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The demise of the Native Americans due to the Spanish

            At the time of the European colonization of North America, the Spanish and the French both considered the Native Americans as being savages. They felt that the natives were not fully human as well as inferior to themselves. This attitude shaped the way the Spanish and French responded to the Native Americans, both culturally and economically. Both countries responses precipitated the demise of the Native Americans. .
             Culturally the early Spanish explorers tried to the dominate the Indians in North America. In 1598 Don Juan de Onate traveled into what is now New Mexico to claim land for Spain. Ornate felt that the differences in their races made the natives inferior to himself. He began demanding payment from local Indians and at times forced them to work as laborers. Onate was removed as governor in 1606 due to his harsh treatment of the natives. The Indians greatly outnumbered the Spanish and conflict with them could jeopardize the stability of the new colony. Since than the relationship between the Spanish and the Pueblo Indians began to improve. The Spanish began trying to assimilate the Native Americans into their society. Immense numbers of Pueblos switched to Christianity under the guidance of Spanish missionaries. However the majority of the natives continued to practice their own rituals. In 1680 Spanish priests tried unsuccessfully to hinder the rituals. As a result an uprising led to the deaths of hundreds of European settlers by the Pueblo natives. This also resulted in the capture of Santa Fe and driving the Spanish people out of the area for a little more than a decade.
             The Spanish came to the realization that they could not prosper if they were in conflict with the Native population. The Spanish intensified their efforts to assimilate the Native Americans. They baptized Indian children. Soon there were numerous intermarriages between Europeans and Indians. However they permitted the Pueblos to own land and stopped Indian enslavement.

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