Native Americans and the Colonists

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How did Spain, France, and England treat Native Americans differently?

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The Spanish conquerors brutally abused and exploited the Native Americans, many of whom died from mistreatment at the hands of their Spanish masters. They forced Native Americans to work for them as porters, in the fields, and in gold and silver mines; to convert to Catholicism; and to pay taxes to the Spanish colonial government. While the Spanish colonial New Laws (1542) formally forbade enslaving Native Americans, they still permitted the colonists to enslave Native American populations that rebelled against Spanish domination. The Spanish government allowed most Native Americans to live under their own chiefs and took absolute control over their Native American neighbors away from the colonists. The Spanish authorities even appointed special officials to “protect” the Native Americans, but despite this “protection,” tens of millions of Native Americans died within the first century of Spanish colonial rule from mistreatment and European diseases, such as small pox. Since...

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