European Empires in the Americas 1500 –1700
After arriving in the Caribbean, the Spaniards continued their exploration of North and South America. Drawn by stories of gold, they conquered both the Aztec and Inca and seized their wealth. In the early 1600s, the French and Dutch also started American colonies.

Concepts to Understand


5 How America’s resources contributed to the economic develop-

s Journal Note

ment of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden

t the Imagine tha f Europe monarchs o you to help have asked t settlers them attrac cas. As to the Ameri chapter, you read this hings on t take notes ight conyou think m ans to vince Europe e counom leave their h ome to the tries and c Americas.

5 How conflict and cooperation affected relations between Native
Americans and European settlers

Read to Discover . . .
5 how the Spaniards settled and
governed the lands they conquered. 5 what drew French, Dutch, and Swedish settlers to North America.


Chapter Overview
Visit the American History: The Early Years to 1877 Web site at and click on Chapter 4—Chapter Overviews to preview chapter information.


1521 Aztec surrender to the Spaniards 1540 Coronado begins exploring the Southwest

1560s Spaniards begin missions in borderlands


1500–1549 1517 Protestant Reformation begins in Germany 1534 England separates from the Roman Catholic Church
UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

1550–1599 1568 Mercator publishes map of the Americas


De Soto Discovering the Mississippi, 1541
by O.F. Barninghaus, 1920


The great explorations of the United States were common subjects for American artists. This painting of De Soto was created by American artist O.F. Barninghaus in 1920.


1608 Champlain founds Quebec 1609 Hudson explores Hudson River 1626 Dutch buy Manhattan Island

1655 Dutch take over New Sweden

1600–1649 1606 Portuguese explorers reach Australia

1650–1699 1653 Taj Mahal completed in India 1689 Russia and China establish boundaries
CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700



The Fall of Two Empires
Main Idea
As the Spanish conquered more of the Americas, they brought an end to the Aztec and Incan Empires.

Read to Learn . . .
5 how the Spaniards conquered the Aztec and the Inca. 5 how Spanish conquests changed Mexico and South America.

Reading Strategy
Taking Notes As you read about the fall of the Aztec and Incan Empires, trace each civilization’s demise in an outline like the one shown here.
I. Aztec Empire falls. A. B. II. Inca Empire falls. A. B.

Terms to Know
5 conquistador 5 Nahuatl


Our lord and king, it is true that unknown people have come. They have arrived at the shores of the great sea. . . . Their weapons and equipment are all made of iron. Their bodies are covered everywhere; only their faces can be seen. They are very white, as if made of lime.

present-day Gulf of Mexico. The messenger had been sent to find out if the rumors were true.

5 Strangers on the Coast
Montezuma heard the news with a deepening sense of fear. If Aztec legend was correct, the god Quetzalcoatl (KWEHT•suhl•kuh•WAH•tuhl), the Feathered Serpent, had returned to the Aztec empire to reclaim his throne. “If he comes . . . he strikes at kings,” the legend warned. The emperor had many doubts. Was the ancient pale-skinned god of legend truly among the strangers on the coast? On the other hand, could these be humans who had come to harm the Aztec?

An Aztec messenger delivered this message to his emperor, Montezuma (MAHN•tuh•ZOO•muh) in his palace at Tenochtitlán (tay•NAWCH•teet•LAHN) in 1519. For some time, the Aztec had heard rumors that there were strangers to the east, along the shores of the “great sea,” or


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

Montezuma decided to treat the strangers and their leader as if they were gods. He sent five men to the coast with gifts and an invitation to visit him at Tenochtitlán. His gifts included golden masks inlaid with turquoise, headdresses made of brightly colored feathers, gold jewelry, and shields.

and 200 Cubans. He loaded the ships with horses, cannons, muskets, and specially trained war dogs dressed in their own armor.

Malintzin the Interpreter
Cortés had crossed the Gulf of Mexico and landed on the Yucatán Peninsula by March of 1519. He spent a few weeks sailing along the coast and learning as much as he could from the Maya. Although the great Mayan civilization was gone, Maya descendants still lived and farmed in the region. One Mayan chieftain introduced Cortés to a Native American princess named Malintzin. As a child, Malintzin had been sold into slavery during a time of famine. She spoke both Nahuatl (NAH•WAH•tuhl), the language of the Aztec, and the Mayan language. Before long, she also learned Spanish. Malintzin became Cortés’s interpreter, translating Native American languages into Spanish. Like many people in the coastal areas, Malintzin hated the Aztec. She told Cortés about their wealth and their belief in the pale-skinned god Quetzalcoatl.

Cortés the Conqueror
When the Aztec messengers arrived at the coast, they presented Montezuma’s gifts to the leader of the pale-faced strangers. He was Hernán Cortés (kawr•TEHZ). Instead of a god, Cortés was a Spanish conquistador, a Spanish term for conqueror. Cortés was not pleased with Montezuma’s messengers. He looked at the gifts with scorn and asked, “And is this all? Is this your gift of welcome?” He placed Montezuma’s messengers in chains and fired a cannon nearby to frighten them. He told the messengers, “I and my friends suffer from a disease of the heart which can be cured only by gold.”

