After the Columbus era, colonial decline was soon the fate of Hispaniola.
The gold deposits so prized by the Spanish began to be exhausted by 1515. Within a few years Hernan Cortez was to conquer and open up Mexico, and the unimaginably huge resources of silver would be the 'new gold'.
Hernan Cortez - Conqueror of Mexico
The colony of Santo Domingo was minimised, many abandoning it for greater riches on the mainland, leaving only a few thousand settlers.
Columbus had introduced pigs and cattle, and the remaining settlers were employed in producing and preserving meat for the passing Spanish ships on their way to the mainland colonies.
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