Catalog topic | Spanish colonies
The Spanish Colonial Empire was one of the oldest and largest colonial empires in history. Spain became a pioneer in overseas discoveries during the 15th and 16th centuries, then very often establishing their own colonies in the newly discovered territories. However, large areas of South America were acquired at the expense of local cultures: the Spanish conquistadors destroyed, among other things, the developed Aztec and Inca civilizations. Spain has also built an extensive trade network, with the busiest trade between Europe and the American colonies, and trade with Asia provided by Spanish ports in the Philippines.