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Myths and Truths:

Historically, the conquistador look in Hetalia: Axis Powers is historically wrong in some senses, they were not pirates and they had armor more than a robe and messy cloths.

Truths and facts:
Conquistadors were Spanish and Portuguese soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain and Portugal in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The two perhaps most famous conquistadors were Hernán Cortés who conquered the Aztec Empire and Francisco Pizarro who led the conquest of the Incan Empire. They were second cousins and both of them were born in Extremadura as well as many of the conquerors who were from Spain.

Conquistadors in the Americas resembled a volunteer militia more than than a regular organized military in that they had to supply their own materials, weapons and horses. Some were supported by governments, such as Hernán Cortés, who was funded by Spain.

Authors like Tzvetan Todorov and Jared Diamond have highlighted the short time required for the Spanish conquest and establishment in the Americas. Exposure of these previously remote populations to European diseases caused many more fatalities than the wars themselves, and severely weakened the natives' social structures. The Europeans brought small pox, chicken pox, and measles to South America. Recent genetic studies on the skeletal remains of native peoples found that while many hundreds of thousands were killed by violence, an even higher number died from disease. Some estimate that up to 85% of the drop in population was due to illness (see population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas). Many oral stories maintain that the Indians saw this as a sign of a lack of faith in their old customs. The people in the Americas were not previously exposed to the variety of European diseases that caused their eventual demise. The diseases moved much faster than the advancing Spanish. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Incan empire, a large portion of the population, including the emperor, had already died in a smallpox epidemic. When Francisco Coronado and the Spanish first explored the Rio Grande Valley in 1540, in modern New Mexico, many of the chieftains complained of new diseases that affected their tribes. The Spanish curanderos (folk healers) recognized the symptoms and attempted to relieve some of the ailments.

Recently developed tree-ring evidence shows that the illness which lead to decline of the population in Aztec Mexico was not only a result of European diseases, but also a result of a great drought which occurred in the 16th century, and which led up to and continued through to the arrival of the Spanish conquest. This has added to the body of epidemiologic evidence indicating that epidemics of cocoliztli were indigenous fevers transmitted by rodents and aggravated by the extreme drought. The epidemic of cocoliztli from 1545 to 1548 killed an estimated 5 to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population. The cocoliztli epidemic from 1576 to 1578 killed an estimated, additional 2 to 2.5 million people, or about 50% of the remaining native population.

The Laws of Burgos, created in 1512–1513, were the first codified set of laws governing the behavior of Spanish settlers in America, particularly with regards to Native Americans. They forbade the maltreatment of indigenous people, and endorsed their conversion to Catholicism. The laws were never truly enforced and had little impact. In the 16th century perhaps 240,000 Europeans entered American ports. By the late 16th century American silver accounted for one-fifth of Spain's total budget.

The Motives of the Spanish Conquistadors
The motives of the Spanish Conquistadors and their patrons were prompted by:

Wealth - gold, silver and spices

Power

Prestige

Increasing opportunities for Spanish trade

Spreading the Catholic Religion to heathen natives

Building a Spanish Empire
The people of Spain adhered to the Catholic religion. Many were fanatical about their religion - the Spanish Inquisition was an example of this. The idea of spreading the Catholic faith to heathen races was seen as a primary reason for the Spanish Conquistadors to undertake voyages of discovery.

Famous Spanish Conquistadors

Francisco Pizarro

Vasco Nunez de Balboa

Juan Ponce de Leon

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

Hernando De Soto

Hernando Cortes

Juan de Onate

Panfilo de Narvaez

Cabeza de Vaca

Juan de Onate

Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

thanks to wiki and
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/spanish-conquistadors.htm.





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