«Identification: Colonization» Essay Sample

Identification: Colonization

Clovis First is a founder of the Frankish kingdom. In 481, he inherited his father’s domains. Cruel and unprincipled, Clovis First established himself as a gifted military leader. In 486, at the Battle of Soissons, Clovis First defeated the last Roman governor of the central part of Gaul, Syagrius and expanded his domains to Loire. Ten years later, he defeated the Alamanni at Tsulpihe, near Cologne and took the upper Rhine region. This victory, as well as the influence of his Christian wife Clotilde resulted in conversion of Clovis and another 3,000 francs to orthodox Christianity. Members of the clergy welcomed him as a defender of the true faith. Clovis First moved his capital first to Soissons and later to Paris. Until his death, he deposed all other Frankish kings in the north to join their areas. He also began the conquest of Burgundy, which was completed by his sons. Clovis First, who conquered the lands of Northern Gaul, gave them to his subjects, thus laying the foundation for the formation of the nobility. After the conquest of North Gaul, life of francs became very complicated and there was a need to regulate all spheres of their lives. Therefore, Clovis First drafted a written code of law - Salic law. It is a record of the ancient court customs of Salian Franks. Nowadays, it is considered one of the earliest Ancient Germanic law.

Lake Texcoco is a formerly closed lake in Mexico. It was located at an altitude of 2239 meters to the east of the capital. In Central America, there is no place more attractive than the shores of Lake Texcoco. Long before the Aztecs came in the Mexican valley in the XIII century, there were dozens of towns on the shores of the lake. The largest towns were independent city-states - Azcapotzalco, Culiacan and Texcoco, founded by tribes Tepanecs, Toltec and Chichimeca. Later, this area became one of the centers of the Aztec Empire. At that time, there were many islands on the lake, which were located in the posterior part. Afterwards, the lake was considerably dried up and connected with the river Panuco. The lake was drained because of frequent flooding of the city. However, draining of the lake had large-scale environmental impacts. Nowadays, Mexico is suffering from subsidence of buildings and the lack of drinking water. For the same reason, many animal and plant species disappeared.

Atahualpa is the last ruler of the Inca Empire that covered the territories of modern Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. He was born about 1497-1500. He was a son of the ruler Huayna Capac. Before his death, father commanded to divide the state between his two sons: the eldest Huascar and Atahualpa, to whom Huayna Capac had a special affection. This decision of the ruler led to the internecine struggle for the throne, which ended with the victory of Atahualpa. In 1532, Atahualpa captured Huascar and became an absolute ruler of the Inca. However, the reign of independent “Sons of the Sun” - as the Inca elite, was coming to an end. In the same year, on the coast of Peru, the Spanish conquistadors appeared that were headed by Francisco Pizarro. Atahualpa underestimated them being the friendly conquistadors. It was a big mistake. Atahualpa was quickly captured by the Spaniards. This response to hospitality entered the history as the Battle of Cajamarca. Atahualpa offered the ransom to the Spaniards, and Pizarro graciously agreed to accept it. Atahualpa decided to fill the room, where the Inca ruler was kept in chains with gold to the ceiling. Pizarro was speechless. Atahualpa offered to fill an adjacent room with silver. Pizarro said that adjacent room was small. Atahualpa agreed to fill it twice. Three months later, the ransom was collected. Jewels were taken even from the capital Cuzco, contrary to the law that forbad doing it. During 34 days, the Spaniards melted precious treasures, amazing products and works of art into ingots. However, Pizarro was not going to liberate Atahualpa. In 1533, the Spaniards made a trial of Atahualpa. He was accused of murdering. The court sentenced Atahualpa to be burned at the stake. Adopted Catholicism, Atahualpa received great mercy from the Spaniards. August 29, 1533, he was strangled by the garrotte. The Spaniards killed him, in order to avoid obstacles on the way of robbery of the great people who lived in the Andes. It is known that before execution, Atahualpa managed to convey the message. It was rather unusual because the Inca writing system was based on a pile. It was a cord, to which colored laces were tied. Location and number of nodes on them meant special information. Atahualpa gave a similar letter with thirteen knots and a piece of gold. It is believed that in this message, there was an order to hide the treasure of the Incas in some secret place. His order was executed. However, it is still unknown where all the jewels were hidden. Some scholars suggest that Incas could take treasures in the Paititi city.  

