The exploration of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was a famous Spanish explorer who adventured to the lands north of Mexico. Coronado was inspired by rumors of the "seven cities" of gold and silver. These rumors inspired Coronado to take a group of 300 well-supplied Spaniards with 1000 Tlaxcalan Indians and servants to explore these "seven cities".

In the early years of Coronado's life, he accomplished many things. At age twenty-two, Coronado moved to New Spain (Mexico) and became the assistant to the viceroy. Coronado also defeated a slave rebellion, married, and became governor of a province in New Spain.

Coronado embarked on a journey condoned by King Charles V of Spain. Coronado was to lead 300 well-armed Spanish soldiers accompanied by 1000 Tlaxcalan Indians and Cattle. The expedition traveled to the Zuni pueblo, which had been already discovered by European powers when a Spanish scrounging party found them. During the first encounter with the Zuni, they killed the whole scouting party as they were disrespectful to the Zuni which they explained to Coronado.

Conflict arose between the Zuni and the Spaniards as the Zuni would not succumb to the religious requirements of the Christian Spaniards. The Spaniards were fired upon with arrows and a battle began. The Zuni weapons were no match for the modern Spanish weaponry, and the Spanish forced the Zuni out. No gold was found in the Zuni pueblo, the only items found were native crops. The Spaniards missed their opportunity to meet and observe a different civilization than their own. The other famed "seven cities" were similar pueblo peoples driven out of their home for the sake of wealth.

Coronado's expedition was disappointing towards himself and his soldiers. No gold was found whatsoever and Coronado redeemed his place as governor in New Spain. Several years later, in 1544 Coronado was convicted of brutally murdering indigenous peoples and forcibly resigned from the office of governor. Coronado, like other ruthless Spanish explorers of the time, died in the later months of 1544 dissapointed by his mission deemed a failure.

Works Cited:

Loaysa, Francisco Garcia de. "Spain Authorizes Coronado's conquest in the southwest, 1540." The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. N.p., 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

"Kansas Historical Collections - Early Spanish Exploration and Indian Implements." Kansas Historical Society. N.p., N.d., Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

"Francisco Vázquez de Coronado." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d., Web. 09 Apr. 2017.

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