Exploration and Conquest of the New World and Africa Essay

Exploration and Conquest of the New World and Africa Essay

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Geopolitical necessity drove the Europeans to explore and conquer, beginning in earnest in the fifteenth-century. New trade routes and colonies were established. Technological advances led to their success on the African continent as well as in the New World, and the discoveries made in turn led to further exploration and conquest. Eventually, as the results of these conquests became known, questions arose regarding the proper roles of government, papal authority and the rights of the conquerors and the conquered. This transitory period of European history would alter the course of overall human history and directly set it on four continents.
The exploration of the West African coast was just a preliminary to the India Trade (Parry, 131). Prince Henry encouraged his explorers to continue making their way further and further down the coastline to gain more intelligence and make more money (Parry, 132). His death in 1460 signaled an end to further exploration for a time, as the mariners had gotten to a point of coast around Benin that was more dangerous to traverse and seek a way through than it was considered worth (Parry, 133). Furthermore, Henry died in debt due to these activities, which discouraged the Crown from spending much on exploration (Parry, 133). Little by little, one small expedition after another, they eventually found the coastline trending south and continued to chart the waters and coastline until war broke out between Portugal and Castile in 1475 (Parry, 134).
The Succession War, as it came to be called, started due to the efforts of the Castilians to prevent Prince Henry's daughter, Juana, from ascending to the throne and in her place set Isabella (Parry, 134). Four years of brutal fighting took...

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...ing and extending the faith to state governments, but he had no authority to direct a general conquest (Parry, 308,309). Furthermore, Las Casas stated that the Spanish kings, in the view that they were ordained by God, had four key duties: “the king must provide justice and keep the peace; he must uphold and defend the Church and its missionary work; he must maintain the respect and rights of his subjects according to custom, including both their property and their legal liberties; and he must preserve the realm and the royal authority, which is not his own, intact for his successors” (Parry, 309). Las Casas argued that these dictations applied not only within the traditional realm of Spain but also to its holdings abroad (Parry, 309,310).

Works Cited

Parry, J. H.. The Age of Reconnaissance. California ed. Berkeley : University of California Press, 1981. Print.

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