Conquest Of America Essay

Conquest Of America Essay

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The 15th century was a turning point in the world's history, since the ocean, which was previously seen as an obstacle to reach beyond, was turned out to be a medium to unify the continents. The discovery of ocean is mainly referred as the "oceanic revolution" and it put the study of history in a global context, for power relations were no longer limited to national histories. At the time the Ottoman Empire was the leading figure in terms of power, since it was dominant in the Mediterranean which, as Bender states, formed the core of the world's economy. The Europeans, feeling inferior against the power and the wealth of Islamic world, saw the ocean as an alternative way to claim power. As Haring suggests ‘Ocean Sea' became "the medium of the world's commercial activity" which paved the way for the process of the "Expansion of Europe". Thus the power shifted from the Mediterranean to the North Atlantic with the European move onto the ocean.
During the 15th and the 16th centuries Europeans established colonies in the Americas and the Spanish colonization of the Americas began with the so-called discovery of New World by Columbus in 1492 while he was searching for a new route to Asian Indies. As Columbus recounted in his letter to the king of Spain, Americas was a kind of heaven with its prosporous land which was "full of trees of a thousand kinds". In fact, Columbus' letter is a useful source in our understanding of the motives of the Spaniards for the colonization of Americas. This untouched territory of Americas which Haring refers as "a virgin continent" contained gold as Columbus recounted in his letter. Indeed, what the Spaniards wanted from the Americas was gold, since their main motives were to gain wealth and "to o...


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... Wang, 2006, p. 24
C. H. Haring, The Spanish Empire in America. New York: HJB Publishers, 1975, p. 1
Bender, op. cit. , p. 27
Christopher Columbus, "Christopher Columbus Recounts His First Encounters with Native People". Major Problems in American History: Volume 1: to 1877, Eds. Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman and John Gjerde. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002, pp. 3-5
Haring, op. cit. , p. 4
Ibid. p. 33
Ibid. p. 33
Ibid. p. 34
James Muldoon, The Americas in the Spanish World Order: The Justification for Conquest in the Seventeenth Century. US: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994, p. 39
Columbus, op. cit. , pp. 3-5
Ibid. pp. 3-5
Charles Gibson, Spain in America. US: Harper Colophon Books, 1966, p. 49
Columbus, op. cit. , pp. 3-5
Gibson, op. cit. , p. 68
Ibid. pp 69-72
Columbus, op. cit. , pp. 3-5
Haring, op. cit. , p. 4

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