Our world has not changed in 500 years. All this time and our basic human, political, and religious issues are unchanged. In 1500 the Spanish were the first to move to South America. They did not want to colonize. They wanted to ransack the region because they heard they could find gold, silver, and spices. They destroyed and killed to amass wealth.

The Spanish king did not care. He wanted the gold. The human sacrifice was ignored. For him South America was a gold mine. No more. No less. All the efforts spent by the conquistadores were measured in the weight of gold they were bringing back to Madrid. Spain was obsessed with becoming a military power. Fewer and fewer people were left to work. This was especially true after the Jews and moriscos were forced to leave because of the Inquisition.

The same Spanish feudal system with the nobility at the top and servants/slaves at the bottom was kept in the lands conquered by Spain where the laws were dictated by Madrid. The Church followed the conquistadores and established the secular (by supporting the Spanish rulers) and spiritual power it had in Europe.

The development of North America was quite different. The Puritans (Calvinists) were the first to arrive. They wanted to build a new world. Those who followed had the same spirit and courage. Success came at the expense of very hard work.

A spirit of solidarity and brotherhood kept them together. Freedom (political and religious) was an important issue because they all left as a result of persecutions and the tight feudal and monolithic European system. It was not gold. It was freedom.

After 500 years we still have the same major regional differences in the world. a. Where Spain and theocracy reigned (Latin America, Mediterranean countries, Middle East); b. North America, northern Europe, Australia and New Zealand (Protestants); and, c. Asia.

500 years and nothing has changed. We still think and act as then. What has happened, and why, is obvious. And yet, we refuse to change after 500 painful years!!!

(This Observations appeared in the 12-4-06 issue of The Peter Dag Portfolio ).

George Dagnino, PhD Editor,
The Peter Dag Portfolio.
Since 1977
2009 Market Timer of the Year by Timer Digest
Portfolio manager

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