Spain Builds an American Empire

Analyze the voyages of Columbus and other Spanish explorers and the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Kendrick Abreu

All the European nations were in a race to gain wealth, so they started to look for alternative routes to Asia. Christopher Columbus was a sea captain that sailed west in search of a route to the east indies. He ended up at The Bahamas which he mistook it for the East indies.There he called the natives Indian and claimed the land calling it Holy Savior. He also went in other three voyage claiming islands for Spain. Magellan with 250 men sailed around Southern America to explore the new ocean in which he circumnavigate the world.

Hernando Cortes sailed after Magellan and sailed to Mexican, conquering Caribbean islands in the way, claiming land in Mexico, US, and South America.Because of Cortes Colonization Spanish got enriched because of all the resources it supplied to them. Cortes also conquered the Aztecs. Another conquistador conquered the civilization in the America and expanded the Spain American Empire.

Steven Alvarez:
The Spanish colonization of the Americas was the settlement and political rule over much of the western hemisphere which was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and fought mostly by their native allies. Beginning with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, over three centuries the Spanish Empire expanded from early small settlements in the Caribbean to include Mexico, Central America, most of South America, and what today is Southwestern United States, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of North America, reaching Alaska. In 1507, Spain published an Introduction to Cosmography…to which are added The Four Voyages of Amerigo Vespucci…The atlas proposed that the “fourth part of the earth” -beyond Europe, Asia, and Africa- that “Amerigo discovered” should be called “Amerige, the land of Amerigo… or America.” The latter paragraphs will include the vigorous expeditions and actions taken that led the Spaniards to establish an American Empire.

A quarter century after Columbus’s first voyage, Spain concentrated its attention on the islands in the western Atlantic. In 1517, an expedition that explored Yucatan and the Gulf of Mexico reported the existence of civilizations on the mainland that were richer and more populous that any in the Caribbean, in which Spain had totally stripped of its gold and native population. With the defeat of the Aztecs, the conquistadores, or conquerors, set out in search of other peoples to subdue and despoil. Between 1524 and 1533, Spaniards under Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca peoples of Peru’s Andean highlands, accumulating in the process thousands of pounds of gold and silver. From Peru, expeditions of discovery and conquest extended out to Chile and Colombia. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado marched into New Mexico and ventured as far north as Kansas in 1540 and 1541, and Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed up the California coast and took possession of the land for Spain in 1542. When neither these explorers nor their successors found new empires rich in gold and silver, interest in North America declined.

Claudia Franjul:
After Spain discovered that Portugal had found a sea route to Asia, it was eager to find its own route. For this purpose Spain financed the voyage of Christopher Columbus. Columbus proposed that if he sailed west across the Atlantic he would reach Asia. In October of 1492 Columbus and his crew reached an island. They thought they had finally reached Asia and even called the inhabitants Indians, but later on Americo Vespucci would prove that what they had actually reached was a new continent, that would be named America in his honor. As all other explorers, Columbus’s purpose was to claim lands for Spain and search for riches, more specifically gold. As he visited several of the islands of the New World he was able to discover the vast riches of the land and also to notice how naïve, easy to manipulate, and trick were the Natives. Columbus went back to Spain and reported about the magnificent land he had encountered. Columbus’s testimony about America would encourage other explorers to go in search of the New Land’s gold and silver and this would initiate the colonization process in the Americas.

When the Spanish explorers were able to reach the American mainland they began to hear about the rich and prosperous civilizations that ruled the area. The explorers soon realized that if they were able to capture and control these people they could take over their gold and silver and even use them as labor force. The first to do this were Hernando Cortes and Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Aztecs(Cortes) and the Incas(Pizarro), despite the fact that their armies were greatly outnumbered by the Native armies.But why were the Spanish able to throw down these empires if they were so greatly outnumbered? The Spanish had on their side guns that could kill a far greater number of people than the unsophisticated weapons of the natives could, and they had brought with them diseases to which the natives’ were not immune to. Also Cortes, for example, had allied with the Aztecs’ enemies and also at first the Natives did not attack the Spanish because they though they were gods. Immediately after conquering these new lands the Spanish began building their own empire in the new continent. The first step they took was to put the Natives to work for them (through the Encomienda system) in order to extract the riches of the land. The bad treatment made lots of Natives to perish. All the gold and silver that Spain was able to take from the Americas would turn Spain into one of the richest European countries of the time.

Saluna Chow:
Christopher Columbus arrived at what he thought was the East Indies in Octuber 12, 1492. He thought that he and his crew had reached the East Indies so he called them "Indios" which meant "Indians" in english. These so called Indios were amazed by the small and unvaluable materials that the Spanish brought. As a result, Spanish took advantage of this, and started to exchange these unvaluable materials with goods that benefited them. Scholars believe that Columbus had landed on an island in the Caribbean Sea. Columbus' interest was focused in gold, and so did Spain's king's. He returned to Spain in early 1493 and shoes his journey report to the king. Spain's king was pretty interested in what he read about Columbus' journey so he decided to embark a second voyage to the Americas for the second time. Now, Columbus' purpose changed, his purpose now was to build an empire and convert those Caribbean islands into colonies, which were lands that were controlled by another nation.

