Introductory Hall.

To go through the Webmuseum of LatinAmerica is more than just browsing some exhibition areas. For us it means the fulfillment of a dream which since its birth took us thrugh all kinds of adventures and anecdotes which we want to share with you, our dear visitor.

Due to the fact that today more than ever, we who operate this technology must feel and make feel to others the warmth of the links which join us as a community in the great ecosystem of the Earth. We want to offer you this work, the feeling that palpitates in our latin hearts.

What is the Webmuseum of LatinAmerica ?

The story starts with SIGGRAPH, abbreviation of the Special Interest Group in Graphics which is part of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). SIGGRAPH centers its interest in the technological development, graphics and computer animation and interactive techniques. The Mexico City SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter is a non profit association which is part of this international group.

At the beggining of this year in the Mexico City SIGGRAPH Professional Chapter an idea came forth to develop an original project to present it at the 22nd International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in the venue of Interactive Communities. In this way the group called all those members who were interested in participating in it.

This way we integrated a team wishing to use interactive technology to show the most authentic manifestations of our communities and at the same time leave the precedent in the latinamerican region over the application of this medium for the diffusion of culture.

We are a multidisciplinary group which every member has put the necessary parts and elements to create the proposal. In this way starts the project of the WebMuseum of LatinAmerica, the fulfillment of a vision by specialists in many areas which are voluntarily working and creating a hipermuseum.

Why a museum? Because it is a communication phenomenon which lets you know the heritage of a region and its community through many processes which besides being educative, they are entertaining and fun, inciting the imagination, curiosity and amazement.

We thought in Internet as the most adecuate electronic medium to reach from one community to another. The final proposal is to gather in a World Wide Web(WWW) page latinamerican museums which carry in their specific theme a fragment of our reality.

We present here the first stage of a development which looks for growing further in quality and quantity.

The walkthrough the museum offers today refers to different moments of the three centuries of european colony in the latinamerican region.

The discovery and conquest of this continent of great ecological richness, in which hunters lived together with advanced agricultural societies, brought in the definitive process of biological and cultural unification in our planet.

The conquest wars were mainly of an economic and political character, and they confronted two worlds not only in armed conflict but also in the learning of new environments, systems and social structures, new diseases against which the indians had no defense, and also new ideologies and religion.

A new life order was imposed over the one which initially atracted the conquerors when they first laid their eyes upon these lands. However, beggining with that moment, as two water flows which find each other a new society arises, another culture in which indigenous tradition survives with great cleverness and in ocasion with a new meaning.

In 1493, a year after the discovery of America, the Pope gave to the Catholic Kings the possesion of the New World in exchange of the responsability of the spanish crown in the conversion of the indians.

For this end were designated the majority of monasteries and convents. The religious orders were first given to the task of conversing to the catholic religion the indians, with which they had contact. First were the wandering missionaries, and later with the help of the converted they built churches and convents in strategic points to maintain and spread the message of the new faith. Religious complexes were built in the center of the indigenous villages, frecuently where a prehispanic temple stood before.

In the construction of a religious building materials and hand labor were demanded as a tribute without paying anything in exchange. This labor made possible the designs and projects of the missionaries.

The conventual atrium was a big patio with a cross in the center, was used to give mass to a large number of indians.

"On sundays and hollidays this order was given: that by dawn the indians were to be gathered, on the church's patio, where they were brought, and in case of not attending, then they would be forced to attend and be given half a dozen lashes over their clothes..." [Conventos de Morelos ]

Indians quickly assimilated the most visible parts of the christian religion, even when they conserved many of their old rites and beliefs. missionaries founded art and crafts schools to teach indians about the plastic european language. [Museo Franz Mayer]

During the first ten years of the conquest, the spanish political power was exerted by its soldiers. Afterwards the crown developed a centralized government, against the interest of the former. The king advised by the Indias council, which took care of the affaires related to america, designated the Viceroy and the members of the audience. The Viceroy reunited in his person the direction of all the government branches: administration, army, public finances and on top of it he was sponsor to the church.

The audience managed justice, advised the Viceroy and, sometimes, took the place during his absence. With the creation of the Virreinatos a form of government was created that would last for three centuries.