Cortés Arrives in Mexico
Cortés had been in the Caribbean since 1511 managing his estate. As a reward for helping Spain conquer Cuba, he had received a large land grant on the island. Like other Spaniards, Cortés had heard tales about magnificent cities of gold on the mainland of North America across the Gulf of Mexico. He was eager to find those riches. In 1518 the governor of Spain’s colony in Cuba asked Cortés to set up a post on the Mexican mainland to claim land, look for gold, and begin trading with the Native Americans. Sensing the ambitions of Cortés, the governor changed his mind at the last minute. Cortés decided to disobey the governor and go anyway. He had outfitted 11 ships for his trip and enlisted the help of 600 Spanish soldiers

Cortés Marches Inland
By April, Cortés decided to journey inland toward the Aztec capital. Before leaving the coast, however, he founded a colony and named it Veracruz. In so doing, he claimed Mexico for Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. Sensing that the march would be dangerous and difficult, Cortés also destroyed his ships. He wanted to prevent his soldiers from retreating to Cuba. Meanwhile, Montezuma became more and more fearful. He sent sacks of gold to the approaching Spaniards, hoping to satisfy them and convince them to turn back. The gifts, however, only made the Spaniards more eager to reach the Aztec capital and its riches.
CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


5 Cortés in Tenochtitlán
Cortés arrived at the entrance to Tenochtitlán on November 8, 1519. There Montezuma, perhaps still uncertain about who the Spaniards were, gave him a grand welcome. That same day he gave the Spaniards their own quarters in the palace and presented them with many precious gifts. Finally, speaking through Malintzin, he offered Cortés the Aztec empire to command. Cortés sensed that Montezuma feared him. He also saw that he and his troops were in a dangerous position. Montezuma could be leading him into a trap. Aztec warriors were everywhere. If they drew up the bridges leading into the city, the Spaniards would have no escape. Cortés decided that the best way to control the Aztec would be to seize Montezuma and hold him captive. Montezuma remained a prisoner of the Spaniards in his own palace for months. Meanwhile, the Spaniards ransacked all the gold or other treasures they could find in the capital. They piled gold jewelry and other items into large heaps and started

fires to melt them into gold bars. The bars were easier to carry away. Today the gold that Cortés took from the Aztec would be worth more than $8 million.

A New Spanish Ally: Disease
During the months that Montezuma was held captive by the Spaniards, he became unpopular among the Aztec people. He was killed by a stone thrown by an Aztec during a revolt against the Spanish. After Montezuma’s death, however, the Aztec united and drove the Spaniards from Tenochtitlán. Fleeing Spaniards— many slowed down with the weight of the treasure they carried—were hunted down and killed. The Aztec had little chance to enjoy their victory, however. One Aztec account told that:

After the Spaniards had left the city of Mexico, and before they had made any preparations to attack us again, there came amongst us a great sickness, a general plague. . . .

Picturing H istory 94

INTERPRETER FOR CORTÉS Malintzin’s people, the Maya, lived on the east coast of Mexico. What colony did Cortés found there?

UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700



Linking Past and Present


Spanish Treasure Ships
Throughout the 1500s and 1600s, hundreds of Spanish treasure ships carried tons of American gold, silver, and jewels to Spain.

an Atlantic hurricane. The Atocha ran into a jagged reef and sank to the ocean floor, taking its treasure and more than 100 crew members with it.

Treasure Hunt
In 1985, modern treasure hunter and underwater diver Mel Fisher found the Atocha’s wooden hull covered with sand off the coast of the Florida Keys. Still buried with it were more than 3,000 emeralds; 30 tons of silver; and hundreds of gold bars, chains, and coins. Some estimate that the treasure is worth $300 million to $1 billion.

Lost at Sea
In 1622 the Spanish ship Atocha departed Cuba for Spain. The unlucky crew soon realized that they had sailed into


The “great sickness” the Aztec wrote about was probably smallpox or measles. These diseases were deadly because the Aztec had never been exposed to them before. The diseases brought by the Spaniards turned into a deadly weapon.

Cortés ordered that a new city be built on the site of Tenochtitlán. It would be the new Spanish capital, renamed Mexico City.

5 Pizarro and the Inca
The Final Conquest
Cortés returned to Tenochtitlán 10 months later. With mounted soldiers in the lead, thousands of Native Americans and at least 1,000 Spanish soldiers attacked the capital. The Aztec fought on foot without horses or guns. Their stone knives, copper shields, and cloth armor were no match for the iron weapons and heavy cannons of the Spaniards. The Aztec surrendered to Cortés on August 13, 1521. It had taken only two years for the Spaniards to destroy the mighty Aztec empire. Tenochtitlán lay in ruins and the golden treasures of the Aztec now belonged to Cortés and to Spain. Thirteen years after the conquest of the Aztec, the Inca also faced the strength of the Spaniards. The leader of the attack against the Inca was the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Like Cortés, Pizarro had heard many stories of the great wealth in the lands of South America. He made several expeditions along the coast to look for the treasure. It was not until 1526, however, when one of his ships spotted an Incan trading boat loaded with silver and gold, that he believed the stories were true. Pizarro ordered his men to capture the ship. He trained some of the Incan crew to be interpreters, then planned his assault on the Incan empire.
CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


control the Inca was through their emperor. He took Atahualpa captive. To gain their leader’s freedom, the Inca were ordered to pay a ransom. They collected enough gold and silver to fill the room where their emperor was kept prisoner. At today’s prices the roomful of precious metals would be worth more than $65 million. Pizarro promised to free Atahualpa when the ransom was paid, but instead had the Incan leader killed.

The Fall of an Empire
ATAHUALPA BEFORE PIZARRO The Incan ruler Atahualpa was captured by Pizarro. What later happened to Atahualpa? Pizarro then sent soldiers up the mountains to capture the Incan capital of Cuzco. By 1535 most of the Incan empire had fallen. Pizarro set up his capital in Lima, Peru. From there he sent expeditions to take control of most of the rest of South America outside Portuguese-held Brazil. The Portuguese had held claim to Brazil since 1494. Unlike the Aztec, who fell to Cortés in only 2 years, parts of the Incan empire held out against the Spaniards for 40 years. The Inca’s system of rule encouraged loyalty among its many subjects and the empire was much better unified than the Aztec Empire. The Spaniards found far more gold in South America than in Mexico. The former Incan empire became Spain’s richest colony.

Picturing H istory

A Broken Promise
In 1531 Pizarro led 180 soldiers across the Isthmus of Panama and then sailed southward along the west coast of South America. When Pizarro’s small Spanish army landed in the coastal city of Cajamarco, it learned that the Incan ruler Atahualpa (AH•tuh•WAHL•puh) was resting after a bitter civil war with his half-brother. After killing thousands of Inca, the Spaniards marched to Atahualpa’s summer home. Like Cortés among the Aztec, Pizarro thought the best way to


5 Section 1 15 Assessment5 SECTION ASSESSMENT

Checking for Understanding
1. Define conquistador, Nahuatl. 2. What weapons did the Spanish have that the Aztec and Inca did not have? 3. Why was the city of Lima important to Pizarro?