The Reconquista is the liberation struggle of Christian people of the Iberian Peninsula against Muslim invaders in VIII-XVIII centuries. In the middle of the V century, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Spain was occupied by the barbaric Germanic tribes of the Visigoths, Vandals and Suevi. The Visigothic ruler established an extensive Visigoth kingdom. In the VII century, expansion of the Arabs began under the rule of the Umayyad dynasty, which spread to the whole northern coast of the African continent. Crossing the Rock of Gibraltar, the Arab conquerors landed in Spain and in three years conquered the Visigoth kingdom. Only a small north area of the Pyrenees Mountains remained under the rule of the Visigoths who formed the Christian kingdom in 718. In 750, the Umayyad dynasty fell apart. It was replaced by the Abbasids. Arab conquerors introduced many innovations on conquered territories. Field irrigation was introduced. Such crops as rice, dates, pomegranates, sugar and cane were grown. Viticulture, winemaking and weaving craft developed. Sheep farming became very widespread. Quality silk was produced. Ore mining and processing of metals improved. The rapid growth of cities began as centers of crafts and trade - Cordoba, Granada, Toledo, Seville and Valencia. In the Emirate of Cordoba, the local population was charged with exorbitant taxes and duties. It performed a variety of duties in favor of the Arab feudal lords. In the early XI century, in the Caliphate of Cordoba, internecine conflict between the major Arab and Berber landowners began. It led to the fall of the Caliphate of Cordoba. In the VIII century, from Asturias – one of the survived Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula - the liberation movement began for reconquest of occupied territories of Spain and Portugal. This movement was called the Reconquista. In the Reconquista, practically all sectors of the Christian population of the Iberian Peninsula participated - artisans, peasants, petty knighthood and merchants. During the movement, the Catholic Church played a huge role. The church played a major ideological role throughout the Reconquista. In 1085, the Castilian king Alfonso VI captured from the Arabs a large city Toledo. Before Arab expansion, it had been the capital of the kingdom of the Visigoths. In future, Toledo became an important reference point in the fight against the Muslims. After the fall of Toledo, Muslim Emirs appealed to the Moorish rulers in North Africa. In the Battle of Sagrajas, they inflicted a major defeat on the combined army of Christians. The liberation of the Pyrenees was delayed for some time. A legendary hero of the Reconquista is a noble Spanish caballero – El Sid. He inflicted a decisive defeat on the Almoravids, and in 1094, Castilians took a well-fortified Muslim city - Valencia. At the beginning of the XIII century, the combined forces of four Christian kingdoms of the Pyrenees - Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarre, with the support of the French and other European Crusaders, inflicted a crushing defeat in the decisive battle of the entire Spanish Reconquista. The end of a long liberation movement of the people of the Iberian Peninsula - the Reconquista - marked the beginning of a new era of power of the largest state in Europe of that era - Catholic Spain.

Hernan Cortez is one of the greatest men in the history of mankind. He was a Spanish conquistador and conqueror of Mexico. Cortez was a great commander. His most important merit is the fact that with a very small army, he was able to overcome the enemy that exceeded his forces in the number and conquered a very large territory. Hernan Cortez was a Spanish nobleman, who in search of adventures and thirst for feats, went to America. There, he married a sister- in-law of the governor of Cuba - Diego Velazquez. He appointed Cortez a commander of expedition to Mexico. However, soon, he canceled the appointment of Cortez. Nevertheless, in 1519, he, along with 11 ships and modest army of 110 sailors and 533 soldiers, went to conquer Mexico. After landing in Mexico, Cortes ordered to burn the ships, in order to deprive the army of any hope to return. He led his troops to the capital of the Aztecs. Hernan Cortez was a brilliant strategist. Based on the exploration data, he knew that many Indian tribes did not like the Aztecs and hoped to bring them to their side. The Aztecs gave battle to the Spaniards. However, they lost, although, they had a significant advantage in the number of troops. Cortes without a fight entered the Aztec capital. There are three significant factors that helped Cortes succeed in his conquests. Firstly, Cortes was a skilful and intelligent commander. Secondly, a presence of firearms helped him. Thirdly, there was a myth among the Aztec about the god Quetzalcoatl, who left, but promised to return. The Aztecs took Cortez for this God. The latter two factors are in fact not so significant, as Cortes was able to put them into his service. Hernan Cortez was a tough, desperate and fair man. He earned respect on the part of the Indians, who, recognizing him closer, adored a brave conquistador.

