What were the consequences of the bankruptcies of the Spanish Empire?

What were the consequences of the bankruptcies of the Spanish Empire?

During the reigns of Charles V and Philip II Habsburg, the Spanish Empire had to declare bankruptcy several times. What were the consequences of these events? Did, for example, some of their assets get seized by the bankers, or something like that? Despite the financial troubles, the Spanish Empire survived and grow for several more centuries.

The huge debt inherited from his father, Charles V (Charles I of Spain), had to be renegotiated with bankers several times. Thus, a system of bonds was created in which bankers accepted to receive the interests only. The principal, however, was never returned and the interests kept on growing. This system of bonds was the first in history, by the way.

The main creditor was the Fugger family, a German banking family, but they were never paid the whole amount and went equally through financial difficulties. With them, many members of the nobility of the Netherlands.

According to Reinhart and Rogoff (2008), Spain has gone bankrupt 13 times: "Spain's defaults establish a record that remains as yet unbroken. Indeed, Spain managed to default seven times in the nineteenth century alone, after having defaulted six times in the preceding three centuries." Sad record.

One important consequence of repeated Spanish bankruptcies was that the modern Netherlands won its war of independence from Spain. It may have (years later), led to the successful secession of Portugal in 1640 as well. In any event, they marked the decline of the Spanish empire, and its eventual withdrawal (in the 19th century) from the affairs of (central) Europe.

Since I was just looking up information in David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years in the context of another question, I can contribute a quote from that source that confirms part of what @fledermaus has already indicated:

Charles V was continuously in debt, and when his son Philip II - his armies fighting on three different fronts - attempted the old Medieval trick of defaulting, all his creditors, from the Genoese Bank of St. George to the German Fuggers and Welsers, closed ranks to insist that he would receive no further loans until he started honoring his commitments. (Some did go bankrupt - for instance, one branch of the Fuggers. But this was surprisingly rare.)

Spanish Conquest of the Americas

In the late 15th century, Cristóbal Colón, known in the English-speaking world as Christopher Columbus, a man well-read in geography, astronomy, history, and theology who had extensive maritime experience, believed he could sail west across the Atlantic to reach Asia. After failing to gain support for his project in Portugal, he decided to move to Spain, where, he won the support of the Catholic Monarchs, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon. They gave him part of their fortune to finance his venture across the vast ocean.

Columbus set sail from Palos de la Frontera with three small ships: the Santa María (the largest ship, also known as La Gallega), the Santa Clara (nicknamed the Niña), and the Pinta (which was actually the ship&rsquos nickname its original name is lost to history). Following a long journey, Columbus landed on the coast of a Caribbean island in what is known today as the Bahamas. Interestingly, we don&rsquot actually know where Columbus landed first. Regardless, the moment he stepped onto dry land marked the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas and the Golden Age. During his first voyage, Columbus traveled to Cuba as well as Hispaniola, the home of present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Reports of Columbus&rsquos 1492 voyage made him famous across Europe and earned him the title Admiral of the Ocean Sea. His fame helped him gain further royal patronage, allowing him to lead three more expeditions to the Caribbean before his death in 1506. On his second voyage, which left from Cadiz in 1493, Columbus sailed with 17 ships carrying soldiers, farmers, craftsman, and priests who would go on to establish the first permanent colonies in the Americas.

Spanish colonial policies

Shortly before the death of Queen Isabella I in 1504, the Spanish sovereigns created the House of Trade ( Casa de Contratación) to regulate commerce between Spain and the New World. Their purpose was to make the trade monopolistic and thus pour the maximum amount of bullion into the royal treasury. This policy, seemingly successful at first, fell short later because Spain failed to provide necessary manufactured goods for its colonies, foreign competitors appeared, and smuggling grew.

In 1524 Charles V created the Council of the Indies (Consejo de Indias) as a lawmaking body for the colonies. During the three centuries of its existence, this council enacted a massive amount of legislation, though much grew obsolete and became a dead letter. The industrious Philip II died in 1598, and his indolent or incompetent successors left American affairs to the Casa and Consejo both proved generally conscientious and hard-working bodies, though, for a time in the 17th century, appointments to the legislating council could be purchased.

