history 2501 spanish conquest lecture (1).docx

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22 Apr 2012

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History 2501
September 20 Reading and Lecture
“Public Health in Aztec Society”
Author’s background: professor, ethnohistorical viewpoint
Harvey’s Main Thesis: Public health service maintenance was of great importance to the Aztecs/
They had various methods that were much more different than those in European counties at
the time. This was hindered by the Spanish arrival
Political/Economic Organization:
- Control of land and labour by the Kings
- Labour: maintenance sector was highly developed
- Protections in place: e.g. famine control
- Medical practitioner: career in high esteem
- Rigid code of morality (severe penalties for adultery)
Topics: maintenance of public health, concern for clean water, lake pollution, disposal of dead,
dietary control/famine prevention, native remedies (botany), ritualistic curing
Spanish Conquest- Lecture Notes
Consequence of Initial Period of Colonization
- Royal Patronato
- Indian Slavery (mistreatment of Non Christians)
- Encomienda
- Bartolome de las Casas & The Black Legendy
Christians wanted them to completely abandon their own religion
Non Christians- right to enslave them
Just war: 1) when people reject Christianity and 2) Situation is so horrible that it is the Christian
duty to enforce/inform (e.g cannibalism)
Requiremento: choose between Christianity or war
Those in conquered areas became taxed (labour, no currency at this time)
Taxation was a tradition of Castile
Those behind the conquest are paid by the crown with people/labour
Great distance between Spain and Americas, limited communication and high level of abuse of
Nobility created in Americas that crown opposes (cannot control)
Complaints arise: mistreatment of natives, population decreasing, overworked
Las Casa: speaks for natives, sparks debate at Spanish university, lawyer representation, two
years spent working towards and agreement
Lawyer: “some born slaves
1500s: laws forbidding native slavery (enforced) Mid 16h cent- rebellion
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