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What fundamental factors drew the Europeans to the exploration, conquest, and settlement of the new world?

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John Chun September 19, 2003 US History I Honors Mr. Kerkendall Question: What fundamental factors drew the Europeans to the exploration, conquest, and settlement of the new world? The Discovery Of The New World Major achievements, through means of failure, have immensely affected the history of mankind. Among such successful failures, the most noteworthy is Christopher Columbus's accidental discovery of the New Worlds. For years, the Europeans, especially the Spanish, were endlessly searching for an alternate route to gain access to the fabled riches of Asia and the Indies. It may have been partly because the Portuguese have already controlled the obvious passageway toward the Indies around the southern tip of Africa. In the year of 1492, the Spanish backed Columbus, a skilled Italian seafarer, and allowed him to venture through uncharted waters in an attempt to discover other ways in getting to Asia. Searching to find an alternative and less costly route to the treasures of the Oriental, Columbus daringly decided to embark upon a voyage to the unknown west, which eventually led to the discovery of what now is known as the Americas. ...read more.


In addition, the Spanish nation-state was entering an era of stability and power because of the unity created by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, and the expulsion of the Muslim Moors from the Iberian Peninsula. With the advancement of the new navigation methods and instruments from all around the known world, the Spanish nation-state was able to make conquests into the New World often resulting in huge percent profits. Hernan Cortes, a Spanish conquistador, was one of the many who contributed to the accumulated wealth of Spain. He entered the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, which is where present day Mexico City is located, and stumbled across the Aztec empire. Upon arrival, he slowly made his way into the city and plundered the wealth of the Aztecs eventually massacring most of the population. Having discovered and successfully brought back large amounts of booty, many more Spanish conquistadors followed in Cortes's footsteps and made many more conquests into the New World in attempts to gather the land's treasures. ...read more.


Converting many of the Native Americans with their powerful speeches, they became successful, and introduced the new way of life in the perspective of Christianity. Many contributions from various factors from both the New and the Old World were key reasons for why the European exploration of the New World occurred. First, the pure accidental discovery of the Americas was one of the most important factors that laid the foundation for the exploration, conquests, and settlements. With years to come, the word of the discovery of the New World spread like wild fire, and eventually caused ambitions among the European society for the race for the exploration and conquest of the New World. The word of the Indians caused the Christian missionaries to travel across the vast waters and spread their faith. In addition, the fabled riches of what they think is the Indies caused countless conquests from the Spanish nation-state to plunder the riches of the lands. And finally, the discovery of the many uninhabited lands caused the European settlements to arise from the New World and forever alter the history of mankind. 1 ...read more.

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