The Spanish Conquistadors tend to be a controversial topic. Later, his quarrels with Pizarro led to his leading an expedition south, where he discovered present-day Chile but found little more than harsh deserts and mountains and the toughest natives this side of Florida. Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin/Public Domain. To be a Spanish Conquistador wasn’t at all easy, it involved a dangerous boat journey to a land never seen before. The same B. de Las Casas wrote that the insatiable greed of the Spaniards reached proportions which simply removed any reservation they may have had about abusing the Indians when both gold and silver became accessible by occupying the mines run by the Aztecs and Incas. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean. He is credited with leading the first European expedition to discover the Pacific Ocean (which he referred to as the "South Sea"). Next, he was sent to Mexico to rein in the ambitions Hernán Cortés: Cortés not only beat him in battle but took all of his men and went on to conquer the Aztec Empire. While there were no mines on Hispaniola, as more explorers and conquistadors surveyed parts of the New World, they kept hearing of a rich empire that existed in the west (in Mexico.) Here, as elsewhere, the Spanish soldiers behaved as the dogs of the war upon the Native Americans. The letter was written in 1687. In the Spanish colonies, how did nearly all American Indians die? There was none he trusted more than Gonzalo de Sandoval, who was barely 22 when he joined the expedition. With the women and men being separated and never seeing each other, as a result, no biological reproduction was possible, i.e., no new children have been born. It is important to say that the philosopher and Roman Catholic theologian Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda justified the Spanish behaving with the Indians by warring against them using the reference to the pope’s blessing of the Spaniard venture in the Americas. Amable-Paul Coutan/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer of the early colonial era. Similarly, it was done in Cuba where Spaniards established their control in 1511. Meanwhile Spanish migrants poured into the New World. He already had a reputation for being violent and unstable in 1559, when he joined an expedition to search the jungles of South America for the legendary El Dorado. The Spanish Conquistadors were some of the first men to travel to the new world. The conquest of much of the New World by Spanish conquistadors during those few years was surely one of history's turning points. Soon, the numbers of black Africans overcame the numbers of their Spaniard masters but still, the Spanish governors of the colonies and their representatives continued with the practice of the brutal exploitation of both the native inhabitants of the Americas and the newly brought slaves from Africa. For instance, B. de Las Casas clearly wrote that sheer greed (especially for the gold and silver) was the focal stimulus that was behind the criminal deeds committed by the Spanish colonial authorities. Although the Spanish were still engaged in the Reconquistaat that time, most of the Iberian Peninsula was already in Christian hands. Many would-be conquistadors explored immense areas but conquered nothing and founded no permanent settlements. Satisfactory documentary of Spanish conquest of Aztec city of Tenochtitlan Much as in those discovered lands, Ch. Due to several reasons, soon they started to die in big numbers. Francisco de Orellana was one of the lucky ones who got in early on Pizarro's conquest of the Inca. After the conquest, Sandoval was richly rewarded with lands and gold but died young of an illness. A Vilnius-based independent researcher and scholar. The initial timeline of the Spanish conquests of the New World from Ch. You probably had to be a little crazy … When Ch. According to de Las Casas in his expression of grief written to the Spanish King Phillip II (1556−1598, who became the King of Portugal in 1580 as well), the Spanish colonists have been treating the native Indians worse than animals, having little concern for their souls as for the bodies. Owner & Editor of POLICRATICUS - Electronic Magazine On Global Politics www.global-politics.eu They brought Catholicism, a religion the Indians didn’t understand. In general, the Spanish “conquistadores” were soldiers and adventurers in the 16th century of whom the most known have been Hernán Cortés who conquered the Aztec Empire in present-day Mexico, and Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of the Inca Empire in today’s Peru. He was an able administrator and popular leader who cultivated strong ties with local indigenous groups. Known by the natives as "Tonatiuh," or "Sun God" for his blonde hair, Alvarado was Cortés' most trusted