Christopher Columbus arrived in Spain in 1492 marking the expansion of the Spanish Empire. The Empire started to expand its boundaries for four centuries from 1492 to 1892 across the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central America and to the rest of North America.
The Empire further expanded its reign claiming its territory in the present day British Columbia, Washington DC, western half of South America and Oregon. Its leadership was not very different from that of other Empires. As a result, colonial expansion under the reign of the Empire was highly mitigated by Spanish conquistadores and was then developed by the monarchy of Spain through missionary and administrative activities.
The motivation for its rapid colonial expansion included the spread of Christianity and trade through the region. Christian faith spread through all indigenous conversions in the region.
Key features of Spanish Empire
The main goal of expanding the Spanish Empire and its rule over different parts of the globe was mainly propagated by Catholicism. There was need to spread Christianity in the region and it was made easier by the fact that many people were willing to adapt to the religion. Additionally, the discovery of natural and new resources enhanced the need for Spanish exploration because it would benefit from precious metals.
In its conquest of the world, Spanish Empire subdued and defeated the Aztecs of Central America, the Maya civilization of the Yucatan and Inca civilization. Juan Ponce de Leon later discovered that Peninsula of Florid in North America had charted a colonial expedition.
As a result, Spain formed its settlement of St. Augustine and it was considered an outpost to ensure that no French Huguenots visited the region. St. Augustine is the oldest and largely occupied city in North America. Therefore as Hernan Cortez arrived in Veracruz in 1519, the Spanish had all reasons to celebrate as it marked Spanish hegemony for a period of 300 years across the region including parts of Central America.
Spanish conquistadors also penetrated deeply into North and Central America early 16th century. It is a move that allowed for deep exploration as great European explorers including Rio de la Plata arrived in the country. Their settlement in Fort of Sancti Spiritu also allowed them to explore parts of Parana River and Buenos air. The latter became a permanent Spanish colony.
Buenos Air was established in 1536 but suffered attacks by many indigenous people who were against the presence of settlers I the region. The settlement was therefore abandoned in 1541 leading to an establishment of Juan de Garay in 1580. The settlement was dubbed Santisima Trinidad and its port was known as the Puerto de Santa Maria de los Buenos Aires.
The Battler of Cajarama broke out in 1532 where Spanish soldiers under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro and Andean Indian allies captured the Emperor Atahualpa of Inca Empire after fierce fights. It subdued the mighty Empire in the region and expanded its territory over the Andes region. This move led to creation of Viceroyalty of Peru later in 1542.
Spanish forces also expanded their territory in 1565 across different parts of the New World spreading Catholicism. The Spanish Navy was strong and overpowered French Huguenot settlers allowing the Spanish to occupy St. Augustine.