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16. GOLD & SILVER

The Spanish Conquistadores lusted after gold and silver. They took it from the temples and palaces of the Aztecs and Incas.

They then prospected and found huge deposits of silver.

17. SILVER CITY

The biggest silver mine was at Potosi. It was in Bolivia, a cold town 3 miles high in the Andes.

Potosi became the biggest mining town in the world. With a population of 120,000 it was bigger than any city in Spain and almost as big as London or Paris.

It was violent, full of silver and had 80 churches.

18. DISEASE & TREASURE

The New World repaid its debts with 2 gifts - disease and treasure.

Syphilis, a dreaded disease, appeared in Europe and America. It was to kill, blind, maim and frighten Europe for centuries.

But it was the treasure that caused most havoc.

19. WAITING IN SPAIN

In England we wait for oil from the North Sea. In Spain they waited for gold and silver from America.

The treasure ships docked at Seville. It became the biggest - and dirtiest - city of Spain.

The treasure was stored in the Golden Tower by the River Guadalivir. But it did not stay long. It was needed to pay off debts to foreign bankers.

20. KEEPING SPAIN WHITE

Simultaneous with the discovery of America, the Spaniards conquered the fine Moorish cities of Southern Spain.

The Moors and the Jews were the people who kept trade and business going in the Spanish towns.

To keep Spain White and Christian, the Spaniards drove out these people. In a short space of time they expelled half a million of their best workers (out of a total population of 9 million).

Then they found that no one else wanted to do the work.

21. GO WEST OR ANYWHERE

Why work when there were opportunities for the young and adventurous in the New World?

Why toil when there was a quiet life waiting in the religious houses (9000 of these in Castile)?

Why sweat when you could get paid for sneaking on your neighbours? The Inquisition employed over 20,000 paid informers.

Why worry when you could beg? There were 150,000 beggars in Seville alone.

If all else failed, why not become a nobleman? One in every 20 Spaniards had done so by the 18th century.

22. SPEND & SPEND

Why invest in industry and agriculture? The rich Spaniards put their money into building castles, palaces, mansions, or buying art treasures.

23. DECLINE OF TOWNS

The once prosperous towns and their industries began to die.

Seville went bankrupt (like modern New York) not once but 3 times in Philip II's reign.

Toledo lost half its population in 50 years. Only 15 textile factories survived out of the hundreds that once flourished.

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