Spanish colonization of America

Article

May 25, 2022

The Spanish colonization of America (1492–1898, conquist, conquist La Conquista) began with the discovery by the Spanish navigator Columbus of the first Caribbean islands in 1492, which the Spaniards considered part of Asia. Continued in different regions in different ways. Most colonies managed to gain independence in the early XIX century, when Spain itself was experiencing a period of deep socio-economic decline. However, a number of island regions (Cuba, Puerto Rico, and temporarily the Dominican Republic) ruled Spain until 1898, when the United States deprived Spain of its colonies as a result of the war. Prerequisites for colonization The search for a new path to India by the Spaniards (as well as the Portuguese, Dutch, French, etc.) was dictated by the accelerated pace of European society, growth in industry and trade, the need to find large reserves of gold (later reflected in the legends of Eldorado and Paititi). which has grown sharply. Also important was the fact that in Spain itself, the Reconquista of a country whose south had been liberated from the Moors had just ended. Over the long 8 centuries, the Reconquista formed a large class of soldiers in Spain, including military adventurers accustomed to living off booty, looting, looting, and the exploitation of Moriscos, under the guise of spreading the Christian faith and freeing Iberia from infidel Muslims. It was urgent to occupy these knights with new projects of conquest, otherwise their stay in the country could threaten a social explosion. Accelerated population growth in Spain has also led to a shortage of land in the arid, low-water south of the country. In addition, after the end of the Reconquista, all Moorish lands were soon divided, and a large number of so-called hidalgos appeared in the country, the youngest sons of knights who inherited and wandered in search of quick profits, trading banditry on the country's roads. All these groups later formed the basis of the class of conquistadors. Initially, Spain planned to continue the expulsion of Muslims from North Africa, but the Muslims put up strong resistance and, apart from capturing a number of small coastal fortresses, little progress has been made.