Spanish Exploration Brian Roth

Ferdinand and Isabella

Ferdinand and Isabella were Spanish monarchs and incorporated a number of independent dominions into their kingdom. In 1478, they introduced the Spanish Inquisition and in 1492, they ordered all Spanish Jews to convert to Christianity.

Spanish Exploration Map

Spain colonized America because the Spanish wanted to build their empire. They wanted to create trading ports and routes, and increase their military control and convert the native people to their religious beliefs.

Christopher Columbus

On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Spain with his three ships, the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. He sailed under the flag of Spain with Ferdinand and Isabella in power. He sailed from island to island looking for precious stones, pearls, and treasures. His journey caused others to want to become explorers like him.

Columbus Discovers The New World

Christopher Columbus completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. He was not the first explorer from Europe to reach the Americas. His voyages had a great impact on the development of the western world. He died on May 20, 1506.

Spanish Conquistadores

The Spanish Conquistadores were leaders in the Spanish conquest of America, which included people like Hernan Cortez (1519), Fransisco Pizarro (1531), and Pedro de Alvarado (1524).

Spanish Conquest and Epidemics

The sailors who landed on Hispaniola brought with them diseases such as, smallpox and measles. Neither disease had ever existed before in the New World. Some Europeans also contracted a form of syphilis.

Bartolome de Las Casas and Epidemics

Bartolome de Las Casas was a Dominican missionary who estimated the population of Hispaniola to be about three million in 1492. By 1538, the population fell to only about five hundred. No one knew how to treat diseases at that time so many people lost their lives.

The Columbian Exchange/Trading

The Columbian Exchange can be described as the interactions between the Old and New Worlds that came about because of Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the New World. Items that were transferred from the Old World to the New World included, chickens, goats, apples, carrots, coffee, and many other products.


Hernan Cortes was a Spanish Conquistador who was born in 1485, and died in 1547. He served as a soldier in the expedition of Cuba. He also used deadly force to conquer Mexico. Cortes defeated the Aztecs in 1521.

Francisco Pizarro

Pizarro was also a Spanish Conquistador who was born in 1474, in Spain. He was a part of the expedition when the Pacific Ocean was discovered. In 1526, he traveled to Peru and wanted to claim the land for Spain. Pizarro was assassinated in June of 1541.


Created with images by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Uniuersalior cogniti orbis tabula ex recentibus confecta obseruationibus" • Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara - "Ferdinand et Isabelle" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Typus orbis terrarum" • Boston Public Library - "Buy the Empire Wringer. First dispute between Christopher Columbus and the American Indian -- over the "Empire." [front]" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Nave portuguesa del siglo XV"." • jay galvin - "Diego Rivera Conquistador mural" • pedrosimoes7 - "La cohorte invincible (1928) - Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)" • Banrep Cultural - "fi 9 Casas, Bartolomé de las" • Boston Public Library - "Merrick's best six cord thread for hand and machine use. American standard. Young Columbus [front]" • nuno_lopes - "statue hernan cortés spain" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""Pizarro navegando por la Costa de Tumbez"."

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