The administrators and missionaries of Spanish monarchy were responsible for colonial expansion. The motivations to these expansions were trade, spread of Christian faith, power, prestige and wealth of gold, silver and spices. Since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Americans lived under the colony of Spain until 1898 when Americans got into war with the Spanish and won the battle. However, the Spanish cultural influence still remains till the present day. Renowned explorers that came after Columbus included Juan Ponce de Leon, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Hernando De Soto, and Juan Rodríquez Cabrillo.
The Spanish established settlements that are today prominent states. St. Augustine settlement is now the state of Florida. Other states include Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and California among others. The structure of many modern American homes and buildings resemble house ranches and buildings that were constructed by the Spaniards. The mining industry in America developed from the methods used by the Spaniards when they were mining for gold and silver. Spanish settlers, missionaries, and the explorers influenced the American language so that some Spanish and English words are identical .e.g. barbecue and vanilla for foods, bronco and ranch for ranch life, hurricane and lagoon for nature, canoes and cargo for shipping among others. Popular Spanish foods that are mostly found in Mexico include taco, tamale, and tortilla. Famous Californian missions that have been upholding the virtue of Christianity for ages include the San Juan Capistrano and Santa Barbra mission now called the Queen of the missions. El Camino is now coast highway 101.
Spanish explorers exposed the Native Americans to strange diseases like syphilis which spread inland very rapidly causing many deaths. Tobacco smoking was also introduced to the natives. Within the century of Christopher Columbus arrival, about 90% of the Native Americans died because of the Spaniards.
Despite the negative effects caused by the Spaniards, many countries in America still celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America on October 12, 1492. Every October 12 has been made an official holiday and is called Columbus Day.