Spanish Main Timeline

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  • 1492 - 1493
    First Voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World in three ships in an attempt to establish maritime trade routes to the East.
  • 1494
    A Spanish settlement is founded at La Isabela on the island of Hispaniola.
  • 7 Jun 1494
    Portugal and Spain sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which divides the world into two spheres of influence.
  • 1498
    The Spanish settlement of Santo Domingo on Hispaniola is founded.
  • 1508
    The Spanish first settle on Puerto Rico.
  • 1510
    The Spanish found Nombre de Dios in Panama.
  • 1511
    The Spanish first settle on Cuba.
  • 1519
    The Spanish found the city of Panama.
  • 1519
    Veracruz, Mexico is founded by Hernán Cortés.
  • Nov 1519
    Motecuhzoma II receives Hernán Cortés at the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.
  • c. 1520 - 1789
    Spanish treasure fleets transport the riches of the Americas to Spain.
  • 13 Aug 1521
    The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan falls into the hands of Spanish forces led by Hernán Cortés.
  • 1522
    Jean de Fleury (aka Florin) captures three Spanish treasure ships off Cape Vincent.
  • May 1523
    Hernán Cortés is appointed the first governor of the colony of New Spain (Mexico).
  • c. 1530
    The first Spanish galleons come into operation.
  • 1532
    Francsico Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors arrive in South America.
  • 16 Nov 1532
    Battle of Cajamarca where the Inca leader Atahualpa is captured and held for ransom by Spanish forces led by Francisco Pizarro.
  • Nov 1533
    Francisco Pizarro takes the Inca capital of Cuzco.
  • 1535
    Don Antonio de Mendoza is made the first viceroy of New Spain (Mexico and Central America).
  • 1543
    The Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru (the former Inca territory) is established.
  • 1555
    Captain-General Pedro Menendez de Avilés begins a system of large and escorted convoys for the Spanish treasure fleets.
  • Jul 1555
    The French privateer Jacques de Sores brutally attacks Havana.
  • 1565 - 1815
    The Manila galleons each year take eastern trade goods from Manila to Acapulco (and return with American silver).
  • 1567 - 1568
    John Hawkins and Francis Drake lead an expedition to transport slaves from west Africa to the Spanish West Indies. The fleet is attacked at San Juan de Ulúa.
  • 1572 - 1573
    Francis Drake explores Panama and seizes a Spanish silver mule train.
  • 1573
    Spanish royal regulations are issued on town planning in Spanish America.
  • Mar 1579
    Francis Drake captures the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (aka Cacafuego).
  • 1585 - 1587
    Sir Francis Drake attacks Spanish vessels and ports in the Spanish Main.
  • Aug 1595
    John Hawkins and Francis Drake lead an unsuccessful expedition against Spanish ships and settlements in Panama and the Caribbean.
  • 1596
    Portobelo replaces Nombre de Dios as the chief Atlantic port in Panama.
  • 28 Jan 1596
    Sir Francis Drake dies of dysentery at Portobelo, Panama.
  • 1599
    Dutch ships begin to take salt from Araya on the coast of Venezuela.
  • 1620 - 1697
    Buccaneers operate in the Caribbean and attack both ports and ships along the Spanish Main.
  • 1620
    Buccaneers begin to camp and hunt illegally in the western part of Hispaniola (modern Haiti).
  • 1622
    The Nuestra Señora de Atocha Spanish treasure ship is wrecked in a storm off the Florida Keys.
  • Sep 1628
    A Dutch force led by Admiral Hein captures the entire New Spain treasure fleet on its way to Havana.
  • c. 1630
    Tortuga becomes a major buccaneer base.
  • 1642
    The French engineer Jean Le Vasseur builds a fortress on Tortuga.
  • 1657
    Edward D'Oyley, Governor of Jamaica, encourages buccaneers of several nationalities to make Port Royal their base.
  • 1664
    The buccaneer Henry Morgan attacks Villahermosa on the Spanish Main.
  • 1665
    The buccaneer Henry Morgan attacks Tabasco and Gran Granada on the Spanish Main.
  • 1667
    François L'Olonais leads a buccaneer force which attacks Venezuela on the Spanish Main.
  • 1667 - 1668
    François L'Olonais leads a buccaneer force which attacks Honduras on the Spanish Main.
  • Jul 1668
    A buccaneer force led by Henry Morgan attacks and captures Portobelo on the Spanish Main.
  • Apr 1669
    A buccaneer force led by Henry Morgan captures the port of Maracaibo. on the Spanish Main.
  • Jan 1671
    A buccaneer force led by Henry Morgan attacks and captures the port of Panama on the Spanish Main.
  • Apr 1672
    The buccaneer Henry Morgan is arrested and sent to London for his unlawful attack on Panama on the Spanish Main.
  • 1674
    Sir Henry Morgan is appointed Lieutenant Governor of Port Royal.
  • 1680
    Bartholomew Sharp leads buccaneer raids on the Pacific coast of the Spanish Main.
  • 1681
    The Jamaican authorities prohibit piracy.
  • 1681
    The Nuestra Señora de Encarnación Spanish treasure ship is wrecked in a storm off the coast of Panama.
  • 1683
    Laurens De Graaf leads a buccaneer attack on Veracruz on the Spanish Main.
  • 1684
    The Buccaneers of America by Alexander Oliver Exquemelin is published in English.
  • 1684 - 1688
    Edward Davis leads buccaneer attacks on the Pacific coast of the Spanish Main.
  • 1697
    The conquest of the Maya Civilization completed by the Spanish conquistador Martín de Ursúa.
  • 1697
    The last great buccaneer operation captures Cartagena on the Spanish Main.
  • 1697
    The Peace of Ryswick signed between France, Spain, England, and the Netherlands effectively ends buccaneering in the Caribbean.
  • 1 Jan 1710
    The English privateer Woodes Rogers captures the Manila galleon Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Disengaño.
  • 1739
    The Spanish Viceroyalty of New Granada (Venezuela and Colombia) is established.
  • 1763
    The Treaty of Paris sees Spain cede Florida to Britain.
  • 1800
    Louisiana is ceded to France by the Spanish.
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