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.
Directed by: David Wallace
Okay. I would say this is not a documentary. In order for it to be a documentary you have to have physical evidence that which is visible at that moment that you are doing your study and your educating. So since there was none of those other than landmarks none of the living people you speaking about nothing that he can ask him a direct question to what we can hear the answer no this is all learn knowledge from other people who wrote history and usually those who write history are those who won the war or conquered people so as far as facts goes it's the same bullsh*t the white man is always put out there.
The actual name was Hernan Cortez or Fernando Cortez. The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico was written by a conquistador named Bernal Diaz del Castillo, if anyone cares.
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"The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico" by Bien Diaz Cortez. This is the actual diary of the conquest.
I can't seem to watch this. says it's private. :(
4 videos and not one mentions the conquest of the Philippines.
Absolutely the best documentary I have ever watched. Flawless history, and very well made. I thank the people who made this.
The footage was very distracting, 70% of what I saw was modern day Mexico in the first video. But other than that very well done I learned a lot.
I've read a lot of history on the conquest of the Incas,etc. But this episode of the Conquistadors was most enlightening for me. It really illustrates that we haven't change as human beings. We are motivated by greed, and it doesn't matter who we invade as long as we get what we in the affluent society need.
colombus was Portuguese not spanish
What an incredible documentary! The BBC can really produce some amazing stuff for the Mind. My Girlfriend and I were waiting all day until this evening to sit down and watch the rest of this! Incredible!
Really enjoyed this video!
Please do not evaluate historic achievments with a 21st century moral framework. 16th century Europeans did not have the same values systems we have today. Conquest has always been part of human development since the Bronze Age until the XX century. If the Spaniards didn't conquer Precolombian America then the Portuguese, French or English would have. European were killing each other in endless religious wars and needed resources, the native americans were caught up in the fight for influence and money. The concepts of human rights didn't cross their minds. Europeans would trade with african slaves without any consideration to rights. It was the times. BTW The most outspoken defender of the indians and condemnation of spanish practices in America in the 16th century was a spanish priest Fray Bartolome de las Casas who greatly influenced the "Leyenda Negra" or Black Legend regarding the spanish empire.
Another terrific doc! I was completely unaware of de Vaca's story. Amazing. Great stuff, Vlatko. Thanks.
Oops. Two glaring errors Mikey. The Seminole were not a tribe in deVaca's time. The Seminole didn't come about until the late 1700's. They are properly called a triracial isolate and not a tribe. They are composed of the Creek Indian, runaway slaves, and whites who preferred to live among Indians.
And yes they did fight a war with the US and lost. They signed a treaty and were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma.
Sorry to stay off topic but is that what you do for a living or is it a hobby?
I want to make a documentary with this guy. He's got a beer in his hand every 10 minutes. Viva this guy!
The highest compliment my friends have given me is to call me odd. And that's odd in a good way I assume.
@ lakhotason - no apologies necessary. If it had bothered me, I would have mentioned it sooner. The only reason that it's come up now is because I felt like changing my av, and I thought a photo would be cool. :)
@ fifty4fourty - I was as well, but that's a whole other story! :D
@ Pysmythe - Yeah, I'm not your typical type of gal, it's true. My best friend affectionately refers to me as an "oddity", which is a tag that I'm quite proud of.......I think! :D
Oh yeah, and my username comes from my favourite brand of longboards - Earthwing. Not very girly, I know. :)
Anyway....keeping things on topic, I just finished watching part three, and I've found it all absolutely fascinating. :)
Finished! Not like apocalypto.
Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret
And as the gloom begins to fall
I see there is no, only all
And though you came with sword held high
You did not conquer, only die.
Procol Harum "Conquistador"
Sorry, those lyrics have been ricocheting inside my skull. Needed to get them out.
This was a fairly good documentary. I like how he connects modern local views with written accounts. In addition, he uses a good balance of European and Indian documents. I have read a couple of letters from las Casas and Sepúlveda and he is right about the main points of their argument.
Both men felt it was Spain's duty to further the expansion of Christendom but as usual, they disagreed with the method. Sepulveda took the road of Divine Right and Elitism as justification for forced conversion. Las Casas took the road of Tolerance and Example for personal conversion.
Regardless, I like how the video emphasizes the need of those in charge to divert to the King to further their cause. The reason Las Casas wins the argument is because Genocide is not in line with basic Christian values and would have angered the Pope and shamed the country (too late for that).
I find it interesting that these same principles governed The Crusades - and like World War 1 and Vietnam and every disaster of war, we all find we are human in the end, which was a great end-note.
why the most stupid country in europe conquer mexico? If we were conquered by another country maybe mexico will be develop!
New it would be brilliant :)
Another great doc from Michael Wood. I don't think that anyone else brings history alive with as much passion and insight as he does. Two episodes in, and yet again, I find myself hanging on his every word.
Real quality stuff, thanks Vlatko! :)
The original Guy Fawkes mask at 47:45 part 2.
My professor showed this in my Spanish Civilization class. Whether or not you think the invasion of the Western world in the Americas was bad, this is a great telling of what happened. This guy really digs in deep.
Someone tell me this doc isn't attempting to glorify what the western world did to these amazing people. This is one of the worst tragedies in history when you consider all the knowledge lost. It would be like watching a doc about how awesome the holocaust is and what a great triumph it was for the world to lose so many Jewish people. Shamanistic civilizations were a real goldmine that we destroyed for no good reason at all.
I only watched the first 15 minutes but if you guys say its worth watching I will do so. Feedback much appreciated! <3
A very good series. The last part concerning Cabeza de Vaca was completely new to me therefor, particularly interesting
Can't wait to watch this - one of those points in history where I only really know the broad strokes, but want to know more. Ty Vlatko.
It keeps stopping, just for me or is it happening for everyone else ? :(
oh, jerky on youtube too. never mind !
Michael Palin you and Louis Theroux are the best historical documentarians out there keep up the good work!