The viceregal system dated from 1535, when Antonio de Mendoza was sent to govern New Spain, or Mexico, bypassing the still-vigorous Cortés. A second viceroy was named for Peru in 1542, and the viceroyalties of New Granada and Río de la Plata were formed in 1739 and 1776, respectively. By the 18th century, viceroys served average terms of five years, and under them functioned a hierarchy of bureaucrats, nearly all sent from Spain to occupy frequently lucrative posts. American-born Spaniards resented this favouritism shown the peninsular Spaniards, and their jealousy accounted in part for their later separation from Spain. Lower socially and economically than either white class were the mestizo offspring of white and Indian matings, and still lower were the Indians and Black slaves.

Though a belief to the contrary exists, Spain sent many colonists to America. One indication of this is the number of new cities founded, distinct from the old Indian culture centres. A partial list of such cities, besides the early island ones, includes Vera Cruz, New Spain Panama, Cartagena, and Guayaquil, in New Granada (in modern Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador, respectively) Lima, Peru and all those of what are now Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.

A problem early faced and never truly solved by Spain was that of the Indians. The home government was generally benevolent in legislating for their welfare but could not altogether enforce its humane policies in distant America. The foremost controversy in early decades involved the encomienda, by which Indian groups were entrusted to Spanish proprietors, who in theory cared for them physically and spiritually in return for rights to tribute and labour but who in practice often abused and enslaved them.

Spanish Dominican friars were the first to condemn the encomienda and work for its abolition the outstanding reformer was a missionary, Bartolomé de Las Casas, who devoted most of his long life to the Indian cause. He secured passage of laws in 1542 ordering the early abolition of the encomienda, but efforts to enforce these brought noncompliance in New Spain and armed rebellion in Peru. A belief held by some Spanish theologians—that Indians were inferior beings who were destined to be natural slaves, to be subdued and forcibly converted to Christianity—generally prevailed over the opposition of Las Casas and fellow Dominicans. The encomienda or its equivalent endured, although this feudal institution declined as royal absolutism grew.

The Indians became real or nominal Christians, but their numbers shrank, less from slaughter and exploitation than from Old World diseases, frequently smallpox, for which they had no inherited immunity. The aboriginal West Indian population virtually disappeared in a few generations, to be replaced by Black slaves. Indian numbers shrank in all mainland areas: at the beginning of Spanish settlement there were perhaps 50,000,000 aborigines the figure had decreased to an estimated 4,000,000 in the 17th century, after which it slowly rose again. Meanwhile the hybrid mestizo element grew and—to a limited extent—replaced the Indians.

The Leyenda Negra ( Black Legend) propagated by critics of Spanish policy still contributes to the general belief that Spain exceeded other nations in cruelty to subject populations on the other hand, a review of Spain’s record suggests that it was no worse than other nations and, in fact, produced a greater number of humanitarian reformers. When Dominican zeal declined, the new and powerful Jesuit order became the major Indian protector and led in missionary activity until its expulsion from the Spanish Empire in 1767 the Jesuits took charge of large converted native communities, notably in the area of the viceroyalty of Río de la Plata that is now Paraguay, in their paternalism often imposing stern discipline.

44d. The Spanish-American War and Its Consequences

Americans aboard the Olympia prepare to fire on Spanish ships during the Battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898.

The United States was simply unprepared for war. What Americans had in enthusiastic spirit, they lacked in military strength. The navy, although improved, was simply a shadow of what it would become by World War I. The United States Army was understaffed, underequipped, and undertrained. The most recent action seen by the army was fighting the Native Americans on the frontier. Cuba required summer uniforms the US troops arrived with heavy woolen coats and pants. The food budget paid for substandard provisions for the soldiers. What made these daunting problems more managable was one simple reality. Spain was even less ready for war than the United States.

Battle of Manila Bay

Prior to the building of the Panama Canal, each nation required a two-ocean navy. The major portion of Spain's Pacific fleet was located in the Spanish Philippines at Manila Bay . Under orders from Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, Admiral George Dewey descended upon the Philippines prior to the declaration of war. Dewey was in the perfect position to strike, and when given his orders to attack on May 1, 1898, the American navy was ready. Those who look back with fondness on American military triumphs must count the Battle of Manila Bay as one of the greatest success stories. The larger, wooden Spanish fleet was no match for the newer American steel navy. After Dewey's guns stopped firing, the entire Spanish squadron was a hulking disaster. The only American casualty came from sunstroke. The Philippines remained in Spanish control until the army had been recruited, trained, and transported to the Pacific.

