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Chapter 2:

Spaniards in the United States.

I have traced the progress of events, which, for a
Chap. II.}
season, gave to France the uncertain possession of Acadia and Canada. The same nation laid claim to large and undefined regions at the southern extremity of our republic. The expedition of Francis I. discovered the continent in a latitude south of the coast which Cabot had explored; but Verrazzani had yet been anticipated. The claim to Florida, on the ground of discovery, belonged to the Spanish, and was successfully asserted.

Extraordinary success had kindled in the Spanish nation an equally extraordinary enthusiasm. No sooner had the New World revealed itself to their enterprise, than the valiant men, who had won laurels under Ferdinand among the mountains of Andalusia, sought a new career of glory in more remote adventures. The weapons that had been tried in the battles with the Moors, and the military skill that had been acquired in the romantic conquest of Granada, were now turned against the feeble occupants of America. The passions of avarice and religious zeal were strangely blended; and the heroes of Spain sailed to the west, as it they had been bound on a new crusade, where infinite wealth was to reward their piety. The Spanish nation had become infatuated with a fondness for novelties; the ‘chivalry of the ocean’ despised the range of Europe,

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