Glossary of Historical Terms: Spain and the Americas

Classified in History

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Regions and Peoples


A Dutch-speaking area in the north of Belgium, and one of the three Belgian regions.


The belief that people should act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences in nationality, creed, or ethnicity.


Former Mudéjars (Muslims under Christian rule) who converted to Christianity.

Historical Events and Treaties

Peace of Augsburg

A treaty between Charles V and the forces of Lutheran princes on September 22, 1555.

Revolt of the Comuneros

An uprising in Castile from 1520 to 1521, where comuneros (participants) rebelled against the rule of Charles V.

Political and Economic Systems

Council of the Indies

The name given to two separate bodies associated with British rule in India at different times.


A compulsory labor system used in the Andean region, both during Inca times and after the Spanish conquest of America.


A system of property distribution that benefited the eldest child, ensuring the majority of a family's wealth remained intact and grew over time.

Spanish Road

A route created by Philip II to reach the frontline in the Netherlands. It allowed boats to travel to northern Italy, cross the Alps, and descend into the Rhine Valley, connecting Habsburg possessions.

Exploration and Colonization

Columbus's Expeditions and Distribution of Territories

First Voyage (1492): Departed from the port of Palos on August 3rd, arriving in the Bahamas. Explored Hispaniola and returned in January 1493.

Second Voyage (1493): A large expedition with 17 ships and 1200 men established the first trading post on Hispaniola.

Third Voyage (1498): Columbus reached the north coast of South America and discovered Martinique, Trinidad, and the mouth of the Orinoco River.

Fourth Voyage (1502): Explored the coasts of Central America.

Organization and Power Structures

Crown of Castile

The high nobility and clergy supported Joanna la Beltraneja against Isabella. As a result, Isabella implemented policies to limit the power of nobles, including forbidding their participation in councils, creating new royal institutions with expert members, and establishing a professional army.

Crown of Aragon

Ferdinand II aimed to reduce the power of the nobility and issued the Sentence of Guadalupe, abolishing some feudal rights. He established a voting system for municipal posts and maintained a more peaceful approach through pacts and agreements, preserving institutions like the Cortes, diputaciones, and pactismo.

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