Spanish conquests changed Mexico and South America.
Spanish Conquests

5. The Arts Imagine you are an Aztec messenger warning the Inca that the Spanish are coming to attack them. Draw a series of five pictures telling them what to expect.

Critical Thinking
4. Analyzing Effects Re-create the diagram shown here, and list the ways in which the


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

Social Studies Skills

Understanding Latitude and Longitude
For more than 17 centuries, mapmakers have used lines of latitude and longitude from the global grid to pinpoint locations on maps and globes.

Spanish Colonies in the Americas
120° W 90° W 60° W 30° W 0°

Learning the Skill

Gulf of Tenochtitlán Mexico


St. Augustine

Prime Meridian Equator ATLANTIC OCEAN
3,000 kilometers

Cuba Hispaniola
Santiago Santo Domingo
Caribbean Sea

30° N

The imaginary horizontal lines that circle the globe from east to west are lines of latitude. Because the distance between the lines of latitude is always the same, they are also called parallels. The imaginary vertical lines that intersect the parallels are lines of longitude, also called meridians. Parallels and meridians are numbered in degrees. The Equator, located halfway between the North and South Poles, is 0°. Moving north or south of the Equator, the number of degrees increases until reaching 90°N or S latitude at the poles. St. Augustine, Florida, at 29°N latitude, is 29° north of the Equator. Cuzco, Peru, at 13°S latitude is 13° south of the Equator. The Prime Meridian is 0° longitude. Moving east or west of the Prime Meridian, the number of degrees E or W increases up to 180°. The 180° line of longitude is located on the opposite side of the globe from the Prime Meridian. It is called the International Date Line. The point at which parallels and meridians intersect are the coordinates of an exact location. The coordinates for St. Augustine are 29°N and 81°W. The coordinates for Cuzco are 13°S and 71°W.

Isthmus of Panama


Lima Cuzco


0 0 1,500 1,500 3,000 miles

Practicing the Skill
1. What are the approximate coordinates of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola? 2. Is the Isthmus of Panama located about 8°N or 8°S latitude? 3. What Spanish capital was built at 12°S and 76°W? Glencoe’s Skillbuilder Interactive Workbook, Level 1 provides instruction and practice in key social studies skills.

4. Use your Atlas to help you sketch a map of the east coast of the United States and the Atlantic Ocean. On your map draw a small circle at about 32°N and 75°W. Imagine the circle is a hurricane traveling west. Label the state the hurricane will probably strike.



Spain Builds a Vast Empire
Main Idea
Throughout the sixteenth century, Spain built a vast American empire that stretched from South America to what is today the United States.

Read to Learn . . .
5 what life was like in the Spanish colonies. 5 what areas of the present-day United States the Spaniards explored. 5 how Spain settled the American Southwest.

Reading Strategy
Organizing Information As you read about Spain’s conquest of the Americas, use a diagram similar to the one shown here to describe the settlement types and social classes in its new empire.
Settlement Types Social Classes

Terms to Know
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 borderlands viceroy pueblo mission presidio peninsulare creole mestizo

Spain’s Empire


n 1523 three barefoot men in tattered brown robes got off a Spanish ship at the newly built port of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. Then they walked more than 200 miles (320 km) over rugged trails to reach Mexico City. Outside the city, Cortés—now ruler of Mexico—met the three men. Thousands of Native Americans watched in amazement as Cortés knelt down before the men and begged forgiveness for his treatment of the Native Americans. Who were these simply dressed, barefoot men? Why did they have such power over the mighty Hernán Cortés? The men


were friars, members of a Catholic religious order. Their influence over Cortés was just one sign of the important role religion played as Spain went on to strengthen and enlarge its empire in the Americas.

5 Spain’s American Empire
Spain used the wealth gained from its conquest of the Aztec and Inca to enlarge its army and navy. It was able to finance more explorations and settlements in the Americas. As the most powerful nation in Europe, Spain faced little interference from other European countries.


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

Ruling the Empire
Spain divided its American empire into two parts. The southern part was made up of its claims in South America and was called Peru. The northern part, named New Spain, took in all the land north of South America. It included the Caribbean Islands, Central America, Mexico, and all the lands bordering Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. These lands along the northern edges of Spanish territory were the Spanish borderlands. Spain put a governing official called a viceroy in charge of each part of its empire, one in New Spain and one in Peru. The main responsibility of the viceroy was to produce wealth for Spain. For many years, this was not difficult to do. New, rich deposits of silver were found northwest of Mexico City. These mines produced tons of silver for shipment to Spain. Cotton, sugarcane, and other crops grown on plantations were also shipped to Spain. Despite the distance across the Atlantic, rulers in Spain succeeded in keeping tight control over their American colonies.

Viceroys and lesser officials sent regular, lengthy reports back to Spain. Likewise officials in Spain sent many rules and regulations to the colonies.

Three Kinds of Settlements
Spanish law called for three kinds of settlements in the Americas—pueblos, missions, and presidios. Pueblos, or towns, were established as centers of trade. Most pueblos were built around a central square that included a church and government buildings. Many towns in Mexico and South America still reflect the style of the Spanish pueblos. Missions were religious communities that usually included a small town, surrounding farmland, and a church. They were started by Catholic religious workers called missionaries. Life in a mission centered around the church. Priests taught Native Americans about the Roman Catholic religion and various crafts and skills. Usually a presidio, or fort, was built near a mission. Spanish soldiers stationed at a presidio protected the missions from invaders.

Picturing H istory

SPANISH MISSION The priests raised crops to feed the many people who lived at the mission. What were the three types of Spanish settlements?

CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


Biography 5555 Sor Juana Writes Poetry
The life of Juana Inés de la Cruz reflects how opportunities for women were limited in New Spain. Men held all the important positions. Women had two choices: to marry and put themselves under the control of their husbands, or to join a convent and put themselves under the control of the church. Juana Inés de la Cruz was born in a tiny village near Mexico City in 1651. At 17 Juana chose to enter a convent to become a nun, or religious sister. She believed the convent would allow her the time and opportunity to write poetry and study. Religious leaders soon became angry that Juana wrote poetry about such worldly subjects as love and the rights of women. A Catholic bishop wrote her a letter of warning. Inside the convent other nuns shunned Sor Juana. Few people from the outside dared to visit her. Finally in 1694 Juana gave in. She reaffirmed her vows as a nun. Her library was removed from her room. A year later when an epidemic swept through Mexico City, Juana insisted on staying in the convent to tend to the nuns who were ill. At age 43 she died of cholera. Today, many scholars regard Sor Juana as the Americas’ first great poet. 555

5 Social Classes in New Spain
The people of Spain’s American colonies formed a structured society where position was determined mostly by birth.

Peninsulares and Creoles
Peninsulares, or people born in Spain, had the highest positions in Spanish colonial society. Peninsulares held the best jobs in government and in the church. They also owned much of the land and ran the large estates on which the Native Americans worked. They controlled most of the wealth and power. Creoles were below the peninsulares on the social ladder. These colonists had Spanish parents but had been born in New Spain. Although they could not rise as high as the peninsulares, they still held important positions in the government, church, army, and business.

By the late 1500s, there were about 60,000 peninsulares and creoles in New Spain. They were greatly outnumbered, however, by mestizos, people of mixed Spanish and Native American descent. Most mestizos worked on farms and ranches. In towns they worked as carpenters, bakers, tailors, and soldiers.

Treatment of Native Americans
Native Americans made up the largest group of people in Spain’s empire. They were forced to work in the mines and on plantations under cruel conditions. Most were paid so little that they had to borrow from landowners just to buy food. They could not change jobs until all their debts were paid. As a result, they were trapped in a system that was close to slavery. Bartolomé de Las Casas devoted his life to trying to change the Spaniards’ abuse of the Native Americans. Las Casas



UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

first came to the Caribbean Islands with Columbus in 1502 and later became a priest. In 1542, Spain passed laws meant to end the system of forced labor altogether. Las Casas often found the laws impossible to enforce, however.

CAUSES • • •

Introduction of new Asian trade goods in Europe Strong national rulers make travel safe for merchants in Europe Europeans improve shipbuilding and apply navigational tools such as the compass and astrolabe

5 The Spanish Borderlands
Even before the conquest of the Aztec, Spanish explorers had turned their attention to the borderlands. Their first goal was always to find gold.

The Age of Exploration

Settlement in Florida
As early as 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de León visited Florida, searching for riches—and according to legend—a fountain that promised eternal youth. He found neither, and in 1521 lost his life in a conflict with Native Americans. In 1565, a group of French people landed in Florida intending to start a settlement. To keep out the French, the Spaniards built a fort and settlement of their own along the east coast of Florida. They called their settlement St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine today is the oldest city in the United States started by Europeans.

EFFECTS • • • •

Europeans make voyages to the Americas Rise of large European empires in North and South America Destruction of many Native American populations and cultures Competition among European countries for control in the Americas

A Lost Expedition
In 1528 a large Spanish expedition went to Florida looking for gold. The Spaniards lost their way, however, and retreated to Florida’s west coast. The men built rafts and tried to sail across the Gulf of Mexico. Of the 300 men who started the trip, only 4 survived. Those 4 were washed ashore near presentday Galveston, Texas. One of them was a noble named Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (kuh•BAY•zuh duh VAH•kuh). Another was an African who had been enslaved, named Esteban (ehs•TAY•bahn).

For nearly nine years the men wandered through the borderlands of southwest North America trying to find their way to Mexico. When they finally reached Spanish territory in 1536, they had walked halfway across the continent.

Coronado in the Southwest
De Vaca claimed that Native Americans had told him of seven cities in a land called Cibola that had huge stockpiles of gold, silver, and precious jewels. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado organized a large expedition to the Southwest to find the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola in 1540. Coronado traveled for almost three years through lands of the present-day southwestern United States. He passed
CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


Spanish Explorers, 1513 –1598
120°W 100°W 80°W 60°W


er i Riv Mississipp

Coronado 1540 Oñate 1598 Cabeza de Vaca 1536 De Soto 1539 Ponce de León 1513
200 400 600 miles

Grand Canyon

ver o Ri ad Arkansa lor s Co
ve r


200 400 600 kilometers

San Diego

Santa Fe El Paso
nd Gra

St. Augustine


Gulf of Mexico


Havana Mexico City

Caribbean Sea

Puerto Rico Hispaniola

Region Spanish explorers claimed all of Florida, the islands of the Caribbean Sea, and most of southwestern North America. Which Spaniard explored areas along the southern half of the Mississippi River?

cliff dwellings abandoned by the ancient Anasazi and explored settlements of the Zuni, Hopi, Apache, and Navajo. To his disappointment Coronado found no splendid cities of gold. His expedition did, however, give Spain claim to lands far to the north of Mexico.

of the seven cities of gold. De Soto started his journey in Florida. For the next 2 years, he and 600 men made their way through present-day South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Although he had failed to find gold, he gave Spain a claim to all the land he had explored.

De Soto and the Mississippi River
In 1539 another Spanish expedition— led by Hernando de Soto—went in search

5 Borderland Missions
For many years Spanish settlers paid little attention to the northern borderlands. The Spanish government, however, wanted to attract settlers to the area to discourage other countries from making claims. Instead of soldiers, the government sent missionaries to start new settlements.

Student Web Activity
Visit the American History: The Early Years to 1877 Web site at and click on Chapter 4—Student Web Activities for an activity about Spain’s empire.


