In 1492, a man named Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean and arrived in a new land, which is now called the Bahamas. After that, many Europeans came to this new land. The Spanish people came and started colonies in Central and South America.
Some of the Europeans who came were not very nice. They wanted to find gold and took over the civilizations that were already there. These Europeans were called "conquistadors," which means conquerors. Two famous conquistadors were Cortés and Pizarro. They did terrible things.
Cortés went to a place called Santo Domingo, which was the first Spanish colony in America. He then went to Cuba and wanted to find a new place to conquer. At that time, there was a powerful empire called the Aztec Empire in Mexico. Cortés asked a Native American woman named Malintzin to help him. She knew a lot about the Aztec Empire. Cortés and his soldiers invaded the Aztec with the help of some local tribes. The Aztec people were surprised because they had never seen horses and guns before. They lost the battle, and Cortés captured their ruler and took over their capital city.
Pizarro was interested in another empire called the Inca Empire, which was in South America. The Inca Empire was having a fight between two kings, and Pizarro took advantage of it. He tricked the Inca and conquered their capital city called Cusco. Then he built a new city called Lima and wanted to rule over the empire. But in the end, Pizarro was killed by his own people.
The conquistadors destroyed the great empires that had amazing civilizations in America. They killed many Native Americans or made them slaves. They also brought diseases from Europe, like smallpox and cholera, which made many Native Americans sick and killed millions of them.