« AnteriorContinuar »
and accepting the other's idiosyncrasies as absolutely exact traits of character, born with the individual or developed in him through environment. In order to make this point clear I must ask you to consider two things: firstly, the relative conditions at the time of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus: both of the territories that constitute what is known today as the United States of North America, and of those that constitute what is considered as Latin America; secondly, the class and type of white men who became the first settlers in either section of America, (for expediency and clearness, I shall refer to each section, as yours and ours). Well, then, your territory, at the time of the advent of the white man from Europe, was more or less of a virgin territory, inhabited by savage and semisavage nomadic tribes, thinly scattered all over a very vast
While our territory was to a very great extent organized into states in a measure barbaric but nevertheless semi-civilized, densely populated, and concentrated in a manner to make for cohesion. Mayas, Aztecs and Toltecs, Caras, Chimus, Incas, Aymaras, and Quichuas, and other tribes, less known, over-ran our territory and presented marked contrast with conditions in yours.
According as the news of the discovery of the New World invaded the European countries, two types, that were to mold the destinies of the wonderlands beyond the seas, were brought into play; the one formed of the oppressed and persecuted by religious intolerance, the other of the adventurous, soldiers of fortune, in quest of gold and adventures.
Both of these started out with set purposes, the oppressed and persecuted came to the New World to build up new homes, free from all the troubles left behind. While the adventurous came, bent on destroying and carrying away everything they could lay their hands on. So here we have the true genesis of the formation of nationality in Angloand Latin-America. In the two great classes, the permanent and the temporary, the one to build up, the other to tear down and destroy. The one came with reverence, the other with defiance. Both with an equally set purpose, but the one with humility in his heart, the other proud and overbearing; the one full of tenderness born of his religious zeal, the other cruel and despotic.
Thus we find that whereas Anglo America was settled by austere men, seeking religious freedom, men who were fleeing from states with laws prejudicial to their beliefs and practices, men dissatisfied with the political conditions in their own countries, who did not wish to go so far as to sever their connection entirely with the fatherland, but who sought in the new colonies ameliorated conditions under their own flag; men who came to build homes in a new land, eager to remain because full of energy, they saw in the very newness of the land the great opportunities it offered them to build a greater commercial and political future for themselves. Besides these good elements, there came, as a matter of course, a few adventurous outlaws, and others attracted to the new land by the prevalent "Wanderlust” of the times. The latter, a decided minority.
Let us now turn to Latin America. To her went the soldiers of fortune, valiant but ignorant, adventurous and daring yet unscrupulous, they came principally from a country where religious bigotry was rampant. They were an admixture of virtues and vices. They came to conquer, to fight if necessary; their one aim was to better themselves financially regardless of by what means and as to consequences. The companions of Pizarro, Hernando Cortez, de Soto, Almagro, Pedrarias, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, were in marked contrast to the men who came to the shores of New England with the Pilgrim Fathers.
To us came the militarists seeking a field for new exploits, in their wake came adventurous outlaws seeking gold and riches. Of course, there also came some good men, some who would have been willing to preserve what they found, but these were a minority, and besides, the existing conditions throughout our territories prevented this. Because while in your territory there were nothing but nomadic, savage and semi-savage tribes, without fixed settlements, in our territory the Spaniards came upon organized states, having a certain civilization of their own.
So we have, that, whereas in Anglo America the whites arrived and settled peacefully, acquiring the ownership of the land from the native Indians, either by right of purchase, by peaceful treaty negotiations, and in some instances by forceful occupation, after actual warfare with the aborigines, which ended with the conquest of the land but not of its inhabitants, who in each case, were driven westward. In Latin America, the whites came as a military organized force, overran the countries that they discovered, fighting their way from the very outset, right into the heart of the unknown territories that they seized upon, destroying everything, plundering wholesale and making a display of force and rare indomitable courage so as to cower the astonished natives. In Latin America, the white man overthrew the native governments and established themselves as the governing class reducing the Indian to a state bordering on actual slavery, that, in many instances, was slavery. Every cruelty was resorted to by the conquerors. No pity nor mercy was ever shown unto the defenseless tribes. From the very first, it was a question of asserting his superiority as a master, and making the Indian feel that he was but a mere tool in his master's hands.
