How did the spanish succeed in conquering much of the americas? In the fight for colonial control in Europe, the Treaty of Tordesillas legitimised Spain’s possessions in the New World, establishing Spanish superiority over Portugal. This was accomplished by Spain’s victory over Portugal.
The achievements of Christopher Columbus kicked off an age of Spanish conquest, which in turn inspired a large number of other European explorers to try their hand at similar colonial endeavours.
This expansionism resulted in a massive increase in income for Spain, which translated into an increase in the amount of Spanish art and cultural capital.
In the late 15th century, Cristóbal Colón, better known as Christopher Columbus in the English-speaking world, was under the impression that he could sail west across the Atlantic Ocean and arrive in Asia.
This was despite the fact that he was well-read in geography, astronomy, history, and theology and had extensive experience sailing.
After being unsuccessful in gaining support for his proposal in Portugal, he made the decision to relocate to Spain, where he was able to win the backing of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon.
In Spain, he was successful in gaining support for his initiative. They handed him a portion of their wealth to him so that he could fund his journey across the great ocean.
Columbus set off from Palos de la Frontera with three tiny ships: the Santa Mara (which was the biggest ship and was also known as La Gallega), the Santa Clara (which was dubbed the Nia), and the Pinta (which was really the ship’s nickname; its true name is lost to history).
After a protracted voyage, Christopher Columbus eventually arrived on the shore of a Caribbean island in what is now called the Bahamas. It’s an intriguing mystery, but we don’t really know where Columbus arrived in the New World initially.
Regardless, the instant he set foot on solid ground marked the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas as well as the commencement of the Golden Age. Christopher Columbus visited Cuba and Hispaniola, the island that is now home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, on his first trip to the Americas.
The exploits of Christopher Columbus on his journey in 1492 brought him widespread fame in Europe and gained him the title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea.
Before his death in 1506, he was able to conduct a total of three additional voyages to the Caribbean thanks to the royal support that he was able to get as a result of his popularity.
On Columbus’s second voyage, which began in 1493 and departed from Cadiz, Spain, he sailed with 17 ships carrying soldiers, farmers, craftsman, and priests who would go on to establish the first permanent colonies in the Americas. These individuals sailed to the New World with the intention of settling it permanently.
During the decades that followed, the Spanish massacred, conquered, and enslaved individuals from hundreds of different indigenous tribes in the New World. However, they were arguably most interested in the great wealth of the Aztec and Inca empires. These empires were located in the Americas.
When the Spanish arrived in a new region for the first time, they often established cordial relationships with the natives, who frequently honoured them with presents of gold and women.
This proof of vast richness did not appease the Spanish; rather, it fuelled their aspirations of conquering the native people, plundering their treasures, seizing possession of their land along with the gold and silver mines on it, and becoming wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.
Even though the Spanish conquistadors were required to hand up 20% of their spoils to the Spanish King, there was still a significant amount of riches available to them.
Hernán Cortés commanded the Spanish army that conquered the Aztec Empire, which was located in what is now the country of Mexico.
A local lady called Malintzin, who was subsequently renamed Marina, was one of 20 women who were given to Cortés and his soldiers after they fought the indigenous at Tobasco shortly after Cortés’ first arrival in Mexico in 1519.
Malintzin was given to Cortés and his troops as a gift. Malintzin was taken as a mistress by Cortés, during which time she learned Spanish, became his counsellor, and interpreted for him.
Cortés’s success against the Aztecs was in large part due to her contributions, and she also gave birth to his son Martin, who is considered to be the first prominent Mexican mestizo (although if it is unlikely that he was the first mestizo born anywhere in the Americas).
Even though interpretations of Malintzin’s acts continue to be a major topic of contention in Mexico today, she is still considered to be a highly significant character in the history of Mexico. Malintzin is also known as La Malinche.
Cortés and his army, who were joined on their voyage by Malintzin, set off on their way to Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire. Along the trip, the Spaniards came across a variety of indigenous peoples who were eager to aid them in their struggle against the Aztecs.
