Historical Figures of the Movement West
From the news of Columbus’ first discovery, Europeans commenced a frantic onslaught on the American Continent in search of gold and natural resources. All of the newfound wealth brought only devastation the native people and constant conflict among competing Western powers. The end result was mixed at best.
When Christopher Columbus was financed by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, they expected gold and coversos. The devastation of the Caribe and Awawak tribes demonstrated that gold was rare and most Indians died of European plagues before they were converted to the true Church.
The conquistadors, Hernan Cortes and that Francisco Pizarro were luckier at finding gold, but extended the spread of diseases from the Aztec nation of Moctezuma II to the Peruvian Indians of Inca Atahualpa.
The Church was well-represented by the compassionate de las Casas and explorers Fathers Eusebio Kino and Junipero Serra.
In a hundred years, the United States acquired California from Mexico.