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

Knowing how badly the Native Americans of the Caribbean and Mexico had been treated, government officials in Spain thought that missionaries would be able to develop kinder relationships with the people who lived in the borderlands. From the 1560s to the 1820s, Spain set up hundreds of missions in present-day New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, California, Florida, and Georgia. Spanish missions met many of the Native Americans’ basic needs. In return, the Native Americans were expected to accept the Catholic religion, practice Spanish customs, and work at the mission. Missions usually provided dining areas, schools, workshops, and a church. Some had living quarters where the Native Americans could stay with their families. In the workshops, Native Americans could learn needlework, carpentry, and metalworking skills.

had scheduled activities that they had to attend. The new religion also required them to give up their own religious beliefs and traditions. Many Native Americans rebelled. Some attacked the missions, killing missionaries. Others simply left the missions.

Stopping the Russians in California
Upper California was the last borderland Spain settled. The Spaniards had claimed this territory in 1542 when they sailed along the Pacific Coast and explored the site of present-day San Diego. However, they ignored Upper California until the 1760s, when they became alarmed at the activities of traders from Russian-held Alaska. From time to time, the Russians went ashore to hunt and gather furs. Spanish officials sent an expedition to California in 1769. Their first goal was to establish a chain of missions and military posts along the California coast. The Spaniards began a settlement they called San Diego. This was the first of 21 missions built between San Diego and San Francisco.

Native American Responses
Some Native Americans enjoyed the benefits that missions provided. Others did not like the restrictions the missions placed on them. They could not leave without permission, and each day they


5 Section 1 25 Assessment5 SECTION ASSESSMENT

Checking for Understanding
1. Define borderlands, viceroy, pueblo, mission, presidio, peninsulare, creole, mestizo. 2. What social class of New Spain was the largest? Why? 3. What was the basis for Spain’s claims to the American Southwest?

5. Organizing Information The Spanish explored much of what is today the southern United States. Use a diagram such as the one shown here to give the present-day state names of the regions the Spanish explored.

Spanish Exploration

Critical Thinking
4. Determining Cause and Effect What earlier Spanish experiences in the Americas might have encouraged Coronado to believe in the seven cities of gold?

6. Citizenship Create a diagram to illustrate the differences among social classes in New Spain.

CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700








An Age of Mercantilism
American Wealth for Spain American Wealth for Spain
7 6 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1531–
1541– 1551– 1561– 1571– 1581– 1591– 1601– 1611– 1621– 1631– 1641– 1531– 1541– 1551– 1561– 1571– 1581– 1591– 1601– 1611– 1621– 1631– 1641– 1535 1545 1555 1565 1575 1585 1595 1605 1615 1625 1635 1645 1535 1545 1555 1565 1575 1585 1595 1605 1615 1625 1635 1645

Pesos (In millions) Pesos (In millions)
4 3 2 1 0


Source: Spain in America, 1966. Source: Spain in America, 1966.

Year Year

Between the 1400s and 1700s, European countries adopted an economic system called mercantilism. According to the theory of mercantilism, a country could be rich only if wealth continually flowed into its economy and its government treasury. Colonies were one source of wealth. It was always the colonists’ duty to ship most of the gold, silver, or other resources found in the colony back to their home country in Europe. Spain was the first European country in the Americas to profit from mercantilism. Just one ship leaving Cuba carried more than 900 bars of silver, 160 bars of gold, 580 bars of copper, 225,000 gold coins, and 300 popcornsized emeralds. As other European countries set up colonies in the Americas, they too followed mercantilism. For about 300 years, most of the natural resources gathered in the Americas were sent to Europe.

Making the Math Connection
Use the graph to answer the following questions.
1. During which two five-year periods did the value of resources fail to reach 1 million pesos? 2. During which three five-year periods did wealth sent to Spain reach peak amounts? 3. About how much more wealth was gained during the period from 1601–1605 than from 1641–1645?

4. Create a chart of American goods you think could have been shipped to Spain during the 1500s and 1600s. List the names of the items and a possible value, such as “tobacco—3,000 pesos.” When you have finished, add up the total value of the ship’s cargo.



French, Dutch, and Swedish Colonies
Main Idea
The French established a large but sparsely populated empire in North America, while the Dutch and Swedes carved out smaller colonies there.
New France American Empires New Amsterdam

Read to Learn . . .
5 about French colonization in North America. 5 why the Dutch established New Netherland.

Reading Strategy
Organizing Information As you read about the different European empires in North America, list their main characteristics in a diagram similar to the one in column two.

hen French explorer Jacques Cartier had arrived in eastern Canada in 1534, his sailors planted a 30-foot (9-m) wooden cross on the shore. Cartier himself formally claimed the land for France. Nearby, a group of Native Americans had gathered to watch this strange ceremony. They seemed angry as they pointed to the cross and spoke. The French had no need to be concerned about the Native Americans for a number of years. Neither Cartier’s first voyage in 1534 nor his two later voyages promised a new route to Asia or gold and silver. As a result, the French king had little interest in what the North American continent had to offer.


In addition, France in the mid-1500s was fighting wars in Europe. It had little money or energy for exploring new lands. In 1589, however, the wars in France ended. The French monarch began to take a closer look at the lands Cartier had claimed along the St. Lawrence River.

5 Establishing New France
Cartier had reported to a group of French fur companies that there were a great many furbearing animals in northern North America. These fur companies paid for the first major attempt the French made to settle America. They hired Samuel de Champlain to lead the effort.
CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


Major European Explorers, 1487–1682
For Portugal
Bartolomeu Dias Vasco da Gama Pedro Alvares Cabral 1487-1488 1497-1499 1500 Sailed around the southern tip of Africa Sailed around Africa to India Sailed to Brazil

Dates of Voyages


For Spain
Christopher Columbus Juan Ponce de León Ferdinand Magellan Cabeza de Vaca Francisco Coronado Hernando de Soto Juan Cabrillo 1492-1504 1508-1509, 1513 1519-1522 1530 1540-1542 1516-1520, 1539-1543 1542-1543 Explored the islands of the Caribbean Sea Explored Puerto Rico Explored Florida First to sail around the world Explored Spanish northern Mexico and Brazil Explored southwestern North America Explored Central America Led expedition to the Mississippi River Explored the west coast of North America

Most European explorers reached the Western Hemisphere. Which two countries explored the east coast of North America?