Invading Cuba

The situation in Cuba was far less pretty for the Americans. At the outbreak of war the United States was outnumbered 7 to 1 in army personnel. The invading force led by General William Shafter landed rather uneventfully near Santiago . The real glory of the Cuban campaign was grabbed by the Rough Riders. Comprising cowboys, adventurous college students, and ex-convicts, the Rough Riders were a volunteer regiment commanded by Leonard Wood , but organized by Theodore Roosevelt. Supported by two African American regiments, the Rough Riders charged up San Juan Hill and helped Shafter bottle the Spanish forces in Santiago harbor. The war was lost when the Spanish Atlantic fleet was destroyed by the pursuing American forces.

Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris was most generous to the winners. The United States received the Philippines and the islands of Guam and Puerto Rico . Cuba became independent, and Spain was awarded $20 million dollars for its losses. The treaty prompted a heated debate in the United States. Anti-imperialists called the US hypocritical for condemning European empires while pursuing one of its own. The war was supposed to be about freeing Cuba, not seizing the Philippines. Criticism increased when Filipino rebels led by Emilio Aguinaldo waged a 3-year insurrection against their new American colonizers. While the Spanish-American War lasted ten weeks and resulted in 400 battle deaths, the Philippine Insurrection lasted nearly three years and claimed 4000 American lives. Nevertheless, President McKinley's expansionist policies were supported by the American public, who seemed more than willing to accept the blessings and curses of their new expanding empire.

How Did the Spanish Treat the Native Americans?

Spanish treatment of the Native Americans was poor. Spanish explorers considered the natives inferior. Consequently, they forcibly converted natives to Christianity, confined them to slavery and murdered them.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived on the island of Hispaniola. Upon encountering natives in the new land, he notified Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, who instructed Columbus to make the natives subjects of Spain. The sailors were ordered to treat the natives humanely, and they were to be considered equal. The queen ordered the natives to be converted to Christianity and taught European behaviors. However, she did not authorize slavery. Columbus defied those orders, which eventually led to tensions between the explorers and the Spanish government.

First Interactions

After discovering the natives, one of the first actions Columbus took was enslaving them. He shipped hundreds of slaves back to Spain, which infuriated Queen Isabella, who demanded their return to Hispaniola. Columbus also forced native men to collect gold and return it to the sailors. If the men did not reach their 90-day quota, they were punished by death.

In addition to the unethical practices that the explorers launched against the natives, they also brought diseases with them from Europe. The natives, who had no immunity to those diseases, often perished.

In the 20 years following Columbus's landing on Hispaniola, Spanish explorers extended their reach to other Caribbean islands. Native populations in Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Cuba were also forced into slavery. By the end of their Caribbean conquest, the native populations among those islands were virtually destroyed.

Native Encounters in the Americas

Spanish exploitation of native populations gradually moved westward, as the explorers continued their quest for silver, gold and other valuable natural resources. They continued their inhumane treatment of native populations in South America, and eventually moved north into North America. In addition to forcing the native populations into slavery, the Spanish explorers forced them to convert to Christianity. Those who resisted were punished by a system called encomienda, in which natives were assigned to settlers through land grants as part of a deal. When settlers claimed a piece of land, they were also given a group of natives with it. The natives forcibly worked the land by planting crops and mining for the landowners. This allowed the settlers to maintain control over the natives without enslaving them.

While some priests converted the natives to Christianity without complaint, other Spanish clergymen were appalled at the accounts of horrific treatment that they heard from natives. In response, they demanded reform. One advocate for reform was Antonio de Montesinos, a Dominican Friar. His demand for better treatment of the natives prompted passage of the Laws of Burgos, which were enacted in 1512. Believing that the Laws of Burgos were still too harsh, Bartolome de Las Casas, another priest, advocated for better treatment of the natives. He argued that Spain should strive to convert the natives in a non-violent manner. He also believed that natives should be free from slavery and retain land rights under the rule of the settlers.

In 1500, the Spanish government sent a ship to the New World and demanded Columbus's return to Spain.

What Were the Lasting Effects of Spanish Conquest in Latin America?

Lasting effects of Spanish conquest in Latin America included the decimation of native populations and suppression of their languages, histories and cultures. Those who survived were strongly influenced by Spanish language, religion, art and architecture.

One of the greatest lasting effects of Spanish incursion into Latin America was the devastating loss of indigenous populations. Some of the main culprits were smallpox and other diseases against which native people had no defense. Additionally, the encomienda system of forced slavery of locals killed many more natives through hard labor and privation.

