Their arrival in the Americas did lead to further exploration and discovery, but at significant cost. The Spanish Conquistadors were a brutal group of colonizers that managed to make the King of Spain very wealthy by robbing the natives of their fortune and lives. Some men, seeking gold, joined Cortes and Pizarro from other countries. Ehinger was known for his brutality and wickedness, as he tortured the natives for any information about hidden gold and treasure.
The German would not even be brought back to his home country for burial; instead he was left behind, buried under an unmarked tree. A fitting end to a cruel life. And while the majority died of disease brought to the New World, that should not discount the many that met their end by the sword. The Conquistadors were responsible for countless atrocities that would make even the Aztec gods squeamish.
The Cholula Massacre was a brutal statement by the Conquistadors as to who was now in power. Cortes assembled the nobles of the city and accused them of treachery before massacring the unarmed men, women and children.
Outside of the city, rival native factions attacked, leaving the city in a state of panic. InAlvarado would carry out a similar attack, claiming the Aztec nobles were conspiring to murder the Spanish because of their imprisonment of Emperor Montezuma.
Thousands of Aztec nobles were killed during the festival of Toxcatl, a religious festival. The massacre did rally the Aztecs to finally fight back, and they were able to temporarily push the Spanish out of their city. Both the Aztec and Inca empires were naturally expansive and brutal to their rival factions.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, aggrieved natives took up arms against their former oppressors, not fully understanding who they were aligning themselves with. Malinalia native woman, was arguably more important to Cortes than his muskets and steel. She served as his interpreter, helping Cortes understand Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. She even saved their lives on more than one occasion.
In one instance, a wife of a military general warned Malinali not to accompany the Spanish as they would be attacked. The woman told Malinali to stay behind and marry her son instead. Malinali told Cortes of the potential treachery, leading to the Cholula Massacre. The Conquistadors were searching for treasure, riches that would make them as wealthy as the King of Spain.
In Peru, Francisco Pizarro made the captured Inca Emperor Atahualpa fill a room full of gold in exchange for his freedom. Not only did he meet their demands, producing 13, pounds of gold, they also gave twice that amount in silver. Not only did the Conquistadors hope to find treasure, but they also hoped to have their wildest fantasies proven to be true.
Perhaps the most famous pursuit of historical myths were the countless expeditions in search of El Dorado. After word had spread of the success of Cortes and Pizarro, and the gold and silver they had found, more Europeans ventured to the New World believing that El Dorado must be real. They searched tirelessly for this last great goldmine. Dozens of expeditions came up empty, unable to find this mythical city. Finally, innearly two centuries after the first Conquistadors, the European expeditions stopped.
El Dorado would never be found.From the moment of Christopher Columbus' discovery of lands previously unknown to Europe inthe New World captured the imagination of European adventurers. Thousands of men came to the New World to seek fortune, glory, and land. For two centuries, these men explored the New World, conquering any native people they came across in the name of the King of Spain and the hope of gold.
They came to be known as the conquistadors.
Who were these men? The word conquistador comes from Spanish and means "he who conquers. Conquistadors came from all over Europe. Some were German, Greek, Flemish, and so on, but most of them came from Spain, particularly southern and southwestern Spain. The conquistadors typically came from families ranging from the poor to the lower nobility. The very high-born rarely needed to set off in search of adventure. Conquistadors had to have some money to purchase the tools of their trade, such as weapons, armor, and horses.
Many of them were veteran professional soldiers who had fought for Spain in other wars, like the reconquest of the Moors or the "Italian Wars" Pedro de Alvarado was a typical example. He was from the province of Extremadura in southwestern Spain and was the younger son of a minor noble family. He could not expect any inheritance, but his family had enough money to purchase good weapons and armor for him.
He came to the New World in specifically to seek his fortune as a conquistador. Although most of the conquistadors were professional soldiers, they weren't necessarily well-organized. They were not a standing army in the sense that we think of it. In the New World, at least, they were more like mercenaries. They were free to join any expedition they wanted to and could theoretically leave at any time, although they tended to see things through.
