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Monetary Reward As A Motivating Factor of Spanish

 

Imperialism In South America
 
Monetary rewards, such as gold, money, land, or slaves were
one of the three main factors that motivated Spanish
imperialism in South America in the early to mid 1500s. It,
along with greed for glory, and faithfulness to God,
influenced the Spanish warriors in South America to conquer
as much land as possible, and settle it, creating
civilizations.
 
The warriors may have envisioned themselves making money or
earning monetary possessions in any number of ways. Pay may
have been one of them. Spanish warriors had seen past
expeditions return successfully and be rewarded by the
king. South America was land that had never before been
seen, and was a whole new horizon to explore. They believed
it had great potential to earn them a reward.
 
The seeking of treasures also played a major role in
persuading the Spanish warriors to go through with these
expeditions. In the past, Cortes and Pizarro had been to
South America, and had looted and pillaged, returning with
substantial amounts of gold, silver, and money. Although
most Spanish explorers were convinced that they, too, would
find treasure, most did not. These, such as Ponce de Leon,
de Coronado, Narvaez, and De Soto, returned unsuccessful in
finding anything of great value.
 
Spanish warriors may also have conquered for land grants.
If they had led a successful expedition and discovered new
land, they may have been granted a large plot that of land,
usually measuring many hundreds of square miles. These
plots of land, after being developed, were called
encomiendas, or fiefs, and the owner would divide his land
among others, who would then be attached to their segment
of land. Being on land which is under one's own
responsibility is something many warriors strived for; it
would be another reason for one to uncover and conquer new
territory.
 
Having slaves was an additional motive behind the Spanish
Imperialism in South America. People knew that when they
conquered the natives of a land, the natives would become
slaves to them. Since the Spaniards did not know that the
Indians were such terrible workers, they fought hard so
that they would have them as slaves. Furthermore, on an
encomienda, lesser nobles were attached to the land that
the greater nobles above them owned. Thus, in a sense, the
greater nobles had workers. With these lesser nobles
managing small plots of their land, they could produce more
from the land, and manage it better, in effect making more
money.
 
Overall, gold, money and other monetary reward was a major
factor pushing the Spaniards to conquer. Most of the
Spaniards believed that this imperialism was an outstanding
opportunity for great riches, so they worked hard to
conquer. Money, land, and slaves were powerful possessions.
 



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