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Effect of Roman Catholicism on the Spanish Empire - Essay Sample

3 pages
553 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Roman Catholicism had a positive effect on the Spanish Empire in America as more locals started having religious beliefs (Hanson, 2014). Belief in religion meant that people were looking forward to living with each other in peace despite the challenges the locals faced. Most people identified and practiced Christian values as they sought guidance from Roman Catholicism. In addition, locals were willing and able to spread the Good News to different parts of the country where missionaries had failed to access (Moorhead, 2013). The dedication locals had towards religion; helped spread the religious beliefs in every part of the nation. Both political and religious leaders had a large impact on the way people perceived religion and dedicated themselves towards practicing it.

However, these customs were different from those practiced in English colonies since locals did not dedicate themselves towards facilitating the spread of the Gospel (Hanson, 2014). Most English colonies were going through evolution and industrialization and had little or no time for religion. This meant that anyone interested in religious matters got no attention or followers making it impossible to encourage growth and conversion of Roman Catholicism. When it came to religion, most people preferred following Protestant beliefs, which were lenient when compared to the Catholic faith (Dolan, 2011). Missionaries had also received a negative reception in most English colonies making it impossible to introduce religious beliefs to most people. Perception towards religion was casual in most English colonies as people showed no interest towards adopting it in their lives.

Another impact of Roman Catholicism on the Spanish Empire is that leaders based their decisions on religion as most locals practiced religious norms (Wright, 2017). This means that before engaging in any meeting, political leaders recognized the need to instill religious values and virtues in the public decision-making process, with the aim of promoting unity and creating an enabling environment for all people. In addition, religious beliefs impacted on the locals' behavior patterns as well as dressing since they believed any action depicted religion. These customs were different from religious customs and practices in English colonies in America since most people did not identify with a religion. Hence, political leaders made their decisions based on feelings and personal preferences, which meant that conflicts were common due to the misplaced and diverse attitudes of people (Dolan, 2011). Nevertheless, peace was uncommon since conflicts existed among the locals. A negative attitude towards religion in most English colonies meant that those who openly engaged in religious acts were unpopular while those who focused on secular matters got most followers (Moorhead, 2013). Due to the negative publicity religion and faith matters had in the English colonies, most missionaries were unwilling and unable to spread the Good News to all people. It was also impossible to get recruits who would help in spreading the religious beliefs among the locals (Hanson, 2014). The fact that leaders rarely engaged in religious matters when making decisions meant that there was no support system for religious beliefs to spread and have a positive impact on a large number of people.


Dolan, J. P. (2011). The American Catholic experience: A history from colonial times to the present. Image.

Hanson, E. O. (2014). The Catholic Church in world politics. Princeton University Press.

Moorhead, J. (2013). The Roman Empire Divided: 400-700 AD. Routledge.

Wright, A. D. (2017). The Counter-Reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-Christian World. Routledge.

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