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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Conquistadors

Yes - the conquistadors. What a bunch of bloodthirsty bastards. Gold - Gold - that's all it was for them. They slaughtered indians left and right - and if they didn't slaughter them they enslaved quite a few. Don't even talk to me about the smallpox.

No Gold was evident in what is now the American south, southwest and west. Back to the drawing board - tired of traipsing around the God forsaken land. They send in the priests.

They talk bad about the Puritans - HA! Those Spaniards were a bugger.

14 Comments:

Blogger tshsmom said...

But Columbus said there HAD to be GOLD!!
Explorers of this country should have taken their cue from Leif Ericson and come for the fishing! ;)
The only good thing to come from the Conquistadors, was the horses they abandoned here.

12 January, 2007 15:31  
Blogger MamaGeph said...

In addition to the horses, I'd have to say the end of the Aztec empire was a plus, as well. Any culture that tortured their children to death as a sacrifice to the spring rain god is not to be wept over when it's gone, imho.

12 January, 2007 19:34  
Blogger tshsmom said...

You've been tagged!
Keep in mind that I let you slide on one over the holidays. ;)

12 January, 2007 20:14  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Yes tshsmom - I guess the missions were a good thing. mamageph - I think the Aztecs stole children from neighboring indian villages to sacrifice. (I could be wrong, my memory is terrible.) That was a bloodthirsty civilization though - for sure.

tshsmom - I thought I had got away without your noticing. Aren't I bad? I will be over later to get the details. lol. I Promise to do this one.

13 January, 2007 00:11  
Blogger Cubed © said...

I would never want to excuse the Spaniards' behavior, but maybe some explanation for it would be interesting.

The Spanish had been occupied by the Islamic aggressors for about 700 years. It took them about 300 years to drive them out, and that cost a LOT of time, effort, and MONEY.

In fact, it drove them into bankruptcy - that's why Isabella had to sell her jewelry in order to finance Columbus' trip.

The reason Isabella was willing to risk her last penny on such a venture was precisely to bring Spain out of her economic woes. Gold was definitely a motivating factor for the trip.

Columbus sailed for the East the very same year that the Muslims were finally driven out of Spain, and the promise of gold was very appealing, since Spain no longer had any. Spain was badly trailing behind the rest of Europe in every sphere; the rest of Europe had been prospering since awakening to the Renaissance over 200 years earlier, and had made enormous commercial, scientific, musical, philosophic and artistic progress. The Spaniards had a long way to go to catch up to their neighbors, and badly needed cash to kick-start the process.

Of course, he had the wrong distance calculated for the circumference of the earth, so instead of running into China and India, he ran into the New World, which was not at all what he expected. But it wasn't too long before the riches they sought was found.

The first Conquistadors followed Columbus to the New World only about 20 years later.

Now, in the 700 (or thereabouts) years of Muslim occupation, the Spanish acquired a lot of habits from their erstwhile conquerers.

It's common for conquered nations to adopt many of the features of their conquerers, since they - the conquerors - are always the "upper class" in the lands they have defeated, and imitation was always a good way for many Spanish "dhimmis" to get ahead in life. It's a sort of "Stockholm Syndrome" phenomenon applied to an entire population.

Some of the characteristics that have been retained by Spanish culture to this day, even among our Hispanic neighbors, include "machismo," born of the attitude that Muslims had towards women as inferior to men; there is no denying that many cultures did - and still do - tend to trivialize women, but it was exaggerated by Muslims and codified into law by sharia.

Even the "second family" tradition exists openly as a socially acceptable "norm," and is an attitudinal relic of the "four wives and as many concubines as you wish" tradition of the Muslims.

Another was the rentention of what amounts to a feudal culture modeled after the one that existed during the Muslim occupation, but had not yet been abandoned by the Spanish. To this day, the lower classes in Mexico are held in a kind of economic bondage where opportunities for advancement are limited.

This kind of societal organization is still prominent today, and is responsible for the lack of economic opportunity that makes the United States so attractive to the millions of illegals in this country. Even Cesar Millan, the famous "Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic, cites this as the reason for his illegal entrance into California.

