A New World: The Columbian Exchange

written assignment Writing Assignment: Labor in New Spain 15 points

How did the Spanish colonists resolve their need for labor on the profitable sugar plantations and in the gold and silver mines throughout the Americas?

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What types of source would help us to answer to this question?

Primary sources would provide us documentary evidence from the people who were actually there. Secondary sources were written or created later by people who were not actually there to witness the events.

In the previous section, you learned about supporting arguments with evidence. Complete the following activity for more practice in understanding arguments and primary source evidence, and to explain why the Spanish turned to the use of African slaves.

...great quantities of gold and silver are no longer found upon the surface of the earth, as they have been in past years; and to penetrate into the bowels of the earth requires greater effort, skill and outlay, and the Spaniards are not willing to do the work themselves, and the natives cannot be forced to do so, because the Emperor has freed them from all obligation of service as soon as they accept the Christian religion. Wherefore it is necessary to acquire negro slaves, who are brought from the coasts of Africa, both within and without the Straits, and these are selling dearer every day, because on account of their natural lack of strength and the change of climate, added to the lack of discretion upon the part of their masters in making them work too hard and giving them too little to eat, they fall sick and the greater part of them die.
- Michele Soriano, 1559

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This image was published in 1595 in a work entitled Americae pars quinta nobilis & admiratione plena Hieronymi.

Use the above passage and the image to develop an argument about labor in the Spanish colonies in the early 1500s. Make sure that your argument is supported by the evidence in the documents and not just a restatement of de Zuazo's opinions.

Using this document, write your main argument and explain how the passage and the image provide supporting evidence.

Submit your completed writing assignment to the Writing Assignment: Labor in New Spain assignment link for grading.