Spanish Meet Indians

In the early 1500s the Spanish were the first Europeans to interact with the Indians. They tried to force the Indians to convert to Christianity. The Indians had their own religions and weren't always interested in changing to Christianity.


The Spanish were among the first to arrive. They considered themselves adventures and explorers and sought their fortunes in gold and precious metals. They saw the Indians as a race to be conquered and converted to Christianity. But the Indians had religions of their own and resisted any influence from these strange new people. The Spanish had difficulty understanding such attitudes and their persistence resulted in some bloody conflict between the two cultures.

“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa PBS, 1979.