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Conquest of the Canary Islands and America


When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, Tenerife was divided into nine kingdoms; each of which was ruled by a King or "Mencey", helped with the advice of a council of elders. The conquest of the islands started officially in 1402, with the incursions of Jean de Bethencourt and Gadifier de la Salle, in the name of Henry III, in the islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and El Hierro, which were won for the Crown of Castile with relative ease. Ferman Peraza did the same with the island of La Gomera. Tenerife was the last island to be conquered, by then for the Catholic Monarchs. In Tenerife, the battle was a bloody one and the Spaniards, under Captain General Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, suffered several spectacular defeats, such as the one at La Matanza in 1494. Fernandez de Lugo returned a year later with a new army and his luck on the battle field changed. Some of the Menceys made an alliance with the invaders. Others, such as Bentor, preferred to commit suicide rather than capitulating. The defeat of Bencomo, Mencey of Taoro - what is now the Orotava Valley - in 1496 completed the conquest of Tenerife and the Canary Islands.


The fact that the islands were forced to become an official part of history - whilst there was still fighting in Tenerife, Christopher Columbus arrived at La Gomera, having set out from Palos on his historic adventure - still did not mean that these lands lost their fantastic or legendary reputation for the peoples of Europe. The first man to travel to the moon in modern literature, did so from the summit of Mount Teide. He was Domingo Gonzalez from Seville, the hero of Francis Goldwin's tale "A man in the moon". In the story, this happened in 1600. Throughout its history, the Canary Islands have had ties with America as an obligatory port of call for vessels sailing for the New World. As settlers, the Canary Islanders played an active part in founding nations and cities. For example, families from the Canary Islands founded the cities of Montevideo, San Antonio de Texas and San Bernardo (Louisiana), and the list of people who defended El Alamo is full of Canary Island surnames.

Votos(s): 6. Resultado: 2.33
Division of Tenerife during the conquest
Division of Tenerife during the conquest