Spanish explorations
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Spanish Explorations. Unit 2 Chapter 3 Lesson 3 Pages 128-134. Objectives. Describe the aims, obstacles, and accomplishments of Spanish explorers. Trace the routes of Spanish explorers and identify their claims. Spanish explorations.

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Spanish Explorations

Unit 2 Chapter 3 Lesson 3

Pages 128-134


  • Describe the aims, obstacles, and accomplishments of Spanish explorers.

  • Trace the routes of Spanish explorers and identify their claims.

Spanish explorations

  • Spain had claimed a lot of land in the America’s (this is today South America)

  • Many others came seeking:

    • Riches

    • National glory

    • Converting Native Americans to Christianity

King of Spain

  • The King encouraged explorations

  • He offered large sums of money called, GRANTS, to those who led expeditions

  • These explorers became known as CONQUISTADORS

Juan Ponce de Leon

  • Had sailed with Columbus on his 2nd voyage

  • Helped conquer Puerto Rico

  • Heard of an island called Bimini and a Fountain of Youth

  • 1513 – landed on Florida and claimed it for Spain

Ponce de Leon

  • 1521, returned to Florida to start a settlement

  • Calusa tribe defended their land

  • Ponce de Leon killed

  • Never found the Fountain of Youth

  • He is known for becoming the 1st Spanish explorer to set foot on land that became part of the United States



Hernando Cortes

  • 1519, Spain

  • Sent fo find gold in the land of the AZTECS

  • Cortes marched to the capital of Tenochtitlan

  • Those who didn’t like the Aztecs helped Cortes

Cortes vs. Aztecs

  • Moteuhzoma – Aztec emperor believed Cortes was the light-skinned god that was believed to return one day to rule them

  • Cortes took him as prisoner

  • They fought strong, but had no guns and horses like the Spanish

  • Many died in battles, but also diseases

  • Mexico City built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan



Armor made of steel

A gun

Aztec Warrior

Armor made of quilted leather

Wood shield w/ feather fringe

Wooden club

Conquistador vs. Aztec Warrior

Seven Cities of Gold???

  • Cortes found gold

  • Spanish leaders in Mexico City heard talk of seven cities of gold

  • Priest, Marcos de Niza, sent to look with his slave, Estevanico

  • Estevanico was killed on mission

  • DeNiza returned and said he saw the golden city

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

  • 1540 went to look for city of gold

  • Explored lands in what is now SW U.S.

  • He was first explorer to come up into Oklahoma

  • No city of gold found


  • Lands claimed by Spain became known as New Spain

  • These included:

    • Mexico

    • Southwestern United States

    • Florida

What was the aim of Coronado’s expedition?

  • To find the golden cities.


  • Marcos de Niza never entered the Zuni pueblo where Estevanico was killed.

  • Instead, he saw the pueblo from a distance at sunset.

  • The sun’s rays reflecting on the stone and adobe walls created a golden color which is why de Niza thought the pueblo was one of the legendary golden cities.

Francisco Pizarro

  • 1531, led an expedition into the western coast of South America

  • Met people from the Inca empire, led by Atahuallpa

  • Priest told Atahuallpa they MUST accept Christianity and Spanish rule – he said NO

  • Taken prisoner and died

  • Pizarro conquered the Inca empire

Hernado de Soto

  • Explored Southeaster U.S.

  • 1539, Sailed from Cuba to Tampa Bay

  • First European to see the Mississippi River

De Soto battles

  • Met many Native American

  • Conflicts were bloody

  • 1542 De Soto died of a fever

  • They claimed all land they explored.

  • Spain now claimed much of southern U.S.

De Soto’s route

Catholic Church Rules

  • People in Europe begin to question the Catholic Church

  • They had forced people to follow rules and pay taxes

  • Had its own courts – punished those who went against the church

Religious Reforms

  • Martin Luther – German priest

  • Began calling for open reforms, changes, in the Catholic Church.

  • Reformation – period of reforms

  • Luther forced out of church

  • Those who protested the Catholic leaders became known as Protestants.

  • Lutheran church and Protestants formed new churches.


  • Catholic church made changes

  • The church banned books going against their teachings

  • Focus on spreading the church to New Spain

  • Missionaries (religious teachers) sent to convert Native Americans


  • Missionaries held ceremonies to make the Native Americans Catholic

  • Later they taught them the teachings of the church

  • Many forced to become Catholic and enslaved

  • Some tried to keep their beliefs, but others were forced to change how they lived and worship

Which empire to Cortes conquer in Mexico?

  • Aztec

Explored and claimed for Spain land that is now the state of Florida?

  • Juan Ponce de Leon

Explored and claimed for Spain much of what is now the southwestern United States?

  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

Explored and claimed for Spain much of the southern half of what is now the United States?

  • Hernando de Soto

What explorer took control of the Inca Empire in Peru?

  • Francisco Pizarro

The End

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