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U.S. History/What Caused The Pueblo Revolt?


Did  the Spaniards loss of authority encourage the revolt?
In what ways had Spanish (European culture) changed over the 80 or so years before the revolt? What were the explanations given for these change, and how did these cause the actually changes in the behavior and lifestyles of the Spanish?

I don't think the cause of the Pueblo revolt was a loss of authority.  I am also not aware of any relevant changes in Spanish or European culture than contributed to the rebellion.  The Spanish occupiers were brutal and hated during the entire 80 years of occupation prior to the revolt.  Over that time, the Spanish levied heavy taxes on the native population, demanded service from the people, claimed ownership of all the land, and enslaved large portions of the population.  The Spanish also compelled conversion to Catholicism and banned the practice of any native religions.  While the power to enforce these policies and the personalities of the leaders changed over time, the overall policies did not.

There was some limited resistance throughout the period of occupation, but it was never well organized and coordinated enough to overthrow the better armed and organized Spanish rulers and their allies.

The main reason the revolt occurred when it did was that the region was suffering from a famine and drought that began in the 1670's.  Many natives turned back to their native religious practices in the hopes of bringing back better conditions.  The Spanish considered this heresy and cracked down, killing and imprisoning many of the religious leaders.  

The native population far outnumbered the Spanish occupiers.  Because they were able to unify and coordinate the rebellion, the succeeded where earlier smaller uncoordinated resistance had failed.  

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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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