Friday, May 22, 2015

Racial Ideologies and the Effects of these Ideologies

From 1500 to 1830 North American as well as Latin America/Caribbean racial ideologies affected their society drastically, mostly in negative ways. As Europeans began to colonize North and Central America their pre-conceived racial ideologies drastically affected the way in which they dealt with natives, and later on slaves. While European’s view of their own racial superiority had a negative effect on both North and Central America, they were highlighted in different ways in the respective areas.

As colonization spread, in North America at first many Europeans made treaties with the natives, but because of their view of superiority they often did not keep the treaties. This disregard added to the fact that natives frequently did not understand the terms of the treaties led to bloody conflicts. Natives were oppressed more and more as colonization increased; they were forced into certain areas of land designated specifically for them, yet even this land was encroached upon by whites who disregarded the governmental measures to protect Amerindians.

In Latin America and the Caribbean racial ideologies affected Natives and Europeans differently than in North America. Instead of fake treaties introduced by the British in North America, the Spanish simply conquered the natives from the beginning. They sought to overthrow the native nations and tribes, but as long as they bowed to the new government the Spanish allowed them to remain within the culture instead of moving them to a specified area.

However, both North America and Latin America were similar in their hierarchical structure; both placed indigenous people, slave or free, at the bottom, mixed blood next and then full Europeans at the top. But they were different culturally, in that the Latin American people often intermarried. In North America slaves often completely lost their original identity, while in Central America they were able to keep some cultural identity, which eventually had some influence over Latin American culture. North American colonists for the most part did not discriminate against themselves, only against the natives and slaves. In Latin America though, the Spanish had racial, cultural, and political segregation as they sought to separate those in power from the commoners.

The superiority of the whites was not an ideology that applied to natives only, rather it can be seen in the rapid growth of slavery. In North America the slave trade grew as, slaves became an integral part of industry and farming. While slavery was also present in Latin America and the Caribbean, indentured servitude was more common. Although new ideas about the rights of man began to take hold, these revolutionary ideals were not applied to slaves, or even the native inhabitants.

While natives in Latin America were conquered and made slaves or allowed to live within the new nation, natives in North America were confined to specific areas and moved to designated land plots as colonization encroached. Slaves, indentured servants, and mistreated natives are just a few of the aspects in which negative racial ideologies can be seen. From 1500 to 1830 North American racial ideologies had a grossly negative affect on society as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean, but the slight differing of ideals played out in different ways in the two areas.