Spain is a country that activity colonized many nations as with the British and the French. This fact is evident with Spanish being the world’s 2nd most spoken language with over 400 million speakers. Spanish is the mother tongue in Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Spain’s chief explorers mainly explored the South Americas.
One famous explorers are Italian Christopher Columbus. Columbus’s colonization of the Atlantic islands sparked a time of Spain’s mass expansion across the Atlantic. Columbus’s discovery opened a floodgate of Spanish exploration. Driven by stories and tales rivers of gold and native peoples timid enough to control, the Spanish colonizers were more than relentless in their quest for land and gold. The hardcore Spanish explorers who had high hopes of dominating unknown lands were known as conquistadores.
Spain’s colonial activities however cause a rift between their relations with Portugal to an unprecedented level.
In the 1480s, the pope of that time, Pope Sixtus IV, gave Portugal the right to all land south of the Cape Verde islands. However, in 1493, the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI produced two decrees giving enforcing Spain’s Atlantic claims over the claims of Portugal. The Treaty of Tordesillas was then born. The Treaty of Tordesillas was an agreement between Spain and Portugal drawn up in 1494 that drew a north-to-south line through South America. Spain owned the land to the west of the invisible line while Portugal kept the lands east of the line.
Hernán Cortés is another conquistador who landed on Hispaniola in 1504 to conquest of the Island. Cortés then led the exploration of the Yucatán Peninsula. He entered Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec/Mexica Empire in 1519. The sophistication of the civilization left the conquistador flabbergasted but above all, the Aztec peoples expansive supply of gold fascinated the Spanish explorers.
Driven by the sign of gold in amounts he could only have dreamt of in the past Cortés took Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler, hostage. His crew then proceeded to viciously murder high-ranking officials during a religious festival. The of the capital quickly exhibited the fighting skills they had been taught from birth leading to Cortés and his people fleeing for their lives.
By the early 15th century, Spain had reaped substantial financial benefits from New World resources. Gold and silver connected Spain to other European nations through trade. The new riches ultimately created mass inflation.
As manifold riches poured in from the colonies, and new concepts poured in from other countries and new lands Spain’s Renaissance culture bloomed. This time was known as the Golden Age, or Siglo de Oro. The Spanish Golden Age or Golden Century was a period where Spanish literature and art work grew to global notoriety. Music, poems and scholars where birthed to the nation during this time.