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Colonial Latin America - Essay Example

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As a direct result of the fact that both the Spanish Empire incorporated so many different ethnic and social groups into their collective, the level of diversity which was exhibited within the societies of Latin America was one that was highly syncretic. Whereas it would be foolish to denote the fact that any one specific group was more superstitious and more conscious of superstition than was any other, it must be understood that the Spanish Empire was one that actively melded together from three distinct ethnic groups…
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Download file to see previous pages As a function of analyzing the level of superstition that existed within the Spanish Empire of Latin America, it is necessary to realize that three distinct groups comprise the majority of cultural exchange that took place within Latin America between 1518 50. As such, these three groups are as follows: the ethnic Iberian Spanish that originally moved from the old world to the New World, the African slaves that came along with the Spanish as a means of providing the labor for the plantations and natural resource extraction in the New World, and the natives that originally occupied the New World territories Firstly, as a means of understanding the coalescence of different cultures within Latin America, it is necessary to focus on this issue from three unique standpoints. The first approach that can and should be engaged is with regards to seeking to understand superstition from standpoint of the Roman Catholic tradition; the one that was most commonly exhibited with respect to the white Spanish colonists of the particular regions in question. The Roman Catholic tradition necessarily engaged in understanding that a differentiation between good versus evil helps to define the world they were in. Moreover, the Spanish Inquisition, having only concluded within Spain several hundred years before colonization of the New World began, had ingrained a solid understanding within the minds of the colonists that the battle between God and the devil was very much alive and was exhibited through even minute differentiations with regards to doctrines and beliefs. A further reality with regards to the overall level of superstition that existed within the early Spanish colonials was with regards to the fact that the individuals who were first responsible for settling and colonizing this New World were in fact seaman. As such, these seafaring wanderers were perhaps the most superstitious of all individuals within the Spanish Empire; as they saw each and every occurrence as some type of omen or superstitious sign concerning life, death, fortune, or wealth. As such, a guiding compass of the way in which this particular group integrated with an understanding of superstition was predicated upon a very narrow view of religion and the fact that evil, Satan, or the devil could exist in any number of forms with regards to the world they interacted. As such, even though many scholars and led to believe that the Spanish stakeholders within the New World were the ones who are the least superstitious, seeking to categorize Spanish in such a way is disingenuous and ineffective as will be seen with regards to the level of superstition that pervaded the remaining two groups that are under discussion and analysis within this brief essay. Due to the fact that the individuals who initially settled these New World were perhaps the most superstitious of any socio-economic strata of the Spanish culture, it comes as no surprise that they readily adapted to the superstitions of those that they came in contact with. Naturally, the second group of stakeholders is referenced with respect to the many Native American populations that existed within the New World long before the Spanish ever began to colonize it. By very nature of the way in whi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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