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Spain and its empire, migration and emigration, c.1450–c.1750

Migration A–Z

S

  1. François Soyer

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm509

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Soyer, F. 2013. Spain and its empire, migration and emigration, c.1450–c.1750. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

The conquest of the “New World” for the Spanish crown was broadly accomplished in the period spanning 1492 to the middle of the 16th century. It has become most notable for the overthrow and destruction of the Aztec and Inca civilizations and the imposition of Spanish colonial rule in both Mexico (1519–21) and Peru (1530s), as well as other regions of the Caribbean and Central and South America. In the wake of these remarkable military conquests, the soldiers settled down in their encomiendas (land parcels) and exploited the labor of the Amerindian populations “commended” to their care by the Spanish crown. These first settlers were soon followed, however, by thousands of Spaniards who crossed the Atlantic principally to settle in the newly established viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. The conquest of Granada in 1492, and the end of the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula, led Spaniards to cross the Atlantic in order to seek their fortune and find better opportunities for improving their lives than those available in the Old World.

Keywords:

  • empire;
  • imperialism;
  • slavery;
  • Central America;
  • early modern