Latin American History

  • Aug 3, 1492

    The First Voyage of Christopher Columbus:

    Having convinced the King and Queen of Spain to finance his voyage, Christopher Columbus departed mainland Spain on August 3, 1492. He quickly made port in the Canary Islands for a final restocking and left there on September 6.
  • Jan 1, 1519

    The Conquest of the Aztec and Inca Empires

    After the New World was discovered, Spain soon realized that it was an incredibly valuable resource that should be pacified and colonized. Only two things stood in their way: the mighty Empires of the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in Peru, who would have to be defeated in order to establish rule over the newly-discovered lands.
  • Oct 12, 1574

    First landfall: San Salvador:

    On October 12, Rodrigo de Triana, a sailor aboard the Pinta, first sighted land. Columbus himself later claimed that he had seen a sort of light or aura before Triana did, allowing him to keep the reward he had promised to give whomever spotted land first.
  • Captain Morgan Sacks Panama

    On January 28,1671, legendary privateer Captain Henry Morgan and a force of some 1,500 pirates, buccaneers and corsairs descended upon the Spanish city of Panama. It had taken them days to walk through the steamy jungles to reach the city and they were hungry and ready for a fight.
  • Henry Avery, the Pirate Who Kept His Loot

    In 1695, English pirate Henry "Long Ben" Avery sacked a ship belonging to the Grand Moghul of India, taking hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of treasure. That much is certain. It's what happened next that no one is sure about.
  • The Phoenix Arrives in Nassau

    piracy in the Caribbean was getting out of hand. It had reached the point where commerce from England, France and Spain to their colonies had slowed to a trickle, and those ships that dared cross the Atlantic took their lives into their hands. The English government decided to reassert control over the pirates in Nassau and other pirate strongholds. On February 23, 1718, the HMS Phoenix arrived in Nassau, bearing the promise of full pardons for those pirates who accepted them.
  • Anne Bonny and Mary Read

    In late October and early November of 1720, all of the British Caribbean was abuzz with talk of the pirate crew that had recently been captured. The people were interested in the Captain, the flamboyant "Calico Jack" Rackham, but there was more talk about two of his crew members: Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
  • Independence from Spain and Portugal

    Using the Napoleonic invasion of Spain as an excuse, most of Latin America declared independence from Spain in 1810. By 1825, Mexico, Central and South America were free, soon to be followed by Brazil. Spanish rule in the Americas ended in 1898 when they lost there final colonies to the United States following the Spanish-American War.
  • The August 10 Movement in Quito, Ecuador

    On August 10, 1809, a group of citizens in Quito, Ecuador, decided that since Napoleon had invaded Spain, they no longer had to obey the Viceroy in Lima and set up their own government. The colonial administration had other ideas, and sent an army to bring them in line. Most of them were arrested in October.
  • Independence Days in Latin America (1810-1825)_

    Most of the nations of Latin America gained their independence from Spain in the years from 1810-1825. Each nation has its own Independence Day which it celebrates with festivals, parades, etc.
  • 200 Years Ago: The Battle of Calderon Bridge

    On January 17, 1811, Spanish General Felix Calleja attacked a much larger, entrenched force of insurgents at Calderon Bridge outside of Guadalajara. The surprise victory by the Spanish demoralized the Mexican insurgents and rebel leaders Ignacio Allende and Miguel Hidalgo had to flee. The battle's outcome delayed the inevitable victory of the patriots, who achieved independence in 1821.
  • The Battle of Rancagua

    On October 1, 1814, Chilean patriots led by Bernardo O'Higgins battled a massive Spanish army in the town of Rancagua. The patriots were routed, leading to three more years of Spanish rule in Chile.
  • 1819: Simon Bolivar Crosses the Andes

    In 1819, the War for Independence in Northern South America had stalled. Venezuela, where most of the fighting had taken place, was in ruins. Simon Bolivar decided to take the fight to neighboring New Granada, now Colombia.
  • The Mexican-American War

    Still smarting from the loss of Texas a decade before, Mexico went to war with the United States in 1846 after a series of skirmishes on the border. The Americans invaded Mexico on two fronts and captured Mexico City in May of 1848.
  • The Mexican War

    the war between Mexico and america more often considered as the Mexican-American War
  • The War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870)

    The most devastating war ever fought in South America, the War of the Triple Alliance pitted Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil against Paraguay. When Uruguay was attacked by Brazil and Argentina in late 1864, Paraguay came to its aid and attacked Brazil.
  • Mariano Ignacio Prado

    1876: Mariano Ignacio Prado again becomes dictator of Peru
  • The Fall of Francisco I. Madero

    On February 22, 1913, Francisco I. Madero, sitting President of Mexico, was killed when some of his supporters supposedly tried to free him from jail (in reality, General Victoriano Huerta probably gave the order).
  • Antigua, Guatemala

    The historic city of Antigua, Guatemala is a terrific place to visit: it is full of museums, markets and plenty of restaurants and nightlife.