Towards the seventeen century the mingling of indian, spanish and black people created a ethnic society with a blended culture. Africans where brought to America in large quantities as slaves in order to take the place of the natives that were killed by epidemics.

Spaniards, africans, mestizos and a great number of indians strolled daily , riding a horse or carriage; on the plazas some were on their way to the nearby trade places or public offices, wether to fulfill religious needs, errands or to the artistic or handcraft workshops

In the novohispanic cities, towns and villages, plazas became a place of great importance for daily life since around them stood the main church, the house of government and arcades for commerce. [Museo de Coro]

Cathedrals dominating the novohispanic plazas were the most visible symbol of urban life as a center of faith and of the city.

The cathedral showed a spectacular and didactic environment to reach a better understanding of catholic faith. It did this combining also other artistic genres as painting and sculpture. This phenomenon received the name of baroque style.

Nowadays the indigenous people of latinamerica has a double cultural legacy: on one side it has retained and developed elements of the prehispanic cultures and on the other hand it has assimilated, since the XVII century, characteristics coming from Europe, Asia and Africa. [Museo E.T.F. de Amazonas ]

YearAmericaConquest and ColonyRest of the World
1325The Aztecs settle in TenochtitlanSpanish-Arabic cultural flourishment The one hundred year war between France and England starts
1425The Aztecs begin the conquest of the mexican valley During this century in Europe cartography is developed the compass and other navigational instruments are perfected
1434The triple alliance is formed : Tenochtitlan, Tlacopan y Texcoco.  
1465 The unification of the Spanish State has begun with a marriage between Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón (1469)End of the byzantine empire, with the fall of Constantinople in the hands of turcs (1453)
1481The building of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan begins Leonardo de Vinci paints in Milan the Last Supper (Ultima Cena); he writes about mechanical flight and the fight of birds (1482)
1492 First voyage of Christopher Colombus to reach Asia sailing the Atlantic Ocean . Reaches the Guanahaní isles, Cuba and Santo Domingo, in fact discovering America. Surrender of Granada. .
1493 The Pope concedes to Spain all territories that are west of a line situated 100 miles from de Azores isles; and those east to Portugal.
Second voyage of Colombus; reaching Dominicana, Puerto Rico and Jamaica islands.
1494 Spain and Portugal sign the Tordesillas Treaty (Tratado de Tordesillas) in which the demarcation line is moved west, between its possesions in America. 
1498 Colombus, in his third voyage, explores the Trinidad Island and gets to the coasts of Venezuela.Juan Caboto, at the service of the English, reaches the shores of the Labrador peninsulae.
1500 Fourth voyage of Christopher Colombus: reaches the shores of Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama (1502).Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, a portuguese navigator arrives to Brazil.
1504The mexicas declare war to the tlaxcaltecas.The right to exploit the mines is granted to the caltillians in America. Columbus dies in Valladolid (1506).
Conquest of Puerto Rico (1508). Cortés parts from Medellín to the Indias.
The name America appears in a european map of the world (1507)
1511Gonzalo Guerrero and Jerónimo de Aguilar's ship sunk in the shores of Yucatán.The Indias Council is created. (1512). Vasco Núñez de Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean. 
1514 Diego de Velázquez founds Santiago de Cuba  
1519Hernán Cortés arrives to the shores of Veracruz .The Spanish get to the Missisipi river.
The emperor Carlos V recives a zapotecan manuscript as a gift by Cortés.
Martin Luther breaks with the catholic church.
1521Cortés takes México-Tenochtitlan.Alonso de Ojeda borders the Venezuelan shores 
Extensions to the conquest and the first entrust (encomiendas) deliverance.   
1524Cortés' expeditions to the Hibueras (Honduras)  
1528The first Audiencia is constitued for ruling the New Spain (Nueva España). Fray Juan de Zumárraga, first bishop of Mexico arrives.Sebastian Caboto penetrates the Paraná and Paraguay rivers.First time of German colonies in Venezuela is financed by banquers.
1533Francisco de Montejo sends his son to the north side of Yucatán which founds the Royal City of Chichén Itzá (la Ciudad Real de Chichén Itzá).Francisco Pizarro initiates the conquest of the Incan Empire (imperio inca); takes Atahualpa prisioner. 