From the foregoing, it can readily be seen that while your territory was being colonized, in the strictest sense of the word, by your forefathers, ours was being conquered by the white man in such a manner as to be most detrimental to posterity.
Now, let us glance at the types of men who came to your and to our sections of the Continent. The colonists of Anglo America came from those countries of northwestern Europe, where there was the greatest freedom, the nearest approach to republican institutions and government of the people, and by the people, existent at the time. England, Scotland and Wales, The Netherlands, French Huguenots, Scandinavians, and Germans, were the stock from which were evolved the American colonies.
The conquerors of Latin America were militarists from the most absolute monarchy in western Europe, and with these soldiers came the adventurers. And after the first news of their wonderful exploits reached the mother country, and the first fruits of the conquest were shown in Spain, Their Most Catholic Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, felt it their duty to send to the new kingdoms beyond the seas, learned and holy monks and friars. With these, came many scions of noble families, men of means and of great power at home, who brought a very large clerical force, composed mainly of younger sons of the upper classes. Each one eager to obtain a sinecure, trusting to his relations and powerful sponsors to better his condition, and in time, get his promotion to more important and more lucrative positions.
It was a veritable army of bureaucrats, of office-seekers of penniless and spendthrift young men that over-ran our territory, men who had never done any work at home, men, who by reason of birth, or by reason of the conditions existing in the mother country at the time, had never had to do any work, men whose one and only ambition was a high salary, because they had never had any occasion to learn a profession nor to earn a livelihood through industry and toil.
From sources so widely different in their components sprang the Anglo-American and the Latin-American. Your men formed an unmixed mass, because, although being of diverse nationalities and coming from diverse social classes, they were of pure race and maintained this condition with very rare exception. Besides, as they came with intent of bettering themselves, by becoming independent in a measure, if not of the governments, at least of the laws that had oppressed them at home. They came determined to settle down and so they brought their families with them and a great many of their belongings, and thus, from the very beginning, they established homes and organized properly constituted communities of workers.
Our men did not bring their women and familjes until many years after the Conquest, and, in consequence, the Spaniards from the very commencement took to themselves Indian women and the offspring became the “Mestizos," a mixed race that the haughty pure Castilians in Spain never countenanced, although they were of their own flesh
and blood. Later on, when conditions became more settled, the Spaniards brought their families, and after a time the “Creoles,” came into existence, these were the offspring of European parents born in the New World. It is a well-known fact that many of the Conquistadores took unto themselves women of the Indian race, of the governing class, especially did this occur in Mexico and in Peru (which included at the time, what is today Ecuador and Bolivia), there being in Mexico and Peru a semi-civilized native race organized into castes. One of the best known of the early chroniclers of Peru, and who has been considered as an authority on the history of the Inca Empire was Inca Garcilaso, the son of a Spanish nobleman, Garcilaso de la Vega, who came to Peru in 1535, and who married dona Isabel Palla Huailas Nusta, daughter of Palla Mama Ocllo and of Huallpa Tupac Inca Yupanqui, fourth son of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui, brother of Huaina Capac, one of the reigning Incas.
This mixing of the races—white and Indian-after a time, was not frowned upon by the haughty Spanish monarchy, but on the contrary, it was encouraged, it being considered the best possible means of establishing a uniform race. The idea being to create a great middle class, that would in time make useful and loyal subjects of the Crown.
Many of the Conquistadores thus married or entangled themselves with princesses of the existing dynasties, and with the daughters and relatives of the curacas or chieftains. And following this example, the soldiery and the retinues of these leaders, were allowed a very large amount of liberty, so promiscuous, that by the end of the eighteenth century, the mestizo population of Peru had exceeded a quarter of a million.
Some of these mestizos, by the right of their parentage, were given the best education and, in many instances, they were brought up with the creole children; but, by far the vast majority were kept in ignorance, and made to do menial work or, at most, allowed to apprentice themselves to some trade.
The Anglo-American colonist, when he established himself on the shores of America, was already somewhat schooled