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At first, the Spanish saw the Philippines primarily as a stop on the way to the Spice Islands—the islands east of present-day Indonesia and south of the Philippines with rich soil that is ideal for growing sought-after spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. The Spanish did not establish a permanent settlement there until 1565, and they did not found the capital of Manila until 1571. As in the Americas, Catholic missionaries set out to convert the native people, many of whom had embraced Islam shortly before the Spanish arrived. Manila became a center of commerce, as traders exchanged Chinese silk for Peruvian and Mexican silver. The trade drew Chinese merchants along with a growing number of Spanish settlers.
The size and wealth of the Spanish Empire made Spain a dominant power in Europe in the 16th century. Between 1492 and the mid-1500s, Spain established an empire that stretched from northern Mexico through much of South America and the Caribbean islands, and into the Philippines. By the 17th century, Europeans had begun to build a global trade network. Over time, they pushed out the Muslims and Chinese who had dominated trade in the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific.
  THE SPANISH IN THE AMERICAS AND THE PACIFIC: 16TH CENTURY
 Territory
  Explorer
  Economic Activities
  Religious Issues
   Mexico
 Hernán Cortés
 Plantation agriculture; gold and silver mines
 Imposition of Catholicism strengthened hold of Spanish over natives as cheap labor
   Peru
  Francisco Pizarro
  Plantation agriculture; silver mines; trade for Inca gold products and fabrics
  Imposition of Catholicism strengthened hold of Spanish over natives as cheap labor
   Philippines
   Ferdinand Magellan
   Trade (Chinese silk for Mexican silver); other commercial activities
   Conversion to Catholicism after many had previously adopted Islam
  Competition Among Atlantic States
Spain administered a vast empire in the Americas. The Spanish explored parts of what later became the United States, including Florida and several southeastern and southwestern states. Spain wanted to claim all North America for its empire. However, the Atlantic states of France, England, and the Netherlands challenged this plan in the early 17th century.
Shortly after the voyages by Columbus, explorers of other states doubted his conclusion that he had reached Asia. The sea routes to Asia controlled by the Portuguese and the Spanish were long and difficult. Therefore, these explorers sought alternative routes, sailing north and then either west or east looking for a passage to Asia. In their explorations, they found and claimed other parts of the New World.
The Netherlands The Dutch became the leading maritime power around 1600 and dominated 17th-century European trade. They were the first to benefit from a weakening of Spain and Portugal and later faced challenges from France
TOPIC 1.7 RIVALS ON THE WORLD STAGE 45











































































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