Use the passage below to answer all parts of the question that follows. “On behalf of the king and queen of Spain, we notify you that the pope has donated to them these islands and lands and all who

Use the passage below to answer all parts of the question that follows.

“On behalf of the king and queen of Spain, we notify you that the pope has donated to them these islands and lands and all who have received this notice should receive and serve their Highnesses as subjects ought to do.

We ask that you acknowledge the Church and the pope as the ruler of the whole world. We ask further that you acknowledge that the king and queen of Spain shall rule as lords and kings of these islands and lands by virtue of the pope’s donation. If you obey your king and queen, you will do well and we shall receive you with all love and charity and shall leave you, your wives, your children, and your lands free without servitude.

But, if you do not obey, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and the king and queen of Spain. We shall take you, your wives, and your children and make all of you slaves and we shall take away your goods. We assert that the deaths and losses that would accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these soldiers who come with us.”

“The Demand” (Requerimiento), document issued by the Spanish royal council of Castile in 1510. Spanish conquistadors were legally required to read the document aloud to indigenous Americans before taking their land.

a) Describe ONE way in which the document reflects the specific historical situation of Spain’s maritime exploration and colonization in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

b) Explain ONE political development in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries that would likely explain why the king and queen of Spain highlighted the donation mentioned in the first and second paragraphs.

c) Explain ONE instance in which the Spanish resorted to the type of actions threatened in the third paragraph.

Answer:

a) The document reflects the specific historical situation of Spain’s maritime exploration and colonization in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries by highlighting the assertion of Spanish sovereignty over newly discovered territories. During this period, European powers such as Spain were engaged in aggressive colonization efforts in the Americas, motivated by desires for wealth, power, and expansion of Christian influence. The document, known as “The Demand” (Requerimiento), served as a legal justification for Spanish conquest by invoking the authority of the pope and the Spanish monarchy over the lands and peoples encountered during maritime exploration.

b) One political development in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries that would likely explain why the king and queen of Spain highlighted the donation mentioned in the first and second paragraphs is the concept of the “Doctrine of Discovery.” This doctrine, endorsed by European powers and sanctioned by the Catholic Church, asserted the right of Christian monarchs to claim and colonize non-Christian territories discovered during maritime exploration. By emphasizing the pope’s donation of the islands and lands to the Spanish crown, the document sought to legitimize Spain’s territorial claims in the Americas and justify the subjugation of indigenous peoples.

c) One instance in which the Spanish resorted to the type of actions threatened in the third paragraph occurred during the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in present-day Mexico. Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, employed military force, violence, and coercion to subjugate the indigenous population and seize control of their lands and resources. Cortés and his forces engaged in brutal warfare, including the massacre of indigenous civilians and the enslavement of survivors. This campaign culminated in the fall of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521, marking the beginning of Spanish colonial rule in Mexico.

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