North America includes the United States and Mexico. The long-term impact of the Spanish on what is today Mexico is far deeper than the Spanish influence on the United States.
The Spanish conquered and destroyed the Aztec civilization in Mexico. They did this quickly because of superior weapons technology, most notably the gun. They transformed Mexico into a colony called New Spain, imposed their own European form of government on it, and converted the surviving population to Roman Catholicism, which became the official state religion. Spanish became the official state language. Although there was much genetic mixing, those identified as being of Native descent were oppressed and exploited. Mexico did not gain independence until the early nineteenth century, but it soon lost its northern territories to the United States.
Spain also colonized the area now known as California. From the late seventeenth century until it lost the California territory in 1821, Spain established colonies there...
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