Openstax U.S. History – 2.1 Portuguese Exploration and Spanish Conquest

Openstax U.S. History – 2.1 Portuguese Exploration and Spanish Conquest

all right this is openstax u.s history chapter 2 early globalization the atlantic world 1492-1650 here we’ll be looking at section 1 portuguese exploration and spanish conquest so a point to make here about the title of this section is the difference between the ways that portugal and spain interact around the world portugal very much was more about establishing an overseas empire so we might say for portugal it was more about a maritime empire and trade which served really as the backbone for portuguese while the spanish while they did have a maritime empire of their own it was more of a land-based empire so we might say land empire that is to conquer large swaths of territory mainly in the new world north and south america uh and more so uh more so organized really as a conquest uh this was a takeover so to speak so the way that portugal and spain differ from one another in their interactions around the world and in the atlantic world are different and it’s worth noting now this term the atlantic world refers to the interactions between uh africans native americans and europeans in fact chapter one the last chapter we talked a little bit about each of these parts of the world and the people that inhabited those regions but that was before 1492 after 1492 so after 1492 all these parts of the world interact with each other and if we look at the atlantic world it’s you know based off of the atlantic ocean which if you were to just draw sort of a crude uh map of both the old world in the new world we’ll just say that south america here we go alaska up here so that’s north america and south america we have africa here saudi arabia india around to china russia scandinavia we’ll do europe here mediterranean the italian boots right old world and new world if we map on to where these areas are located we’ll notice that you know for the americas they’re all along this coast right that’s the americas europe here and africa here and right in the middle of those two land masses is of course the atlantic ocean so the atlantic world then refers to the connections between all these parts that especially after 1492 being the year that columbus made his voyage from spain into the bahamas now all these parts of the world are interconnected with one another and this even gets back at the title of the chapter which is early globalization meaning that there is a emerging global economy emerging global society culture etc etc so let’s first focus on the portuguese and if we’ll recall from last section the portuguese were what we called the pioneers of the age of exploration meaning that they were the first european country to really dedicate a lot of resources and effort to overseas expansion prince henry the navigator who was influential in portugal just go ahead and make a note that he is from portugal helped to establish a navigation school amongst other things that eventually fed into portuguese overseas exploration now for portugal like we mentioned before as compared with spain portugal essentially established strategic holdings that is various bases located around the world these bases served as trading posts and most notably the first ones were in western africa where the portuguese traded for slaves ivory and gold so we might say of these commodities that portugal obtained these things from africa in fact one of the probably one of the more famous portuguese strategic holdings not just in africa but really around the world is almina castle actually i’m gonna adjust this picture so it can be a little bit more visible uh so this is el mina castle uh in africa is where it is and this was a base for which portuguese ships would arrive african traders would then give the portuguese things like slaves ivory and gold amongst other things the portuguese mainly giving the africans weapons amongst other european goods but one important thing to take note of and we mentioned this last section was that many of the slaves were used to grow sugar and it was by sugar right we’re going to say sugar is the crop that brought african slavery to the new world and in addition to establishing these trading posts and strategic holdings in africa the portuguese also would later on establish them in places like india uh modern day indonesia we might just sort of summarize that as southeast asia and other places around the world establishing trade with a lot of different people by contrast the spanish while they were also interested in exploration were much more um ended up having much more to do with conquest and accumulating an empire that consisted of both north and south america like we mentioned last section ferdinand and isabella these were the monarchs of spain they united their crowns to create the modern spanish state they created a unified catholic spain we want to take note of that especially you know spain especially in this time period period we want to associate them very heavily with the catholic church in many ways spain is going to be one of the leading nations champion or championing the cause of the catholic church uh this coincided with the reconquista recall that this was the uh war or really the the 700 year or 800 year conflict between catholics and muslims in spain and this coincided very nicely with the year 1492 which was when the reconquista ended and it was a catholic spain that emerged victorious so after that after having eliminated the um competition so to speak uh ferdinand and isabella and the modern nation of spain could then focus on their own overseas exploration and try and rival portugal the motives for spain why did they want to go out and explore overseas territories well one we want to also note the religious motivation spread catholicism this is very much still in the spirit of the crusades but also of course money to gain the commercial advantage over portugal so there are two different motives at work here one we could say is purely financial the other one we might say is cultural to spread the catholic church now as we know spain eventually hired christopher columbus who [Music] promised or at least claimed that he could arrive in asia by sailing west west to india here recall that the goal of columbus was to sail west to india in order to obtain obtain eastern trade that is you know when we think about eastern at least in this context we could think of places like india and china right that’s what the goal was now columbus miscalculated the size of the world remember that columbus said of the size of the world that it was smaller actually let’s go ahead we’ll say columbus claimed it was smaller and because he was incorrect um he ended up landing on the