Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent Short Essay - Answer Key

Eduardo Galeano
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What drove Spain to finance Columbus' expedition?

Spain was tired of dealing with middlemen to obtain precious spices and goods, and thought Columbus could discover a more direct route to the Indies.

2. What were some of the factors in the conquistadors' victory over the native peoples of America?

Montezuma and his people thought the light-skinned yellow-haired invaders were gods returning from the East. They were terrified of the conquistador's weapons and mesmerized by their horses, an animal that had gone extinct in Latin America. However, the most crushing weapons the invaders had was disease, for which the natives had no defense.

3. Explain the "horseman and horse" relationship between Latin America and Europe.

Latin American was the horse to Europe's horseman: the natives worked hard to extract the riches of their land, which went immediately to enrich the coffers of Europeans.

4. Compare modern-day Potosi to the silver-rush Potosi.

Modern-day Potosi is extremely poor, and its population has significantly declined. In the days of the silver rush, Potosi was a place of unimaginable riches, though the native people reaped no benefits from all the wealth.

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