PBS (ended 2001)


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Show Summary

Conquistadors is a documentary series produced by the American Public Broadcasting System that retraces the steps of Spanish explorers, looking for gold in the new world. Writer and presenter Michael Wood goes back 500 years in history, when Spain ruled the world and its Conquistadors were looking to expand the country's interest at any cost. Wood starts the series with "The Fall Of the Aztecs," following Herana Cortez's journey from Cuba to Mexico taken from information in the captain's log. He recreates Cortez's first contact with the Indians. The director also tells the story of how the conquistador defied the Spanish governor, who planned to exterminate the Indians. Next in the series, Wood travels south to Ecuador, when Francisco Pizarro made his first voyage into Incan territory. The director obtains a letter written by King Phillip II that gave Pizarro instructions on how to get Incan gold and silver. The third segment follows Pizarro's journey through the Andes in search of the fabled city of gold, El Dorado. The last installment, takes audiences on a journey through Brazil, and the countries surrounding Amazonia, showing how Conquistadors gave up looking for El Dorado after most of their crews died from malaria.


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educational goals, exploring history, ruthless killing, public figures, History