How did the reconquista influence the attitudes of the Spanish conquistadors and colonizers in the Americas?

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saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Reconquista refers to the successful removal of the Muslims’s from the south of Spain by an alliance of Christian monarchs. Historians argue when exactly this period of time began, but the affect on Spain’s eventual discovery of the New World is not debatable. This Reconquista led to further New World conquests in several ways.

After the Muslims were expelled, the Spanish and Portuguese turned their attention to the Jews. This expulsion of resulted in the accumulation of large amounts of material wealth by the Spanish and Portuguese, who then used this newfound income to finance voyages of discovery into Africa and eventually one very important one to the New World.

After the Reconquista ended, the Spanish military was incredibly powerful. Decades of war had led to a trim, well-armed force of veteran men who needed something else to do. With the discovery of the New World, there were plenty of opportunities for expansion and conquest now open to these conquistadors.

The most important result of the Reconquista was undoubtedly the change in the Spanish mindset. After this period, the conquest of non-Christian lands was just business as usual. This meant that the taking of Aztec, Inca or native land for Spain was not seen as evil or aggressive, it was just what Spain did. And with hundreds of years of pracitce, they were very good at it.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Reconquista refers to the time when the Christians, under King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I, defeated the Moors in Spain. This occurred in 1492 when the last stronghold of the Moors, Granada, fell to the Christian forces. This eventually led to the eviction of the Muslims and the Jews from Spain; they were expelled unless they converted to Christianity.

The Spanish increased their exploration of the Americas after the Reconquista. The Spanish conquered much of Latin America and had some settlements in North America. The Spanish believed they needed to spread Christianity to the people they conquered. Missionaries came to the Americas to do this. The Spanish also began to exploit the land by taking many mineral resources, such as gold and silver, and bringing them back to Spain.

The Reconquista allowed the Spanish to believe they should conquer more lands, convert people to Christianity, and take the mineral resources from the places they conquered.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Reconquista was a series of battles waged by the Spanish to reclaim Spain after the Islamic armies had conquered the territory. The last Islamic state at Granada fell around 1492, marking the end of the Reconquista. Discovery of the Americas followed soon after the fall of the last Islamic state.

Having achieved success against the Muslims and having furthered expansion of the Christian kingdoms, the Spanish conquistadors were emboldened; their victory encouraged the colonization of the Americas. The Spanish were more confident of their military strategies and tactics, and the Americas presented an opportunity to further expand their empire and religion.

The colonizers moved with a sense of entitlement and believed that their cause was a just cause, especially on the topic of religion. Thus, they took it as their divine responsibility to convert as many people as possible, and any challenge to their cause was met with extreme violence.