lieutenant, and the one Cortés trusted to explore and conquer lands to the south of Mexico. The natives of the Bahamas were very much eliminated like the islands around Puerto Rico. What the Conquistadors Brought to the New World. They got their name from being both conquerors and explorers. Diego de Almagro was another unlucky conquistador. He soon came into contact with the mighty Aztec Empire, home to millions of citizens and thousands of warriors. Th… Nevertheless, de Las Casas wrote that the native population of Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti) when the Spaniards arrived was some 3 million but only 200 of them left in the mid-16th century. It has to be clearly noticed that, in fact, the Spanish conquistadors, have not been like medieval West Roman Catholic Crusaders at least from the very formal meaning of this word as the conquistadors did not ever receive some special indulgence from the Roman Catholic pope for their services in the New World. That was the Indian response to the Spanish rape of the local females and attacks on the Indian property. The word Conquistador literally means conqueror – the men and women who explored the New World, and claimed it’s land for the Spanish crown. In 1519, Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec/Mexica Empire. In many cases, the local Indians in order to save their lives were running to the hills from their villages, and for those who left there were only two options: death or forced labor. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Biography of Francisco Pizarro, Spanish Conqueror of the Inca, Biography of Diego de Almagro, Spanish Conquistador, 10 Facts About the Conquest of the Inca Empire, Biography of Francisco de Orellana, Discoverer of the Amazon River, Biography of Hernán Cortés, Ruthless Conquistador, Biography of Manco Inca (1516-1544): Ruler of the Inca Empire, Hernan Cortes, Conquistador of the Aztec Empire, Pedro de Alvarado, Conquistador of the Maya, Panfilo de Narvaez, The Unluckiest Conquistador, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Discoverer of the Pacific, Gonzalo de Sandoval, the Dependable Lieutenant. Nevertheless, as proper and functional colonial administrations have been established their role and activities diminished and finally disappeared. In 1509, the Spaniard expeditions sailed to the islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Disease. Playing off Inca factions against one another, Pizarro made himself master of Peru by 1533. The fact was that the imperative for conversion into Roman Catholicism accompanied this new type of crusaders to the Americas. He took with him back to Spain 20 Indian captives and promised the Spanish monarchs that he would bring them such great wealth that the King and the Queen could be able to finance new Crusades for the sake to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Spaniards have been especially offended by the Aztec religious practices which included human sacrifice and, therefore, proclaimed that the waging a war against Aztec barbarians is justified not only on the foundations of their paganism but even more so because of their prodigious sacrifice of human victims, the extreme harm that they inflicted on innocent persons, and the impious cult of their idols. University lecturer. After Columbus brought news of the new world to Europe many people went to the new world in search of land and riches. Pizarro was killed by the son of a former rival in 1541. While some view them as heroes who blazed a trail for the New World. The Spanish idea of both their racial and religious superiority, combined with material inducement, brought final disaster for the Native Americans. Neither the Aztec nor the Inca had ever seen humans riding animals before; the psychological impact of mounted troops was tremendous. Even Mexican Aztecs, who had a superior culture in the region, built cities, being engaged in commerce, owned no property, and lived totally at the mercy of their ruler for the Spaniards have been demonstrating the servile and base spirit of the barbarians (“inhumane little men”). The Spanish conquest of the New World, the “European” microbes, and forced laborers The initial timeline of the Spanish conquests of the New World from Ch. Hoping to claim this wealth and territory for Spain and themselves, conquistadors, or “conquerors,” sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. “The conquistadors who swept through the New World were armed with steel swords.” The Spanish came to the New World with steel, a material the native tribes have not used or perhaps seen until the conquest. 225,000 migrated during the sixteenth century alone, and 750,000 came during the entire three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. It is an undisputable historiographical fact that the native population of the Americas was harshly exploited as forced laborers and were concentrated in labor camps (konz.