The common element in the Conquistadors seems to be poor men, who were warriors. Warfare in Spain was endemic. For Seven Centuries, Christians were fighting Moors. Then in 1492, the Moors were driven out.
I was watching Mankind The Story of All of Us on History Channel. The show discussed Christopher Columbus approaching Ferdinand and Isabella. “Well, ya’ll have just defeated those nasty Moors. Those Infidel Turks cut off Constantinople. I have a theory I can sail West to Asia, get its riches with a shorter route and beat out those blasted Portuguese.” He turned to Isabella. “You can have all the jewels you want.”
Ferdinand wants to know the cost. Isabella’s look could kill at thirty feet.
The short story is Columbus finds the Americas.
One of my favorite series is Monty Python’s Terry Jones series about the Crusades. Pope Urban by calling for the Crusades was giving these insane Norman knights something to do. “Y’all wanna kill someone, kill infidels.” (OK, he spoke Latin, not Southern United States, but I am silly and roll that that way). 🙂
What does this have to do with Conquistadors? Same idea. No more Moors, these Hidalgos need something to do.
The two conquests were similar. Native American allies who hated the rulers, smelly Conquistadors, and powerful empires brought down by a few hundred men.
- On This Day In 1532, Pizarro Traps Incan Emporer Atahualpa (rememberinghistory.wordpress.com)
- This Day in History (worldhistoryreview.org)
- Inca Warfare: the First Phase of the Incan Conquests (periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com)