They were organized by units. Footmen, harquebusiers, cavalry, and so on served under trusted captains who were responsible to the expedition leader. Expeditions, such as Pizarro's Inca campaign or the countless searches for the city of El Doradowere expensive and privately financed although the King still expected his 20 percent cut of any valuables discovered.
Sometimes the conquistadors themselves chipped in funds for an expedition in the hopes that it would discover great wealth. Investors were also involved: wealthy men who would provision and equip an expedition expecting a share of the spoils if it discovered and looted a rich native kingdom. There was some bureaucracy involved, as well. A group of conquistadors could not just pick up their swords and head off into the jungle. They had to secure official written and signed permission from certain colonial officials first.
Armor and weapons were crucially important for a conquistador. Footmen had heavy armor and swords made of fine Toledo steel if they could afford them. Crossbowmen had their crossbows, tricky weapons which they had to keep in good working order. The most common firearm at the time was the harquebus, a heavy, slow-to-load rifle. Most expeditions had at least a few harquebusiers along.
In Mexico, most conquistadors eventually abandoned their heavy armor in favor of the lighter, padded protection the Mexicans used. Horsemen used lances and swords. Larger campaigns might have some artillerymen and cannons along, as well as shot and powder. Some conquistadors claimed that they were attacking the New World natives to spread Christianity and save the natives from damnation. Many of the conquistadors were, indeed, religious men. However, the conquistadors were far more interested in gold and loot.The encomienda system was put in place in several areas, most importantly in Peru.
Spain's American Colonies and the Encomienda System
Under the encomienda system, prominent Spaniards were entrusted with Native Peruvian communities. In exchange for the stolen labor of Indigenous people and tribute, the Spanish lord would provide protection and education. In reality, however, the encomienda system was thinly-masked enslavement and led to some of the worst horrors of the colonial era. The word encomienda comes from the Spanish word encomendarmeaning "to entrust.
In the Americas, the first encomiendas were handed out by Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean. Spanish conquistadors, settlers, priests, or colonial officials were given a repartimientoor grant of land. These lands were often quite vast. The land included any Indigenous cities, towns, communities, or families that lived there. The Indigenous people were supposed to provide tribute, in the form of gold or silver, crops, and foodstuffs, animals such as pigs or llamas or anything else the land produced.
The Indigenous people could also be made to work for a certain amount of time, say on a sugarcane plantation or in a mine. In return, the encomendero was responsible for the well-being of the enslaved people and was to see to it that they were converted and educated about Christianity.
The Spanish crown reluctantly approved the granting of encomiendas because it needed to reward the conquistadors and establish a system of governance in the newly-conquered territories, and the encomiendas were a quick-fix that killed both birds with one stone.Que numero es unicable en directv
The system essentially made landed nobility out of men whose only skills were murder, mayhem, and torture: the kings hesitated to set up a New World oligarchy which could later prove troublesome. It also swiftly led to abuses: encomenderos made unreasonable demands of the Native Peruvians who lived on their lands, working them excessively or demanding tribute of crops that could not be grown on the land.
These problems appeared quickly. In Peru, where encomiendas were granted on the ruins of the rich and mighty Inca Empire, the abuses soon reached epic proportions. The encomenderos there showed an inhuman indifference to the suffering of the families on their encomiendas.
They did not change the quotas even when crops failed or disasters struck: many Native Peruvians were forced to choose between fulfilling quotas and starving to death or failing to meet quotas and facing the often-lethal punishment of the overseers.
Men and women were forced to work in mines for weeks at a time, often by candlelight in deep shafts. The mercury mines were particularly lethal. During the first years of the colonial eraNative Peruvians died by the hundreds of thousands.
