The word Conquistador means conqueror in Spanish and were Spanish soldiers and explorers-‘el conquistador’. The Renaissance and Elizabethan Age of Exploration to the New World were subjugated by the Spanish Conquistadors. The real achievement of the Spanish Conquistadors in acquiring monopolies on much of the Eastern spice trade and their journeys to the new world brought prodigious wealth and power to Spain. The new discoveries made by the Spanish conquistadors brought untold riches in terms of gold, silver, spices and it also brought power and influence. The ultimate question is “what were the Spanish conquistadors’ goal and their point of view?”
The origins of the Spanish conquistadors started when Spain had successfully taken the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors after nearly eight hundred years of conflict. This victory was referred to as the ‘Reconquista’. The term was referred to the eighth centuries during which the Christian kings of the Spanish kingdoms gradually reclaimed their country from the Moors, who had invaded the Liberian Peninsula in 711. The feuding with the Muslim Moors had been seen as a continuation of the Medieval Crusades. The crusades were a series of religious Holy War which had been given the blessing of the Pope (they were fought by Roman Catholic soldiers). The Spanish explorers/ soldiers saw their operation to conquer new lands as a natural extension of the medieval crusades. Roman Catholic Priests and Friars always supplemented the Spanish explorers who were expected to convert heathen natives to Christianity. As a result, the Spanish explorers/Soldiers who traveled to the New World were called of the title of ‘Conquistadors’.
Years after Columbus’s landing to America, Spain became the dominant exploring and colonizing power due to Columbus’s actions. The conquerors came to American in the service of God as well as the search of gold and glory. Thanks to the deposits of gold and silver found in the new world, the European economy was transformed. The Caribbean Sea’s islands served as offshore bases for the staging of the Spanish invasion of the mainland Americans. By the 1530s in Mexico and the 1550s in Peru, colorless colonial administrators had replaced the conquistadores (some of the conquistadors were Indian women and had children). As a result, this formed an offspring known as mestizos, formed a cultural and biological bridge between Latin American’s European and the Indian races.
In about 1519, a Spanish explorer, Hernan Cortes set sail from Cuba with his men and horses. During his journey, he picked up two translators and they were a Spanish prisoner of Mayan-speaking Indians, and an Indian slave named Malinche. Cortes arrived on a location named Veracruz (“True Cross”) on March 4 1519. By establishing a metropolis, he “reluctantly proceeds to capture land for King Charles V of Spain by popular mandate of the city magistrates he appointed were his allies. The local Totonac from Cempoala greeted him with gifts of food, feathers, gold- and women, who always had to be christened before the eager Spanish soldiers were allowed to let them “fix supper for them” (“grind their corn”). As a result, he was educated about the land that was ruled by the lord in the city of Tenochtitlan (the capital of Aztec).
When Cortes was in Totonac, He had an attempt of stealing of the gold and other riches; they were astonished by the beauty of the capital. On June 30 1520, the Aztecs attacked the Spanish because of the Spaniards lust for riches. Then the Spanish countered back and took over the Aztec capital and the rest of the empire on August 13, 1521. After they captured Tenochtitlan was destroyed, most of the Aztec civilization was destroyed with the European Conquest. As a result, the Spaniards brought a few positive effects on the native population which includes domestic animals to America and brought sugar, grains, and fruits as well.
An ironic twist to the intervention of Spanish missionaries when they petitioned successfully, for the end of the Indian slavery, they agreed in the importation of African slaves to replace their labor. Starting with a trickle into the Caribbean islands in the 1510s, slaves, carried commonly by the Portuguese into the Spanish colonies, flooded into the Americans, which includes the opening of gold mining in Mexico, Peru, and Brazil, and later introduce the large scale sugar productions in South America. By the closing of the 16th century, a mediocre amount of about four-thousand enslaved Africans were brought to America per year. In the end, slavery was abolished in American, in prior to the Spanish and Portuguese had imported over twelve million enslaved people from Africa. These Historical events marked the beginning of the civil war era.
In conclusion, The Spanish Conquistadors era had told the revelations of the beginning of the civil rights and the aftermath of Columbus’s landing to America. The main goal of the Conquistadors is finding the gold and riches to bring back to Spain. In short, the Conquistadors era was a Fascinating entrée to world history.