Spain began its exploration and conquest of Mexico in February 1519 with the campaign of the Aztec Empire. After declaring victory in 1521, Spain expanded its influence throughout Central America, forming the Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1535. One of the primary motivations for Spanish colonization was to spread Catholicism. Missionaries joined the conquistadors, with both committed by royal decree to convert indigenous peoples to the religion. To this end, Spain established Catholic missions throughout the region, including several along the banks of the Rio Grande.
North from Mexico: Exploration + Heritage
Adapted from the book North From Mexico by Carey McWilliams, this 1971 educational film provides a comprehensive history of the experience of Mexicans in the United States, from early indigenous inhabitants to the arrival of Spanish conquistadors to the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Through its review, the film emphasizes the closely entwined relationship between Mexican and American cultures.