It is also responsible for the enormous appeal of drugs as a means to acquire wealth - it's one of the best opportunities around, since relatively few others exist.

This - a feudal-like economic structure - is the way the Muslims treated most of the Spanish dhimmis (don't be conned by the phoney claims of apologists that an idyllic, peaceful society existed during the occupation. NOT!).

Anyway, these attitudes and many others that were inherited by the Spanish were not abandoned by the Conquistadors who came so shortly after shrugging off the Muslim yoke. They brought them with them, and when they met resistence on the part of the Indians, they applied the same treatment to them as their own conquerors had applied to them.

Make no mistake about it; the Indians were no pussycats, and the human sacrifices, which were sometimes carried out by the hundreds a day, to say nothing of fun little games where a prisoner's legs and arms were cut off, and the still living torso was used as a kick-ball in sporting events, were just the tip of the iceberg. They were not very nice.

I'm just so sorry that the priests burned all their books (only four are known to remain, saved by one priest who thought that they shouldn't all be destroyed). They thought that they were, in essence, the "work of the devil." Book-burning is a nasty habit, but it happens all the time, especially in wartime.

Re: disease - it wasn't part of the plan. And in return, we got syphilis from the Indians. I'm not trying to play the "tit-for-tat" game, it's just something that happens when people mix, be it on friendly or unfriendly terms. I guess most of the syphilis was acquired when people met on friendly terms, huh?

Smallpox had only been around humans for about five thousand years, and it was no picnic for us, either, with a 40-50% death rate, to say nothing of UGLY!

And as for slavery, many Indians were indeed enslaved; by that time, there had never in all of human history been a society where slavery was not a part of life.

It was totally improper - even the Romans wrote about how it violated natural law - but it wasn't until the Industrial Revolution, with the invention of all that machinery, that those who thought that slavery was nasty were able to manage without it.

As I said, I have no love for what the Spanish did, but at least it was not just in their nature to be mean, it was the result of a long history with that kind of behavior.

13 January, 2007 19:41  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Fascinating Cubed - as always - thank you!

So - we can safely blame it on the mohammedans then. I'm okay with that! lol.

14 January, 2007 00:33  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks Cubed! I always learn sooo much from you! I never equated Spanish machismo with Islam before, but it makes perfect sense.

14 January, 2007 07:47  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Cubed is awesome.

14 January, 2007 12:54  
Blogger Alison said...

Yes indeed Cubed has it nailed and that is correct about machismo. Trivia for you - the word 'ojala' pronounced o-ha-la in spanish meaning (if only or if only to god...) comes from the arabic 'to allah' and when you pronounce it you can see that!

15 January, 2007 07:31  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Very interesting Alison - thanks!

15 January, 2007 13:18  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Fun with History! Interestingly the Spaniards of the 16th Century, following the death of Issabella were of the Hapsburg family who definitely had their own experiences fighting Islam during the Siege of Vienna.
Also there was some treasure - from around 1550's shipments off first silver and then gold had became a regular and vital source of Spain's income. The gold was sent back from the New World in huge fleets, convoys of ships that grew to as mnany as 50 at a time, which in some respects lead to the rise of piracy, as the cargo they carried was wealth beyond imnmagination. Some was lost at sea due to storms (much less to pirates) and some of that which was lost the Spaniards, unwilling to let it go actually managed to salvage.

16 January, 2007 14:19  
Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

I'm not excusing the conquistadors. But I do feel that some 7 centuries under the boot of the Islamic Moors greatly affected the Spanish psyche.

Just my two cents.

16 January, 2007 21:06  
Blogger ptg said...

Don't forget the palefaces that took the Black Hills away from the red Indians for gold. Most of them never met a Mohammedan. Their excuse was racism and sound economics.

16 January, 2007 21:13  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Yes we were all bastards, I guess. lol.

We are looking at Ponce de Leon (and the only thing I remember about him now is my 6 year old recording me saying 'Ponce de Leon' and then replaying it speeded up really fast or slowed down really slow all through the reading.) We were laughing so damn hard I can't remember much. lol! The 10 y/old did okay on her assessment though. Pizarro, Vespucci, Esteban, Cortes, Coronado. They never did find Cibola, did they?

17 January, 2007 01:54  

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