Existing native leaders were killed or stripped of power, leaving indigenous societies without the social structures on which they depended. Spanish priests outlawed local religion and culture and burned written histories, leaving a cultural vacuum. As a result, indigenous societies whose people numbered in the millions before Spanish conquest were marginalized or obliterated.

In the absence of indigenous alternatives, Spanish language and culture became dominant in Latin America. Spanish became the primary language in many Latin American countries. When it was first introduced, many native South Americans melded Roman Catholicism into their traditional religious practices. Over time the Roman Catholic religion became the predominant theological influence in Latin America. Spanish architecture formed the basis for many structures, and town planning was based on the layout of a plaza or town square in the midst of a municipality.

What were the consequences of the bankruptcies of the Spanish Empire? - History

Columbus before the Queen, painting by Emanuel Luetze, courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum, 1843. The Spanish monarchs initially sought to curtail Columbus's slaving exploits in the Caribbean.

Just as Castilian concessions in 1479 helped put Isabel on the throne of Castile, similar recognition of Portuguese claims in Africa in 1494 helped to secure Spanish interests in the Americas. As a result, it was Spain, rather than Portugal, that first made extensive use of enslaved Africans as a colonial labor force in the Americas.

Ferdinand II pointing across Atlantic to where Columbus is landing with three ships amid large group of Indians, ca. 1500, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Amerindian Slavery and Coerced Labor

Soon after his famous 1492 voyage, with the backing of the Spanish Crown and over one thousand Spanish colonists, Genoese merchant Christopher Columbus established the first European colony in the Americas on the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Columbus is believed to have had prior experience trading in West Africa, and had certainly visited the Canary Islands, where indigenous people known as Guanches had long been enslaved and exported, in small numbers, back to Spain. Though Columbus was primarily interested in finding gold, he also recognized Caribbean islanders’ potential value as slaves. In early 1495, preparing to return to Spain, he loaded his ships with five hundred enslaved Taínos from Hispaniola only three hundred would survive the voyage. Columbus’s slaving exploits—often viewed as an attempt to compensate for the gold that was not forthcoming—were quickly cut short by the Spanish monarchs, Fernando II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile. Nevertheless, coerced Amerindian labor grew increasingly important within the Spanish Royal policies regarding Amerindians were in many ways contradictory. The Spanish Crown intended to protect Amerindians from abuse, but at the same time expected them to accept Spanish rule, embrace Catholicism, and conform to a work regimen designed to render Spain’s overseas colonies profitable. Thus in 1501, for example, the monarchs ordered Hispaniola’s governor to return all property stolen from Taínos, and to pay them wages for their labor. Further reforms were outlined in the Laws of Burgos (1512), and later in the Laws of Granada (1526), though both appear to have been largely ignored by Spanish colonists.

Columbus landing on Hispaniola on 6 December 1492, greeted by Arawaks, engraving by Theodor De Bry, ca. 1594, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Meanwhile, Spain’s monarchs broadly granted colonists dominion over Amerindian subjects, compelling native populations to pay tribute, often in the form of labor. The latter practice was largely an extension of the medieval encomienda, a quasi-feudal system in which Iberian Christians who had performed valuable military service were granted authority to govern people and resources in lands conquered from Iberian Muslims. Also, despite their objection to a trans-Atlantic slave trade of Amerindians, the Crown permitted their outright enslavement and sale within the Americas. During the first half of the sixteenth century, Spanish colonists conducted raids throughout the Caribbean, bringing captives from Central America, northern South America, and Florida back to Hispaniola and other Spanish settlements. Two of the principal arguments used to justify the enslavement of Amerindians were the concepts of “just war” (i.e. the notion that anyone who refused to accept Christianity, or rebelled against Spanish rule, could be enslaved), and “rescate” or ransom (the idea that Amerindians held captive by other groups could be purchased in order to Christianize them, and to rescue them from captors who were allegedly cannibals).

Map of Americas where Spanish settled and often attempted to enslave American Indians, engraving by Theodor de Bry, ca. 1594, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Portrait of Bartolomé de las Casas, ca. 16th century, courtesy of the Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla, Spain.

