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A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru Research Paper

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Updated: Nov 25th, 2019

Research Argument

Guaman (13) and Vazquez (15) view the Spanish rule in Peru as an epoch characterized by suffering among the indigenous communities and destruction of indigenous socio-political institutions. On the same note, Guaman includes a Christian perspective whereby he insists on the Kingdom.

Similarities in Perspectives

According to Vazquez (45) and Mbemba (43), the slave trade in Africa and Spanish rule in Peru witnessed the annihilation of the existing political systems and the introduction of foreign ones. In Africa, the Arabs introduced the Islamic legal system based on the Sharia law along the East African coast and in West Africa, which replaced the indigenous decentralized system of government.

According to Mbemba (23), both the Arab Slave trade in Africa and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade exposed Africa to the outside world leading to the colonization of the continent. In Peru, the inception of the Spanish rule was marked by the destruction of the indigenous Incan political system by the Spaniards (Vazquez 56).

The tremendous decline of native populations was a common consequence of African slave trade and Spaniard occupation of Peru. During the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, thousands of Africans died during capture, Middle Passage, and in the plantations and mines in America (Mbemba 22). In Peru, the introduction of infectious diseases such as smallpox by the Spaniards led to the decimation of over nine million Amerindians between 1520 and 1620 (Vazquez 43).

Mbemba (12) and Vazquez (34) also argue that the two events were also characterized by the exploitation of the locals by foreigners. The Viceroyalty of Peru pursued economic development via mineral extraction and creation of a commercial monopoly. The viceroys used native forced labor in mining and imposed taxes on the locals. In Africa, slave trade weakened the local economies; important labor forces were moved from the continent while slave raids disrupted economic activities on the continent (Vazquez 83).

Variation in Perspectives

Vazquez (98) posits that the political economy created by the Spaniards in Peru was characterized by competition for economic wealth between the Amerindians and the Spaniards. The Amerindians acquired wealth and influence. On the other hand, Rodney sums up the slave trade in Africa as well as the colonial epoch as having grossly underdeveloped the continent (Mbemba 12).

In 1570s, Viceroy Fransisco dde Toledo unsuccessfully reorganized property rights, refining technology, and land policy in Peru to revitalize Spaniard control and boost silver production. This economic reorganization was futile in toppling Amerindian competition over silver and crude ore appropriation. Vazquez (2) presents the Spaniard political economy as a struggle to control and contain competition that would enable the locals accumulate wealth.

Nonetheless, the Indian communities, individuals, social climbers, commoners, ethnic notables, and lords persistently competed with the Spanish for profit in the commercial economy established in the post-conquest era. Vazquez (27) presents a scenario of the presence of competition between the colonizers and the colonized, and among the colonizers in Peru with the Amerindians refusing and circumventing the exploitative Hispanized commercial economy.

Mbemba (15) presents a systematic exploitation process of the African continent by foreigners stretching from the slave trade to the neocolonial era. During slave trade, particularly the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, the African societies were depleted their able labor force that left them incapable of staging formidable resistance on the intruders.

While Mbemba (13) presents conquest as the main avenue through which Spaniards gained control of Peru, African societies are to blame for the slave trade menace. There existed the institution of slavery among some African societies, which the outsiders exploited to their advantage.

The variation in the two writers’ perspectives in regard to the African and Amerindian responses to slavery and Spanish occupation respectively is largely informed by the context of the societies they wrote on; the weakened African society and the politically conscious Incan empire (Guaman 53).

Undoubtedly, colonialism in Peru and slave trade in Africa were characterized by cultural exchange. The Amerindians adopted Christianity from their conquerors. The Africans adopted Islam from the Arab slave traders and later Christianity from the Europeans.

Works Cited

Guaman, Felipe. Chronicle: First New Chronicle and Good Government: on the History of the World and the Incas up to 1615. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2009. Print.

Mbemba, Nzinga. Appeal to the King of Portugal (1526). New York: Curtis Brown, 1964. Print.

Vazquez, Antonio. Mercury Mining in Huanacavelica and Silver Mining in Potosi (1620s). New York: WW Norton & Co, 2011. Print.

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"A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru." IvyPanda, 25 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/a-comparative-perspective-african-slave-trade-and-spanish-rule-in-peru/.

1. IvyPanda. "A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-comparative-perspective-african-slave-trade-and-spanish-rule-in-peru/.


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IvyPanda. "A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-comparative-perspective-african-slave-trade-and-spanish-rule-in-peru/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru." November 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/a-comparative-perspective-african-slave-trade-and-spanish-rule-in-peru/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'A Comparative Perspective: African Slave Trade and Spanish Rule in Peru'. 25 November.

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