The encomienda system was created by the Spanish to control and regulate American Indian labor and behavior during the colonization of the Americas. Under the encomienda system, conquistadors and other leaders (encomenderos) received grants of a number of Indians, from whom they could exact “tribute” in the form of gold or labor. The encomenderos were supposed to protect and Christianize the Indians granted to them, but they most often used the system to effectively enslave the Indians and take their...
The Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 moved the boundary between Spanish and Portuguese lands in the New World. The line of demarcation established a year earlier by the pope’s papal bull Inter Caetera shifted 1,000 miles westward, with the result that Brazil (when it was discovered) came under Portuguese control.
The Reconquista was the campaign undertaken by Christians in what would become Portugal and Spain to capture, or reconquer, the Iberian Peninsula from North African Muslims called Moors. This effort began in the mid-twelfth century and was successfully concluded in 1492. The struggle helped lead to unified kingdoms in both nations and in Spain provided the model for the conquest of America.
A letter from the Spanish ambassador to the United States, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, was published in the New York Journal. In the letter, de Lôme called President McKinley a “weak . . . bidder for the admiration of the crowd.”