 
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Vasco Nunez de Balboa is a famous conquistador and explorer. He was the first European who saw the East coast of the Pacific Ocean. The explorer opened the way for Spain to the development of South America. In 1501, Balboa joined the Spanish expedition to South America. The expedition studied the northern coast (now Columbia). However, due to the lack of food studies were terminated. Balboa returned to Cuba. He had a lot of debts. Therefore, in 1509, he joined the first Spanish expedition to South America. After landing on the mainland, the new settlers found that the Spaniards did not willingly want to explore new lands because of the unfriendly Indians and poor supply. The settlers went to the west, where the Indians were more peaceful. They found the town Darien. Balboa became a governor of the town. He had sent an expedition for the conquest of Panama and signing of commercial treaties and agreements with some Indians. He became aware of the sea on the other side of the Isthmus of Panama. In 1513, Balboa sent an expedition, which consisted of about 90 Spaniards and many Indians. Three weeks later, Balboa went to the Pacific Ocean. Much gold and pearls were found there. As soon as the king heard about the discovery of the Pacific, he appointed Vasco Nunez de Balboa the governor of Panama. Pedro Arias Davila - a man, whose place Balboa took - falsely accused him of treason. Balboa was arrested and sentenced to death. In January, Vasco Nunez de Balboa was beheaded.

In the XVI century, the cradle of the ancient culture of Aztec, Maya, Tarascan, Zapotec and Toltec - Mexico was conquered by the Spanish conquistadors, who forcibly interrupted the original development of Indian people. Destroying the existed civilization, European invaders seized the land, robbed, enslaved or exterminated the indigenous inhabitants and brutally suppressed any attempts of resistance. The discovery and colonization of Mexico that had disastrous consequences for its people objectively contributed to folding of historically more progressive socio-economic structures in this country. Spanish possessions in North and, partly, Central America constituted Viceroyalty of New Spain. It was formed in 1535. The vast majority of the six million population of New Spain were natives, and about 40% - the Indians. For most of the colonial period, the Indians were considered free. Under the law, their work was payable. However, they worked for free and unlimited amount of time. They had absolutely no rights and were completely dependent on the arbitrariness of royal officials, landlords and the church. The Catholic religion had a powerful influence on the population. At the turn of the XVIII and XIX centuries, supporters of independence became more active. It was also caused by the revolutionary events in different parts of Latin America. Anti-Spanish moods intensified in the early XIX century, when economic and political situation of New Spain deteriorated significantly. In 1821, as a result of defeat in the War of Independence of Mexico, Spain lost all North American lands.

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The personality of Francisco Toledo occupies a special place among all forty viceroys who ruled Peru for over three centuries of its colonial history. This military and political leader laid the foundations of the colonial regime in Peru. In 1568, he was appointed a viceroy of Peru. After the first decrees, Francisco Toledo received numerous complaints and protests from the local bureaucracy, which were sent to the king’s court in Madrid. Despite this, the viceroy continued to implement the policy of the Spanish crown in Peru. During five years, Francisco Toledo traveled and studied with the general inspectorate all fourteen provinces of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Thus, he held mass survey gathering information, which reflected demographic and cultural characteristics of each Peru region. The main task for Francisco Toledo was to create a fair tax system, in which the number of Indian population would be increased, and the well-being of every single Indian would constantly grow. Francisco de Toledo was also actively introduced in Peru large-scale resettlement policy. Amerindian communities were forcibly transferred to specially created reductions, which were similar to the cities and villages, and were located near the mining and caravan routes. Francisco de Toledo’s reforms despite the sharp decline in the Indian population allowed accelerating the entry of traditional indigenous cultures in the European economic system through the use of European technologies in various industries of the Viceroyalty.

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The Haitian Revolution had a huge impact on the Negro movement and the subsequent abolition of slavery in many countries in Americas. Therefore, it rightfully occupies attention of the scientists. Saint-Domingue (Haiti) was the first mainland opened by Christopher Columbus. August 22, 1791 was the beginning of the Haitian Revolution. It is the only successful slave uprising in history that took place in the French colony. As a result, the colony gained independence from France. In modern history, Haiti became the first Republic led by blacks.

Tupac Amaru II is a South American revolutionary, organizer and leader of the revolt of indigenous peoples against the Spanish colonial authorities in Peru. Despite the fact that the uprising was not successful, he became a symbol of the liberation of Peru from Spanish rule. During the uprising, the Spaniards were driven from much of the country. However, with great difficulty, the Spanish troops defeated the rebels. Tupac Amaru II was executed.

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