CH 16.2

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Conquest & Colonies
Chapter 16: Section 2
Spain Builds an Empire
After European explorers reached the Americas,
countries began to scramble to establish colonies
and empires in the lands they had found.
 Among the first countries to successfully settle in
the Americas was Spain
 They eventually conquered the two greatest native
empires of the Americas, the Aztecs and Incas.

Spain in the Caribbean

The first areas settled by the Spanish
were Caribbean islands such as
Hispaniola and Cuba.
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Spain in the Caribbean

Columbus never found the gold he was
looking for.
 Spanish introduced encomienda system.
– a colonist was given a certain amount of land and a
number of Native Americans to work the land for
him.
– In exchange, the colonist was required to teach the
native workers about Christianity.
– system became the basis for nearly all Spanish
settlements on the mainland as well.
Spain in the Caribbean

Negatives of the encomienda system
– Terrible for Native Americans
– Overwork and mistreatment took a terrible toll on
the native population.
– Diseases spread by Europeans.
• Smallpox, tuberculosis, measles, and other deadly
diseases had been unknown in the Americas.
• Native Americans had no resistance to these illnesses,
and millions died.
Small Pox is a killer…
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http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/smallpox-images/
Measles
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Tuberculosis
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http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Tuberculosis_Pictures/overview/adam_images?img=1
Conquest in Mexico

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Some Spaniards moved
to the mainland to set
up colonies.
– Hernan Cortez led an
expedition to Mexico that
ended with the conquest
of the Aztec Empire.
– conquistador, or
conqueror, Spanish
military leaders who
fought against the native
peoples of the Americas.
Conquest in Mexico

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Moctezuma II
The Aztecs
– Were very powerful
and ruled much of
Mexico
– were unpopular with
those they had
conquered
– Cortes was able to
use this lack of
popularity to his
advantage.
Conquest in Mexico

Cortez reached the
Aztec capital,
Tenochtitlan
 Cortes’ small band
of Spanish soldiers
was joined by
thousands of Native
Americans.
– They wanted to
defeat the Aztecs.
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Conquest in Mexico

Why was Cortes
successful?
– Native American allies
– Metal weapons and
heavy armor
– Guns
– Horses (never seen by
Aztecs)
– Diseases weakened
native population
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Spanish Conquistador
The Conquest of Peru

Francisco Pizarro
led an expedition to
Peru
– 10 yrs. after Cortes
defeats Aztecs
– He had heard of the
great wealth of
Peru’s Inca Empire
– He hoped to win
some of that wealth
for himself.
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The Conquest of Peru

Inca were weakened by
disease.
– Smallpox

New emperor, Atahualpa
and Pizarro meet (1532)
– Pizarro demanded the
emperor convert to
Christianity.
– Atahualpa refused
• Taken prisoner
• Gives fortune in gold and
silver
• Spanish kill him and go on
to conquer the empire.
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Life in the Spanish Empire
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Life in the Spanish Empire

Spain gained control
of a huge empire in
the Americas
– Peru (Inca)
– Mexico (Aztecs)

Viceroys selected
– each ruled a large
area in the king’s
name.
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Life in the Spanish Empire

Spanish colonial economy was based on the
mining of gold and silver, though farming was
also common.
 For labor in both mines and on farms, the
Spanish enslaved Native Americans.
 Disease and mistreatment took a toll on the
native population, which dropped by more
than 90 percent from an estimated 50
million to only 4 million.
Life in the Spanish Empire

Some Spaniards were
appalled at the treatment
of Native Americans.
– Most vocal of reformers
was a priest Bartolome
de Las Casas.
– Seeking to protect the
Native Americans, Las
Casas recommended
replacing them as laborers
with imported African
slaves.
– Slave labor soon
became a common
practice in the Americas.
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Bartolome de Las Casas
The Portuguese in Brazil

Treaty of Tordesillas
– Signed in 1494, drew an imaginary line
through the Atlantic.
– Everything to the west of this line, including
most of the then-undiscovered Americas,
would belong to Spain.
– Everything to the east would be
Portuguese. Of the Americas, only Brazil
remained as a Portuguese colony.
Treaty of Tordesillas
S
P
A
I
N
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Portugal
got
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Brazil!
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