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Social Structure of the Spanish Colonies

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Social Studies

This collection represents the material culture that citizens acquire, regarding their race, class, and gender during the Early Colonies period. 

Around this time in 1492, Christopher Columbus' arrival into the New World affected the way Europeans viewed the world politically, socially, and economically. The Columbian Exchange was a large trade of goods and people from the Old World to the new World. Furthermore, the idea of mercantilism controlled these foreign colonies and trade which equated to wealth and a sense of security for these colonies.

Spanish conquerors used their large plantations to force labor among African and Indian slaves. Somewhere along the line, the Spanish began to intermarry and discriminated against these laborers, which in turn created a new class system, and destroyed native cultures. 

The social class system of Latin America goes as follows from the most power and fewest people, to those with the least amount of power and the most people: Peninsulares, Creoles, Mestizos, Mulattoes, Native Americans and Africans.

Those with a higher class made the most of materialistic goods and were known for being a bit of a show off, especially in paintings.

The Roman Catholic Church created these class systems during baptisms. Also, gender roles for men and women began to come into play. Men and women had specific roles and expectations for their daily lives.

This colonization affected the way Latin America would be perceived forever. It resulted in deep-rooted race issues and inequality, created divisions between the rich and the poor, and created specific gender roles that that are still followed to this day.