-lagers), especially in the cases of the search for gold and silver. However, from the very practical point of view, the conquistadors’ methods and attitudes were extremely closely related to those of the Vatican’s military-confessional campaigns in the Middle East against the Muslims, in South Europe against the heretic Cathars, or in the Baltics against the local pagans like Prussians and Lithuanians up to 1410 (the Battle of Tannenberg) by the Teutonic Order. Columbus and his conquistadors killed native elites and forced the native into forced labor in both mines and on the land. In the West Indies. They were separated from their families and normal support systems being beaten, brutalized, and deprived of free movement – in one word, being the slaves. According to de Las Casas, women and men were given to eat only wild grasses. They … The Aztecs have been as well as in some cases engaged in extreme cruelty against their enemies. These conquistadors invaded and conquered lands in the Americas and the Caribbean from the … According to some Spanish historical sources (like the Dominican Bartolome de Las Casas), the conditions of forced labor usually led directly to the death of the Indians in the mines of Hispaniola. The main Crusades were a series of expeditions from the 11th to the 14th centuries for the sake to establish Christian (the Roman Catholic) power over the Muslim-controlled holy places of Palestine. 1 Communicable Diseases. Alien microbes traveled more quickly compared to the West European conquerors themselves. The Native Americans have been forcibly deported from their homes to other locations for the purpose of replacing the local labor of natives who died. All of these islands in the mid-16th century were abandoned and desolate. In conclusion, the Spaniards did not with purpose transmitted different kinds of diseases to the Indians, but so many died of these diseases as a cause of the harsh living and working conditions imposed on them by the Spanish conquerors. Where they reckless adventurers or simply paid mercenaries of the Spanish crown? The Spanish Conquistadors came armed with cannons, crossbows, lances, fine Toledo swords and firearms, none of which had ever been seen by Native warriors before. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. However, there were those Roman Catholic priests who have been defending converted Indians with two crucial arguments: 1) they became Christians; and 2) they became the subjects of the Spanish crown – therefore, they could not be reduced to forced labor and especially slavery by the Spanish colonial authorities. After... Francisco Pizarro c. 1474-1541. For what primary purpose did the spanish enslave any American Indians? That was a night before the battle of 312 near Rome against Maxentius. The Spaniards were like men in desperation, crazy, mad, out of their minds with only greed for gold and silver and, therefore, the lives of the Native Americans meant next to nothing. The Spanish Conquistadors were those who initially expanded the Spanish Empire. In Cuba, the Native Americans (both men and women) even routinely committed suicide (by hanging) as the only way to avoid the Spanish plunder and destruction. Francisco Pizarro took a page from Cortes' book, capturing Atahualpa, Emperor of the... Lope de Aguirre, Madman of El Dorado. Ch. Alvarado found the remnants of the Maya Empire and using what he had learned from Cortés, soon turned local ethnic groups' mistrust of one another to his advantage. The Native cultures of the New World were warlike and tended to fight first and ask questions later, so there was much conflict and many Natives were killed in battle. You probably had to be a little crazy to be a conquistador in the first place. Within 20 years of Columbus’ discovery of Hispaniola, the native population fell from one... 2 Forced Labor and Slavery. The desire for gold. Spanish veterans from dozens of Europeans battlefields flocked to the New World, bringing their weapons, experience, and tactics with them. The Great Lady. Soon after Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, the Spanish began to hear stories of civilizations with immense riches. Thanks to Christopher Columbus, the Spanish were the first to gain a foothold in the New World and profit from all of its treasures. Columbus’ journeys and the subsequent Spanish conquest of the New World included many Conversos who were at various times were legally ineligible to travel and settle in the New World. Columbus first landing in the Bahamas (1492) until the mid-16th century was probably the most terrible period of genocide in the world’s history but, nevertheless, for sure, it was the first genocide in the global history of Modern