In most of the Caribbean, even before the mid-sixteenth century, it was evident that Spanish colonization based on the mass forced labor of Amerindians was not a viable option. In addition to the demands of Spanish colonists, Old World diseases such as smallpox, measles, chicken pox, and typhus decimated native populations, and reduced workforces to unsustainable levels. Vocal advocates of reform, most notably Bartolomé de las Casas, persuaded many in Spain that the abuses suffered by Amerindians at the hands of Spanish colonists were unacceptable on moral and religious grounds. Worried by the catastrophic decline of native American populations, and faced with growing opposition to Spanish mistreatment of Amerindians, Emperor Charles V passed a series of laws in the 1540s known collectively as the “New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians,” or just the “New Laws.” Among the first royal decrees issued in 1542 was the abolition of Amerindian slavery. Furthermore, Amerindians were no longer required to work without pay, and Spanish colonists’ children could no longer inherit encomiendas. These changes were met with heavy resistance from colonists in Mexico and Peru, where some colonists possessed vast encomiendas resembling small kingdoms and because of their complaints, some of the New Laws were only partially enforced in these colonies, and some traditional practices were partially reinstated. But in the Spanish Caribbean, Amerindians’ rapidly declining populations led Spanish colonists to look elsewhere for laborers long before the 1540s. With the Portuguese slave trade thriving, they increasingly looked to Africa.

Depiction of Spanish atrocities in the New World, as recounted by Bartolomé de las Casas in Narratio Regionum indicarum per Hispanos Quosdam devastatarum verissima, engraving by Theodor De Bry, 1598.

Spanish Colonial Culture

Matthäus Merian, Dreyzehender Theil Americae, 1628

The Colombian Exchange

The near accidental discovery of an almost unknown continent by a Genoese merchant-explorer in the later years of the 1400s led to the greatest colonial migration and cultural exchange ever known. Though he was not the first explorer to set foot there, nor did he ever come to understand the dimensions of his discovery, it was Christopher Columbus who first published an account of his findings. This began the intense interest in and subsequent conquest of the "New World," that area we now know as America. The consequences of this contact created profound global change.

King Philip II of Spain (1527-1598), Portrait in Full Figure

Alonso Sánchez Coello, 1566

Spain Emerges

Perhaps the greatest empire that the world has ever known, the Spanish Empire controlled, influenced, or claimed nearly half of the world in the 16th-18th centuries. Spanish dominance reached all five of the then-known continents. Spain's rapid growth from a group of small weak kingdoms fighting Islamic incursion and each other to become, though challenged, the near master of the world, is a phenomenal story.

The Spanish Flag

The flag which flies over Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas is described in heraldry as a red saltire raguly on a white field. A saltire is an X figure raguly refers to the jagged edges of the cross. The X-shaped cross is commonly called "St. Andrew's cross," because tradition says that Andrew the Disciple was crucified on a cross of that shape. The story is that the branches were roughly hacked off two small trees, and the trees were tied together to make the cross. The jagged edges of the cross on the Spanish flag represent these trees with the branched lopped off. Since the flags of Ireland and Scotland (and the flag of Great Britain incorporating the cross of Scotland) are also St. Andrew's crosses, when speaking of the Spanish flag, this design is best called the Burgundian Cross, or the Cross of Burgundy.

Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, who sponsored Columbus' voyages to the New World, used the medieval flag with the red and gold quartered lions and castles, which represented the united Spain of Leon and Castile. However, since they did not have a son to succeed them, the Spanish Crown went to the son of their oldest daughter, Juana, who was married to Philip, Duke of Burgundy. The red saltire was his family symbol, since Andrew was the patron saint of Burgundy. White was the distinctive color of French Royalty, and Burgundy was a French state. In 1506, Philip came to rule Spain as Philip I, regent to his young son Charles. Charles also adopted this flag when he became Charles I of Spain (1516-1556). He was also Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, probably the most powerful man in Europe at that time.

The Spanish naval ships began to fly this flag in the early 1500s in honor of their king. In those days, the flag of a country was actually the flag of the ruling house. Eventually, the army also began to fly this flag, and it came to represent Spain. As Spain's power spread to the New World and across the Pacific to the Philippines, this was the flag carried by her ships and flown over the fortresses which guarded her possessions. Thus, it is sometimes referred to as the Spanish Colonial Flag.

Distinguished Woman with her Slave

Vicente Alban Quito, Ecuador, 1783

Colonial Culture

Though influenced by Spanish traditions from the Iberian peninsula, the culture that emerged in the colonial New World was a mixture of European, African, and local Native customs. "Latinized" America was a diverse, capable, and often complex society. While it sought to duplicate the Spanish lifeways of the Old World, it created its own unique traditions, identities, and cuisines.

