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By LaRosa

An Atlas and Survey of Latin American historical past by means of LaRosa, Michael J., Mejia, G...

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The Incas had established a significant world empire that extended from the northern section of Chile to what is today the southernmost point of Colombia. The empire dominated over 1,500 miles of territory and was held together by a common language (Quechua), an impressive system of roads, and a system of taxation and forced work projects (mita) for the benefit of the state. The empire, though, was essentially in a state of civil war in the early 1530s over the question of dynastic succession, and the Spaniards were able to benefit from this situation when they arrived in 1532.

1962. The Broken Spears. Boston: Beacon Press. Paz, Octavio. 1961. The Labyrinth of Solitude. New York: Grove Press. 32 33 4C Toward the Interior: The Spanish Territories in North America W ith the fall of Tenochtitlán in 1521, Spaniards moved out over the once mighty Aztec Empire in all directions. They were especially eager to move north of the city, toward the principle mine regions of Mexico—Zacatecas and Guanajuato. Spaniards, motivated by riches, assumed that other great, settled civilizations existed north of the Aztec capital.

The Portuguese had perfected sugar cultivation and processing on the tropical Atlantic islands (the Madeiras) over which they held dominion, and sugar cane adapted ideally to the warm, moist tropical climate of northeast Brazil. The labor problem was solved via the importation of African slaves. Since 1441, the Portuguese had accumulated ample experience in trading Africans from the African coast to Europe. Now, the slave ships would make the Middle Passage and deposit human cargo at the Brazilian Northeast coastal cities of Olinda, Recife, and Sal- vador (Bahia).

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