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Beginning with the 1492 arrival of Christopher Columbus and continuing for over three centuries, the Spanish Empire would expand across half of South America, most of Central America and the Caribbean Islands, and much of North America (including present day Mexico, Florida and the Southwestern and Pacific Coastal regions of the United States). In the early 19th century, the Spanish American wars of independence resulted in the emancipation of most Spanish colonies in the Americas, except for Cuba and Puerto Rico, which were finally given up in 1898, following the Spanish–American War, together with Guam and the Philippines in the Pacific. Spain's loss of these last territories politically ended the Spanish colonization in the Americas.
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