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Europeans came to the New World looking for a quicker way to access the silks and spices of the Far East. While they failed in that respect, they were more than pleased to find that the rulers of many of the native populations in the New World lived draped in gold. And the Europeans wasted no time trying to acquire as much of it as possible. Entire native villages were emptied and forced to labor in mines to sate the European lust for the wealth. Others, like Francisco Pizarro, took more creative - if equally ruthless - measures to secure their fortunes. In his quest for treasure, Pizarro kidnapped the leader of the Incan Empire, Atahualpa, and ransomed him in return for a room filled with gold. As legend has it, he received exactly what he asked for.