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European Exploration and Colonization
Transcript of European Exploration and Colonization
The Growth of Trade- During the Middle Ages, Europeans discovered the wonders of Asian products, such as spices, tea, porcelain, cotton, and silk. Europeans continually tried to find a better route to China and the East Indies.
Advances in Technology- Europeans obtained magnetic compasses, better sails, and developed a moveable rudder. Sailors, also, learned how to use the sun for navigation. In Portugal, Prince Henry the Navigator developed a new lighter ship which allowed for easier travel against the current of the ocean.
Emergence of Powerful European Rulers-The advancement in sailing allowed for sea-faring countries to explore and expand their influence in the world.
Desire of Profits- As countries gained wealth, people began seeking new ways to invest and trade to increase their profits
Religious Enthusiasm- Christian missionaries sought to expand the Christian religion believing they had a superior religion and culture.
Reasons for European Exploration
In an effort to find a quicker route to China and the West Indies, many explorers looked to the west. Christopher Columbus , an Italian, searched for a financial backer to sail west. In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain agreed to support Columbus. Columbus believed that the world was 63% smaller than actuality. Most explorers believed that the world was round and travel from Europe to Asia was possible by sailing west. After 36 days, Columbus set foot on an island well off from Asia. Columbus explored and traded with several natives, built a settlement, and sailed for home. Believing he reached Asia, Columbus made three more trips before dying.
The New World
The most significant event created because of Columbus was the Columbian Exchange. This term refers to the exchange of plants, animals, and diseases between the Eastern and Western Hemispheres that occurred after 1492. Europeans gained such things as corn, tomatoes, potatoes, chocolate, beans, pineapples, chili peppers, and tobacco. Native Americans were introduced to wheat, grapes, onions, horses, sheep, goats, cows, cats, rats, and diseases such as smallpox, typhus, cholera, and measles.
An estimated 2 to 18 million Native Americans died from these diseases.
Spain looked to increase its wealth and power through the New World. The Spanish quickly conquered the Aztecs and Incas. Then set up a farming system called an encomienda. The Spanish used this system to mine for gold and silver and turn the Native Americans into slaves. Even though many missionaries came over to convert the Indians to Catholcism, Indians tended to hate the abuse, hard labor, and diseases from the Spaniards. Spain territory reached from the southwest United States well down into South America and Florida.
France claimed lands in the North America to try and rival Spain. Their land was established in Canada down through the Mississippi River. France never became as populous consisting of a handful of towns and trading outposts. The biggest industry for France was fur trading with the Native Americans. Just like the Spanish, French missionaries came to convert Indians to Christianity.
Henry Hudson claimed lands in New York for the Dutch. His purpose was to find a water route through North America. The land he claimed was given to the Dutch West India Company. The purpose of the company was to make a profit. Families settled in this area and began fur trading with the Native Americans. This colony practiced religious tolerance and had very few slaves (mainly Africans).
Jealous of Spain's wealth and power from the New World, England began looking to make its own colonies in the New World. These colonies were established for political, economic, religious, and social reasons.
England in the New World
England had tried to establish a colony in the New World as far back as 1585 in Roanoke, North Carolina, but the first permanent English colony in the New World happened in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. The Virginia Company started this colony for economic reasons hoping to profit from gold and other resources in the area.
The first settlers had to deal with severe winters, new diseases , and and stubborn settlers
that would not work. This led to a very hard two years of life in Jamestown. Captain
John Smith created the first work policy ("no work, no food"). This begin to allow for
Jamestown to become profitable. It was not until John Rolfe arrived in 1613 with
tobacco that Jamestown truly became a success. The need for workers caused
the first slaves into the colony in 1619. Jamestown continued to be an
important town for England until the creation of Williamsburg
13 years after Jamestown began, a group of Protestants sailed to the New World to find a place where they would not be persecuted for their religion. This group is now known as Pilgrims. In 1607, this group broke away from the Church of England and soon moved to Holland. Fear of losing their heritage casued the Pilgrims to seek a charter to move to Virginia. Poor weather conditions caused them to land in Massachusetts Bay. Satisfied by the land, the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth.
