4 Major Accomplishments of Hernando De Soto

4 Major Accomplishments of Hernando De Soto


Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who is most notably known for his participation and contribution to the conquering of the Incan Empire. The Spanish famously and infamously defeated the ruler and his brother of the Incan Empire and went on to establish Spanish colonies in the Americas. Here are some of Hernando de Soto’s major accomplishments.

1. Hernando De Soto Was a Designer First And Then An Explorer.

His original dream was to develop his own automobile. He had even come up with designs that were found to be usable, rather realistic and that paved the way for the DeSoto automobile. However, he abandoned his dream in pursuit of riches through the life of an explorer.

2. It Was Unintentional.

While it was not his intention to become a ruthless explorer or conquistador, he did end up teaming up with Francisco Pizarro to conquer the Inca Empire using unjust means. They convinced the younger brother of the then ruler to assist him in a coup and asked for riches. They were paid in gold but they still assassinated the brother. The Incans were in a state of civil war at the time and Hernando de Soto took advantage of the situation to conquer the kingdom, which later became Peru. In a way, regardless of the means, de Soto lead to the founding of Peru.

3. Days of Exploring

Pizarro, his comrade and confidant, went on to explore South America while de Soto was commissioned to explore North America. He was asked by the Spanish King Charles I to set up colonies in North America. De Soto explored Central America and then sailed to Florida, embarked on numerous voyages up the Mississippi and set up colonies in Alabama, Georgia, present day North and South Carolinas and beyond.

4. De Soto Was Not As Cruel As Francisco Pizarro But His Actions Were Not Noble.

There is evidence that puts him in the dock for unfair treatment, unreasonable executions and treacherous actions. However, due to his explorations, service to the kingdom, setting up of colonies and more importantly mapping of routes for further expansion of European influence, he finds a place in the Explorer Hall of Fame.

The age of exploration has many legends and not all of them had noble intentions. De Soto is undoubtedly a legend in his own right and his contribution is immense, both towards his King and his own fortune.