The main Spanish motives for colonization were for Gold, God and Glory.
Many European nations were beginning to look towards new lands after the catastrophic bubonic plague that killed more than a third of the people on the continent and damaged the already weak economy.
The first motive of the Spaniards was to become one of the prominent sea faring nations in order to compete with Portugal then the preeminent maritime most powerful seafaring nation in Europe and claim lands for Spain.
When the Spanish first arrived in Central America, after planting their flag on the ground, their incentive to continue their quest began after hearing about legends of cities made of gold. The Spanish arrived at present day Mexico, defeated the Aztecs and continued to trek northwards in search of more cities of gold.
The news that silver was to be found in Mexico attracted the attention of other Spaniards creating a wave of explorers that eventually opened up North and South America to Spanish settlement.
After the first wave of conquest, many Spanish settlers wen to the New World in hope of creating a profitable agricultural economy while others went to spread the Christian religion.
About half a century later when they realized that there were no cities of gold, missionaries had began the attempt to convert the natives to Christianity. Through the work of zealous missionaries, the gospel of the Catholic Church extended through out South and Central America, Mexico and the south and Southwest of the United States.
Compared to other European colonies in North America in the same time period, the Spanish ruled their colonies but did not people them. Due to the lack of migration of Spanish settler to the Spanish colonies, the majority of the Spanish Empire consisted mostly of natives. The Spanish imposed a small ruling class upon a much larger existing population; they did not create a self-contained European society in the New World, as the English would do in...
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