Spanish Empire Research Paper

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The Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire is one of the largest empires to be established in history. It stretched over many continents and had many islands. Spain expanded its territories over four centuries, starting in 1492 and ending in 1892. One of the influences from the Spanish Empire today is that the United States was founded under Spanish control. The motivating force for Spanish exploration, both on land and overseas, was the spread of Catholicism and the unearthing of natural resources and precious metals such as gold and silver by taking over other empires such as the Aztecs and Incas. The Origins of the Spanish Empire begin with the Reconquista. The Reconquista was a period of about 750 years during which many Christian Kingdoms…show more content…
The formation of the Spanish Empire begins with the death of Isabella I in 1504. Her death played an influential role in Castile. Ferdinand II saw her death as an opportunity to expand his land, but was not able to. The Cortes Generales instead chose to crown Juana. However, in 1506, Juana’s husband, Philip I of Habsburg, was crowned King through jure uxoris. Within the same year Philip I died and Castile had no proper ruler. King Philip I and Queen Juana had a son named Charles who was expected to take over. However, Charles was only 6 and was not old enough to rule. This gave King Ferdinand II of Aragon the opportunity to rule over Castile as regent. When Ferdinand died in 1516, Charles became King Charles I, the first king of a United Spain. In addition to being Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empires grandson, the lands conquered by the Holy Roman Empire were passed to Charles V. In 1519, Charles V united the kingdoms of Spain and Austria and named it the Holy Roman…show more content…
Bartolome de Las Casas describes the arrival of the Spanish on American soil as “cruel Tygres, Wolves, and Lions, enrag'd with a sharp and redious hunger; for these forty years past, minding nothing else but the slaughter of these unfortunate wretches, whom with diverse kinds of torments neither seen nor heard of before, they have so cruelly and inhumanly butchered, that of three millions of people which Hispaniola it self did contain, there are left remaining alive scarce three hundred persons.” This account for Bartolome de Las Casas exemplifies the cruelty and imperialistic side of Spain. Spain was not just seeking new land, resources, and riches, instead they were seeking a way to exploit natives as they saw them as
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