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. The Spaniard conquerors insisted on their inherent biological and cultural superiority as human beings over the native inhabitants. 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. Since few Spanish women migrated to the New World, the newly arrived settlers married Indians and Africans. Many Indian laborers fell victim to the plague but no one took care of them or get them food. 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. Color Revolution In DC: Anti-Constitutional Coup Or Democratic Security Movement. The letter was written in 1687. They … The origins of the Spanish Empire lie in the 15th century. He is a former head writer at VIVA Travel Guides. 10 Notable Spanish Conquistadors Throughout History Francisco Pizarro, Lord of Peru. It turned out to be present-day Florida, full of swamps, thick forests, and tough-as-nails natives who didn't appreciate visitors. Pope Paul III in his Papal Bull issued in 1537 declared the Indians to be real human and, therefore, capable to receive the Christian faith (to be converted). Columbus’ design to transform the territories in the Caribbean into a prosperous slave trade for Spain was rejected by the Crown and he was imprisoned for a short while. While the Marinids of North Africa launched incursions into the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, they failed to make any permanent gains. While in the jungle, Aguirre went mad and began murdering his companions. 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. 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. A Vilnius-based independent researcher and scholar. Consequently, Native Americans should not be deprived of their freedom and the ownership of their property. By 1542, Gonzalo was the last of the Pizarro brothers in Peru. 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. Many conquistadors felt it was the only chance to succeed economically if they went to the New World. 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. Christopher Minster, Ph.D., is a professor at the ​Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. The Spanish Conquistadors were some of the first men to travel to the new world. 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. The Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon traveled to the New World on Columbus’ second voyage. Historian & Politologist. Disease. 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. After the conquest, Sandoval was richly rewarded with lands and gold but died young of an illness. 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. The Spanish Conquistadors were those who initially expanded the Spanish Empire. Indeed, as Karl Marx and Adam Smith claimed, perhaps it … Where were in the first spanish colonies located in the New World? In principle, the local types of such brutal mistreatment of the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists and authorities have been manifold. Said to have once been a swineherd, Pizarro went to the Americas as a soldier of fortune. 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. Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin/Public Domain. Thanks to Christopher Columbus, the Spanish were the first to gain a foothold in the New World and profit from all of its treasures. The initial timeline of the Spanish conquests of the New World from Ch. 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. Hoping to claim this wealth and territory for Spain and themselves, conquistadors, or “conquerors,” sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. They brought Catholicism, a religion the Indians didn’t understand. Th… Soon after Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, the Spanish began to hear stories of civilizations with immense riches. 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. Learn term:conquistadors = spanish conquerors in the new world. And, he won the battle and civil war. Contact address: sotirovic@global-politics.eu. The Spanish Conquest of the New World Hernán Cortés 1485-1547. 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. It was soon followed by forcing them to do harsh physical works that were fully exploited by the Spaniards. These unions produced mestizos and mulattos respectively. 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. He is credited with leading the first European expedition to discover the Pacific Ocean (which he referred to as the "South Sea"). Hernán Cortés arrived on Hispaniola in 1504 and participated in the conquest of the Island. Meanwhile Spanish migrants poured into the New World. 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. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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. What were the conquistadors primarily driven by? He was last seen floating off on a raft in 1528. The conquest of much of the New World by Spanish conquistadors during those few years was surely one of history's turning points. Many would-be conquistadors explored immense areas but conquered nothing and founded no permanent settlements. 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.) There were some recorded cases that the number of dead mineworkers was so high that their corpses were not buried but rather left to be eaten by wild animals and vulture birds. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa (1475-1519) was a Spanish conquistador and explorer of the early colonial era. However, when he returned to Hispaniola in November 1493, he found there abandoned small garrison he left and fortress destroyed. The Great Lady. Francisco de Orellana was one of the lucky ones who got in early on Pizarro's conquest of the Inca. All accumulated funds to be forwarded monthly to our outstanding authors. The Spanish made fine swords and armor. 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. 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. Hernan Cortes had many subordinates in his epic conquest of the mighty Aztec 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. The Aztecs have been as well as in some cases engaged in extreme cruelty against their enemies. From the facts’ point of view, human sacrifice was unquestionably a part of Aztec religious life and tradition. Similarly, it was done in Cuba where Spaniards established their control in 1511. His expedition was a disaster of colossal proportions: only four out of 300 men survived, and he was not among them. 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. He described them as the fertile and lush lands (Hispaniola and Cuba) expressing his vision of highly productive agriculture manned by native Indian slaves. 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. Those “European” microbes killed between half and 95% of the pre-Colombian Native American population who have been totally helpless in fighting against them. The conquistadors discovered and occupied the Caribbean, Latin America (without Brazil), South and South-West today’s USA, and the Philippines. 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. There were several reasons for such a demographic catastrophe of the Native Americans. From one point of view, there is no evidence, i.e. He soon came into contact with the mighty Aztec Empire, home to millions of citizens and thousands of warriors. The general term “conquistador” refers to Spanish and Portuguese adventurers/warriors who led the expeditions into the New World during the Age of Exploration. 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. Owner & Editor of POLICRATICUS - Electronic Magazine On Global Politics www.global-politics.eu According to de Las Casas, women and men were given to eat only wild grasses. 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. 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. 