The primary focus of the first article is on the Spanish conquest of America. The author argues that despite the missionary goal of saving the native inhabitants of the land, the conquistadors were interested in financial rewards and the exploitation of labor. In addition, the prospect of becoming famous was one of the aims for them. The course of action that these people followed was similar to that in other Spanish colonies. The Indian people were supposed to become Christians as well as be Hispanized. Additionally, they would have to relocate to live in small villages. It would ensure that the native inhabitants of the land would serve as a labor force for the Spanish people.
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The author explores the causes of such actions, by citing the beliefs that were dominant in Spain of the sixteenth century. The domain and its citizens viewed their power as limitless. Furthermore, they aimed to Christianize other nations as part of their fight against Protestants and the goal to spread the religion in both America and Asia. The two aspects – belief in the powerfulness of Spanish military forces and religion were primary elements that allowed them to conquer many lands around the world.
The critical factor is the division of thought among Spanish people, as some thought that the rights of the natives should not be violated. On the other hand, the colonists strived to receive profit from their endeavors, which could be done by ensuring that Indians work for the benefit of the Spanish people. It presented a dilemma for the government and the Christian Church, as both were dependent on each other.
An interesting case could be seen in the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. Although Spain had similar motives and incentives with the land’s inhabitants as it did with Indians, much of the Philippines ‘ culture was not affected by the events. This is mostly due to the structure of society and governance, which existed within the land at that period. Barangays were special units consisting of thirty to a hundred families, with a specific class division.
The author states that in some cases datus, or chief of a particular unit, was able to retain control over the group after the Spanish arrived. Thus, in some parts of the colony Muslim religion was developing, for instance, on the island of Mindanao where a specific type of political organization, which originates in the Islamic religion, rajah, emerged. Thus, the Spanish conquistadors did not abolish the culture and political organization of the Philippines, which enabled Filipinos to retain their identity.
What were the primary reasons that affected the lack of enforcement for the Hispanization and adaptation of the Christian religion in the Philippines? Additionally, were the reasons primarily due to specific features of the Philippines or a different vision of the Spanish people in regards to this land? It is important because it provides an understanding of various forces, geographical, political, or cultural, which obstructed the matter of conquistadors.