Encomienda or Repartimientos

Encomienda, repartimientos was a plantation system of land with enslave Indian labor. Encomiendas had  its origins with Columbus giving away Indian land to compatriots after facing mutiny and demands of payments for service. The Spanish monarchy was divided in supporting the encomiendas system. On one hand it wanted to meet the labor needs of colonist versus protecting native population. The monarchy eventually supported the encomienda system on conditions that indians be treated as freedmen and taught the Catholic faith. Over-time servitude was continuosly extended, resulting in great attrition in the native population.