Lecture3 - 1565 to 1640(1 Colonists on the Margins Conquest Begins and Trade Expands The conquest and colonization of what became the United States

Lecture3 - 1565 to 1640(1 Colonists on the Margins Conquest...

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1565 to 1640 (1) Colonists on the Margins Conquest Begins and Trade Expands The conquest and colonization of what became the United States began as Latin America expanded north. Spanish soldiers and friars struggled to colonize Florida and expand Mexico by conquering New Mexico. An unlikely kingdom, England, emerged as Spain’s main European rival in North America. Meanwhile, European fishermen flooded northeastern North America with goods that intensified competition among Indians and began to transform their cultures. Spain Stakes Claim to Florida After founding St. Augustine and defeating the French, Pedro Menéndez had an ambitious vision for Florida. The Spanish, supported by a network of coastal garrisons, could protect sea lanes and salvage shipwrecks more easily. The governor hoped that Indians, awed by Spanish might, would become allies and subjects. In 1566, Menéndez married a Calusa chief’s sister. Baptized as Doña Antonia , she accompanied Menéndez to Havana. Jesuit missionaries arrived that same year to cement Hispanic-Indian alliances by converting Florida Indians and sending chiefs’ sons to Havana to be schooled alongside sons of prominent Cuban colonists. Menéndez also planned a road between his capital, Santa Elena, founded in today’s Georgia in 1566, and the mines of Zacatecas in Mexico so that the Spanish Empire could move silver overland and bypass the pirate-infested Caribbean. But little of his vision became reality. Menéndez ran out of money and lost interest in Florida once he became governor of Cuba in 1567. He had also badly underestimated the distance between Georgia and Mexico. Two expeditions headed west to launch his far-fetched plan. They built small garrisons along the way and returned to Santa Elena. Indians killed off or absorbed each other. Indian resistance and European attacks nearly finished off Florida too. Timucua and French soldiers teamed up to destroy one Spanish fort. Santa Elena and St. Augustine, the last outposts standing by 1574, barely weathered repeated Indian attacks. Thirteen years later, the Spanish abandoned Santa Elena and retreated to a St. Augustine that had just been destroyed by an English raid led by Francis Drake. Enslaved Africans owned by Philip II, king of Spain, assisted recovery efforts, which included construction of a stone fort like those the Spanish were building in their major Caribbean ports to protect them from their European foes.
1565 to 1640 (2) St. Augustine had but 500 residents in 1600 who subsisted mainly on food shipped from Havana. More than half were officers, soldiers, or mariners. Officers and imperial officials had Spanish wives. Soldiers and sailors wed Indian women, including Doña Maria Meléndez, a female chief.

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