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The Spanish Explorers
Key terms
 Reconquista – Reconquest
 Indigenous - originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.
 Conquistadors - a conqueror, especially one of the Spanish conquerors of
Mexico and Peru in the 16th century
 Tribute - a payment by one ruler or nation to another in acknowledgment of
submission or as the price of protection
 Viceroyalty - a territory governed by a viceroy
 Viceroy - a ruler exercising authority in a colony on behalf of a sovereign
Beginning of Age of Contact
300 years before
Columbus set sail on
his voyage Spanish
were trying to
reconquer the Iberian
Regaining control of
this land in Europe
was called the
Reconquista or
Christopher Columbus 1492
Propelled by Europe’s
goal of finding new trade
routes to Asia,
Christopher Columbus
(Cristóbal Colón) sailed
to the Americas.
However, not until after
his death would the
value of his discovery
truly be known
Christopher Columbus
Tried to get funding for trip from Portugal
After Being turned down he turned to
Because of the success of the
Reconquista King Ferdinand and Queen
Isabella were ready to gain glory and
wealth in other areas
They happily funded Columbus’ trip at
Portugal’s expense
At first they called the land the Indies because of
the early belief that they were in India
Eventually Spanish explorers realized that the
Americas could provide even greater riches than
what could have been earned through trade with
Asia. For the next 150 years after Columbus’s
voyages, adventurers explored the new lands in
search of wealth.
Precedent - an earlier
event or action that is
regarded as an example or
guide to be considered in
subsequent similar
After Columbus’s
4th voyage he
became the
governor of a new
settlement in Santo
Domingo on the
island of Hispaniola.
He was disliked by
his men because he
enslaved and killed
thousands of
natives. He was
eventually arrested
and sent back to
Columbus died in 1506. This is his Tomb in Seville, Spain
Spain in chains.
Enslave - To make someone a slave
Columbus’s voyages led to further
European exploration and colonization,
forever changing the Americas.
The Conquistadors
Spanish Explorers at this
time are called
Conquistadors which
means conquerors.
They were looking for
glory, gold, and adventure.
They would often practice
brutality to get it.
Believed it was their
Christian duty to defeat all
"We Spaniards have a disease of the heart,
for which the only cure is gold." Cortes
1521 Cortes
Hernan Cortes was a Conquistador that landed in
modern Veracruz, Mexico.
He marched into the interior of Mexico and into the
capital of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan
Took control of the city by kidnapping the Aztec King,
Moctezume, then fought and destroyed the Aztec
army with their superior weapons.
Cortes renamed the city Mexico and the land
became New Spain. This established a Spanish
Empire in the Americas
Won tons of gold and silver for Spain and himself
In 1519 Pineda was the
first European to travel
along the coast of Texas
and map and explore the
Gulf of Mexico
de Pineda