Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, governor of Nueva Galicia, lead an expedition of conquest from South American into the northern territory of what is now New Mexico (p 21-22). In passing through the region in which the Acoma Indians lived in 1541, Coronado's men referred to the pueblo as "the greatest stronghold in the world", whose inhabitants "came down to meet us peacefully, although they could have spared themselves the trouble and stayed on their rock and we would not have been able to trouble them in the least" (p 38). Here, it explains the welcoming nature of some of the Indian in the area that the Pueblo lived among. Before the Spaniards came with their missionaries and soldiers to the homes of the pueblo, they lived peacefully among one another. They had very efficient ways of living in terms of how they acquired food in the dry climate in which they lived. They had a balanced network of trading among other tribes that they had come to establish over hundreds and hundreds of years.
They pueblo Indians were very content and perceived themselves as a wealthy people; life was good for the pueblo Indians. While all the When Spanish forces entered the pueblo region, there were other Europeans entering the east coast region of North America in which they also encountered native inhabitants. The Spanish have different expectations and intentions in comparison to the Europeans occupying the east coast. "Rumors surfaced periodically to tell of cities beyond the northern frontier that rivaled in size and splendor" and "as dreams of riches and fame pushed the first Spanish expeditions into the region, the native inhabitants watched and suffered as a pattern of violence emerged that would dictate the nature of Pueblo-European interaction throughout the century" and this is where the Spanish journey began as they ventured into the world among the pueblo Indians. As the Spanish began to flood into pueblo territory, the pueblos fought against Spanish forces, but they soon discovered that they were more powerful then themselves. Many Indians fled their homes and left whatever belongings they couldn't take with them behind (64).
Several Indians stayed and stood their ground refusing to give up any of their food; they were often tortured or killed instantly. Spanish soldiers demanded food and clothing out of desperation for they had ventured into the New Mexico region unprepared without food and clothing. The effects of this were great considering the Pueblos kept stores of maize that were intended to last them for 3 or 4 years in case of drought that frequently plagued the area. The Pueblos became resentful for this reason. Unlike most Indians in their conflicts with Europeans, the Pueblos were mistreated and abused by the Spaniards. Their food and clothing were demanded of them.
Spanish missionaries gradually forced their traditional ways of religion out including ceremonies. The Pueblo people lived in fear of the Spanish soldier, but intimidation was the only way of control that soldiers had over the Pueblos. The Pueblos face consequences when they finally decided to congregate and revolt as nations gathered together as one mass. When the Pueblos revolted, they risked the lives of their entire population of pueblos; they either succeeded and drove the Spanish out, or they would be defeated and risk dying as an entire people. The Pueblos always keep in mind what happened at Acoma when they massacred at the Indians atop the mesa. On page 63, Knaut explains that it was "inconceivable from the Pueblo perspective" to resist the Spanish because their lives were threatened.
Spanish arrival also disrupted relations between the Pueblos and the Athapascan's. Trade networks were broken because the Pueblos did not have goods to trade since the Spaniards had depleted their stores. Also, there was a threat by neighboring tribes such as the Navajo and Apaches. Pueblo communities were burned, people were killed, and their belongings, such as horses, were stolen from them. This created more resentment toward the Spaniards. They also questioned why they should accept Christianity since everything connected to it led back to the Spaniards and what their presence had destroyed the well being of the Pueblos.
The Pueblos became increasingly dependent on the Spaniards and the need for their protection against raiders, especially the Apache's. The conflict between the church and the state for control of Pueblo land, labor, and tribute caused upheaval among the Spaniards. "And as the Pueblos found fewer and fewer venues through which to preserve and practice their traditional ways, the pressures for revolt increased and slowly percolated to the surface" (p 117). The Pueblos women were taken advantage of and raped. "Rumor held Fray Diego de Parra ga, one of the ministers at Taj ique at this time, to have had sex with as many as forty of his parishioners".
Spanish missions were supposed to be setup for the sole purpose of informing the Indians about God and teaching them how to worship him. Not only do they harshly attempt to eradicate their traditional ways of worshipping their own God, but also them rape their women, which in turn weakens Pueblo families. The people were beaten by soldiers and were persecuted for practicing their own beliefs. Missionaries "policies became increasingly repressive" (p 117). As the treachery heightened, the pueblos revolted. Although they risked absolute demolition, they conquered the first successful resistance in North American history concerning native inhabitants.
"The Pueblo Revolt of 1680", Andrew L. Knaut..