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U.S. Time Periods » 1607-1763: Colonization

Spanish Treasure Fleets of 1715 and 1733: Disasters Strike at Sea

discusses Spain's search for gold and silver in the New World (1500s-1700s) and its "treasure fleet system," which was intended to protect its treasure-laden ships from being seized by England, France, and the Netherlands. In 1715 and 1733, hurricanes devastated Spain's treasure fleets off the coast of Florida. Today, two of the sunken ships' remains are protected as Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserves. (National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places)

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Interesting Fact:

Much of Spain's exploration of the Americas centered on the desire to find gold and silver. These precious metals were valuable because they were used to make coins, which were the basis of most of Europe's monetary systems. The basic Spanish silver coin was the 8-reales piece or "piece of eight", which came to be called a peso.
The San Pedro was a 287-ton galleon built in Holland. It is representative of a typical treasure fleet ship used in the 18th century. The San Pedro carried 1,600 pesos in Mexican silver and several cr

The San Pedro

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