Citizen Series: Civil Rights in America

Citizen Series: Civil Rights in America Derek Boyd Hankerson St. Augustine Middle Passage Committee, Board Member Freedom Road Productions, Writer and Producer Gullah-Geechee, Direct Descendent Yamassee/Muscokee Native American Tribe, Member In commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, signed on July 2, 1964, by President Johnson remember that Spanish La Florida assisted Africans […]



Army Cracker


Staff member
Oh I won't deny St. Augustine has had a Nasty reputation on civil rights violations and Blacks, Indians, Japanese and Jews as well as other groups have been unfairly subjected to Horrible things.
Historically It was far easier to dehumanize those who appeared different But the Spanish were by no means "heroic" in eual treatment of others. they were as you might know the creator of the caste system in the new world and God forbid if you didn''t convert to Catholic.

CastaSystemVirreinato.jpgCaste-Categories-in-Colonial-Spain.jpgWhile the Spanish Crown struggled to preserve marriages between Spaniards, it also had a vested interest in colonizing the New World and realized that allowing Spanish men to marry indigenous women might encourage them to settle down and establish ties to certain regions. The Catholic Church generally supported, or at least did not oppose, such marriages; the Church hoped the marriages would facilitate the conversion of native people to Christianity and decrease the number of informal unions, which it considered sinful. Therefore, starting in the 1530s, Spain issued policies to encourage single Spanish men in Spanish America to wed. For example, a 1539 royal decree stated that encomiendas could only be given to married men and some posts in the local government were restricted in a similar way. Although it was more common for Spaniards to live with native women out of wedlock, some conquerors and colonists did marry indigenous women, most of them of noble descent.
These unions also helped to consolidate Spanish colonial rule because how do you create an empire thousands of miles away without a standing army? You promote kinship ties between members of the indigenous nobility and Spanish families. Because that is going to produce a population of mixed ancestry that is going to tend to identify, at least in part, with Spanish ways and Spanish culture. And forging such a population was a strategy of the Spanish Crown very early on. [The crown] ordered that the children of these unions live in Spanish households and be raised in Spanish ways. - María Elena Martínez, author of Genealogical Fictions