When the Spaniards came to settle the New World, or what is
now Mexico and Peru, they imposed many new ways and customs for the
people living there. These institutions were partially what the

Spaniards were used to from living in Spain, and others were simply to
live better. The Spaniards imposed many political, economical, and
social institutions in the New World never heard of before by the

Indians, and many feudal customs and systems that they brought wholly
intact from Spain.

The political institutions were very important for government
functionality in the Spanish colonies. First, a class system similar
to that in Spain was reconstructed anew in the colonies. Those in the

New World that were born in Spain held the highest position. These
people were called Peninsulares, and were the nobles of the feudal
class hierarchy. Below them were the Creoles, or Spaniards born in the

New World. Then came mestizoes, men and women of mixed Spanish and

Indian marriages; mulattoes, people of black and Spanish ancestry; and
zambos, those born from black and Indian marriages. Viceroys were
another political establishment in the New World. The viceroys were
the king\'s assistants. They helped manage the government in the
colonies, and carried out orders from the king. This method did not
work too well since orders from the king took months and even years
before reaching the viceroys, after which a message may be outdated
and irrelevant.

New social institutions changed the way people lived. The

Church was the first and most important social institution because

Spanish life in the colonies revolved around Catholicism. The Church\'s
goal was to convert everyone presently living in the New World to

Christianity. This topic brings us to the Missions. Missions were
large estates on which were set up schools and other facilities to
teach the Indians to become proper Christians. encomiendas and
repartimientos were also large estates, but on these lived many people
and slaves. The Spanish crown entrusted encomiendas and slaves to
noble warriors who had done well in battle, and in return, these
nobles paid taxes to the crown. Many other people lived on the same
encomienda, however, since the noble owning the whole plot of land
would divide it up into smaller parts, which other people managed. The
rest of the people living on the encomiendas were slaves. Slavery and
forced labor were imposed on the Indians as soon as the Spaniards
arrived, but black Africans were immediately imported when the

Spaniards saw that the Indians could not do very much work at all.

Many institutions were also implemented for the upkeep of the
economy. Slavery, as mentioned above, was the key to mass output from
the encomiendas and missions. Many workers could accomplish a great
deal and produce a lot of money. Furthermore, the larger the
encomienda or mission, the more its output. If the soil on a mission
or encomienda is fertile, much can be grown and sold for more money.

Many new institutions were developed and implemented by the

Spaniards settling the New World. Without proper economic, social, and
political establishments enforced, the Spaniards would not have been
able to settle the New World as quickly and as aggressively as they
did. Only with proper control and strict institutions did Spain
conquer and create the great nation it is today.