For England
John Cabot Henry Hudson 1497-1501 1610-1611 Rediscovered Newfoundland (east coast of North America) Explored Hudson Strait and Hudson Bay

For the Netherlands
Henry Hudson 1609 Explored the Hudson River

For France
Giovanni da Verrazano Jacques Cartier Samuel de Champlain Jacques Marquette/ Louis Joliet Robert de La Salle 1524 1534-1542 1603-1615 1673 1666-1682 Explored the east coast of North America, including New York harbor Explored the St. Lawrence River Explored the St. Lawrence River Founded Quebec Explored the Mississippi River Explored the Great Lakes Founded Louisiana after reaching the mouth of the Mississippi River


Founding Quebec
Champlain sailed to North America in 1603. He landed on the eastern coast of the present-day Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The French called this region Acadia.

In 1608, Champlain established Quebec—the first permanent French settlement—near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Here, he and a small group of 24 settlers built a wooden fort to prepare for the first winter. The winter was bitterly cold and only 8 settlers survived.


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

The French and the Native Americans
Champlain saw the importance of maintaining peace with the Native Americans. He sent out young men to learn their languages and to study the customs of the Algonquin and Huron. Unlike the Spaniards, who tried to change Native American cultures, most French settlers—beginning with Champlain—tried to accept Native American ways. Because of this attitude, some Native Americans became strong allies of the French. Champlain explored and mapped Lake Ontario and Lake Huron, two of the five Great Lakes located at the western end of the St. Lawrence River. He also traveled to present-day northern New York. There he came to another lake which he named after himself—Lake Champlain. Champlain became known as “the Father of New France.” Just as the Spaniards called their North American empire New Spain, the French called theirs New France.

North America, they claimed more land for France. Native Americans they met along the way told them of a great river that lay south of the area the French had settled. A trader, named Louis Joliet, and a priest, Father Jacques Marquette, heard the stories of the mighty river and hoped it was the trade route to Asia that everyone had been looking for. In 1673 the two men set out to find the waterway, traveling down the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. Eventually, they reached the Mississippi River. For several weeks, they paddled more than 1,000 miles (1,600 km) downriver. At length, they realized that the Mississippi River flowed south and was not a western route to the Pacific Ocean. Ten years later, Robert de La Salle was determined to find out how far the Mississippi flowed. In 1682 he reached the mouth of the Mississippi, where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. He and his men erected a stone column that claimed all the lands of the Mississippi Valley for France. He named the area Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV.

The French Fur Trade
The economy of New France was based on the fur trade. Traders sent a steady supply of beaver, otter, and fox skins back to France. These skins, especially beaver skins, were highly prized for making hats and coats. Beaver hats were very fashionable in Europe, and upper-class Europeans were eager to buy them. French traders and trappers traveled across New France using the rivers and lakes as highways. They set up trading posts along the way and became friendly with some Native Americans who supplied them with furs.

5 The Boundaries of the French Empire
By 1700 New France took in a huge portion of North America. It included Acadia, Canada, and Louisiana. Canada was everything west of Acadia to the Great



Exploring the Mississippi
As explorers, missionaries, and fur traders moved west into the interior of

Flag of New France Settlers in New France flew this French flag, which was based on the French Royal Banner, until 1763. White was the French royal color of the time.


CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


French Explorers, 1535–1682
100° W 90° W 80° W Hudson Bay 70° W 60° W 50° N 50° W


Lake Superi

e Huron ak

Ft. Frontenac



Ft. Detroit
Lake Michigan



166 9-7



rie Lake E 1

Lake Ontario

La w

ce ren

Lake Champlain ATLANTIC OCEAN 40° N

rk a n s as

Ohio R

i ve


Ri Red

-8 79







Ri ve


Quebec Three Rivers

iss ss Mi
iR ipp


o Miss

ur i

Cartier 1535–1536 Champlain 1609–1615 Marquette and Joliet 1673 La Salle 1669–1671, 1679–1682 French territory Settlement English territory Fort Spanish territory
200 200 400 400 600 miles

Lakes. Louisiana was the southern colony that stretched through central North America, along the Mississippi River, to the Gulf of Mexico. Trappers, traders, priests, and soldiers continued to move into the lands that France claimed and built many trading posts and forts. Today’s cities of Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans stand on the sites of earlier French trading posts.

Footnotes to History
The Wall in Wall Street
The Dutch in New Amsterdam built a wall across the southern end of Manhattan to keep Native Americans out of their settlement. Wall Street, world-renowned center of finance in present-day New York City, takes its name from this wall.


r ive



600 kilometers

30° N

Movement Explorers from France followed rivers and lakes into the interior of North America. Which early French explorer traveled up the St. Lawrence River?

5 Attracting French Settlers
While New France eventually prospered, it did so without many French settlers. Reports of cold weather and attacks by the Iroquois kept many people from leaving France. Also, the government and economy of France was stable and people had no reason to leave.


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

In 1625 fewer than 60 people lived in Quebec. By 1665 there were only about 2,500 French settlers, mostly men, in all of New France. To encourage settlement, King Louis XIV set up a land grant system. It gave land to French nobles in return for bringing settlers from France to farm the land. Despite its slow population growth, New France eventually had enough people to establish several important towns along the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The French government set up a network of military forts that connected Canada with Louisiana and its claims along the Mississippi River. The forts, combined with close ties between French settlers and many Native American groups, put France in a strong position. It could easily defend its empire against Spain and other European countries.

