Enviromental History of Latin America
The Environmental Noise of the Conquest in Mexico
The indigenous Americans and the Europeans and their biotic cargo both impacted and transformed their people and the environment, but it was definitely the Europeans who changed it more. When the indigenous Americans lived there they could not unbalance theenvironment with the same aggressiveness as the Europeans. The indigenous have lived there for a longer time and they knew more about living side by side with the environment. The conquerors on the other hand wanted to exploit and suck what ever they could form this new land they had discovered and conquer. They wanted the reward for their feat, and they were willing to take anything they could, even ifthis meant and involve to abuse and harm what they had just discover.
If it is true that every cause has an effect, then the first wave of humans as well as the second and the ones that came later had an impact or have affected on the environment and the people. The question that remains is: if they exploited so eagerly and in such a short period of time that the environment was not able to recovercompletely? This is one of the things that happened in Brazil, with unmeasured tree cutting. The forest was so endangered that they started to protect it. At that point it started to happen in other places all over the world.
The environment to the Aztecs for example, was their way of living. Their whole life circled around it because it provided them with everything they needed this is whythey respected and praise nature, even though sometimes they also used badly their resources. The Spanish on the other hand started exploiting the land as soon as they conquer it, they start to look for gold and other minerals, women, wood and slaves. They did not care about the abuses this implied, it was not their land and like it has happened a lot of times in the history of the world we take morethan what belongs to us, witch means that we loose the prudence necessary to live side by side with the environment.
The indigenous also manipulated their environment in order to live and sometimes even to survive. They started as hunter-gatherers, and even though they had an impact on the environment, they probably did not stay in one place long enough to cause a conspicuous change. The biggerchange came with bigger civilizations like the Mayas, Incas, Aztecs, Tupis among others. These civilizations caused a more powerful effect on the environment. The bigger the group was, the bigger the changes the environment suffered. They started to develop a more complex systems of agriculture, they were using more than ever their natural resources some of them even overused them. The Mayassupposedly overused their resources around the 800 A.C
However the colonizers, coming from a different continent brought with them animals, plant, and diseases. This affected the environment many times more than any of the ancient cultures were capable of. For example, the introduction of cattle and sheep in Mexico left a lunar landscape, because the environment could not hold up this new introducedspecie. They destroyed everything including crops, the nests of the few kinds of birds that nested on the ground (this caused their extinction), they also poisoned the water. This caused such unbalance that by 1580 the cattle started to die because they had already eaten everything and they were starving to dead. Another animal the Spanish brought, and had a very good outcome for the people was thehorse. The horse and other domesticated animals enable the use of metal plows and the of use big cars. The Aztecs had knowledge of the wheel we can see this in little toys they made, but it was not until the arrival of horses and oxes that the wheel started to be used for work and things that were more beneficial for the community. The wheel became very handy tool since they had the power of...