The conquest of much of the New World by Spanish conquistadors during those few years was surely one of history's turning points. 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. 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. 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 However, when he returned to Hispaniola in November 1493, he found there abandoned small garrison he left and fortress destroyed. He also inspired thousands of Spaniards to swarm to the New World to try and emulate him. Many conquistadors felt it was the only chance to succeed economically if they went to the New World. 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. Millions of them died of diseases brought by the Iberians like influenza, measles, smallpox, or typhus. 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. Atahualpa agreed to a ransom and soon all the gold and silver of the mighty Empire was flowing into Pizarro's possession. Spanish explorers with hopes of conquest in the New World were known as conquistadores. Many Indian laborers fell victim to the plague but no one took care of them or get them food. 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. While in the jungle, Aguirre went mad and began murdering his companions. 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. The origins of the Spanish Empire lie in the 15th century. According to de Las Casas, women and men were given to eat only wild grasses. After the conquest, Sandoval was richly rewarded with lands and gold but died young of an illness. The males have been dying in the golden and silver mines from overwork and starvation. The Spanish Conquistadors were those who initially expanded the Spanish Empire. The Spaniard conquerors insisted on their inherent biological and cultural superiority as human beings over the native inhabitants. The Spanish Conquistadors tend to be a controversial topic. To be a Spanish Conquistador wasn’t at all easy, it involved a dangerous boat journey to a land never seen before. When Ch. Hernán Cortés arrived on Hispaniola in 1504 and participated in the conquest of the Island. The natives rebelled on several occasions, but Pizarro and his brothers always managed to put these insurrections down. 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 local inhabitants, who have been so numerous before 1492, began to die out as would do any nation being subjected to such terrible treatment. Diego de Almagro was another unlucky conquistador. It is calculated that the death toll may have reached around 70 million native inhabitants of the New World out of 80 million in this period. Essentially, most of them were the remnants of the veritable standing army of 16th centurySpain – men wh… 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. There was none he trusted more than Gonzalo de Sandoval, who was barely 22 when he joined the expedition. His expedition was a disaster of colossal proportions: only four out of 300 men survived, and he was not among them. Said to have once been a swineherd, Pizarro went to the Americas as a soldier of fortune. Such ideology included and physical elimination of the Native Americans or “barbarians” not being equal with the Iberians regarding their humanity. All accumulated funds to be forwarded monthly to our outstanding authors. 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. 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. You probably had to be a little crazy to be a conquistador in the first place. They were separated from their families and normal support systems being beaten, brutalized, and deprived of free movement – in one word, being the slaves. He was an able administrator and popular leader who cultivated strong ties with local indigenous groups. Indeed, as Karl Marx and Adam Smith claimed, perhaps it … Nevertheless, as proper and functional colonial administrations have been established their role and activities diminished and finally disappeared. Neither the Aztec nor the Inca had ever seen humans riding animals before; the psychological impact of mounted troops was tremendous. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Historian & Politologist. 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. From the time of Constantine the Great, the “Labarum” became the banner of the East Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire. 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. The Spanish Conquest of the New World Hernán Cortés 1485-1547. The Swift Success of the Conquistadors . From one point of view, there is no evidence, i.e. Time and again, when Cortes was in a pinch, he turned to Sandoval. 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. 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. The Aztecs have been as well as in some cases engaged in extreme cruelty against their enemies. 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. Conqueror of Mexico, Cortés was a born leader and a man prepared to take enormous risks. 10 Notable Spanish Conquistadors Throughout History Francisco Pizarro, Lord of Peru. The natives of the Bahamas were very much eliminated like the islands around Puerto Rico. 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. Cortés then led the exploration of the Yucatán Peninsula in hopes of attaining glory. Ch. A Vilnius-based independent researcher and scholar. Columbus and the Spanish were extremely interested in wealth. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. Consequently, Native Americans should not be deprived of their freedom and the ownership of their property. The Great Lady. The Catholic monarchs of Spain, King Ferdinand II (of Aragon) and Queen Isabella I (of Castile) showed very little enthusiasm for slavery and, consequently, Ch. Native communities were attacked and enslaved and any treasures they may have had such as gold, silver or pearls were taken. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer of the early colonial era. Afonso de Albuquerque is one of the most famous Portuguese conquerors, having expanded the Portuguese Empire 's rule across India, the Persian Gulf, the East Indies, China, and Oceania. He was last seen floating off on a raft in 1528. Much as in those discovered lands, Ch. From the facts’ point of view, human sacrifice was unquestionably a part of Aztec religious life and tradition. 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. Soon after Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, the Spanish began to hear stories of civilizations with immense riches. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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