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Hispanic Heritage
From Colony to Independence



From Colony to Independence
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    edict, elite, rumblings, all-out, military, leadership, possibility, riches, control, social, wealthy, worthy, ports, religion, route, principle
     content words:    King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, Nueva Espana, New Spain, Cayman Islands, Central America, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States, New Mexico


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From Colony to Independence
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Spain wanted to be in control of the new world that Columbus discovered. Columbus had convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that there was a possibility of riches in the land he had discovered by accident. Columbus made four voyages to the new world. Each time he brought back something, it made the Spanish royalty more anxious to make all the new lands part of Spain.
 
2     From 1535 to 1821, the Spanish ruled a vast empire. They called this empire Virreinato de Nueva Espana or the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Included in the empire were the Cayman Islands, most of Central America, Cuba, Florida, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and almost all of the southwest section of what is now the United States. The modern day states included in this section were California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
 
3     Spain made the laws that were to be recognized in these territories. Spain provided the rulers who would be in charge of each territory. Spain provided the soldiers needed to protect the territories. Spain also controlled all trade going in and out of the territories. Trade was important to both Spain and the territory. Some territories even provided access to more trade. Goods were shipped from China and other parts of Asia across the Pacific Ocean. When the ships reached the southern coast of Central America, the goods were loaded onto wagons and hauled to the Atlantic coast. There they were loaded on new ships and taken to Spain and other European ports. This trade route proved to be a good source of income for the royals.

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