Article

Iberian Atlantic World, 1600-1800

Jane Landers

in Atlantic History

ISBN: 9780199730414
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0055
Iberian Atlantic World, 1600-1800

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Following the successful conclusion of their wars to recover the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim conquerors, Portugal, and later Spain, advanced into the Atlantic. Their early experiments in colonization focused on uninhabited and nearby islands like the Azores and Madeira, but the Iberians faced fierce resistance from the indigenous Guanches of the Canary Islands. Centuries of peninsular war against the Muslims and the conquest and colonization of the Canaries shaped subsequent Iberian policy in the Atlantic. While Portugal concentrated on establishing trading posts down the coast of west and central Africa, in 1492 Christopher Columbus claimed Hispaniola and the entire “New World” for Spain, which then extended its religious and territorial expansion into the greater Atlantic. After conquering the Caribbean Islands, establishing early mining, ranching, and sugar economies, and establishing the first European cities there, Spain advanced to the mainlands of North and South America. The conquests of the wealthy and populous Aztec and Incan empires financed Spanish settlements throughout the West Indies, across the entire southern tier of North America, and throughout South America, except for Brazil, which was claimed in 1500 by Portugal.

Article.  7450 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; European History ; African History ; History ; Regional and National History

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