Latin America Essay
Bradford Burns, the author of Latin America: An Interpretive History has put a lot of thought in my mind, of who and what where the first people of Latin America. Because of them, many of us are here today. But who are they? The new world, which came to be known as Latin America; numerous types of people migrated to this part of the world. A group of people known as the indigenous migrated from Asia and crossed the Bering Strait. They spread throughout North and South America.
When Christopher Columbus landed on the new world, mistaking it for Asia, he called the indigenous “Indians. ” It is said that the indigenous has many characteristics; black hair, dark eyes, and copper skin. The indigenous were the main focus of Latin America I believe, because they were the first to be there. Women worked in agriculture, while men hunt. Later on came the Europeans and Spaniard wanting to concord all of the Latin American, in seek for land and wealth. When the new world started to unroll, war was taken place to fight for what the indigenous had first.
The Africans came next, which they were used for slavery. The encounter of these groups were violently and consensual. Obviously, humans don’t like to interact with others who are not their kind, but in this case many mix groups creating new ones. They created new groups such as the mestizos, zambos, mulatto, and much more. The name was based on phenotype and signed characteristic. Since class or status became very import, the mixture of these groups caused a problem of racism.
As I read this section of the book, it aggravates how different ethnic groups became such a problem in social class. The lower the social class, many don’t take you for granted; you are not required land or wealth. There were the nobles (high class), the commoners and slaves (low class). The status was linked to kinship, which was link to bloodline. The Spaniards were confused whether the indigenous has souls and if they fit into the social system. Ridiculously as it sounds, indigenous are humans too.
However, race was one article, ethnicity became another. The use of ethnicity was referred to the practices that define and separated people of cultural signifiers. In the Iberian situation, Meztizajes were a major issue. They did not believe in mix race, the looked at it as contamination. Every group had their reasoning and idea about mixing race. It comes to mind, that mixing groups of different races is what makes the Latin American so diverse. Still to this day, mixing races still exists, and for some is quite a problem.
The Spaniard and Europeans since there were high in class didn’t ever think to be mix with the indigenous. However, the mestizo groups were above the indigenous class. I criticize this because why were the Spaniard and European above all social class. What do they have that others don’t? In my belief, low classes did much more sacrifices for this country, for they mixed with people of their kind to create Latin America. Overall, these three groups have a major impact of Latin America.
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