In the 1400’s, Spain and Portugal
searched for new trade routes to Asia.
Christopher Columbus was sponsored
by Spain to search for a shorter route
and set sail for Asia but ended up in the
Soon Spain and Portugal became fierce
rivals to find and claim land here.
•Heard stories of wealthy kingdoms
in the Americas.
•Hoped to find gold and other
•Spain gave “conquistadors” right to
Trade and Riches
During the time that European
settlers were traveling to Latin
America, there was a
disagreement between Spain
and Portugal about who had the
right to settle in certain areas.
Dividing the World
In 1494, Spain and Portugal
agreed that Spain could settle to
the west and Portugal could
settle to the east of an
imaginary line called the “line of
the Aztecs in
Incas by 1535.
Soon Spain had
Kansas to the tip
of South America.
Spain Organizes its Empire
The most powerful citizens were of
Spanish descent (from Spain) and lived
in the center of town.
Mestizos (people of mixed Spanish and
Native American) lived on the outskirts.
Native Americans were the least
powerful class and lived in the country.
Treatment of Native
Forced to work for the Spaniards -
farming and mining.
Many died from overwork and exposure
to European diseases.
In 1519 there were 25 million Native
Americans, but within 50 years only 3
million were left.