After a few years, more and more European explorers started to sail into the Americas and turned one by one into colonies. In 1519, a Spaniard named Hernando Cortes and his crew known as the conquistadors sailed into the shores of today-known Mexico, where the Aztec Empire was. They claimed new lands for Spain, such as Mexico, United States and South America. They left culture in all the lands they conquered and enriched their empire with vast lands of gold and silver. In 1532, a conquistador named Francisco Pizarro conquered the Incan Empire, which is today's Peru. They kidnapped the Incan ruler, Atahualpa, and asked for silver in return for his release. Later on, they killed Atahualpa when he was no longer of their benefit, and conquered Cuzco without difficulty in 1533. These colonies enriched Europe in so many ways because Europeans took control of their rich resources to make their empire grow.

Gabriela Elias:
When Spain realized that Portugal had found a sea route to Asia, they didn’t looked one for themselves. Explorer Christopher Columbus started a voyage in 1942. As every other explorer he wanted to gain land for his country and find gold. During this whole trip his purpose was to get to Asia. On October 12, 1492 he reached an island. They thought they had finally reached the East indies so they called the inhabitants “Indios” which meant “Indians” in English. Then a man discovered that what they had reached wasn’t Asia, it was a new continent which they called the new world. This continent was called America in honor of Amerigo Vespucci. Spanish brought to the island unvaluable materials which left the Indians amazed. Indians were so naïve that they exchanged their gold with all of Spanish unimportant materials. In the early 1493 Columbus returned to Spain with good news and stories to the king. He was amazed with all those interesting news he heard so he decided to make a second voyage. Now, Columbus had a new purpose that was to build an empire in America.

The years passed, and Europeans explorers started colonizing the islands. Hernando Cortés and the conquistadors sailed to where the Aztec empire was, Mexico. In every place they went, they enriched their empire with vast lands of gold and silver. The Aztec empire, today known as Peru, was conquered by a man named Francisco Pizarro in 1532. There they captured Atahualpa, an Incan ruler, and wanted gold and silver in order for them to release him. When Atahualpa wasn’t interesting anymore, they killed him and in 1533, they easily conquered Cuzco. With all the gold and silver the Spain gained in the Americas turned into one of the richest European countries of the time.

Rafael Cabrera
In August 3, 1492 a sea captain named Christopher Columbus sailed out from the Spanish port. He went in look of new territories and also in look for more gold for Spain. He specifically wanted to go to India. He made some bad calculations and thought that he was heading to India but actually he headed to the Caribbean. Finally on October 12 1492 he got to what is today the Bahamas but still thought he was in India. When he got here he claimed this island for Spain and then called it " San Salvador". Because he was looking for gold he saw that there was no gold in " an Salvador" so he sailed out in look for some other lands. There were many other sea explorers other than Christopher columbus. Pedro Alvares Cabral a Portuguese explorer d a very important discovery. He found what is today Brazil and claimed it for his country. Another explorer was Ferdinand Magellan who was the first European to explore around the pacific ocean.

The Spanish colonization of the Americas was the settlement and political rule over much of the western hemisphere. This process was started by the conquistadors who were the Spanish soldiers, explorers, and fortune hunters. On his last voyage Columbus was in what is today Honduras and filled a ship with cacao beans, copper and flint axes, copper bells, pottery, and colorful cotton garments. In 1523 Francisco Pizarro with his soldier went to conquered the incan empire. This empire was ruled by Atahualpa. Pizarro gave the order to kidnap Atahualpa. They kidnapped him and he offered a room full of gold in exchange of his liberty. They accepted and when he gave them what he promised the strangled him to death.

Luis Rafael Acta 10A
During the age of coloniztion, there was alot of competition for the wealth in Asia among the european nations. this made Cristopher Columbus make a voyage from spain to the east indies. Columbus sailed west in search of an alternate sea route to asia, throgh the atlantic ocean. in October, 12, 1492 columbus' boat reached land. when he and his crew were at the shore, they thought they had reached the east indies, but instead the were in the west indies. the inhabitants of that island, called the los indios greeted them and welcomed them to there land.

Besides Cristopher Columbus there were many people who came to conquer the americas. one of these people was Fransisco Pizzarro, he was the leader of the conquistadors. Pizzarro and the conquistadors reached the Incan empire. they killed all the 80,000 incan people who lived there becaise of their advance technology and because of the illnesses their animals brought. Another important person was Hernando cortes, he was the person who conquered one of the greatest civilization in the americas, it was called the aztec empire. all this started the process of colonization in the americas.

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