Spaniards and organization of labor in colonial times: Spaniards discovered the New World and found out it was a wealthy mine, but to obtain gains it was needed to work hard and constantly. Spaniards organized native Indians as slaves to obtain gold, silver and other wealth. In Mexico, Peru and the Andean Area, Europeans used new systems to make Indians work and to pay different tributes, for example the Repartimiento and the Encomienda. After the conquest the islands of the Caribbean stayed with a minimal quantity of Indians and had to import African slaves to work in agricultural plantations.
All the productions of the New World were sent to Europe as commerce and also as payment to the Spain Crown; by doing these trades Spaniards became rich and wealthy by the end of the colonization. One of the key areas for Spaniards to get wealthy was Mexico. According to Kenn and Haynes's book, in Mexico Europeans imposed two systems: the Encomienda, which obligated Indians to give Spaniards a daily tribute of gold dust. The other system was the Repartimiento in which all adult Indian male had to give a certain amount of their time in rotation throughout the year to work in Spaniard mines and workshop, on farms and ranches, and on public works. The Indians received a token wage of their work, but the Repartimiento, like the Encomienda, was essentially disguised slavery. Furthermore those Indians who avoid service and community leader who failed to provide the required quotas were imprisoned, fined, and physically punished.
In Peru, Spaniards also imposed the Repartimiento, but it was known as the Mit'a. In Peru this system obligated the Indians between the ages of 18 and 50 years old, with all their family to move to the mines and work for periods of six months each, one in seven years; normally these works were required in Potosi which was one of largest and most important mine cities. According to Keen and Haynes book, by 1611 Potosi were producing so much gold and wealthy that it became the largest city in the New World and largest than most of the urban centers in Europe and Asia. The Mit'a remained as an important source of labor in mining and agricultural until the end of the colonial period. In the Andean area the Repartimiento was complemented by another institution taken over from the Incas, it was called Yanaconas. This system separates the Indians from their communities and forced them to serve the Europeans as their personal servants.
All these Indians were transferred from one landowner to another together with the estate. By the end of the 16 th century the number of Indians that served as personal servants were equal as the number of Europeans living in the community. In the Caribbean islands the Europeans had to use African American labor as an option after the conquest. These African Americans work in the agricultural sector developing the sugar-cane. Europeans were also accustomed to the holding of black slaves, and beliefs that blacks were more able to support the hardships of plantations labor. However, these entire bad treat to Indians and African Americans by Europeans has only one purpose of becoming rich and it ends with the abolition of slavery in 1542.
Nevertheless, by this time Europeans were wealthy thanks to the work of Indians and African Americans. Europeans structured a monopoly for their own benefit and until the last day in power they took advantage of it. Resources: Benjamin Keen, Keith Haynes. A History of Latin America Seventh Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Boston New York, 2004. Emma Sor do. Latin American Civilization Class Notes. 5/11/05 and 5/16/05.