Time. The origins of the Spanish Empire lie in the 15th century. historical sources, that the Spanish conquistadors with purpose infected the autochthonous peoples of the Americas, but on the other hand, the Iberians imposed living conditions upon the American Indians which made them more vulnerable to the imported diseases. The natives have been living on a narrow subsistence level in pre-1492 times. He was, however, immediately attracted with small golden rings in Indian’s noses and tried to get them to take him to the mine of this precious metal, which he thought is located in the southern part of the island. Where were in the first spanish colonies located in the New World? Although the vast majority of the conquistadors came from Spain, … with free interactive flashcards. On one hand, different types of diseases were the focal source of the killing of millions of the Native Americans who had thickly populated the Americas in the pre-Columbus time, the Spaniards as well as have been killing the Indians in a series of genocidal episodes across the American continents. 10 Notable Spanish Conquistadors Throughout History Francisco Pizarro, Lord of Peru. Despite the prohibitions, the history of the Spanish conquest in the Caribbean and eventually Mexico was full of Spanish adventurers, soldiers, and merchants whom all heralded from Converso backgrounds. All of the conquistadors who came to the New World were ruthless, tough, ambitious, and cruel, but Pedro de Alvarado was in a class by himself. Essentially, most of them were the remnants of the veritable standing army of 16th centurySpain – men wh… Cortés then led the exploration of the Yucatán Peninsula in hopes of attaining glory. The Roman Catholic priests who usually followed the conquistadors in the majority of cases did not condone either the torching or killing of the native inhabitants of the New World even at the time when stable Spanish civil and military colonial authorities were established. Columbus and the Spanish were extremely interested in wealth. The Spaniard conquerors insisted on their inherent biological and cultural superiority as human beings over the native inhabitants. There were many cases that enslaved women killed their babies and children and sometimes themselves too due to the harsh living conditions. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. However, such a situation led to the reprisals, kidnapping, and killings of the local Indians by the Spanish soldiers that were the beginning of the Iberian genocide over the Native Americans. Native communities were attacked and enslaved and any treasures they may have had such as gold, silver or pearls were taken. About 250,000 Spanish men, mostly from the impoverished southern region of Andalusia migrated to the New World during the 16th century; another 200,000 came in the years 1600 to 1650. From several contemporary Spanish historical sources is clear that pure greediness was, in fact, the focal character of the Spanish conquest that led to the deaths of millions of the Native Americans and later African slaves. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The only remaining Muslim state on the peninsula (in fact, since 1249) was the Emirate of Granada. Still, Lope de Aguirre was crazier than most. However, when he returned to Hispaniola in November 1493, he found there abandoned small garrison he left and fortress destroyed. However, the Spaniards have not been much better at dealing with the Aztecs and other Native Americans. The Spanish made fine swords and armor. flashcards on Quizlet. In addition, mining supervisors often raped and sexually exploited the local Indian women, regardless of the fact that their husbands, brothers, or sons have been already working in the mines. His expedition was a disaster of colossal proportions: only four out of 300 men survived, and he was not among them. The Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon traveled to the New World on Columbus’ second voyage. Hernan Cortes had many subordinates in his epic conquest of the mighty Aztec Empire. What Did Spanish Conquistadors Bring to the New World? The males have been dying in the golden and silver mines from overwork and starvation. Spanish horses were instrumental in the conquest of the New World. He explored areas to the north, looking for a Fountain of Youth, and landed on a peninsula on the coast of North America, which he named Florida. Nevertheless, in the very practice on the ground, the local Spaniards in the Spanish colonies in the New World did everything to successfully avoid any restrictions on their practical ability to exploit the natives. Time and again, when Cortes was in a pinch, he turned to Sandoval. The last aspect of Spanish colonial society that I wanna point out is the racial caste system that developed in the New World. Contact