The owners of the encomiendas were not supposed to ever visit the encomienda lands: this was supposed to cut down on abuses.Pizarro departed for Peru in with men and 37 horses. Taking advantage of a civil war among the natives, Pizarro captured the reigning Inca ruler, Atahuallpaand, when Almagro arrived from Panama, conquered the capital city of Cuzco in November Pizarro founded a new capital, Limain Meanwhile, Alvarado arrived from Guatemala with intent to capture Quitobut he was persuaded to sell his army and ships to Almagro and Pizarro.
Later a quarrel between Almagro and Pizarro erupted in into a civil war, which Pizarro won. Pizarro himself was murdered in Pedro de Valdivia explored Chilefounding the city of Santiago in The conquistadores, given more to fighting and the search for gold than to governance, were quickly replaced by administrators and settlers from Spain. Conquistador Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite verified Cite. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.Oci processing time houston
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Read More on This Topic. Pedrarias expanded the colony but was responsible for enslaving and murdering the Indian population, despite royal orders for more humane Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Pedrarias expanded the colony but was responsible for enslaving and murdering the Indian population, despite royal orders for more humane treatment.
Eyewitness accounts of Aztec culture on the eve of the conquest are, of course, the most directly pertinent sources because they describe Aztec culture before it became transformed by the Spanish conquest. History at your fingertips.
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Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.The genocide of indigenous peoples is the mass destruction of entire communities of indigenous peoples. While the concept of genocide was formulated by Raphael Lemkin in the midth century, the expansion of various European colonial powers such as the British and Spanish empires and the subsequent establishment of colonies on indigenous territory frequently involved acts of genocidal violence against indigenous groups in the AmericasAustraliaAfrica and Asia.
He saw this genocide as a two-stage process, the first being the destruction of the indigenous population's way of life. In the second stage, the newcomers impose their way of life on the indigenous group. Some scholars, among them Lemkin, have argued that cultural genocidesometimes called ethnocideshould also be recognized.
A people group may continue to exist, but if it is prevented from perpetuating its group identity by prohibitions of its cultural and religious practices, practices which are the basis of its group identity, this may also be considered a form of genocide.
Examples of this form of genocide include the treatment of Tibetans by the Government of China and the treatment of Native Americans by the Federal government of the United States.
The concept of genocide was defined in by Raphael Lemkin. For Lemkin, genocide was broadly defined and included all attempts to destroy a specific ethnic group, whether strictly physical through mass killings, or cultural or psychological through oppression and destruction of indigenous ways of life. The UN definition, which is used in international lawis narrower than Lemkin's, and states that genocide is: "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroyin whole or in parta national, ethnic, racial or religious group," as such: .
The determination of whether a historical event should be considered genocide can be a matter of scholarly debate. Historians often draw on broader definitions such as Lemkin's, which sees colonialist violence against indigenous peoples as inherently genocidal.
It still is common practice for [the descendants of colonizers] to blame disease alone for the decimation of Native populations, thus exonerating themselves [and lineage] of any moral blame. However, such deaths were seen, by the Puritans particularly, as the Lord having "cleared our title to what we possess. Historians and scholars whose work has examined this history in the context of genocide have included historian Jeffrey Ostler,  historian David Stannard anthropological demographer Russell Thornton Indigenous Studies scholar Vine Deloria, Jr.
Stannard compares the events of colonization in the Americas with the definition of genocide in the UN convention, and writes that.
In light of the U.
How many Conquistadores were there? What countries were they from?
Thornton describes as genocide the direct impact of warfare, violence and massacres, many of which had the effect of wiping out entire ethnic groups. Proponents of the default position emphasize attrition by disease despite other causes equally deadly, if not more so. In doing so they refuse to accept that the colonization of America was genocidal by plan, not simply the tragic fate of populations lacking immunity to disease.
The effects of diseases such as smallpoxmeasles and cholera during the first century of colonialism contributed greatly to the death toll, while violence, displacement and warfare by colonizers against the Indians contributed to the death toll in subsequent centuries. It is also apparent that the shared history of the hemisphere is one framed by the dual tragedies of genocide and slavery, both of which are part of the legacy of the European invasions of the past years.
