Project 500 Years
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Project 500 Years

Key developments of 1528

Columbus and his crew making their first landfall in the Americas in 1492, painted by Architect of the US Capitol John Vanderlyn some time in the early 19th century CE; it hangs in the US Capitol.

For these daily/yearly posts, I’ve been relying on English Wikipedia’s annual listings, supplemented by various timelines (of the Ming Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Portuguese Empire, etc.) Today’s pickings, relating to 1528 CE, have been pretty thin. So after giving a few bullet-points I shall look a little more broadly at the whole phenomenon of the Spanish whose plunderous and genocidal exploits were the main driving force of European-origined world domination in this period.

First, though, a quick step back to 1527, when England’s Henry VIII made his first appeal to Pope Clement for the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon (who was a daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella.) I’d failed to list that yesterday. But that whole story would develop a lot later, paving the way for England’s entry into the world-domination stakes…

Okay, so 1528:

  • Lots of Spanish expeditions going on- and sometimes they even intersected and complicated each other’s plans. In the southeast portion of South America, an expedition led by Diego García de Moguer intersected on the Paraná River with one led by Sebastian Cabot (sailing for Spain) and they had quite a falling-out.
  • Also, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his companions become the first known Europeans to set foot on the shores of what is present-day Texas. Francisco de Montejo attempted an invasion of the Yucatán, but was driven out by the Maya peoples.
  • Spain did however take direct control of Acapulco
  • Meantime, in Henan province, China, during the mid-Ming dynasty, a vast drought deprived the region of harvests for the next two years, killing off half the people in some communities.

More about Spain’s conquistadores

The first half of the 16th century CE saw a huge explosion of world-conquering activity under the command of the Spanish Crown.

In 1516 CE, the 16-year-old Charles V ascended to the throne of Spain. Here are some relevant facts about him from WP:

Charles V, painted by Jakob Seisenegger, 1532

In other words, though I’ve been referring to him here mainly as the King of Spain, he held numerous other titles and controlled massive stretches of European territory way beyond today’s Spain and entertained the aspiration of leading a “Universal Monarchy”- for which aspiration, presumably, the Catholic church would be one vehicle.

The English WP page about the tell us this:

And later on, this:

This latter claim seemed rather under-stated, since lower down we’re told that, “Francisco Pizarro had children with more than 40 women.”

Also- and no surprise here- “The division of the booty produced bloody conflicts [among the ].”

… The above excerpts come from only a couple of the early, introductory portions of that English-WP page, the rest of which provides a lot more- apparently well documented- detail. The page includes Portuguese global expeditions, as well as Spanish.



Helena Cobban looks at seminal developments in world history, from 1415 till today, with periodic musings on what it all means.

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Helena Cobban

Veteran analyst of global affairs, with some focus on the Middle East. Senior Fellow, Ctr for International Policy. Fuller bio at my Wikipedia page.