Spain claimed and colonized New Mexico in the 1500s, though that far region was hard to control and defend against the Indian tribes further to the north. It actually seemed as if Spain might abandon the region in the 1600s, which encouraged the Franciscan priests to make the region more Spanish by force. They evicted the locals from the best farming lands, banned the practice of local religions, seized and burned religious artifacts, and arrested local religious leaders. By the late 1600s, they officially arrested nearly fifty medicine men for practicing sorcery, and sentenced four of them to death. That sparked what historians call the Pueblo Revolt and evicted Spain from the region. Spain’s initial reaction to the revolt was muted, though they returned in force a decade later upon hearing rumors that France was trying to take over the area. The insurrection would continue on and off until the end of the century, though Spain eventually prevailed and many Pueblo moved further north and west to evade their control. But this was not the end of independence movements in the New World.