5 Arrival of the Dutch and Swedes
By the 1600s Europe’s hopes of finding a Northwest Passage to Asia were fading. Dutch merchants began to wonder if ships could reach Asia by going

northeast around Europe, through the Arctic Ocean. In 1609 Dutch sailors aboard a ship called the Half Moon attempted to find such a route. After waiting a month for ice in the Arctic Ocean to thaw, their captain—an English sailor named Henry Hudson— decided to turn around and sail west across the Atlantic Ocean. The Half Moon landed along the North American coast. Hudson claimed the area for the Dutch. The Dutch quickly became interested in the North American fur trade. They built a post for trading with the Native Americans at present-day Albany, New York. They also started the settlement of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. Eventually the Dutch colony, called New Netherland, spread to include parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware. In the late 1630s, Sweden began sending people to North America. The Swedes settled just south of New Netherland on the Delaware in an area they called New Sweden. Though small, New Sweden troubled the Dutch in New Amsterdam. The Dutch did not want to compete with other European countries for fur trade. Conflict between the two groups would soon arise.


5 Section 1 35 Assessment5 SECTION ASSESSMENT

Checking for Understanding
1. How did most French settlers choose to make their living? 2. What kinds of settlements did the French build in Louisiana? 3. Why did the Dutch become interested in North American settlements?

5. Sequencing Information Re-create the time line shown here, and list the key events of French colonization of North America. Use the dates provided as a guide.
1589 1608 1682

Critical Thinking
4. Drawing Conclusions Why do you think the Native Americans might have considered the fur traders to be less of a threat than farmers were?

6. Economics Create a newspaper advertisement for fashionable beaver hats that would appeal to wealthy Europeans of the 1600s.

CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700



Self-Check Quiz
Visit the American History: The Early Years to 1877 Web site at and click on Chapter 4—Self-Check Quizzes to prepare for the chapter test.

5. Create a diagram similar to this one, and list the similarities and differences between French and Spanish colonies in the Americas.
French Spanish

Critical Thinking

Using Key Vocabulary
2. Match the numbered items in Column A with their definitions in Column B. 1. conquistador 2. mestizo 3. presidio 4. creole

Drawing Conclusions Based on evidence in this chapter, do you think the Spanish or French government did a better job of governing their colonies? Making Inferences
Why do you think the French had trouble attracting settlers to New France?

History and Geography
Missions in New Spain
Study the map showing Spanish missions in northern Mexico and the borderlands. Then answer the following questions. 1.

a. person of mixed Spanish and Native American background b. Spanish military fort c. Spanish conqueror d. person of Spanish descent born in America

Location Place

Reviewing Facts
1. Name two things that aided the Spanish in their attack on the Aztec. 2. Describe the position of Native Americans in Spanish colonial society. 3. List the three areas of New France. 4. Who made Dutch claims in North America? 2.

Near what city was the northernmost Spanish mission located? Along which river did the Spaniards build a line of presidios?

Missions in New Spain by the 1700s
San Francisco
120° W 110° W 100° W 90° W 40° N

Understanding Concepts
Economic Development
1. How did the gold and silver from the Americas contribute to Spain’s power? 2. What was the main economic activity of the French and Dutch in North America? 3. What role did Native Americans play in the economy of New France?

Los Angeles San Diego


Santa Fe

Santa Barbara

El Paso
an d Gr

30° N

San Antonio
Gulf of Mexico



Mission City
0 200 400

20° N
600 800 miles

Conflict and Cooperation
4. Why was it helpful for the French to make allies of the Native Americans?

Mexico City

0 200 400 600 800 kilometers


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

3. 4.


Between what two major bodies of water did the lands of new Spain lie?

Movement In what direction would a priest travel to go from a Sante Fe mission to a mission near Los Angeles?

French Claims in North America about 1700
50° N 100° W 90° W 80° W 70° W 60° W

L. Michigan

Straits of Lake Superior Mackinac Quebec . R Lak St. Lawerence R. ACADIA
e Huron

i iss Miss ppi

Lake Ontario Lake Erie ATLANTIC OCEAN





40° N

Working in a group, research the influence of Spanish, French, or Dutch colonization on American culture. Choose one group and decide how words in our language, styles of architecture, and foods were influenced by them. Other areas of influence might include clothing styles, traditions, and holidays. Present your findings in an illustrated brochure. Photographs from old magazines and maps could be used to add information to your brochure. Personal experiences of classmates might also add details. Include information about locations in the United States where the cultural influence is particularly strong.

ns as R.

30° N

New Orleans
Gulf of Mexico

Technology Activity
Developing a Multimedia Presentation

Practicing Skills
Understanding Latitude and Longitude
Use the map showing the area of French settlement to answer the following questions. 1. What are the latitude and longitude coordinates of New Orleans? 2. Between what lines of longitude do four of the five Great Lakes lie? 3. Which rivers meet at 33°N, 91°W and flow south to the Gulf of Mexico? 4. What line of longitude lies closest to Quebec on the east? 5. Between what lines of latitude on the map does Lake Ontario lie?

Use the Internet and other resources to find out more about one of the explorers mentioned in the chart on page 106. Create a multimedia report about the explorer’s accomplishments. Give your presentation to the class. Writing

the as you r notes you took ea to write d this chapter an adver tisemen that will t attract new settlers to the A m Describe the adva ericas. of leavin ntages g settling Europe and in across t this land he sea.

CHAPTER 4 European Empires in the Americas: 1500–1700


Interdisciplinary Activity: Language Arts


R. ois

. Ohio R
0 0 500 500

1,000 miles

1,000 kilometers

30 25 20 15 10 5 0


Using Your Jou rnal Use


Bartolomé de Las Casas was born in Spain but moved to Hispaniola around the age of 26. There, he became first a landowner and later a bishop in the Catholic Church. Las Casas is probably best remembered for Americans in Hispaniola. Concerned about the mistreatment of the native peoples, Las Casas never gave up working for laws to end their oppression.

merican Literary Heritage
Read to Discover
In this selection from History of the Indies, Las Casas writes about the opponents of Christopher Columbus and the arguments against his voyages. As you read, think of how you might have reacted to Columbus’s plans in the 1400s. Would you have supported or opposed him?

