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Latin American History November 20 2000 Throughout history and during alternating time periods countries have grown from feeble entities defeated by or ruled by the governing structures of foreign nations to powerful nations Between the fifteenth and the sixteenth century Spain ruled as a great power among other nations Its empire began when in 1492 Spain financed Columbuss expeditions and explorations to conquer territory in the New World Once it held its new established territory Spain relied on the influx of gold and silver from the New World When it was an empire Spain had control over many countries including South America Mexico and Latin America This however wasnt all a negative aspect of European colonization in the Americas European colonization in the Americas also brought many positive social cultural and economical changes that make up what we are today If we look at the encounters between Europeans and Native Americans during the fifteenth century and beyond it is obvious to see a trend of invasion conquest slavery and eventually death lurking about the historical documents describing that time The expeditions into the New World by Europeans during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries cant be easily labeled as invasions If one looks at the end results of the conquests by Europeans it is evident that the most of the native tribes who made contact with Europeans were in most cases worse off than they were before they made contact However the barbaric overtaking of territory and culture by the Europeans is a far- fetched myth as these conquests were more a sort of cultural exchange than anything else
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