Looking for information on the Spanish colonies in North & South America? Want to know exactly where the Spanish colonies in America were? Our guide to Spain’s colonial legacy in America gives you the facts you want to know.
Spanish Colonies established their roots in America after Spain conquered, settled and ruled over the western hemisphere from 1489-1989. The story begins when the Spanish arrived in the western hemisphere from where they gradually started expanding. First the Spanish settled in the form of small settlements in the Caribbean but within the next three centuries they had established their settlements in Central America, South America, Mexico, Southwestern United States, Pacific and ending it all in Alaska.
Spanish Colonies in America
Although the Spanish had explored much of America most of their claims to the parts in the north of America were never consolidated. The Spanish colonies in America at one time or another comprised of South America, Central America, Mexico, most of the United States and the Caribbean. It was during their stay in these areas that the Spanish saw the conflict between the Conquistadores and the royal authorities. The main problem was due to the fact that the conquistadores and the officers were given large territories to control which was almost impossible. This gave way to rebellions more often than normal and resulted in major conflicts.
The Spanish had been observing all these problems for a while before they conquered different areas of America. The first step they took in controlling these conflicts was the implementation of several government systems. The new system was mainly based on the rule of “reporting directly to a senior in the system” and consisted of Adelantados, Capitancy General, Lieutenant General, Viceroyalties and such.
Slavery in Spanish Colonies
The Spanish colonies in America started falling during the Peninsular War when Spain itself was under attack from Napoleonic troops. The start of the 19th century proved to be a turning stone for the Americans when they started independence movements throughout the country. This resulted in the loss of the Spanish colonies in Central America, North America, and South America by 1825. During this time the Spanish lost most of their colonies in America except Cuba and Puerto Rico. This was often done with the help of the British Empire whose main interest was to break the Spanish monopoly in America. The 1898 Spanish-American War resulted in the loss of the remaining Spanish colonies in America. This was the end of the Spanish rule in America, after which the Spanish scattered all over the continent and settled in different places. But the Spanish colonies in America still existed for a while longer, mainly comprising of the poor immigrants or politically exiled Spanish, in Cuba, Mexico and Argentina.