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. Pizarro was killed by the son of a former rival in 1541. Francisco Pizarro took a page from Cortes' book, capturing Atahualpa, Emperor of the... Lope de Aguirre, Madman of El Dorado. In this conquistadors’ expedition participated de Las Casas as a chaplain who described once again the horrific cruelties inflicted on the Indians by the Spaniards. Columbus and his conquistadors killed native elites and forced the native into forced labor in both mines and on the land. 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. In the West Indies. The males have been dying in the golden and silver mines from overwork and starvation. Columbus did not come to the Americas to enslave or destroy its native peoples as he arrived just for gold, silver, and riches. 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. 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. DOCUMENT 6 The excerpt below is from a letter written by Father Kino, a Catholic Priest, to a friend back in Spain. 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. flashcards on Quizlet. 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. You probably had to be a little crazy to be a conquistador in the first place. The natives of the Bahamas were very much eliminated like the islands around Puerto Rico. Such ideology included and physical elimination of the Native Americans or “barbarians” not being equal with the Iberians regarding their humanity. Thank you in advance! In other words, according to the official tradition of the Christian Church, Constantine saw in a dream the sign of the cross. You probably had to be a little crazy … The only remaining Muslim state on the peninsula (in fact, since 1249) was the Emirate of Granada. In the heat of battle, a wearied Aztec fighter looked up to see a vision of the Virgin … The word Conquistador literally means conqueror – the men and women who explored the New World, and claimed it’s land for the Spanish crown. 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. 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. 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. 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”). 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. 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. Satisfactory documentary of Spanish conquest of Aztec city of Tenochtitlan Still, Lope de Aguirre was crazier than most. Alien microbes traveled more quickly compared to the West European conquerors themselves. 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. with free interactive flashcards. That was the Indian response to the Spanish rape of the local females and attacks on the Indian property. However, the Spaniards have not been much better at dealing with the Aztecs and other Native Americans. Similar truth was about women too. 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). All of these islands in the mid-16th century were abandoned and desolate. 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. 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. 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. 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. Spanish explorers with hopes of conquest in the New World were known as conquistadores. What the Conquistadors Brought to the New World. Diego de Almagro was another unlucky conquistador. Where they reckless adventurers or simply paid mercenaries of the Spanish crown? Regardless of their enviable feats and egregious plundering, the question can naturally be raised – who were these Spanish Conquistadors? The natives rebelled on several occasions, but Pizarro and his brothers always managed to put these insurrections down. 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. The Spanish Conquistadors tend to be a controversial topic. 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. Millions of them died of diseases brought by the Iberians like influenza, measles, smallpox, or typhus. That's what inspired his voyage 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. “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. The fact was that the imperative for conversion into Roman Catholicism accompanied this new type of crusaders to the Americas. Within 20 years of Columbus’ discovery of Hispaniola, the native population fell from one... 2 Forced Labor and Slavery. 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 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. It was made by Constantine’s order a great “Labarum” – a long cross. 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. Spanish horses were instrumental in the conquest of the New World. Francisco Pizarro took a page from Cortes' book, capturing Atahualpa, Emperor of the Inca, in 1532. After Columbus brought news of the new world to Europe many people went to the new world in search of land and riches. 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. The West European idea of what to do with the Native Americans has been slowly in progress since the mid-16th century. Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin, Tlaxcala Town Hall. University lecturer. Although the Spanish were still engaged in the Reconquistaat that time, most of the Iberian Peninsula was already in Christian hands. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Ch. Not All of Them Were Spanish. Returning to Peru, he went to war with Pizarro, lost, and was executed. The desire for gold. 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In 1519, the ambitious Hernán Cortés set out from Cuba with 600 men on an expedition to the mainland in present-day Mexico. Cortés then led the exploration of the Yucatán Peninsula in hopes of attaining glory. 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. They got their name from being both conquerors and explorers. 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. Many view them as brutal and believe what they did to the natives to be barely human. In 1519, Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec/Mexica Empire. 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. Native communities were attacked and enslaved and any treasures they may have had such as gold, silver or pearls were taken. The island of Cuba became totally depopulated due to the forced transfer of around half of a million of the natives to Hispaniola for the sake to replace the Indian workers who had already died there. His last shot was as leader of an expedition to the north. 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. Well, the answer is far more simple – they were soldiers, more specifically disfranchised, professional soldiers. 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. After... Francisco Pizarro c. 1474-1541. From the time of Constantine the Great, the “Labarum” became the banner of the East Roman Empire or the Byzantine Empire. 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. However, since the beginning of the 16th century, the Indians were obliged to support a new Spanish population by their work, services, and food gathering. The mothers of babies promptly saw their milk dry up and their children die. Although he was richly rewarded, he still wanted more loot, so he set off with Gonzalo Pizarro and more than 200 Spanish conquistadors in search of the legendary city of El Dorado in 1541. 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. 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. However, the newly brought peoples have been deprived of food, water and were housed in unsanitary dwellings. ORIENTAL REVIEW reckons on your donations to develop the project into the global online Research Centre. 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. In the Spanish colonies, how did nearly all American Indians die? 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. Spaniards, often single, young, and male, emigrated for the various promises of land, wealth, and social advancement. 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. It is true that Ch. 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. 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