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Daily life under the Spanish


Capitol of New Mexico
Capitol of New Mexico

As the colony grew slowly in the 17th century, the Pueblo peoples became increasingly hostile to the Spanish, who frequently compelled them to work as slaves. In addition, the missionaries often imposed Christianity on them by force. When it became apparent that Christianity was not replacing indigenous religious beliefs, priests tried to prevent native ceremonies. As a result, minor revolts against the Spanish occurred sporadically from 1640 until 1680. That year a medicine doctor of the Tewa Pueblo named Popé, supported by the Apache, led a rebellion against the Spanish, destroying the missions and killing priests and Spanish colonists. The Spanish returned in force, reoccupying Santa Fe in 1692, and by 1696 they had reconquered the whole area.

During the 18th century, colonization and trade increased in New Mexico. The Comanche and Apache to the east and the Ute to the north brought in skins, buffalo meat, tallow, and horses to exchange for manufactured goods. Annual trade fairs developed at Taos and Pecos. New Mexicans, in turn, went south to Chihuahua, Mexico, to exchange their goods for the European products brought in through Mexico City. Some covert trade developed with the French, who had claims to the region east of New Mexico, but the threat of French interference in New Mexico ended in 1763 when France transferred to Spain title to the lands west of the Mississippi River and north of the Arkansas River to the Rocky Mountains. Through much of the 18th century the Navajo, Apache, Comanche, and other nomadic Native American peoples repeatedly raided both Spanish and Pueblo communities, and enough troops to defend the province were seldom available. Some of the Ute, Comanche, and Navajo agreed to peace treaties in the 1770s and 1780s, but the Apache in the southwest remained enemies of the Spaniards. By the end of the 18th century the Hispanic population had grown to about 20,000. "New Mexico" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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