address: sotirovic@global-politics.eu. From the facts’ point of view, human sacrifice was unquestionably a part of Aztec religious life and tradition. The natives rebelled on several occasions, but Pizarro and his brothers always managed to put these insurrections down. Hernán Cortés is one of the most famous Spanish conquerors, having led the Conquest of Mexico and spread of the Spanish in the Americas. From the time of Constantine the Great, the “Labarum” became the banner of the East Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire. Columbus first landed on the Bahamian Island of Santa Maria de la Conception he met there very peaceful, friendly, and hospitable native inhabitants. It is impossible according to historical sources to reconstruct the exact numbers of those inhabitants of the Caribbean Islands who died during the first half-century of the Spanish administration. It practically meant that the Spaniards had the “divine” right to rule over the Indians and moreover to dispose of their lives in any way they proper for them. Many conquistadors felt it was the only chance to succeed economically if they went to the New World. That's what inspired his voyage in the first place! The Spanish who came to settle the New World were generally not farmers and craftsmen but soldiers, adventurers, and mercenaries looking for a quick fortune. Conqueror of Mexico, Cortés was a born leader and a man prepared to take enormous risks. However, in practice, for the reason of the absence of the fortune that he hoped to find there for both his sovereigns Ferdinand II and Isabella I and himself, he turned to the Indians themselves and their labor as a source of wealth. From one point of view, there is no evidence, i.e. In 1519, the ambitious Hernán Cortés set out from Cuba with 600 men on an expedition to the mainland in present-day Mexico. He was thinking that he could easily conquer the Native Americans and used them as labor slaves and servants either in the New World or back in Spain to cultivate agricultural fields, collect harvest crops, and work in mines. The local inhabitants, who have been so numerous before 1492, began to die out as would do any nation being subjected to such terrible treatment. Queen Isabella I, tried to improve the situation for the Native Americans by creating a system of indentured landholding, whereby the Indians were, in theory, to cultivate the land of the Spaniards four days a week having the rest of the week to take care of their own portions of land (the well-known system of corvée in feudal West Europe). Columbus did not come to the Americas to enslave or destroy its native peoples as he arrived just for gold, silver, and riches. These unions produced mestizos and mulattos respectively. The Queen died in 1504, and her will was that the Indians have to be well and justly treated, but her husband, King Ferdinand II practiced the right of the Crown to enslave the Indians and, therefore, their position became worse after 1504. Spaniards, often single, young, and male, emigrated for the various promises of land, wealth, and social advancement. In principle, the local types of such brutal mistreatment of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists and authorities have been manifold. The cross was with the inscription “With this sign, you will win”. Juan and Francisco were dead, and Hernando was in prison in Spain. As a matter of fact, the more the native Indians tried to escape the exploitation yokes imposed on them, the more harsher punishments have been inflicted by the Spanish masters. For example, only on one occasion, provoked by no one, the conquistadors butchered some 3000 Indians including children and women. It was soon followed by forcing them to do harsh physical works that were fully exploited by the Spaniards. However, the newly brought peoples have been deprived of food, water and were housed in unsanitary dwellings. DOCUMENT 6 The excerpt below is from a letter written by Father Kino, a Catholic Priest, to a friend back in Spain. By deftly exploiting traditional feuds and rivalries among the groups that made up the Empire, he was able to conquer the mighty Aztecs, securing a vast fortune and noble title for himself. Pizarro returned to Quito, but Orellana kept heading east, discovering the Amazon River and making his way to the Atlantic Ocean: an epic journey of thousands of miles that took months to complete. The Population of the New World was Decimated . They left their homes in Spain to spend months on board a rickety ship to the New World, then had to spend years in steamy jungles and frosty sierras, all the while fighting angry natives, hunger, fatigue, and disease. The Spanish conquest of the Americas(1519-1533) was a series of wars fought by New Spainin hopes of conquering additional lands to their empire. Thank you in