Recent Latin America
Patterns for Wealth
The Americas provided a great deal of wealth and opportunities to the monarchs of Portugal and Spain. The main focal point for the monarchs, conquerors, and colonists alike was land acquisition. For each group, land acquisition meant wealth and security. Colonists, having less influence and prestige than the conquerors and monarchs, worked the land with the hopes of being independent of the landowners and to create personal wealth. For the conquerors it was all about wealth and prestige and the monarchs of Spain and Portugal profited from everyone else.
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As the Indian population dwindled, the labor force dwindled. The Spaniards and the Portuguese had to find a solution for the diminishing labor force. They then began to import Africans as slaves to replaces those workers that they lost. I found the sections following the introduction of Africans as slaves interesting because in my 7th grade social studies class we touch on the subject of slave labor in our Africa units. I think that I would incorporate much of this chapter in my units that focus on the history of India and Africa. The text also mentions how the plantation system and the destruction of trees affected the ecosystem. I could implement a lesson plan that involves much of the information in this particular section in the book. Each region that I teach in the 7th grade requires the students to describe and explain how some environmental issues, like deforestation, affect the people of those regions. In 7th grade we go over Asia (south and southeast), the Middle...