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The Spanish Landings in America

Today’s history marks the Spanish landings in the newly found America as invasion and colonization. Over the decades, the Spanish invaders killed and enslaved most of the people from many different indigenous groups that lived there. Now, these actions fall under the category of genocide, but at the time, people viewed it differently. Led by the wealth of the new lands and the indifference to the lives of the natives, the invaders were probably considered heroes who risked their lives in the name of the crown and God.

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To be the first people of European society to travel to distant shores was undoubtedly viewed as a certain means to acquire fame and glory. An expedition on such a large scale requires significant investment (Mikecz, 2017). The desire to expand the borders of their kingdom and the Christian faith encouraged Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon to support the expedition (Gómez-Barris, 2017). With evidence of great wealth that belonged to ungodly men of barbaric lands, no one opposed the idea of conquering the New World (Reséndez, 2016). Many people most likely viewed the mission as a righteous act to spread and defend the Christian faith. Putting their life on the line to defeat the savages of America for God and gold was believed to be a dream of every man. As such, at the time, the Spanish invaders could be considered fearless heroes.

The Spanish expedition to the new lands of America, together with the subsequent invasion and colonization, was powered by religion and greed. What today is considered genocide and murder might have been considered heroism at the time. The indigenous people were slaughtered and enslaved, their possessions stolen and sold in the name of Christian God, marking the killers and thieves as heroes of their time.


Gómez-Barris, M. (2017). The extractive zone: Social ecologies and decolonial perspectives. Duke University Press.

Mikecz, J. M. (2017). Mapping conquest: A spatial history of indigenous Peru during the Spanish invasion. The University of California.

Reséndez, A. (2016). The other slavery: The uncovered story of Indian enslavement in America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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