Spanish provinces

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3.1.4 Hernando de Soto   

• Led the First European expedition deep into southeastern U.S. And crossed the Mississippi River. 

• Had Participated in the conquest of Peru in the early 1530s as one of Francisco Pizarro’s captains, becoming immensely wealthy in the process. 

• Charged With colonizing North America and finding a passage to China: set off from Cuba In 1539 with 9 ships and over 600 men on a planned 4year expedition.

• Landed on The west coast of Florida and travelled first in a northerly direction before Heading westwards on an epic journey through southeastern U.S, using native Guides along the way.  

• After Some fierce battles and lucky escapes, the severely depleted group crossed the Mississippi in 1541. 

• De Soto Died of a fever in Louisiana in 1542 and the expedition ended in relative Failure, although he claimed large parts of North America for Spain.  



3.1.5 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado  

• First European to explore the U.S. Southwest (1540-42). • Governor of New Galicia (northwestern province of New Spain). • Went in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold.

• Set off From Compostela with 400 Europeans and 1,300-2,000 natives; encountered Zuni And Hopi tribes and their pueblos as they travelled through Arizona and New Mexico. 

• Failed to Find the mythical cities and precious metals, but part of the expedition Reached the Grand Canyon and explored the Colorado River. 

• The main Expedition headed northwards up the Rio Grande and onto the Great Plains in Northern Texas and Kansas, where they found the civilization of Quivira, which Was not as wealthy as they had hoped. 



3.1.6 Spanish Settlement

• Pedro Menéndez was given a commission by King Philip II in 1565 to mount an Expedition to conquer the Florida peninsula.  

• He Defeated French Huguenots at Fort Caroline (now Jacksonville) and founded St. Augustine, the oldest colonial settlement in the USA. 

• Menéndez Was appointed governor of Spanish Florida, but his attempts to extend Spanish Influence westwards and northwards ended in failure. 

• Juan de Oñate established a tenuous hold in New Mexico in 1598-99, after which he was Also appointed governor of the province. 

• Franciscan friars set up missions in the pueblos and introduced European Crops. 

• The Spanish often took Indian wives, creating a mixed population known as Mestizos. 

• In 1680 The Spanish communities in New Mexico were overwhelmed by Indian revolts and it Took them 16 years to regain control.

• During Much of the 17th century the English attacked Spanish possessions in Florida From their colonies to the north, threatening Spanish control of the Region. 

• The French had begun settling rich delta lands of the Mississippi between Florida And Texas/New Mexico, effectively separating the Spanish provinces and limiting Further territorial expansion. 

• Between 1769 and 1823 the Franciscans built 21 missions along the Californian Coast in A chain running 1000 km from San Diego to San Francisco, thereby extending the Vast territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. 



3.2 French Exploration and Settlement

• 1541: Jacques Cartier built a short-lived settlement on the St. Lawrence River, and Named the whole region Canada (the local Indian word for ‘village’) in the First attempt to establish New France. 

• 1608: Samuel de Champlain gave a new impetus to the territorial permanence of New France. He founded Quebec City and was the first European to explore the Great Lakes.  

• 1663: the French Crown took over the Company of New France, which had been founded by Cardinal Richelieu in 1627 and held a perpetual monopoly of the fur trade, Sending out hundreds of settlers in an attempt to increase its modest Population. 

• 1682: Robert De La Salle  led an expedition across the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, seeking a Route to China. He claimed the whole of the Mississippi basin for France, Naming the province Louisiana.  

• New France remained a fragile, unprofitable empire: its hierarchical society Hindered enterprise and expansion. 

• By 1700, New France had a population of only 15,000 (still more than the whole of Spanish North America), whereas the white population of English colonies Numbered around 250,000.  

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