Which factor played a crucial role in the conquest of America by Spanish conquerors in the sixteenth century?

  1. Advanced military weapons 

  2. Trade negotiations 

  3. Biological warfare 

  4. Knowledge of the local terrain


Answer by Student

So, the correct answer is (C): Biological warfare

Detailed Explanation by Teachoo



Let’s check all the options

  • Option (A) Advanced military weaponry - Although the Spanish conquerors had some advantages in terms of guns, cannons, and horses, they were not enough to conquer the vast and diverse lands and peoples of America. Moreover, the native Americans could also acquire or capture these weapons and use them against the invaders. So, this is incorrect


  • Option (B) Superior trade negotiations - The Spanish conquerors did not engage in fair or peaceful trade negotiations with the native Americans. Instead, they exploited, enslaved, and oppressed them. They also faced resistance and rebellion from some of the native groups. So, this is incorrect


  • Option (C) Biological warfare - The most crucial factor that played a role in the conquest of America by Spanish conquerors was their use of biological warfare, which involved spreading diseases such as smallpox to the native Americans. The Spanish conquerors carried these diseases on their person and intentionally or unintentionally infected the native Americans, who had no immunity against them. These diseases killed and decimated millions of native Americans, and weakened their ability to resist the Spanish invasion. So, this is correct.


  • Option (D) Knowledge of the local terrain - The Spanish conquerors did not have much knowledge of the local terrain of America. They relied on maps, explorers, and guides to navigate the unfamiliar lands. They also faced challenges from the diverse climates and environments of America. So, this is incorrect


Thus, option (C) is correct

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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.