By Robert Himmerich y Valencia
While the Spanish conquistadors were stereotyped as rapacious treasure seekers, many firstcomers to the recent global learned that its maximum wealth lay within the local populations whose exertions might be harnessed to construct a brand new Spain. as a result, the early arrivals in Mexico sought encomiendas—"a supply of the Indians of a prescribed indigenous polity, who have been to supply the grantee (the encomendero) tribute within the type of commoditiesand provider in go back for cover and non secular instruction."
This examine profiles the 506 recognized encomenderos in New Spain (present-day Mexico) in the course of the years 1521-1555, utilizing their lifestyles histories to chart the increase, florescence, and decline of the encomienda process. the 1st half attracts common conclusions in regards to the genuine workings of the encomienda procedure. the second one half presents concise biographies of the encomenderos themselves.
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Extra resources for The Encomenderos of New Spain, 1521-1555
The total of natives from these regions, however, did not amount to onequarter of the encomenderos. The unknown homelands will remain unknown until such time as new references are uncovered. Sánchez appears to have been strongly Hispanicized. 00%) aIncludes the mayordomo of the cabildo and the bishops. b An innkeeper and a muletrain owner. , the cannoneers were founders, and the musicians were teachers and entertainers, all being at the artisan level. One must, however, admit that the first generation of encomenderos, regardless of calling, had to be men of affairs to some extent in order to exploit the potential of their holdings, since in the early years relatively few managers were available for hire.
There are 506 known encomenderos in all for the period. A detailed discussion of each of these settlements will put the residence pattern of the encomenderos of New Spain into perspective. Page 39 Veracruz, the first of New Spain's early municipalities, was founded as Villa Rica de la Veracruz in April 1519 at Ulúa, a sandspit across the bay from the present city. By mid1525, with a reconstituted municipal government, the site of the town was moved again. 6 It was not possible to establish a roster of the encomendero vecinos of this municipality.
Social, economic, ecclesiastical, and indeed all hierarchies stretched from the highestranking members in the city down to the lowest ranking out in the country. There he would affect as luxurious a life style as his financial condition would allow, supporting a number of relatives, retainers, and other Spaniards in his casa poblada. Located among dense native populations, they attracted sizable numbers of encomendero vecinos, but none of them ever posed a serious threat to the dominance of Mexico City.