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Questions tagged [spanish-empire]

The overseas territories held by Spain from the early 16th century. The twilight of the empire is generally considered to be the early 19th century although it did not formally end until 1975 when Spain withdrew from the Spanish Sahara.

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Why was it Spain, not Tlaxcala, that dominated over Mesoamerica despite the Tlaxcaltecs being the major force in the conquest of Tenochtitlan?

It has been a question that makes me wonder, since the very first time I read about the history of the Aztecs. In the fall of Tenochtitlan, as commonly known, the Tlaxcalans (Tlaxcaltecs) was the ...
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What would the Wikipedia page for Spain have said in 1490?

I'm trying to understand the Spanish empire prior to the discovery of America - I'm not looking for a book length answer, just a broad summary like what would have been on a Wikipedia page at that ...
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What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Since the days of Pirates! the thought of capturing the Spanish treasure fleet on its way back somewhere in the Spanish Main was a primary target because of all the gold and silver it transported to ...
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Mutual support in Latin American wars of independence

Nascent Latin American countries expelled Spain with some mutual aid from each other. Between 1815 and 1822, independent Argentina and Chile sent newly acquired naval forces (under Bouchard, Brown, ...
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How to attack Fort Ross

Imperial Spain was upset when the Russian-American Company founded its Californian outpost Fort Ross. Local Spanish officials always stayed cordial with the Russians, though. Both sides were remote ...
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Responsibilities of a naval chaplain in the Spanish empire

In the beginning of the 19th century Agustín Fernández was chaplain of the naval base at San Blas. Records in the colonial section of the Mexican national archive, summarized in all caps, refer to his ...
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How was the Order of the Golden Fleece involved in the trial of Egmont and Hoorne?

Egmont and Hoorne, both Knights of the Golden Fleece were arrested by the third Duke of Alba, put on trial, found guilty of high treason, and executed. As knights of the Golden Fleece, they called ...
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How many Manila Galleons were sacked and by whom?

From the 1500s into the 1800s New Spain operated the "Manila Galleon" trade route across the Pacific. Something over four hundred huge, wealthy ships sailed, and of course they did not all arrive. ...
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Spanish colonial cattle ranching cultures

Many Iberian colonists in the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and La Plata (Argentina) practiced cattle ranching. Both sides practiced branding and rode horses to control their herds. Many of the ...
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Did the Incas think Spanish helmets were cooking pots?

Is it true that the Incas thought that the Spanish people where wearing pots to cook(they confused the helmets with pots). As far as I know that there was in some of their religious rituals the ...
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Was the British Empire bigger than the combined empires of the Iberian Union in terms of claimed land area?

The Iberian Empire (1580-1640 AD), under Phillip II, a Habsburg, was a period when there was only one crown in the Iberian Peninsula. The 16th Century had been an Age of Discovery and Exploration for ...
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Was Governor Solá expelled from Mexico?

Pablo Vicente de Solá was a Spanish military officer who served resisting the Hidalgo Revolt and then as the last Spanish governor of Alta California. [Nuttall: The Gobernantes of Spanish Upper ...
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Why didn't Portugal found universities in its colonies like Spain?

Imperial Spain and Portugal conquered and developed huge empires. Both monarchies were Catholic and seized huge amounts of land in the 1500s. Both European motherlands had numerous universities, but ...
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New Latin American navies raiding Spanish interests

The newly formed navies of the Latin American wars of independence sometimes raided or blockaded Spanish interests in other parts of the Americas. Consider the Liberating Expedition of Peru, the ...
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When did Russia learn about the Philippines and the Japanese and Spanish presences there?

The Japanese and Spanish did business in the Philippines from the 12th and 16th centuries respectively. In Russia, Vasili III became aware that the Spanish had reached America after his envoys ...
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Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

George Lensen's "The Russian Push Toward Japan" says on pp. 261: In 1815 the transport Pavel under the command of Navigator's Apprentice Srednii left Okhotsk with six Japanese castaways, three of ...
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For who or what was Cojo Creek named?

Cojo Creek (Cañada del cojo) is the boundary between the Rancho Punta de la Concepción and the Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio. The anchorage at the mouth of this creek was a prime smuggling spot in ...
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Was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible?

All else equal, when these types of forts were in use, was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible? A bit of what-if led to this question. Russians ostrogs such as Nizhnekamchatsk and Fort ...
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Economic Conditions of Colonies [duplicate]

As far as I have seen, the economic conditions of Spanish colonies are so much more worse than the colonies of the other European Countries. Why is that so?
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Did Taíno natives ever work Spanish galleons?

Did Taíno natives work as slaves or sailors on 16th-century Spanish ships in early to mid-sixteenth century?
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How did Spain justify building a major port at San Blas, Nayarit?

The Spanish empire and its agent José de Gálvez founded the port of San Blas, Nayarit in order to communicate with the Californias. However, the site is not particularly favorable and it did not ...
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Convict stowaways crossing the Pacific in 1796

According to H.H. Bancroft's "History of California", in 1796, English convicts stowed away on the Otter in Botany Bay, and were forced ashore in California at gunpoint. Governor Borica was ordered by ...
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Did anyone in Alta California pay in cash?

In the Spanish and Mexican eras, California was an economy very cut off from its mother countries. Most trade was by bartering goods [Josiah Belden by Doyce Nunis, Jr., 1962]. Is there evidence of ...
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What were the ranks in the Army of Imperial Spain?

