Chapter 23

Ponce De Leon

Juan Ponce de León wanted to find kingdoms of gold like Cortés. He had sailed with Columbus. He conquered Puerto Rico and became its governor. That wasn't enough for him, so he set out to find the Fountain of Youth. He failed to find it, but instead he found a land he called “La Florida” in 1513. The problem was that there were natives who shot poison arrows. One hit Ponce and, when he got back to Cuba, the poison eventually killed him.

Francisco Pizarro soon came looking for the gold Ponce had failed to find. He found it in the Inca empire. He captured the
Inca leader and demanded a room full of gold in exchange for his release. He got his gold. Then Pizarro killed the Inca leader and destroyed their empire with only 180 men in 1532. He melted down the gold and silver so that there are very few Inca relics left. He and almost all of the rest of his men died in fights for the gold.

The Spanish kept conquering and killing because their religion told them to. They believed they were doing the right thing because they believed their religion was the only true religion. The only reason the natives lost all the time was because the Europeans had better weapons and armor. This was the reason almost no one questioned the Spaniards.

Back to Book One Summaries
Go to Chapter 24

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License