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Motives for European Expansion to America

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Motives for European Expansion to America

Prior to 1490s, Europeans had already sailed down to west coast Africa and were having a long-established trade in African Slaves. Moreover, European expansion basis was the ambition for the trade and resources of Asia. They tried to expand further to Asia motivated by ambition for the trade and resources of Asia. Three centuries after Columbus’s discovery of America, various Europeans which are Spanish, Portuguese, French, English and Dutch were dominating Native American. They were occupying the Western Hemisphere and imported African slaves to work them in plantations. To understand more about Europeans motive expansion to America, we need to observe their political, cultural and economical aspect, particularly Spanish, English and French.

Spanish expansion was indicated by Christopher Columbus arrival in America. He was exploring the southern and western America in their quest of gold. However, to begin with, Columbus, a Portuguese, ambition was to discover a new trade route to China so that he would receive financial backing for the Spanish merchants by his agreement with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Since the morale of the Spanish people were very high at that point in time, a new trade to China would be an expression for the crusading mentality of reconquista, of carrying Christianity to the people of Asia. Nonetheless, Columbus failed to find the new route to China, but he unexpectedly arrived on America. Moreover, he failed to find any gold, but the Spanish kingdom wanted to expand its empire in America to spread its religion and cultures. They sent missionaries, built churches, introduced European way of farming and growing crops in their colonies, and introduce the Native Americans to Spanish culture by encouraging them to dress and behave like Spaniards. The missionaries were ordered to do religious conversion and cultural assimilation among the Native Americans.

English expansion was caused by social, political and economical factors. First, it was caused by economic system called mercantilism. This system operated as the English government helped manufacturers to expand production by setting low rate for wages and assisted merchants to increase exports by granting special monopoly privileges. This caused further economic expansion and by 1600, the success of this mercantilism, merchant-oriented policies, helped to establish the foundation for overseas colonization. Thus, having a fine economic wealth, the English sent the merchant fleets to compete and challenge Spanish monopoly in the Western Hemisphere. This also helped the factor of growing nationalism among English people. Just like Spain at its prime, England had a strong morale and the pride for their country drove them to expand their empire.

However many English noblemen suffered due to inflation because the Price Revolution hit England. As wealth and status of aristocracy declined, that of gentry and yeomen rose. The gentry, landholders, kept earning money by renting land at higher fee rates. Furthermore, Yeomen sold their wheat at higher prices. This caused peasants and landless farm laborers were affected. Moreover, countless peasants were dispossessed of their land because of to the Enclosure acts, which allowed owners to fence in open fields. Most peasants had no job, so many

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