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Columbus lobbied the royal court tirelessly. Eventually, the monarchs agreed to finance his travels. In August of 1492, he set out on his journey. He set out with three boats: The Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. “I went to sea from the most tender age and have continued in a sea life to this day. Whoever gives himself up to this art wants to know the secrets of Nature here below. It is more than forty years that I have been thus engaged. Wherever any one has sailed, there I have sailed.”
In 1518, Cortés was set to command an expedition to Mexico by himself, but Velázquez canceled it. Cortés ignored the orders of Velázquez and set sail for Mexico. Cortés became allies with some native peoples he encountered, but with others he had to use deadly force to conquer Mexico.
Francisco Pizarro González was a Spanish conquistador that conquered the Inca Empire. He was known for capturing and killing the Incan emperor Atahualpa and claiming the lands for Spain. He acquired wealth through kidnapping, ransom, and murder.
Pizarro formed a partnership with Diego de Almagro. They travelled to Peru in 1526. Almagro had taken over Cuzco after one of Pizarro’s half-brothers, Juan Pizarro, was killed during a revolt. Pizarro did not want Almagro to have the city. He was too old to fight himself so he sent his brothers to Cuzco to fight. They fought Almagro and killed him. In Pizarro was assassinated in June of 1541 by one of Almagro’s followers in reataliation
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
Traveling to New Spain in 1535, he landed a position with the government. While he never did discover the many cities of gold, he will be remembered as one of the first European explorers to visit the American West.