Juan Ponce de Leon: The Spanish Explorer Essay

Juan Ponce de Leon: The Spanish Explorer Essay

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Juan Ponce de Leon is most recognized as the Spanish explorer who discovered Florida. However this was not his only achievement or contribution to the Spanish empire. Prior to discovering Florida he helped fight off the last of the Moors in Granada, he prevented the Indians from attacking the Spaniards in Hispaniola, he served as the first governor of Puerto Rico, discovered other geographical features off of Florida’s coast all while never giving up on his quest for gold or to gain the same recognition as Christopher Columbus.
Different sources cite the year of Leon’s birth as either 1460 or 1474. It is decided he was born in San Tervas de Campos, Spain. He received his education by serving as a page for Pedro Nunez de Guzman. The education of a page began at the age of seven. This is when a young boy would be taught how to hunt, fight, read, and write and about religion. Once seven years passed and the young boy mastered these things then he moved up to the rank of squire. As a squire Leon served Guzman who in return taught him the responsibilities of being a knight. The lessons of a squire lasted for another seven years. All of this training led up to Leon participating in the battle that forced the Moors out of Granada. This battle was Leon’s first test of his soldier skills, it helped prove his loyalty to the Crown and was the start of his quest to gain some recognition.

After becoming educated in the ways of a page and squire and helping his country rid itself of the Moors, Leon became restless and searched for his next adventure. His next adventure came when Christopher Columbus needed volunteers to outfit his second expedition to the New World. Leon had heard the stories Columbus brought back with him and saw the a...


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...cessed March 15, 2014.
Edward W. Lawson, The Discovery of Florida and Its Discoverer (St. Augustine: Edward W. Lawson, 1946) , accessed March 15, 2014, http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026726/00001/2j
“Becoming a Knight”, Howstuffworks.com website, http://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-figures/knight2.htm, accessed March 15, 2014.
“Juan Ponce de Leon,” History.com website, http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/juan-ponce-de-leon, accessed March 15, 2014.
Washington Irving, Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (New York: Frederick Unger Publishing Company,) 323.
Washington Irving, Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (New York: Frederick Unger Publishing Company,)
Washington Irving, Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (New York: Frederick Unger Publishing Company,)
www.americanjourneys.org/aj-095/

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