1535The fisrt Viceroy don Antonio de Mendoza arrives to the New Spain.Discovery of silver mines in Charcas (Bolivia). 
1536 First Foundation of Buenos Aires by Pedro de Mendoza.Juan Calvino publishes the fundamentals to his doctrin. Religious disturbs begin in England.
1541The first nun convent in the city of Mexico begins its activities.Francisco de Orellana (spanish explorer) discovers the Amazonas river.Miguel Angel paints Judgement day in the Sixtine Chapel (Rome).
1543 Creation of the virreinato of Perú with the capital in Lima. 
1545  Celebration of the Council of Trent in which the catholic church takes mesures to confront the efects of the calvinist reform.
1546Installment of the arquidiócesis de México. Fray Juan de Zumárraga is named first archbishop of Mexico. Luther dies in Sajonia, Germany.
1554 The prince Felipe of Spain marries Mary Tudor of England. 
1562  In Africa, the English started the slave market to America.
1565Andrés Urdaneta goes back to Spain and discovers the route to Filipines that the Nao de Acapulco (Galeón de Manila) follows in the next two hundred and fifty yearsThe Spaniards ocupy the Fillipines End of the council of Trent
1568Bernal Díaz del Castillo finishes writing his Historia Verdadera de la Nueva España.The duke of Alba dominates the Netherlands. 
1571Foundation of the Inquisition Tribunal in the New Spain. Opening of London's stock exchange.
1588 Destruction of the Invencible Army sent by Felipe II against England. 
1609 Spain acknowledges the independence of the Netherlands signing the Truce of the Twelve Years.Johannes Kepler, german astronomer and y mathematician writes Astronomia Nova with his first two laws.
1614    The Hollanders found the New Amsterdam on Manhattan Isle.
1620   Foundation of the University of San Gregorio Magno in Quito, Ecuador. Voyage of the May Flower, which starts the english emmigration towards North America.
1640   Separation of Spain and Portugal.  
1642   Civil War in England; Oliver Cromwell rises against Charles I. 
1651 Juana de Asbaje is born in San Miguel de Nepantla, better known as Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.    
1750    The Encyclopaedia directed by Diderot and D'Lambert starts to be published.
1776  Creation of the virreinato of the Río de la Plata. Independence Declaration of the United States.
1783    England acknowledges the independence of its colonies. Versailles Peace between Engalnd, France, Spain and the United States.
1789    The Bastille is taken and the French Revolution starts the 14 of julio.
1792    The committee of Public Health headed by Robespierre, starts the terror regime
1794    Abolition of slavery and of the commerce of slaves in french colonies. The Man Rights declaration is made known in the american countries.
1803 Alexander Von Humbolt visits the New Spain   The United States buy Lousiana to France.
1804  Charles IV declares war to England Napoleon Bonaparte declares himself emperor of France.
1805   In the Trafalgar Battle the english fleet defeats the french and spanish fleet. End of the spanish naval power.  
1808 News are received in the New Spain about the uprising in Madrid. In the absence of the monarch the legitimacy of the spanish dominion in America is questioned. Fernando VII, king of Spain abdicates in favor of José Bonaparte. With help from the english the popular resistance in Spain starts against the french domination.  
1808 The viceroy Iturrigaray, supported by the creoles of the Ayuntamiento in Mexico City, declares the autonomy of the New Spain in view of the crisis of power in the metropolis.    
1809   The Central Committee declares that american territories are not colonies. revolutionary movement in La Paz and Quito.  
1810 The 16 of september the priest of Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla, calls for the armed rebellion. Don José María Morelos y Pavón unites to the movement of Hidalgo. The Spanish regency declares indians as free of tributes. Independence movements take place in Buenos Aires, Nueva Granada, Bogotá and Santiago de Chile. Opening of the Cadiz Courts in Spain. In them the equality between americans and spaniards is declared as also the freedom of press.  
1813 The Congress of Chilpancingo is installed. Simón Bolivar takes Caracas. Paraguay declares its independence.  
1817  José de San Martín, argentinian insurgent, starts its campaign of Chile.  
1821 Agustín de Iturbide decrees the Plan de Iguala and concludes the Independence of Mexico.    

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