Reader’s Dictionary
Ptolemy sages vaunted proponents subtle antipodes adduced refrain contradict convened ancient Greek astronomer wise people boasted about people who are in favor of something not strong lands on the opposite side of the earth gave examples a repeated phrase argue against met

from History

of the Indies

by Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474–1566)

his efforts to aid the Native

Some said that it was impossible that after so many thousands of years these Indies should be unknown, if there were such places in the world, for surely Ptolemy and the many other astronomers, geographers, and sages that had lived would have known something of them, and would have left some reference to them in writing, since they had written of many other matters; hence, they said, to affirm what Columbus affirmed was to claim to know or divine more than anyone else. Others argued this way: The world is infinitely large, and therefore in many years of navigation it would be impossible to reach the end of Asia, as Christopher Columbus proposed to do by sailing westward. . . . Still others, who vaunted their mathematical learning, talked about astronomy and geography, saying that

UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700

only a very small part of this inferior sphere is land, all the rest being entirely covered with water, and therefore it could only be navigated by sailing along the shores or coasts, as the Portuguese did along the coasts of Guinea; the proponents of this view had read precious few books on navigation, and had done even less sailing themselves. They added that whoever sailed directly west, as Christopher Columbus proposed to do, could never return, for supposing that the world was round, and that going westward you went downhill, then once you had left the hemisphere described by Ptolemy, on your return you must go uphill, which ships could not do— truly a subtle and profound reason, and proof that the matter was well understood! Others cited Saint Augustine, who . . . denied the existence of antipodes . . . and their refrain was: “Saint Augustine doubts.” Then someone had to bring up the business of the five zones, of which three, according to many are totally uninhabitable; this was a commonly held opinion among the ancients, who, after all, did not know very much. Others adduced still other reasons, not worth mentioning here since they came from the kind of people who disagree with everybody—who find any statement illogical, no matter how sound. . . . And so Christopher Columbus could give little satisfaction to those gentlemen whom the monarchs had convened, and therefore they pronounced his offers and promises impossible and vain and worthy of rejection. . . . Finally the monarchs sent a reply to Columbus, dismissing him for the time being, though not entirely depriving him of the hope of a return to the subject when their Highnesses should be less occupied with important business, as they were at that time by the War of Granada.


Responding to Literature
1. How did Las Casas answer those people who thought the seas could be navigated only by sailing along the shores or coasts? 2. According to Las Casas, why did some people believe a ship could never return from a westward voyage? 3. St. Augustine is said to deny the existence of antipodes. What reasons can you think of for his belief? 4. According to the ancients, how many zones existed in the world?

5. Imagine that you are a friend and supporter of Christopher Columbus. Think of three reasons that his voyage should be financed. Using note cards, outline these reasons. Then prepare a short speech to convince a monarch or businessperson to grant Columbus the money and supplies he needs.

UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings: Prehistory–1700


Standardized Test Practice
Directions: Choose the best answer to each of the following multiple choice questions. If you have trouble answering a question, use the process of elimination to narrow your choices. Write your answers on a separate piece of paper. 1. Early Native Americans living in the Southwest learned to build irrigation systems to water their crops. This is an example of which theme of geography? A Location B Movement C Human-environment interaction D Region 3. Which of the following is NOT a reason Europeans began trading with Asia and Africa? A A new middle class had more money to spend on foreign goods. B Goods from Asia and Africa were superior to European products. C The Crusades introduced new goods from other lands that people wanted. D The Crusades led to more trade routes between Europe and Asia.

Test-Taking Tip: Eliminate answers that you know are wrong. For example, answer A, Location, refers to the position of a specific place on Earth’s surface. It doesn’t have anything to do with how people adapt to their surroundings.
2. On which type of map would you most likely find the locations of Civil War battles? F Political map G Special-purpose map H Physical map J General-purpose map
Process of elimination can be useful here, too. Remember, physical maps show natural features, and political maps show places like cities, states, and countries. Neither would show battle locations, so both can be eliminated.

Test-Taking Tip: Be careful—overlooking the words NOT or EXCEPT in a question is a common error. Look for the answer choice that does NOT fit the question. For example, since the Crusaders did bring back desirable goods from foreign lands, you can eliminate answer C.
4. During the Columbian Exchange, Spanish explorers brought gold and silver from the Americas to Spain. What is one thing they brought to the Americas? F Tobacco G Hieroglyphic writing H Democratic government J Disease

Test-Taking Tip:

Test-Taking Tip: Eliminate answers that don’t make sense. For instance, the Spanish had a monarchy (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella), not a democracy. Therefore, it would be illogical for them to bring democratic government to the Americas.


UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings Prehistory–1700

Standardized Test Practice
5. Read the passage below and answer the question that follows. Priests, many of whom were rulers, were the most important people in the Mayan empire. The priests helped the Maya please the gods. Gods were thought to control the sun, rain, and other forces of nature. The Maya believed that if the gods were pleased they would favor the people with good weather and bountiful crops. Based on this passage, which of the following is most accurate? A The Maya lived in a place with good weather and plentiful crops. B The Maya overcame many natural disasters. C Religion was important to the Maya. D The Maya hoped to expand their empire. 6. Use the time line below to answer the question that follows. According to this time line, which explorers were sailing at the same time? F Columbus and Verrazano G de Soto and Cartier H de Champlain and de La Salle J Coronado and de Champlain

Test-Taking Tip: Look for information on the time line to support your answer. Do NOT try to answer the question by memory. Work through each choice systemically, until you find two explorers whose dates overlap.

Test-Taking Tip: This question asks you to make a generalization about the Maya. A generalization is a conclusion based on facts. Look for facts in the passage to support your answer. Do not rely only on your memory. Determine the main idea of the paragraph. The main idea can help you eliminate answers that do not fit. Also look for the statement that is true AND that is covered in the paragraph.

1492–1504 Christopher Columbus 1516–1520 Hernando de Soto 1530 Cabeza de Vaca 1540–1542 Francisco Coronado

1508–1509, 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon

1519–1522 Ferdinand Magellan

1539–1543 Hernando de Soto


1524 Giovanni da Verrazano

1603–1615 Samuel de Champlain

1666–1682 Robert de La Salle

1534–1542 Jacques Cartier


1673 Jacques Marquette/ Louis Joliet

UNIT 1 America’s Beginnings Prehistory–1700