Conquistadors documentary tells the story of the Spanish expeditions that conquest of the Americas. In this 4-part series Michael Wood (historian) travels in the footsteps of the Spanish expeditions, from Amazonia to Lake Titicaca, and from the desserts of North Mexico to the heights of Macchu Picchu.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered.
The Spanish had made several expeditions to the nearby Yucatan in 1517 and had returned with wondrous tales of a high-cultured Mayan civilization and gold riches.
The news of these discoveries made an electrifying impression on the Spanish colonists in Cuba. Among these was Hernán Cortés, Chief Magistrate of Santiago.
The Spanish governor of Cuba, Diego de Velásquez, told Cortés that he would provide two or three ships if Cortés would find the rest of the money, and lead the army. Cortés agreed and on October 23, 1518, Velásquez appointed him captain-general of a new expedition to the Yucatan.