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U.S. History/What Caused The Pueblo Revolt


Did Pueblos revolt to save their lives?
The reason the governors of early New
Mexico are interpreted in such a negative light . . . .
What were the non religious causes of the revolt? How did the Spanish Religious failures (in the minds of the Pueblo) encourage the revolt, and how did Pope use this to his own advantage? Why was the revolt initially successful?

Some of the Pueblos lives were at risk for refusing to conform to Spanish law.  But most of them could have run away to other territories and tried to start new lives, although that also came with risks.  But like most revolutionaries, the Pueblo were fighting to protect their way of life.  This including religion, culture, language, etc.  It was also to protect their economic well being as they did not want to live to serve the Spanish or become slaves.

The early governor are viewed negatively because they were not there to govern people.  They were essentially military dictators whose job was to enslave the people and bleed them dry.  They were there to impose a foreign will on the people.

The most immediate cause of the revolt was an ongoing drought and famine that left the people without enough food and water.  This led to the non-religious reason that the rebels opposed the unfair distribution of resources.  It also led natives to question the religion of the conquerors based on the general view that God would favor those who honored him.  I'm sure Popé used these arguments to encourage others to join the revolt.

The revolt was initially successful because the people were united in their cause.  Because they far outnumbered the Spanish, their unity of purpose made it impossible for the small number in leadership to crush the revolt.  

- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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