spain2 - populations The numbers of these Native Americans...

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The four voyages of Columbus (between 1492 and 1504) served to open the door to European exploration, colonization and exploitation of the New World, although Columbus himself never set foot in North America. By the time the English began active colonization, the Spanish had already explored large portions of North America, especially in the South and Southwest. The Spanish explorers encountered three major civilizations in the New World: the Incas in present-day Peru and the Mayans and Aztecs in Mexico and Central America. The conquistadors were truly amazed by what they found — immense wealth in gold and silver, complex cities rivaling or surpassing those in Europe, and remarkable artistic and scientific achievements. Spanish conquest in the New World was driven by the three 'G's—gold, glory, and gospel. In his drive to gather riches, Columbus (and later conquistadors) enslaved and decimated the local
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Unformatted text preview: populations. The numbers of these Native Americans plummeted, in part because of war against the colonial forces, but also because of the introduction of diseases to which the natives had no natural immunity. The natives contracted malaria, smallpox and measles from the Europeans, but passed on syphilis to the invaders in a morbid exchange. In 1494, shortly after Columbus’ first voyage, the pope divided the newly discovered lands between Spain and Portugal — both Catholic nations, but fierce rivals. The line of demarcation crossed through the hump of South America. Spain was to have the lands to the west and Portugal those to the east (accounting for the use of the Portuguese language in Brazil today). The most profitable Spanish activities in the New World occurred in the southern portions, while less rewarding ventures took place in northern areas....
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