In the early 17th century, British colonizers began arriving in the New World in hopes of expanding their territorial domain. By the 18th century, Spanish colonizers had established trading posts and missions in the New World, covering a vast expanse of land that extended beyond even England’s colonial holdings. When the British arrived, they spurred on Indian depopulation and African and European immigration. The arrival of the Spanish resulted in near Indian extinction and a burgeoning international trade. Though Spain had an advantage of a century over Britain, both nations used the New World’s resources to further their mercantile goals, in the process, ravaging the native populations; however, Spain’s missionary efforts were more successful and the location of their respective colonies resulted in a monopoly of different economic commodities.
The dynamics and developments in Spain, England, and the Holy Roman Empire were all important to the colonization of the New World. There were many important events in Spain that paved the way for the colonization of the New World. For example, Europeans craved the spices of the East, but due to warfare in Asia, they tried to find new trade routes . At the time, Europeans knew that the Earth was round, but they did not know how far the ocean stretched, let alone the existence of other continents beyond the Atlantic Ocean. The demand for such spices allowed for many expeditions to occur, including Christopher Columbus.
Routes to Asia were traveled beginning in the early Renaissance. The most posing problems with the set routes to Asia, which went around the Cape of Good Hope and along the coast of Africa, were that it was very dangerous due to enemy colonies along the route and was also very long. These problems made some people, including Christopher Columbus, decide to turn to the west to find safer and faster routes to the riches of Asia. What they found was the Americas. Believing that he would reach Asia, Columbus accidentally found a new continent, full of new riches and unclaimed lands.
America was appealing to these European nations because of the desire to expand their countries power, the natural resources this "new world" offered and for some, religious freedom. The Europeans brought with them livestock, plant life, disease, and often times an attitude of superiority to these "primitive" native peoples. All of the aforementioned would forever change the native peoples lives as well as their culture. This short assessment of the invasion of America by the Europeans will examine what these countries wanted from the Indians, how the different countries used the Indians to oppose other countries, and the tactics used to accomplish their goals. In 1492, Spain's monarchy had liberated itself from Muslim reign and was eager to expand the kingdom.
Spain’s conquests into the heart of what is now Latin America led them to empires such as the Aztecs and the Mayans. Because of European expansionism tendencies, many empires who spread their wings across the Atlantic used force and military to take what they wanted. The Spanish intimidated the natives with guns and horses, none of which they had ever seen before. An example of this could be seen through Magellan’s tour of the Pacific World. While he was Portuguese, his behavior of challenging and flexing his military might on the locals was not exclusive to his own trip.
Victors and Vanquished The history of the Western hemisphere is full of war and conquest. One of the most significant and defining of those conquests is the downfall of the Mexica/Aztec Empire. While there are many other events to choose from, this one stands out since it was one over one of the largest empires in Central America. It is also important to look at because of the immense cultural impact it had. The story of this takeover reads like a movie script, a small band of Spaniards single handedly takes down the most powerful empire in Central America.
The Caribbean’s Cultural History Columbus’ discovery in 1492 set off a chain of events in the emergence of the Caribbean society, as Knight states in his book The Caribbean. "The first voyage of Columbus in 1492 fortuitously discovered a whole new world and set in motion a chain of events whose profound consequences gave new directions to the histories of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia. It was the voyages of Columbus and those who followed him that brought the Americas into the consciousness of the Europeans"(Knight 28). Many people question whether the discovery made by Columbus was beneficial or deteriorating for the indigenous people of the Caribbean. It was the exploration and discoveries by Columbus that further led to the exploitation of the newfound colonies and its native people.
The Columbian Exchange was a widespread exchange of animals, plants, human populations, diseases, technology and ideas between American and European civilizations. Politically, Europeans took over the American native's government making it more centralized while the countries in Europe were getting competitive for land because they wanted the economic resources and advantages. Europeans set up a system of mercantilism, core-dependent systems, and imported silver and gold from the Americas, leading to inflation. In the Americas, slavery and an encomienda system was put in place using natives and African Americans. Culturally, Spain and Portugal imposed their religion on the natives, provided by the Catholic Church, new racial and social classes came about in the Americas, and disease killed off many of the natives.
Action to accomplish this was taken upon via exploration and voyages overseas. Through this the hope held by traders and merchants was to in the end promote and gain the up and coming European business... ... middle of paper ... ...ost part, but his aim at making them sound incredibly different could be over exaggerated; since Columbus wanted to appear more significant than them. Through Columbus’s response it can be seen how un-culturally diverse the society was before they started to expand in exploration. The Age of Exploration was a stage in Europe from the rise of the 1400s and lasted till the beginning of the 1600s, in which Europe’s nations sent out ships for voyage in hopes to find new resources as well as spread Christianity; and through the processes made conquests on new lands, which resulted in consequences on their behalf. Furthermore the period of exploration connected Europe to the intermingling trade network that it had been isolated from for so long.
The main reason for curiosity into new worlds and lands was the need for more trade, and quicker routes for existing trade routes. Europe was in position to become the dominating force throughout the world and it was pertinent that they expand, and seek new riches and lands to add to its kingdom. The changes in Europe not only prompted Columbus's voyages and those of others, but it paved the way for European domination for the next five hundred years. Often overlooked in the explanation of the events surrounding the discovery and settlement of the new worlds, are the little contributing factors. Those things that motivated and aided in the discovery and the settlement of this land.