Indigenous people north and south were displaced, died of disease, and were killed by Europeans through slavery, rape, and war. Inabout million people lived in the western hemisphere.A ball park, don't be so literal. And yes, the word is Spanish. There were also Portuguese Conquistadores; there could be other countries.
Just making sure. There is no exact number of how many conquistadors there were. There were many, and they were the ones who explored the americas.
Cortez and his men were all conquistadores, and to say exactly how many is impossible. They were from Spain and Portugal, and there were other similiar people from France and England but of other names. Trending News. We could be on verge of NFL's biggest trade ever. Teenager charged in fatal shootings at Indiana home. Panel overturns 4 Facebook content takedowns. City officials try to oust ex-MMA star as mayor pro tem.
Heigl: Being labeled 'difficult' still angers me. Toyota was world's No. Drug-resistant infections thrive during pandemic. Pelosi blasts GOP choice for education panel. Update: A ball park, don't be so literal. Answer Save. Austin Lv 5. William Lv 7. Do you seriously think there is an actual number? I doubt a list exists. As for "conquistadors" Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.The first Africans from Spain were known as ladinosor hispanicized Africans, and were soldiers, servants, settlers, and slaves.
They began to arrive in the Americas as early as the 15th century, many as auxiliaries to the Spanish and Portuguese explorers. Many people of African descent initially saw passage to the New World as a means of bettering their social and economic positions.
Those who voluntarily set out on expeditions and became part of armed auxiliaries were more likely than those in unarmed roles to gain their freedom. The African pioneers who set out for the New World contributed greatly to the building and maintenance of colonial societies.
Together with the Europeans, they formed a specialized and limited pool of human resources circulating througout the circumCaribbean area. Between and Africans and their descendants were an integral part of the exploration of Spanish America from the 15th through the 18th centuries.
Spanish expeditions within what would become the United States largely covered Florida and the Southwest. The exploration of these lands required people who would not only open up the land, but settle, develop, and secure the land as well. African men and women were part of a number of Spanish expeditions. This expedition included Esteban, perhaps the most notable African male to aid in the exploration of North America. The Coronado Expedition of to Southwestern North America included a free African man who later served as an interpreter and would eventually become a Franciscan friar.
The Juan Guerra de Resa Expedition of included African soldiers, their mulatto wives and children, and Isabel de Olvera, a mulatta woman. These are just three examples of the many expeditions which included Africans and African Americans among their members. The Panfilo de Narvaez Expedition gives an example of how Africans potentially adjusted to life circumstances during the Spanish phase of exploration. The account of Esteban is one example of adaptation and survival in the New World.
As Juan Flores and others recount, he was one of the four survivors in the ill-fated journey of Panfilo de Narvaez in from Cuba to the Florida coast Flores After spending many years in captivity among Indian tribes, Esteban—the gunbearer, scout, slave, and solider—escaped and joined Cabeza de Vaca and company on a trek across the continent.Avial movie
Not only was Esteban a remarkable survivor, one of the four out of to survive, but it was believed that Esteban was a powerful healer and medicine man. He would later spend four years walking from Florida to Mexico City and would serve as a guide for missionaries. It is also reported that Esteban had many relationships with indigenous women. He was eventually killed while trying to enter the Zuni town of Hawikuh. Read more about Esteban. Each of these expeditions contributed to encouraging the further exploration of Western North America.
These expeditions also opened up the West to people of African descent. As can be seen, these pioneers were essential to the settling, developing and maintenance of towns along the Western frontier. Many people of African descent used military service as a means to emancipation and inclusion into Spanish society. As the numbers of expeditions increased and the people within Spanish America began to settle, the need to secure the land and the riches associated with it grew as well. Black conquistadors figured prominently in the securing of these lands.
As a result of their military successes, some black conquistadors were awarded land grants and special recognition, with Chile being the only country in which black conquistadors received encomiendas. Juan Garrido is one example of a black conquistador who accompanied Ponce de Leon on his Caribbean expeditions as well as Hernan Cortes in Mexico.
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