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The Impact, Which the Spaniards Had On the Arawaks.

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THE IMPACT, WHICH THE SPANIARDS HAD ON THE ARAWAKS. The Spanish were the first Europeans that met the Arawaks. The Arawaks had many prophetic songs, which told of the coming of these strangers covered in clothing and armed with the thunders and lightnings of heaven. The actual meeting however was disguised with the friendliness that was promised to the Arawaks from the Spanish guides, and in return the Spaniards were treated with warmth, generosity, and honesty. In the relationship the Spanish were given an open invitation to the life and land of the Arawaks. The Spanish began to settle the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, but they soon began to abandon the work that was to be done. ...read more.


The Arawaks who all so accustomed of working together for the good of the village were now forced to work and give their reaping to these invaders. During the warfare tens of thousands of Arawaks were killed, and that number would significantly increase in the future years. In 1493, there had been between 200,00 and 300,000 Arawaks on Hispaniola, by the end of 1496, two thirds of this population was killed. Many were killed during warfare, but the introduction of unfamiliar diseases also contributed to many of the deaths. The Arawaks had no immunity to diseases like smallpox, and it raced through the islands, weakening and killing whole tribes. ...read more.


They were allowed to keep their homes and farms and, by the queen's orders were not to be made slaves. The encomienda system, however, was slave system with a different name. No wages were paid for the work done, churches or schools were not built in Arawaks villages, and the encomondero's herds of cattle and other animals often destroyed their farms. The Arawaks were not free to leave the encomienda and those who fled were hunted down. Different aspects such as the introduction of European diseases, famine, overwork, warfare, suicide, and brutality were all facts that contributed to the death rate of the Arawaks. The weakness of the Arawaks was that they were too simple, they trusted others too much, and the realisation of this fact by the Spanish only encourage them to take advantage of these warm hearted people. ...read more.

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