26. Nicolas de Ovando and Early Hispaniola

Being the first new world colony that the Spanish established, Hispaniola was a grand experiment. Today we take a look at how it was turning out under the rule of its third governor Nicolas de Ovando.

His rule was a time of rapid growth, despite the fact that he had to deal with both a hurricane and an earthquake. This was also a pivotal time for the indigenous Taino. Ovando would go on a campaign of pacification which involved numerous massacres and which saw the population drop by as much as 90%. The remaining Taino also became subject to the new encomienda system which governed their role in this new society they found themselves forced into.

The Forteleza Ozama – one of the first European buildings in the Americas. Image via: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fortaleza_Ozama_SD_RD_06_2017_2420.jpg