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The Spanish Explorers
Ch. 5
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
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.
After Columbus’s 4th
voyage he became
the governor of a
new settlement in
Santo Domingo on
the island of
He was disliked by
his men because he
enslaved and killed
thousands of
natives. He was
eventually arrested
and sent back to
Spain in chains. Columbus died in 1506. This is his Tomb in Seville, Spain
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.
"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