ELI5- What is the difference between the Encomienda vs Hacienda systems in the New World?


I have searched up numerous articles, but nothing really makes sense to me. Can someone explain to me what each system exactly is, and how they differed?

In: Other

Not super in-depth, because I don’t remember (college was a long time ago and I did modern Latin America). But, there’s a great book called _Colonial Latin America_ by Johnson and Burkholder that goes into it.

Basically, the encomienda system came first, and allowed those granted by the Spanish crown to extract gold and labor from First Nations people in exchange for protection and/or teaching them Christianity. When the Native population declined and abuses were widely reported by Jesuit monks, they moved over to the Hacienda system. In the Hacienda system, you get more of a company store/economic slavery vibe, where the laborers couldn’t leave because they were indebted to the owner of the land. But anyone of any race could be subject to the hacienda system, and it lasted into the mid-20th century in some places.

The encomienda system:

A defacto feudal system that originated in Spain and was imposed on the indigenous people of the Caribbean and other parts of Spanish conquered lands in the Americas shortly after the landing of Columbus (He landed in 1492 and the Encomienda system was officiated in 1503).

I think in Spain the system was similar to voluntary indentured servitude but in the Americas indigenous people were forced to labor for the conquistadors as tribute as if Spain had done them a favor by invading their lands (the view of Spain was that they saved them by bringing them Christianity). The intent of the system as drafted by Spain was to derive labor without it descending in to Slavery. Queen Isabella was very adamant that the people of the Americas not be enslaved and instead be treated as Spaniards however the conquistadors often ignored these directives and the system decended in to slavery with forced labor, beatings and other atrocious human rights abuses prompting Spain to attempt to reform thr system twice, in 1512 with the Laws of Burgos, and in 1542 under an encomendero named Bartolomé de las Casas, with the New Laws of the Indies. This transformed the system into the repartimiento system which was modeled after indigenous American systems of indentured servitude but that is beyond the scope of your question.

The hacienda system:

This system became the predominant labor system in Mexico during maybe the 16th century. Villages were required to send a percentage of their population to work on haciendas when called up. Haciendas were basically plantations. During their service the workers lived near the hacienda and received wages and benefits such as meals. Workere were not enslaved in the conventional sense but often became trapped by debt to their employer. The Hacienda system was abolished between the late 1800 and early 1900s depending on the region but it continues to exist in some respects. Debt slavery is the most common type of slavery in the modern world.

So to recap:

Late 15th century to mid 16th century Caribbean and other newly colonized areas. Spaniards walk in to your house, take your gold, tell you about Jesus and then in return for gracing you with their presence and telling you about Jesus they force you to dig for more gold for the Spanish government and do backbreaking labor until you die while they beat you.

Late 15th century(?) to early 20th century, commonly Mexico. You are sent to work on a rich person’s ranch. You get paid and your employer provides meals but probably also charges you for lodging and whatever else you need, and this is sometimes more than you make, trapping you in endless debt to your employer.