island of hispaniola with his three ships the nina the pinta and the santa maria so these are columbus’s three ships and october 12 1492 was the date columbus landed in the americas now of course columbus himself believed that he was in asia he actually didn’t know where he was he was obviously mistaken it wasn’t so obvious to him at the time the people that he interacted with were the tinyos the were the indigenous people on hispaniola which was an island go ahead and write that hispaniola is an island in the caribbean bb two b’s or two r’s two b’s uh an island in the caribbean and columbus believing that he had landed on islands called the east indies located in asia used the term indian to describe the people that he came into contact with and ever since that time the name indian has stuck now here’s a picture of the island of hispaniola in your text you know this was one of the first areas that columbus uh chartered or or came into contact with he sailed around a little bit and then eventually made his way back to spain now recall initially columbus was supposed to obtain eastern trade when he returned back to ferdinand and isabella he could not offer what he had promised so instead he promised the king and queen of spain to send him back on subsequent voyages and this is something that we’re not often taught is that after columbus’s first voyage in 1492 he went back to the new world several more times pretty much promising to bring back wealth in the form of slaves and gold so instead of bringing back eastern trade columbus stated that he could still bring back something of value and that’s where really in some ways spanish conquest was born these explorers columbus himself would write pro bonza di moritos or proof of merits these would be letters describing the quote-unquote and again this is where the term new world comes from uh letters describing the new world to influence spanish rulers to send them back in other words these were ways of trying to get royal funding or trying to get what we call royal patronage which would be the support uh and financial resources to do that you know somebody like christopher columbus had the know-how to sail across the atlantic ocean but not necessarily the funds to build three ships to hire a crew of 90 men in fact the only people in spain who had the resources to do that would have been the king or queen so it’s very important for these conquistadors which were typically just maybe not necessarily young but men looking to conquer hence the word conquistadors people and land in the new world and ferdinand and isabella would receive these proofs of merit these letters describing potentially some of the wealth that could be exploited they also contained the aspect of spreading christianity and ferdinand and isabella and other successive spanish monarchs essentially allowed for conquistadors to conquer in the name of spain to conquer in the name of christianity as long as they did it on behalf of the spanish king and so this allowed for then in the aftermath of columbus and this is why columbus is so significant is that it really opened the floodgates for other spaniards and other people in europe the proof of merits circulated around europe and for other people other conquistadors to go into the new world to go into the america and to conquer and steal the wealth of people that lived there it became a story of land and gold for these conquistadors other people who made their way to the new world included amerigo vespucci he was an italian explorer or you know he was from italy uh we might just call him an explorer actually amerigo vespucci he was one of the first ones to recognize that this was in fact not uh asia that this was a new continent and so one of the very earliest map makers uh named the uh the new world or the the new continents after him america so we’ll say amerigo vespucci he is the person america or the americas person the americas is named after right so we don’t live in north and south colombia but we live in north and south america and uh this discovery potentially uh only added a little bit more fuel to the spanish and portuguese rivalry because remember spain wanted to gain a commercial advantage over portugal but by the time of 1494 spain and portugal had really kind of gone along two different paths portugal establishing trade with western africa eventually making their way to india and the spanish sailing west not really looking for trade but rather just looking for conquest so one way that spain and portugal put their rivalry to a rest was with the treaty of tortosius the treaty of tortosius was negotiated by the pope uh leader of the roman catholic church both spain and portugal were catholic nations and the treaty of tortosia split the world east and west between portugal and spain and spain and if we see here again my pictures are a little bit off but we’ll just move them a little bit inwards uh this is a an early map uh you can kind of get a sense for where the continents are located this is the coast of africa here this is the coast of south america and then the caribbean islands here where columbus landed and essentially if we look at the way that both spain and portugal explored you know the portuguese were really about sailing down this way establishing bases and stuff like that here eventually the portuguese made their way over here and were able to exploit a lot of the trade in the indian ocean whereas the spanish on the other hand made their way this way and ended up sending you know conquistadors and other ambitious young men uh in the name of conquest and so what the treaty of tortoise did was that it split the world between the two and so you can actually see the line a little bit here but this is the line right and it said according to this treaty that everything on this side is portugal everything on this side then belongs to spain and kind of interestingly enough from this treaty there was a small part of the new world that landed on portugal’s side and if you know a little bit about languages in south america this ended up being brazil and so whereas pretty much all of the americas maybe save north america speak spanish brazil the primary language is portuguese and this goes all the way back to a treaty that was signed 500 years ago pretty remarkable to note how it has an impact on our world today and um really what that meant at least for spanish conquest of the new world is that at least for spain that was one less enemy that the spanish had to worry about they didn’t need to worry about fighting off the portuguese they only had to overcome the two most complex and powerful empires in the new world so of course from last section we know that one of those empires was the aztec empire located in mesoamerica i know