The Americas

1492–1521 Initial Contact

1492 Oct. 12, Columbus lands in the Americas

1493 Pope Alexander VI divides discovered lands between Portugal and Spain

1502 First black slaves arrive in the Americas

1503 Queen Isabella permits the encomienda system in Hispaniola

1508 Papal bull gives Spanish crown nearly total control of the church in the Americas

1511 Antonio Montesinos protests treatment of Indians in Hispaniola

1514 Bartolomé de Las Casas dedicates his life to defending the Indians

1519-1521 Cortés conquers the Aztecs of Mexico

1521–1551 Early Missions

1524 Twelve Franciscans (“Twelve Apostles of New Spain”) arrive in Mexico; Dominicans follow within decade

1527 Juan de Zumárraga appointed bishop of Mexico City and “protector of the Indians”

1530 Diocese of Mexico City created; African slaves now imported in large numbers

1531 Virgin Mary said to appear to Juan Diego, beginning cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe

1531-1533 Francisco Pizarro conquers the Incas of Peru; Dominicans begin evangelizing Peru

1537 Pope declares Indians are rational creatures capable of receiving Christianity

1542-43 The New Laws, designed to protect Indians, enacted (but rarely enforced)

1549 Jesuits come to Brazil and soon found reducciones, Indian villages

1550-51 Las Casas and Sepúlveda debate the justice of Spain’s conquest of the Americas

1551–1600 Church Consolidation

1551 First Council of Bishops in Lima, Peru, begins organizing Latin American church

1553 University of Mexico founded. With University Of Lima (1522), first major universities in New World

1562 Luis Beltrán, America’s first saint, begins ministry on behalf of Indians in Colombia

1570-71 Inquisition formally set up in Peru and Mexico

1581 Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo becomes archbishop of ...

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