At the time of the Latin American wars of independence, the Imperial Spanish army employed men in ranks like Capitán (captain), Sargento (sergeant) and so on, between the King and the lowliest ...
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“Ridiculous” military haircut in Spanish California

According to the reminiscences of José Maria Amador, as translated by Gregorio Mora-Torres in "Californio Voices", around 1820 recruits at the Monterey Presidio received an unusual haircut: After ...
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Why didn't Russia seize California when it could? [closed]

Spanish colonies in the Californias, created in part to forestall Russian expansion, were militarily weak. The military had only a few hundred men in the whole territory, and no ships at all. It was ...
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How many cattle were slaughtered in Alta California?

Spanish and Mexican Alta California was a primarily cattle-based economy. The wealth of ranchers was measured in the size of their herd. Beef, manteca, and leather were used liberally, and hide and ...
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Death sentences in Spanish California

Ynocente Garcia, in his recollections (the "Garcia Hechos"), described Ignacio Rochin, a man executed for murder in 1795 in Santa Barbara. Garcia continues: "a young orphan ... was also executed with ...
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In Alta California, who worked at the Ranchos del Rey?

In Spanish Alta California, most agricultural production was under the management and on the lands of the Franciscan Missions, operated with native labor. Each of the four presidios (forts) was also ...
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Who was the Englishman working in 1818 at Mission San Carlos?

Vasili Golovnin wrote in "Around the World on the Kamchatka": In the morning many of our officers and I went to the San Carlos Mission which is about five miles from Monterey on a small river and ...
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Was it common to carry a concealed dagger in Spanish California?

Dmitry Zavalishin, a Decembrist, wrote about his 1824 visit to Alta California: The second, Padre José Altamira, was more a politician and soldier than a monk or missionary. He always carried, ...
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How long did it take mail to get between Madrid and Mexico?

Spain administered its main colony Mexico from across the Atlantic. Ships crossed regularly between Cadiz or Seville and Vera Cruz (both capital cities are inland). At the time of Mexican independence,...
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When could California mission priests perform confirmation?

The Franciscan priests at California missions were empowered with the faculties to perform sacraments like baptism and marriage. A stricter standard applied in the case of the faculty of confirmation -...
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What taxes were assessed on people in Alta California?

Countries and their churches extract rents from their citizens or subjects through various taxes. What taxes were individual Alta Californians required to pay in the Spanish and Mexican periods?
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Who was the first retailer in Monterey, California?

There were no businesses in the Spanish presidio at Monterey. Trade goods from the missions and passing ships came through, but there wasn't much to buy. Outside the fort, what was the first fixed-...
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How much did Spanish California officials earn?

It is my understanding that in Alta California, priests and natives in Missions earned no cash salary, but Spanish army officials would have. From the governor down to a junior soldier, what did they ...
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Was anyone in Spanish or Mexican California tried for homosexuality?

In "So Far From Home" (Farris, ed.) a Russian visitor to California describes seeing trangendered natives, as Cabeza de Vaca also did three centuries earlier in what is now Texas. The military and ...
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How many women lived in Spanish Californian presidios?

The Spanish presidios in the Californias were military outposts, unlike the religious missions or the civilian pueblos. Their residents were not exclusively soldiers, though; at least prisoners and ...
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Who was arrested at El Cojo with Eliot de Castro?

According to Bancroft's "History of California" II:274, Spanish authorities acting on Governor Sola's orders detained Eliot de Castro, working for the Russian-American Company, along with "an American ...
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What resources did the Nahua value most at the time of Spanish conquest?

I am doing research on how the Spaniards and Nahua felt about gold and wealth (their differences) during the conquest. The Spanish were very open about their thoughts on gold & wealth. But what ...
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Were there regionalist/independentist movements or feelings in mid-19th century Spain?

I've become aware that, to a degree, Spain like France or Germany or even the modern USA, is a collection of autonomous bodies who agree to act as a single nation for federal purposes (this may be a ...
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How was the Spanish Armada coordinated?

We know that the Spanish Armada was composed of over 200 ships. How did the Duke of Medina exercise any sort of control over a fleet this big with only 16th century technology? Do we know how the ...
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Spanish Influence on the Netherlands and Belgium?

Spain had ruled the Netherlands (and Belgium) in varying degrees between the 16th and 17th centuries. However, I haven't noticed much of a cultural influence or impact with historical roots in Spanish ...
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Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

In his letter to Charles V, Hernan Cortes states that "it was only necessary to threaten to return them [the natives] to their native masters in order to make them serve the Spaniards very willingly." ...
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Historical drivers behind demographics of Indigenous populations in American countries [duplicate]

Today I run into this picture (shown below) that shows what seems to be a stark difference in the percentage of indigenous populations in Spanish speaking countries vs other countries in the Americas (...
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Was anyone a notable participant in both the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence (as a liberator)?

As the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence occurred within about 30 years of each other, presumably some people with an appetite for liberating colonies participated in ...
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Where was the Buenos Aires - Lima Spanish Royal Road?

the Royal Road was a designation assigned to any road administered by the Spanish Crown, including through its viceroys. During the Spanish Empire, several such roads ran through the expanses of ...
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Why didn't the Great Awakening spread to the Spanish Colonies?

Since I have begun paying more attention to early South and Latin American history it made me wonder about the extent of the religious movement in the British Colonies that we call the Great Awakening;...
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Spain's tributary empire vs. Portugal's seaborne empire

While the Spanish built a huge colonial empire in the Americas, why didn't Portugal colonize the South Asian coast and only aimed at controlling trade? Why did these empires pursue such different ...
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How did Aztec armor and weaponry match up to the Spaniards?

If you discount the germs and the gunpowder, how did the average Aztec warrior match up against the average Spaniard facing him? As I understand it European metallurgy was considerably more advanced, ...