Did the ‘Conquistadores’ rule the Indians?

The 16th century Spanish American society borrowed from several native and foreign groups giving it a unique characteristic. As opposed to common conqueror-conquered relations formed during that time, the Spanish American society borrowed much from the groups it interacted with; the Indians and the African-slaves. Altman opinionated that contrary to common perception, the Spanish “Conquistadores” did not rule the Indians in anyway. This paper seeks to establish how Altman, in her description of the European migrants undermines the stereotype that the Spanish empire in the New World actually ruled the native Indians through the “Conquistadores”. In doing so, the paper builds on the works of James Lockhart, Mathew Restall and Nicholas Ostler and compares Fernandez-Armesto’s Asian empires with the Spanish rule identifying similarities.

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