58 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Portugal found universities in its colonies like Spain?

SHORT ANSWER Spanish policy was rooted in the tradition of setting up universities in conquered territories, accompanied by the aim of converting the local people to Catholicism in order to bind them ...
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39 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

I think you are missing the true pattern of that map. Note that it shows a higher percentage of natives in Canada than it does in the US, and shows the same lower percentage of natives in the USA as ...
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  • 110k
33 votes
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What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

According to Manuel Moreyra Paz Soldán, El Virreinato de Perú, 1980, p. 79, the coinage embarked on ships corresponded to: Taxes obtained from the provinces and citizens in America: "recaudación para ...
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32 votes
Accepted

Please help identify these old coins found in Germany?

They are specifically Spanish 2 Escudo Doubloons minted between 1651 to 1773, or modern replicas - as they are identical, it would seem to suggest the latter. This Amazon seller 🕑 appears to have ...
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  • 434
28 votes
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How did people cut "pieces of eight"?

The usual method was with a hammer and a cold chisel. A large stone would suffice as an anvil. Coins are fairly small and thin, and the silver coins of the period were quite soft, as you can see from ...
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  • 28.1k
27 votes
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Did any European ever witness a major Inca religious festival?

Cristóbal de Molina, a young Spanish priest, witnesses in 1535 the Inca celebration of the maize harvest: On a platform Indians were throwing meats into a great fire. At another place the Inca ...
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27 votes

Did any European ever witness a major Inca religious festival?

Garcilaso de la Vega, a Spanish-Peruvian chronicler in the Viceroyalty of Peru(then Spanish-held) recounted several aspects of Incan life and tradition. His most famous works include Historia de la ...
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26 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

I'm hoping that this answer will resonate with your "theory of colonial economy", although it is not based on historical sources. Coins shouldn't be viewed as end products manufactured from a raw ...
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21 votes

Please help identify these old coins found in Germany?

Note As @Volker Siegel said in the comments: Do not try to clean them any further. Dirt and patina may reduce the value somewhat, but traces of cleaning much more so. I am certain this is a ...
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  • 2,259
18 votes
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Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

You need to distinguish their opinion of the Spanish prior to the defeat of the Aztecs and after. When the Spanish first arrived, they had guns and horses but were small in number. The native ...
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  • 5,823
18 votes
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Was the British Empire bigger than the combined empires of the Iberian Union in terms of claimed land area?

This question is a little more involved than it might appear, and has a few layers we need to tear through to solve. The basis is obvious, if the Spanish Empire was huge, and the Portuguese Empire at ...
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  • 34.2k
17 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Apart from other reasons here exposed, I think it is worth mentioning a) some groups of South American natives were adapted (culturally, and even in some cases, physically) to environments which ...
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  • 12.1k
17 votes

Did the treasure ship Cortes first sent from Mexico ever arrive in Spain?

Did it, after all, arrive in Spain and deliver its treasure to King Charles? Yes, but... It wasn't exactly a treasure ship. Not like the treasure ships that would come later. It was more of a down-...
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  • 53.1k
16 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Many of the coins shipped to Europe were quickly and crudely minted. These were called cobs. According to a page at Notre Dame University, The intention in minting these crude but accurately ...
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13 votes
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How was the Spanish Armada coordinated?

There's very little concrete evidence about how command and control of the Spanish Armada worked, or indeed, how naval tactical control was exerted during that period, which pre-dates what we now call ...
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  • 18.1k
13 votes

What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Gold and Silver are worth so much that their "bulk" is very rarely a problem. Coins make it easier to count them. Their bulk is increased slightly; say by a factor of 2. This makes gold 10 g/cm^3 ...
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  • 360
12 votes

Why did the Portuguese colonies stay united whereas the Spanish ones split up?

Historically, there weren't multiple Portuguese colonies in South America. There was just one. The Portuguese governed Brazil as a single unit since 1549, when the failed Captaincies were merged. ...
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  • 8,464
12 votes
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What is the approximate value of a Spanish ducat in 1557?

Lifting the contents of the very helpful link provided by @gvk into an answer: Source: Fiat Money in 17th Century Castile, by François R. Velde, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Warren E. Weber, ...
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  • 12.1k
11 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Pre-columbian population of North America was only a couple of million people, most of them are pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers. This kind of lifestyle does not allow more than 2-4 million people ...
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  • 1,209
11 votes
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What would the Wikipedia page for Spain have said in 1490?

First, there would have been no Wikipedia page for Spain, because: The internet and the Wikipedia wouldn't be exist for 5 centuries, and There was no "Spain"; there were Castilla, Aragón and Navarra (...
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  • 12.1k
11 votes
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Was merchant Hugh McCulloch the first Scotsman to set foot in California?

No. In 1814 a Scotsman by the name of John Cameron jumped ship. He later changed his name to Gilroy. Here's some info from the city of Gilroy California web page. John Cameron was born in a southern ...
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  • 34.2k
10 votes

Was anyone a notable participant in both the American Revolution and the Latin American Wars of Independence (as a liberator)?

Henri Christophe might fit the bill, although he is not counted among the Libertadores and only had a bit part in the American Revolution. As a drummer boy, he participated in the Chasseurs ...
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  • 17.5k
10 votes

Why did not Spain manage to keep any colonial possessions in the new world?

As observed above, the only American colonies Spain did not lose to independence movements were Cuba and Puerto Rico, which it lost in the Spanish-American War. Worth noticing is the fact that Cuba ...
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  • 27.3k
9 votes

What's this 1607 Hispania coin?

It looks to me more like an Escudo than a piece of eight. This web page identifies it as 1 escudo piece, worth possibly $2,500 nowadays. At the time of minting, it seems, an Escudo was worth 16 ...
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  • 4,679
8 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Quite apart from Semaphore's assertion that there simply were more Amerindians in the south than in the north, there's also the factor that there was far more immigration of Europeans and Asians into ...
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  • 11k
8 votes

Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

Two words: "Human Sacrifice": Because the objective of Aztec warfare was to capture victims alive for human sacrifice, battle tactics were designed primarily to injure the enemy rather than kill ...
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  • 25.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Russia seize California when it could?

It was horribly too far away. One thing is stablishing some minor settlements and trade activities, and a very different one is conducting a military expedition. Siberia was not developed to support ...
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  • 12.1k
8 votes

Did Taíno natives ever work Spanish galleons?

I've checked the Spanish primary sources and according to Alonso Peña Montenegro (1596-1688), Itinerario paraparochos, the Taínos were employed as carenadores (repairers of the hull), taking them in ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Did Japanese castaways land in Spanish California?

This study, Japanese Wrecks stranded and picked up adrift in the North Pacific Ocean by Charles Wolcott Brooks, presented before the California Academy of Sciences in 1875, published in 1876, lists ...
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  • 34.2k
8 votes
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Which is more correct, Carlos I or Carlos V?

I believe your subtext is incorrect - "most popular" is an inappropriate approach to take to correct usage. The correct usage, in either language, should be determined by which of the two roles is ...
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