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Spain’s Empire in the Americas

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Spain’s Empire in the Americas. Chapter 2 Section 1. Spanish Conquistadors. By the early 1500s, he Spanish had a firm foothold in the Americas . From Spain’s island colonies in Caribbean, soldier - adventurers called conquistadors set out to explore and conquer the world unknown to them.

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spanish conquistadors
Spanish Conquistadors
  • By the early 1500s, he Spanish had a firm foothold in the Americas.
  • From Spain’s island colonies in Caribbean, soldier - adventurers called conquistadors set out to explore and conquer the world unknown to them.
  • They hoped for riches and glory for themselves and Spain.
cort s and pizarro
Cortés and Pizarro
  • In 1519, conquistador Hernando Cortés sailed from Cuba to Mexico with more than 500 soldiers.
  • The first Native Americans presented him gifts of gold.
  • On November 8, 1519, Cortés marched into the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan.
  • Many Native Americans joined them because they hated the Aztec’s brutal rule.
  • The Aztec leader Moctezuma, met with Cortés and tried to get him to leave by offering him gold.
  • The gold had the opposite effect.
  • Cortés took Moctezuma hostage and claimed all of Mexico for Spain.
  • However, the Aztecs soon rebelled and forced the Spaniards to flee.
cort s returns
Cortés Returns
  • About a year later, Cortés returned to recapture Tenochtitlan and destroyed it.
  • In its place he built Mexico City, the capital of the Spanish colony of New Spain.
francisco pizzaro
Francisco Pizzaro
  • Pizarro landed on the coast of Peru in 1531 to search for the Incas, who were said to have much gold.
  • In September of 1532, Pizarro led about 170 soldiers through the jungle into the heart of the Inca Empire.
  • Pizarro took the Inca ruler Atahualpa prisoner.
  • The Incas paid a huge ransom to free their leader but Pizarro executed him anyway.
  • In November 1533, the Spanish had defeated the leaderless Incas and captured their capital city Cuzco.
why the spanish were victorious
Why the Spanish were Victorious!
  • Several factors explain why the Spaniard’s were successful.
  • Technology - The Indian’s weapons were no match for their armor, muskets, and cannons.
  • The Spaniards rode horses, which Native Americans had never before seen.
  • Finally, the Native Americans were divided among themselves. In Peru, a civil war had just ended and in Mexico many Native Americans hated the Aztecs.
spanish explorers in north america
Spanish Explorers in North America
  • In 1513, Juan Ponce de León sailed north from Puerto Rico to investigate reports of a large island.
  • He returned with beautiful flowers there, so he named the place La Florida.
  • Ponce de León became the first Spaniard to set foot in what is now the United States.
francisco coronado
Francisco Coronado
  • Conquistador Francisco Coronado set out with about 1100 Spaniards and Native Americans to find the golden city.
  • Although they never found the city, they did explore what is now New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Kansas.
hernando de soto
Hernando de Soto
  • While Coronado was trekking through the southwest, Hernando de Soto was searching for riches in what is now Southeastern United States.
  • DeSoto traveled as far north as the Carolinas and as far west as Oklahoma.
  • He died in what is now Louisiana, in 1542, having found the Mississippi River, but no gold. =-(
colonizing spanish america
Colonizing Spanish America
  • Native Americans became a source of labor for the Spaniards.
  • Government officials granted settlers huge tracts of land to start mines, ranches, and plantations.
  • Plantations are large farms worked by laborers who live on the property.
  • To help Spanish colonists find needed workers, the Spanish government granted encomiendas - land grants that included the right to demand labor or taxes from Native Americans.
bartolom de las casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas
  • The Spanish forced NA to work in thegold and silver mines.
  • Many died when the tunnels caved in.
  • Some Spaniards protested the cruel treatment.
  • The priest Bartolomé de Las Casas traveled through New Spain working for reform.
  • Mainly because of his efforts, the government of Spain ordered reform of encomienda system in the mid 1500s.
converting native americans
Converting Native Americans
  • The Spanish believed they had a duty to convert the Native Americans to Christianity.
  • They set up missions (religious settlements) run by Catholic priests and friars.
the trade in humans
The Trade in Humans
  • As the death toll for NA rose, Spanish colonists looked across the Atlantic Ocean for a new source of labor.
  • In 1517, Spain brought about 4000 Africans to the Caribbean islands and forced them to work there.
  • By the middle of the 1500s, the Spaniards were shipping about 2,000 enslaved Africans each year to Hispaniola alone.
society in the spanish colonies
Society in the Spanish Colonies
  • The rigid social system based on birthplace and blood developed in the Spanish colonies.
  • At the top of the social structure were the peninsulares - Spanish colonists who had been born in Spain.
  • Almost all government officials came from this class.
society continued
Society Continued
  • Creoles - colonists born in America to two Spanish parents.
  • Creoles also help important positions. Many were wealthy merchants and plantation owners.
  • Mestizos- People who had both Spanish and Indian blood. These people were ranchers, farmers, or merchants.
  • Mulattos- People of Spanish and African heritage.
  • Native Americans and African Americans were held at the bottom of society.