A re-enactor dressed as a Spanish Sergeant


The upper echelons of colonial society were dominated by Spaniards, who held all of the positions of economic privilege and political power. However, a sharp split existed between those born in Europe, "peninsulars," and those born in the Americas, creoles. Although the relationship between these two groups was sometimes friendly, as when peninsular men married into creole families, it could also be antagonistic. Peninsulars sometimes perceived creoles as lazy, mentally deficient, and physically degenerate, whereas creoles often saw peninsulars as avaricious. In the sixteenth century rivalries between European-born and American-born friars for control of the religious orders led to violence that resulted in a formal policy of alternating terms of leadership between creoles and peninsulars. The Spanish crown's preference for European-born Spaniards in government and church posts in the eighteenth century provoked deep resentment among elite creole men, who had come to expect positions of influence. Their resentment helped fuel anti-Iberian sentiment in the colonies before the wars for independence.

Creoles attributed greed to peninsulars because it was far more possible to make a fortune in the Americas than in Europe. Opportunities were present in retail and transatlantic commerce, in gold and silver mining, and in bureaucratic posts that offered opportunities to trade in native goods and exchange influence for favors. In the sixteenth century many peninsulars made their New World fortunes in order to retire in comfort in Spain, but by the eighteenth century, peninsulars were apt to enmesh themselves in the communities of the Americas.

The numerous opportunities for enrichment made the Crown tremendously reluctant to grant titles of nobility to creoles who became wealthy in the Americas. Thus, although there were many extraordinarily wealthy creole families, there were comparatively few creole noble titles. This lack of titles created one of the distinctive characteristics of Spanish society in the New World: In Spain a title of nobility clearly indicated an elevated social rank, but in the Americas there were too few titles to identify all the individuals with wealth and power. Nor were all the families that were ennobled by the Crown able to retain their economic positions, and this made noble titles uncertain guides to social status. Power and status depended far more upon the recognition of one's peers than upon the external and readily identifiable labels of nobility, and the absence of noble titles contributed to a sense of shared status among all Spaniards. Although there were clear, though usually unstated, limits to ideas of equality between elite and nonelite Spaniards, the absence of noble titles and the small size of the European population relative to the indigenous population contributed to sentiments of equality.

Despite the common prejudice against laboring with one's hands, many Spaniards did so, though unskilled labor was performed by Indians. Spanish craftsmen were employed for their skills, even when they were hired out on a daily basis. In rural settings Spaniards were likely to be the managers and foremen over Indians, who did the hard physical labor of planting, weeding, and harvesting crops.

Introduced to the Americas by the Spaniards, horses became symbols of European superiority they represented wealth (for horses were not cheap), a superior physical vantage point, greater mobility and speed, and the superiority of European society. The horse and iron-based arms were the keys to many military successes during the Spanish Conquest, and were broadly considered to be indicators of the superior social status shared by Spaniards, from which all conquered native peoples and slaves were excluded. By Spanish statute, Indians and slaves were forbidden to bear arms, for military reasons. The enforcement of this prohibition was greatly assisted by the popularity of the belief that bearing arms, like riding a horse, was a prerogative of social rank and being Spanish.

What were the consequences of the bankruptcies of the Spanish Empire? - History

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    No nation is more synonymous with exploration in the Early Modern period that Spain. Not only did they find the new world (after millions of Native Americans had already found it centuries earlier), but they set up long term colonies that's impact lasts to this day. The Spanish rule of their colonies in the New World often comes with a deserved negative connotation (see slavery, encomienda). No single group shaped the history of Latin America more than Spain. Below is the story of how a western colony of the Abbasids came to reconquer their own peninsula, explore, and build a massive empire.

    Dominated by the Western Hemisphere, the Spanish Empire was the 3rd largest empire in World History (1st=British, 2nd=Mongol)

    This map shows British, Dutch and Spanish shipping routes from 1750 to 1800. It's been created from newly digitized logbooks of European ships during this period. (Unfortunately, the French data is not shown.) These lines are the contours of empire and of European colonialism, yes, but they're also the first intimations of the global trade and transportation system that are still with us today. This was the flattening of the world, for better and for worse.

    Watch the video: Shocking Facts About the Spanish Empire