Spanish Conquistadors Pgs. 154-158 Ponce de Leon Hernando de Soto
New Explorations • After Columbus, Balboa, and Magellan others from Spain went on to explore the Americas. • Driven by their desire for gold and other riches, they pushed deep into North and South America. • This was new land to the Spanish but it was home to people already living there.
Aztecs and Incas • The Aztecsof Mexico and the Incas of South America were two native groups the Spanish encountered. • Both groups were rich in gold, however, the Incas were far richer and more powerful than the Aztecs. • Spanish soldiers were known as conquistadors meaning conquerors.
Ponce de Leon • Ponce de Leon had sailed with Columbus on his second voyage. • He explored and conquered Puerto Rico and became its governor. • He later sailed to North America landing in present day Florida searching for the Fountain of Youth. • He was the first Spaniard to set foot in what is today the United States.
Hernando de Soto • Hernando de Soto traveled with an army of 600 soldiers. • The group marched north from Florida to the Tennessee River Valley searching for gold. • In present day Tennessee, they killed or captured Cherokee Indians and burned their villages.
Hernando de Soto • De Soto encountered many other Indian tribes during his expedition. • He encountered the Mound Builders killing between 2,500 to 11,000. • After this battle, De Soto’s men were in poor condition. Many died others deserted. • The remaining soldiers marched to the Mississippi River. They were the first Europeans to see the great river.
Hernando de Soto • In 1542, De Soto died of fever. • His men buried him in the Mississippi River to hide his death from the Indians. • Though he found no gold, Hernando de Soto claimed the land he explored for Spain. • The remaining men returned to Mexico.