Both the Church and Spain would have been in need of the economic wealth that could be gained by exploiting South America, but it required, too, a socialization process, and in that process the Church probably had a more significant role than the Spanish rulers, because the Church converted the pagan beliefs and monotheistic beliefs of the indigenous people to the monotheism of Christianity.

Conversion of the religious identity and beliefs of an indigenous pagan people is essential to creating a basis for a civilized society. Even though the indigenous people had complex societies when the Spanish discovered their civilizations, conquering their religious beliefs and indoctrinating them into Christianity caused them to become a part of the conquering society that helped them to surrender themselves to the political and economic interests of the Church and state.

Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24682255

Gill, Anthony. 1998. Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24682255. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=40841372

Johnson, Lyman L. And Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, eds. 1998. The Faces of Honor: Sex, Shame, and Violence in Colonial Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=40841372. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99245991

Lockhart, James, and Stuart B. Schwartz. 1983. A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99245993. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14749479

Turner, Frederick C. 1971. Catholicism and Political Development in Latin America. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14749479.

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24682255

Gill, Anthony. 1998. Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=24682255. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=40841372

Johnson, Lyman L. And Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, eds. 1998. The Faces of Honor: Sex, Shame, and Violence in Colonial Latin America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=40841372. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99245991

Lockhart, James, and Stuart B. Schwartz. 1983. A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=99245993. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=14749479

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