chitlon was the capital city and the spanish conquistador responsible for conquering the aztecs was her non-cortez so we’re going to say spanish conquistador who defeated the aztecs right much like other spanish conquistadors there were rumors about a city in mexico that had a lot of gold and wealth as we know the aztecs frequently conquered their neighbors and extracted wealth from the surrounding area so in a lot of ways tenochtitlan was a golden city cortez and his men took the aztec ruler montezuma hostage so montezuma will say of him he was the aztec emperor the spanish also killed many of the aztec priests in the subsequent rebellion cortez was temporarily kicked out of the city so we might say of the aztec rebellion we might say temporarily removed cortez from the city uh during the rebellion um montezuma was killed by the spaniards and so the aztec emperor was slain however cortez’s conquest wasn’t done there were really two things that were at work here that made cortez’s conquest possible or made the spanish successful one was the fact that many of the people living in the surrounding area of the aztec empire came to resent them recall that the aztecs went to war with their neighbors very frequently and that meant there were a lot of people who were willing to get revenge so when cortes regrouped his men he went and approached local native allies and they were more than willing to get revenge against the aztec empire when cortes returned he had more native americans in his or indigenous people in his army than he had spaniards another thing that was at work was disease when cortez and his men and his animals occupied the very densely populated area of tenochtitlan where called tennochitlan was a city that was built in a lake so there’s not really a lot of space that was one of the most populated cities in the world smallpox absolutely decimated the aztec population so we’ll say native resentment and smallpox made the aztecs oops made the aztecs vulnerable [Music] i made them vulnerable when cortez returned he was successful i know chitlin was conquered and the city was renamed to mexico city we might say about mexico city this became the capital of spanish empire in the new world one example or maybe piece of evidence we might say for cortez’s success in his conquest was malinson who served as a translator we might say of malinson she was a native woman who aided cortez this was one day that one way that cortez and his men could communicate with some of the native alliances or native people there to create alliances melissa and cortez had a child this is believed to be the first mestizo in the new world probably not but um you know at least that’s what the textbook claims and a mestizo is a person who is born of mixed blood or mixed ancestry so mestizo is a person we might say mixed blood of in this case it could really be any european it’s mostly in this context we’re talking about spanish because you’re more likely to see that in the spanish colonies it wasn’t a term that was used in uh you know the english colonies or anything like that it’s a spanish word but we’ll just say european uh we probably will maybe we’ll put spanish in quotes here and native american and in the spanish empire for reasons we’ll talk about in a later chapter the mestizo class actually became a considerable class in the uh what the what was called new spain or the spanish empire in the new world and so just like that one of the most complex and powerful civilizations fell at the hands of a spanish conquistador hernan cortes meanwhile the inca empire another very sophisticated and complex empire fell at the hands of the conquistador francisco pizarro so we’ll say of him he was the one who conquered the inca the incan emperor atawalpa this is the incan emperor was captured by pizarro pizarro and his men extracted a huge ransom and then just like montezuma but probably more intentional in this case atawapa was also murdered at the hands of the spanish one important thing to take note of is that by the time that pizarro had made his way to the incan empire disease had already gotten there first so smallpox in which played a role in cortez’s conquest had made its way to the inca empire and began to wreak havoc on that empire before francisco pizarro arrived also leaving the inca vulnerable to outside attack and so with that both the aztec and the incas fell to the hands of the spanish meanwhile other explorers continued to make their way in north america hoping to find another empire to conquer and plunder the spanish at the time didn’t know that the inca and the aztecs were really the only two um two empires that were sophisticated enough that it warranted this type of conquest but hernan de soto he explored uh the southeastern united states so we want to associate de soto with the southeast places like i don’t know mississippi alabama florida was where he explored francisco coronado explored the southwestern part of the united states you can actually see an image here of some of his explorations he was one of the first europeans to lay eyes on the grand canyon both of these explorers coronado and desoto did not come across any empires quite on the scale of what the aztecs and incas had to offer now all this conquest allowed spain to engage in what we might call a golden age new world silver and gold really led to a flourishing and not just a pure economic sense but even in terms of things like art and literature you know enough money and funds that could go uh towards things like art the ruling dynasty especially you know successively after ferdinand and isabella was the hopsburg dynasty the hopsburg dynasty we might say is one of the most powerful royal families in europe in addition to uh controlling the spanish throne the habsburg dynasty also controlled a lot of other european royal seats they had rulers in austria the netherlands all sorts of different places so one of the most powerful royal families really ever to exist and certainly ever to exist in europe this spanish renaissance or renaissance remember renaissance means rebirth was in part due to the wealth and silver and gold that poured into spain as a result of the conquest this is a image of one of the artistic works from the spanish golden age and perhaps you know story or you know that or novel i don’t know what it is that you might have heard before but don quixote a famous book or whatever it is by miguel cervantes was one of the works that was published during this golden age having a direct connection or maybe not direct but certainly having a connection to what the spain uh what the spanish had found in the new world
rn

Openstax U.S. History - 2.1 Portuguese Exploration and Spanish Conquest

rn

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *