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

1 Answer

saintfester's profile pic

saintfester | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

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.