The Tlaxcala were one of these tribes. The Aztecs had already subjugated these peoples and compelled them to serve their empire. They despised being required to pay tributes and furnish victims for religious sacrifices.
In the late year 1519, shortly after reaching Tenochtitlan, Cortés’s army and their allies captured the city and kidnapped Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, as a captive.
A short time later, in the year 1520, Cortés departed Tenochtitlan to negotiate with a Spanish ambassador who had been sent from Cuba with the intention of deposing him. Tenochtitlán was in the middle of a full-fledged revolt when Cortés came to the city.
During this time period, Moctezuma II passed away, however it is unknown whether he met his end at the hands of the Aztecs or the Spanish; Cuitláhuac, Moctezuma II’s brother, became the new Emperor of Mexico after his passing.
The Spanish were compelled to abandon the city because they were under continual bombardment. But not before too long, in 1521, the Spanish and their allies returned, and after three months of combat, Cortés was able to recover possession of Tenochtitlán.
This was a significant victory for the Spanish. Cortés eventually took over as king of the large empire, and Cuahtámoc, who had succeeded Cuitláhuac, was put to death.
After then followed the Spanish invasion of the Inca Kingdom, which was the biggest empire in pre-Columbian America and covered portions of present-day Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Cuzco, the capital city of the Incas, was located in what is now Peru. The Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro, who is credited with bringing an end to the Inca Empire, had the good fortune to strike at the perfect moment.
When Pizarro arrived in Peru in 1532, the Inca Empire was nearing the conclusion of a years-long, violent civil war that had been waged between two of the late emperor’s numerous sons, Atahualpa and Huáscar.
Pizarro’s arrival coincided with the beginning of the Spanish conquest of Peru. When Atahualpa was in Cajamarca celebrating his army’s victory in a critical battle (and the conquest of Huascar), he ran into Pizarro, who invited him to a conference.
Atahualpa accepted Pizarro’s invitation. Atahualpa consented to the terms because, protected by thousands of devoted soldiers, he did not feel threatened by Pizarro and the other men accompanying him, who numbered less than 200. Pizarro, on the other hand, led an assault that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Incas and the capture of Atahualpa.
The Inca ruler was aware of the Spanish interest in gold and made an offer to pay a ransom in exchange for his freedom by promising to fill the chamber in which he was being imprisoned with the precious metal.
Pizarro agreed to the terms, and over the course of the following months, Incas delivered gold, silver, jewels, and other valuables from all throughout the empire to him.
In the meanwhile, Atahualpa continued to reign from his prison cell and gave the order to have his brother Huáscar put to death. Even though Atahualpa was eventually able to pay the ransom, the Spanish nonetheless put him to death in 1533, which was the year that marked the end of the powerful Inca Empire.
The colonisation of the islands in the Atlantic by Christopher Columbus marked the beginning of a period of aggressive Spanish expansion throughout the Atlantic. The competition between Spain and Portugal reached an intensity never before seen following the Spanish colonisation that followed Columbus’s voyage.
The two powers engaged in a competition for dominance via the conquest of new territories.
Because Pope Sixtus IV had awarded Portugal the right to all territory south of the Cape Verde islands in the 1480s, the Portuguese monarch asserted that the countries found by Columbus belonged to Portugal and not Spain. This claim was based on the fact that Pope Sixtus IV had made the gift in the 1480s.
However, in the year 1493, Pope Alexander VI, who was born in Spain, issued two papal decrees that gave validity to Spain’s Atlantic claims over the claims of Portugal. In the hopes of regaining some of Portugal’s lands, King Joao II entered into treaty negotiations with Spain.
A line running from north to south across South America was established by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. Spain expanded its territory to the west of the line, but Portugal kept all of the area to the east of it, including the Brazilian east coast.