The Pilgrims created their settlement for religious purposes, but the lasting influence of the Pilgrims came in the form of The Mayflower Compact. The Mayflower Compact was the first written framework of government in America signed on November 11, 1620. This contract stated that all members of the colony would follow the laws created by the leaders and uphold what is best for the colony.
The Pilgrims and Puritans
Puritans landed in America in 1630 in Massachusetts Bay. Like thePilgrims, Puritans came for religious freedom. They set up communities based on hard work and religion known as the "New England Way of Life." Puritans were larger in number and wealth and by the late 1600s had absorbed the Pilgrims into the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Both groups were successful in large part for their hard work and sense of community.
Other New England Colonies
Settlers in Massachusetts soon found they wanted to live differently from the Puritans. In 1637, Rogers Williams left and started the colony of Rhode Island under a policy of religious toleration and separation of church and state.
Another Puritan to leave and set up a new colony was Thomas Hooker. As he set up his government he created the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. The Fundamental Orders was the first constitution to be adopted by the American colonies in 1639. It established the structure and boundaries of the newly formed government and ensured the rights of free men to elect their public officials
In 1622, John Mason of Hampshire, England sought a colony north of Massachusetts. Finally in 1629, Reverend John Wheelright form the Colony of New Hampshire again looking for religious toleration.
The Dutch ruled the area of the Hudson River which divided the two English colonies. So when England and Holland began a dispute, King Charles II gave all the land between Virginia and Connecticut to his Brother the Duke of York. He quickly took advantage and send naval ships to secure his new land. Upon arriving, the British ordered the governor to surrender. The citizens of New Netherland wanted a change in government and saw this as their opportunity and refused to fight. The governor had no choice but to surrender.
This was another colony started by a non-English country, but was given to England as part of the conquest of New York. In 1682, the Duke of York sold Delaware to William Penn. Delaware was granted its own legislator in 1702, but never ran as its own government until after the American Revolution.
New Jersey was a part of the New York exchange and went through several leaders in its colonial history.
William Penn founded Pennsylvania for the Quakers in 1680. King Charles II own William's father money and payed off the debt by giving land to William. Penn not only secured the land from the king, but, also, contracted deals with the Indians living on the land.
Lord Baltimore started Maryland in 1632 as a haven for Catholics. The allure of money caused many to travel to Maryland which led to the Act of Toleration in 1649. The need for tobacco workers in Maryland led to many indentured servants moving to Maryland.
North and South Carolina
The Carolinas were established for economic reasons. the colony was formed in 1663 when king Charles II gave land to eight nobles. The nobles hoped to make a profit by attracting settlers from Virginia (to grow tobacco). In 1712, the Carolinas were divided into a North and South. In 1729, North Carolina became a royal colony known for its naval stores- tar, pitch, and turpentine. South Carolina became a colony of mostly plantations. Landowners purchased Africans to serve as field workers.
James Ogelthrope formed Georgia in 1732 as a place for debtors and convicts from England. An organization was created to help rule the colony and imposed strict limits on land ownership. This allowed to settlers to work and pay off any debts. Ogelthrope convinced King Charles II that Georgia would be a good buffer for South Carolina as well.
The British King encouraged the development of colonies as new sources of wealth and power.
Early colonists came looking for gold and silver. Later, colonists came looking for land as a way to support their family and then become wealthy. Southern colonies became centers for farming. New England colonies found success in business and manufacturing. The Middle colonies became a blend of the two other colonies.
People came to the colonies for a better way of life. Many left to escape war. Others left to avoid political turmoil, famine, and disease. Some discovered new ways to get debt relief.
Protestant, Catholics, Quakers, and Jews all came to America to establish their own communities.
Why Did Colonists Come to the New World?