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05 June 2016


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Chris Leach

Excellent sketch map. Do you use a stencil for North America and South America? I don't think you have ever explained your process of creating these maps.

Shane Doherty

I think the Spanish Armada against England was sent in 1588, not 1580. Still, a delightfully dense introduction to the Spanish Empire, lots to pick through.


Welcome back!

James Boulton

As Shane mentioned, the first Spanish Armada was in 1588, not 1580. What is less known is that we (England) sent our own armada to Spain the next year and that was just as spectacularly unsuccessful and led to the loss of all the gains England had gained.

Carrie Palmer

Juana is Joanna in English just like Juan is John. Juana is pronounced the same as Juan only with an a sound at the end. I may not know much Spanish, but I know that.


When it comes to the conquest of the Aztecs, remember for the Mexican eps the treachery, small pox, measles and gun powder combo also includes Native American allies. Montezuma and his predecessor ramped up human sacrifice during their reigns to unprecedented levels. The primary fodder for this blood thirst were subject tribes who "contributed" men as prisoners in Aztec instigated faux wars. These resentful tribes provided support, intelligence, and armies to aid the spectacularly outnumbered Cortez. At least until they succumbed themselves to treachery, small pox, measles and gun powder.


What is the deal with the constant semantic battle over 'discovered'? I mean whatever Columbus did it was a huge deal, the Old World didn't know a huge landmass full of people was between Asia and Africa/Europe and this was the first time people realized it. I mean yet the Vikings had hit the northern part of Canada but they just thought they had found another northern island like Greenland or Iceland.

I mean Columbus didn't claim nobody lived there when he showed up so I don't get the controversy over the semantics. I mean it is not being used in the context of a scientific discovery but in the ordinary sense. I could discover after I buy a house that it is a money pit that needs lots of repairs, but the previous owner probably knew that. It doesn't require that it be something never known by a human being before outside of science.


Nice summary of 2 centuries of history in 40min!

@John the most correct/safe thing to say is probably that Columbus discovered the route to the Americas


Finally! I was already having withdrawal symptoms:)

Delurked to share some IMO excellent essays on the topics of early-modern colonial expansion available here www.jasonwmoore.com/Essays.html
Esp. "Madeira, Sugar, and the Conquest of Nature in the ‘First’ Sixteenth Century" and "Potosí and the Political Ecology of Underdevelopment, 1545-1800"


> I mean Columbus didn't claim nobody lived there when he showed up
Or did he? There is a long tradition of denying manhood of various exploited groups: serfs, slaves, women etc.
Certainly no white, property-owning man lived there, and this was what mattered at the time.


Good to have you back, Mike!


Oh man the Spanish Empire. I used to see them in history books as this forever slowly crumbling thing
Trying to play them in Europa Universalis gave me respect for the challenges.

Spain was the first truly global power in the world, and they dominated for centuries. And that's the thing. They were such a big deal that even their decline took forever, and for most of it they were still the baddest cats around. For better and worse their impact was enormous.

My knowledge of the empire peters out, though, just after Napoleon.
Looking forward to finding out how the revolutions went down.

Habib Fanny

Mike!!! You're back! Welcome back. This is going to be amazing. I can't wait to hear your take on Paez.

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