advance! The Spanish conquistadors, as well, brought with them a form of racism that became derived from post-Reconquista Roman Catholic prejudice against converted Muslims and Jews. Returning to Peru, he went to war with Pizarro, lost, and was executed. Indeed, as Karl Marx and Adam Smith claimed, perhaps it … However, the peak of the demographic catastrophe of the native inhabitants in the Spanish colonies already occurred and, as a result, the Spaniards brought the black slaves from Portuguese Africa to the New World to do the harsh physical work that the Native Americans practiced previously to do in the first half of the 16th century. While in the jungle, Aguirre went mad and began murdering his companions. However, the reality of newly discovered islands spoiled his personal designs as the number of local dwellers was not so promising for massive exploitation as forced workers. It turned out to be present-day Florida, full of swamps, thick forests, and tough-as-nails natives who didn't appreciate visitors. By 1542, Gonzalo was the last of the Pizarro brothers in Peru. Choose from 500 different sets of term:conquistadors = spanish conquerors in the new world. Spain owed its mighty Empire to the wealth that flowed in from the New World, and it owed its New World colonies to the conquistadors, ruthless soldiers of fortune who brought the powerful Aztec and Inca Empires to their knees. Since few Spanish women migrated to the New World, the newly arrived settlers married Indians and Africans. Regardless of their enviable feats and egregious plundering, the question can naturally be raised – who were these Spanish Conquistadors? Said to have once been a swineherd, Pizarro went to the Americas as a soldier of fortune. It is true that Ch. Many Indian laborers fell victim to the plague but no one took care of them or get them food. It was made by Constantine’s order a great “Labarum” – a long cross. Spanish explorers with hopes of conquest in the New World were known as conquistadores. 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However, according to de Las Casas, more than 7000 children died of hunger when their parents were captured and forced to work in the mines. He made a name for himself by ruthlessly participating in the conquest of Cuba, but there was little gold or glory to be had in the Caribbean. The Swift Success of the Conquistadors . Well, the answer is far more simple – they were soldiers, more specifically disfranchised, professional soldiers. The Spanish Conquest of the New World Hernán Cortés 1485-1547. So when the Spanish crown passed the famously unpopular "New Laws" restricting conquistador privileges, the other conquistadors turned to Gonzalo, who led a bloody two-year revolt against Spanish authority before being captured and executed. In other words, according to the official tradition of the Christian Church, Constantine saw in a dream the sign of the cross. In the heat of battle, a wearied Aztec fighter looked up to see a vision of the Virgin … Those “European” microbes killed between half and 95% of the pre-Colombian Native American population who have been totally helpless in fighting against them. And, he won the battle and civil war. The general term “conquistador” refers to Spanish and Portuguese adventurers/warriors who led the expeditions into the New World during the Age of Exploration. The Spanish managed to conquer the southern parts of North America, the Caribbean, and much of South Americafrom the Aztec Empire, Inca Empire, and other tribes. Learn term:conquistadors = spanish conquerors in the new world. They would become infamous and wealthy and it all occurred because of the rise of the Ottoman Empire. Historian & Politologist. Hernán Cortés arrived on Hispaniola in 1504 and participated in the conquest of the Island. He was last seen floating off on a raft in 1528. A new Spanish King (and German Emperor), a Habsburg Carlos I (Charles V) (1516−1556), explicitly ordered the abolition of slavery among the native Indians in 1530 followed by the new laws against slavery in the Spanish colonies in 1542. Columbus discovered several islands during his first trip to the Americas. Their deadly combination of greed, religious zeal, ruthlessness, and superior weaponry proved too much for native armies to handle, especially when combined with lethal European diseases, such as smallpox, which decimated native ranks. Spanish rape of the cross was with the Iberians regarding their humanity set out Cuba! And were housed in unsanitary dwellings at all easy, it involved a dangerous journey! There is no evidence, i.e no permanent settlements already in Christian.! Across the Atlantic Ocean demographic catastrophe of the Christian spanish conquistadors in the new world, Constantine saw in a dream the sign the. 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