The discovery made by Columbus sparked a wave of exploration by Spanish explorers. Later Spanish explorers were unrelenting in their pursuit of land and riches, and they were motivated to do so by stories of rivers flowing with gold and aboriginal peoples that were submissive and easily manipulated.
Conquistadors were the name given to Spanish explorers who arrived in the New World with the intention of conquering it. In the year 1504, Hernán Cortés landed on the island of Hispaniola and took part in the subsequent conquest of the island.
Following this, Cortés assumed leadership of the exploration of the Yucatán Peninsula in the pursuit of glory.
At the year 1519, Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlán, which was then serving as the capital of the Aztec and Mexica empires.
The beautiful gardens and temples in the city amazed him and his soldiers, but the ritual of sacrificing humans made them sick to their stomachs. The abundance of gold held by the Aztecs was the primary source of interest for the Spanish explorers.
Cortés abducted Moctezuma, the monarch of the Aztecs, as a captive in the hopes of gaining control over the city.
After that, the Spanish killed hundreds of high-ranking Mexica at a religious feast, but the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan reacted against them as swiftly as they could. In order to save their lives, Cortés and his followers ran away.
Another one of Spain’s intrepid explorers, Francisco Pizarro, set sail for the Caribbean in 1509, lured there by the prospect of acquiring money and titles.
He was a member of many expeditions that were fruitful in Panama before he decided to investigate the stories of Inca treasure farther south. Despite the fact that Pizarro’s early campaigns against the Inca Empire in the 1520s were unsuccessful, he was eventually successful in capturing and then executing the Inca ruler Atahualpa in 1532.
Pizarro established Lima, the capital of Peru, in 1533. Pizarro, like Cortés, had to fight not only the local peoples of the regions he was conquering but also rivals from inside his own nation. Diego de Almagro, a Spanish opponent, killed Pizarro in 1541.
By the year 1600, Spain had already gained significant financial gains from the riches of the New World. Gold and silver started to link European countries via commerce, and as a result, the money supply in Spain increased, which is considered to be the origin of capitalism as an economic system.
In the end, the increased wealth brought about widespread inflation as well as economic suffering. Nevertheless, Spain was able to expand its creative capital as a result of their increased worldwide reach. As a result of these advances, Spain entered its Golden Age, also known as the Siglo de Oro.
Riches came in from the colonies, while new ideas streamed in from other nations and new areas.
Both of these factors contributed to the expansion of the nation. The Habsburg monarchy, which reigned over the realms of Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Naples, and Sicily, supported and sponsored the growth of a Spanish Renaissance culture not just in Spain but also in its colonies. This culture flourished both in Spain and in its colonies.
Miguel de Cervantes’ book The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is often regarded as one of the most significant works to come out of this time period.
This book was published in two volumes in 1605 and 1618, and it described the story of a hidalgo, also known as a gentleman, who read so many stories of chivalry and heroism that he lost the ability to differentiate between fact and fiction.
Don Quixote, accompanied by his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza, abandons reality and embarks on a mission to restore chivalry by engaging in combat with those he views as Spain’s adversaries.
Poor nobles from the impoverished west and south of Spain made up the majority of Spanish conquistadors. They were able to conquer the vast empires of the New World with the assistance of superior military technology, disease (which weakened indigenous resistance), military tactics including surprise attacks and powerful weaponry.
The colonisation of North America was pushed forwards by the establishment of religious colonies. The majority of the Spaniards who settled in North America were members of the Franciscan religious order.
These missionaries served as an advance guard for Spain in North America. The Spanish invasion was justified by Catholicism throughout its entire history, and religious imperatives were always present throughout colonisation.
The Spanish took advantage of the newly acquired regions’ wealth of resources and available labour. The harvesting of the gold and silver in the region made the empire very wealthy.
Not only was Southern America rich in lumber, but it was also rich in precious metals. The propagation of Catholicism across the region was also one of our primary objectives.
It was one of the most powerful empires in the world throughout the early modern era, and it came to be known as “the empire on which the sun never sets.” It reached its greatest size in the 18th century.