Student Research Projects

The New World Exploitation Enriched the Old World

Student Rebecca Davis, '18
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Foreign Languages and Literature
Course Spanish 313: Seminar in Hispanic Cultures


The Old World began to transform and develop a trading system based on riches provided by the indigenous people, but in the American colonies, they were losing their freedom and wealth of their lands at the expense of the Spanish empire. This research connects the perspectives from experts on Mexican and European advancements during the New World civilization, and the history still tangible in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Jack Weatherford’s perspective from his work Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World contributes context for the contrasting values between the Europeans and indigenous peoples in regard to wealth and riches. Lynn Harry Nelson’s commentary in \"The Discovery of the New World and the End of the Old\" extends the viewpoint of Spain’s new impact on European trade and wealth because of the contributions of Mexican riches. Modern cities and ruins in the Yucatán Peninsula are a testament to how the Old World benefited from mining in Mexico, and indigenous people of the Americas exploited and their civilizations were destined to facilitate the prosperity and growth of the European nations.