History Notes > Oxford University History Notes > Conquest and Colonisation: Spain and America Notes

Missionary Violence Detailed Essay Plan Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 4 page long Missionary Violence Detailed Essay Plan notes, which we sell as part of the Conquest and Colonisation: Spain and America Notes collection, a Distinction package written at Oxford University in 2013 that contains (approximately) 4 pages of notes across 1 different document.

Learn more about our Conquest and Colonisation: Spain and America Notes

The original file is a 'Word (Docx)' whilst this sample is a 'PDF' representation of said file. This means that the formatting here may have errors. The original document you'll receive on purchase should have more polished formatting.

Missionary Violence Detailed Essay Plan Revision

The following is a plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Conquest and Colonisation: Spain and America Notes. This text version has had its formatting removed so pay attention to its contents alone rather than its presentation. The version you download will have its original formatting intact and so will be much prettier to look at.

Essay Plan: 'What explains missionary violence in the New World?


Define missionary violence: from beating and whipping to outright torture during the inquisitions in Yucatan 1562 4,500 tortured, 157 died, 13 suicide, 18 disappeared. Could also be interpreted as violent action towards native structures such as the demolition of temples, holy places, relics or the imposition of forced labour, physical strain. Conversion campaigns become more and more brutal as the period progresses, coercive power of the word gives way to punitive means. Reasons mainly fall into two categories: due to the failure of other methods, and due to attitudes towards the Indians



Evolution of methods/ failure of early ones. First conversion campaigns rely heavily on the power of the Christian message, confidence in 'the truth will set you free'. Friars confident of the positive response the natives should have. Motolinia writes of the 'great importunity' with which the Indians come for baptism and their zeal to learn Ave Maria. Incidences that imply that early Indian love for the friars eg 1569 in Tenochtitlan, entire Indian congregation rose up against the secular clergy sent by the viceroy to say mass where the Franciscans had.

Apostolic 12 come to Mexico in 1524, many learn native languages, record native culture, bring with them Erasmian humanism in seeking to inculcate literacy and Hispanic values through schooling (eg colegio de Santa Cruz). Have a providential view of conversion, native religion as tools and building blocks for Christianisation, shifting of existing beliefs into Christian paradigms. However, this soon changes to a view that native religion but a demonic mockery of Christianity, cultural gap too wide to bridge eg Quetzlcoatl being refashioned as apostle Thomas, cult of the mother goddess Tonatzin as transferred to the Virgin Mary

Also quick to destroy any native temples or holy relics (eg Pizarro's destruction of the temple pyramid Pachacamac), tabula rasa effect which at first sees success, as overt aspects of Christian religion act as a replacements for community aspects of native religion eg church going, ceremonies, processions. Violent destruction thus a means of conversion

As early as 1530s the church executed an Indian idolater from Texcoco, condemned another to lifetime imprisonment, and tortured another with water and garrotte. More commonly, records of routine beatings and imprisonments in the doctrinas, and likely that things that went unrecorded too. The Inquisition only formally instituted in New Spain in 1571, but this is not to say violence did not form part of the missionary struggle from the outset. Only in the 16 th century were church jails forbidden by royal order, but still found in evidence in some doctrinas until the late 17th c. Shows that the orders felt it a necessary measure.

****************************End Of Sample*****************************

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Conquest and Colonisation: Spain and America Notes.

Related Conquest And Colonisation: Spain And America Samples: