The Era When European Conquest Over Hispaniola Challenged by African Maroon

Hispaniola is the ground of the first permanent European settlement in the American land, which was founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493. This island is categorised between two separate, sovereign nations first is the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic and second is French Creole-speaking Haiti. African resistance strongly shaped Spanish Hispaniola of the 1500s which is now the island home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but often historians have considered that resistance to be only result of Spanish colonialism and its reliance on slavery system, according to a University of Kansas historian who studies the development of race in Latin America.

Whereas, in a new study, Robert Schwaller, KU associate professor history, argues that Spanish colonial records reveal that resistance by indigenous and African maroons, who were runaway slaves, not only heavily testified Spanish economic and labor arrangements but also challenged European conquest itself. For the research, he observed the documents and communications made from Spanish officials at the time that enumerated their struggles in Hispaniola. However such sources do not include maroon voices, they do reveal that generations of maroons formed small communities that placed swaths of the island under African control. A major finding of his research is that maroon resistance provides evidence that the Spanish conquest of Hispaniola was not complete. Whereas new Spanish conquests spread to the mainland, from Mexico to the Southwest United States and from Peru to Chile, Africans controlled significant portions of Spain's first colonial foothold. That in observation most scholars have seen this decision to be a response to contraband trade between Spanish subjects and foreign traders. While Schwaller acknowledged contraband was a prime mover of the decisions, his research shows that African resistance contributed to the decision to abandon the west of the island. This type of research overshadowed a more typical view of European colonialism and how it entered the Americas. Schwaller quoted that "This is important today because it reminds us that these narratives of European domination and supremacy weren't really true, there were indigenous peoples and Africans transplanted by slavery who challenged European empires, and they challenged them in ways that profoundly altered how these European empires developed and made decisions." It shows the dominance of European nation's in the past so as to rule the world by upbringing slavery and labour system.

By: Anuja Arora