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What were the three goals of Spanish colonization in the Americas?

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Three goals of the Spanish colonization in the Americas were the spread of Catholicism, the increase of wealth, and the expansion of the Spanish empire.

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Spain was considered to have as three main goals behind its expeditions to North America: the expansion of its empire, the attainment of wealth, and the spread of Christianity.

It is easily forgotten that monarchies were not possessed of endless wealth. True, kings and queens had considerable financial assets, but the costs of empire were enormous, and identifying and securing sources of revenue to pay for those empires drove these rulers to finance expeditions to unknown territories. In this sense, the goals of expanding empire and attaining wealth were closely linked. Spain’s was a powerful empire, but Spanish rulers were always wary of encroachment from the rival British and French monarchs.

There was a competition for riches, and those riches came from newly conquered territories. Chief among the natural resources sought by the Spanish was gold, and a major goal of Spain was then securing new sources of that most precious of metals. It was, in a sense, a self-perpetuating cycle of expansion and exploitation to help pay for that expansion.

Expansion of empire through conquering of territories in what became known as the Americas was the motive behind Spain’s sponsoring of Columbus’s expedition as well as those of other prominent explorers in Spanish history such as Magellan (a Portuguese sponsored by Spain; Columbus, of course, was Italian but sponsored by Spain), de Soto and, of course, Cortez. European rulers like Fernando and Isabella took tremendous pride in the scale and content (i.e., gold, silver, etc.) of the territories they occupied and the importance of pride in empire as well as the mineral wealth territorial expansion provided were two of the three major goals.

The third main motivation behind Spain’s expeditions to the New World was the spread of Christianity to what were considered pagan peoples. Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros was a fervent (one could say maniacal) advocate of the forced conversion of non-Christians and his role in influencing Spanish policy was substantial.

In fact, the Spanish Inquisition owed a debt to this prominent figure in Spanish history. Spain considered itself a principal exponent of Christianity, and the religion’s spread to the farthest reaches of empire was a major factor in Spanish expeditions to new lands.

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The Spanish had several goals when they established colonies in the Americas. One goal had to do with economics. The Spanish were hoping to find resources, mainly gold and silver, that would be a boost to their treasury and to their economy. The Spanish did find a lot of gold and silver in the Americas. Establishing colonies would also allow Spain to increase its trade. This would also benefit the Spanish economy.

Another reason for establishing colonies in the Americas was to spread their religion. The Spanish were Catholic, and they wanted to do missionary work and spread the Catholic religion. Much of Central and South America today practices the Catholic religion because of the efforts of the Spanish.

Finally, Spain wanted more land to control so they could compete with their rivals. Great Britain and France had established colonies in the Americas, and Spain wanted to do so also. Spain was competing with other European countries for power and control throughout the world. They wanted colonies in the Americas to be on the same level as Great Britain and France, as well as other colonial powers.

Spain had many reasons for establishing colonies in the Americas.

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There are three dominant reasons as to why the Spanish colonized the Americas. First and foremost, there was a strong need for the monarchy of Spain to expand its empire because of growing threats from England, France, and Russia, who were out to expand their own territories. Secondly, the Spanish colonization of the Americas was motivated by the need to spread Christianity. Religion was the strongest driver of its colonial activities and has been noted to have surpassed other goals, such as the spread of the Spanish language. The colonial territories had established religious structures in the form of churches and missionaries who worked to suppress the existing beliefs of the natives. Thirdly, the Spanish colonized the Americas because they needed to advance their economy. This goal was achieved during their voyages when they struck gold in the Americas.

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The three reasons the Spanish had for colonizing are usually listed as "gold, god, and glory."

"Gold" meant that one of the goals of Spanish colonization was to find gold or to otherwise get economic benefits from the colonies.

"God" meant that one of their goals was to spread Christianity. This was a goal that they emphasized very strongly, at least in their rhetoric.

"Glory" meant that both the individual explorers and the country of Spain wanted to gain glory and power. The people wanted to become famous and powerful (along with getting rich). The country of Spain wanted the glory and power than came with having the world's largest empire.

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