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European Explorers: Why did they go to the New World?
Transcript of European Explorers: Why did they go to the New World?
Spanish Exploration of Georgia
Hernando de Soto and and an army of about 600 men first explored what is now modern day Georgia in 1540. Though he was searching for gold, he never did find any.
But, he did interact with several Native American tribes all throughout the land which is now Georgia including the Toa, Ichisi, Ocute and Cofitachequi chiefdoms.
Pedro Menendez was the first Spanish explorer sent to stay in Georgia. Menendez established the first Spanish settlement in the Americas in 1565 at St. Augustine.
Spanish set out for the Americans in search of God, Gold and Glory.
The Spanish, the French and the English all sought to gain power and riches from exploration and settlement in the new world.
Most of the time, this meant that they were unkind to the Native Americans as they took land, forced religion and altered their "uncivilized" culture.
Reasons for European Exploration
Europeans became very interested in going to explore and settle the new lands in the Americas. But why?
Remember, the exploration all began because Europeans were searching for a new trade route to India- a water route!
Portuguese Went in Search of Slaves
The Portuguese went in search of slaves. Not knowing how harsh and how permanent the slavery they meant was, Africans sold the Portuguese other Africans as slaves.
The Portuguese made an entire route along the African coast, and around tho India where they traded their goods
Trading with India
Native Americans and European Diseases
Europeans also brought diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza with them. These sicknesses the Native Americans had never been exposed to before and the cost was horrible!
Historians estimate that about 90 percent of the Native American population was wiped out by disease and starvation.
Spanish Reasons for Exploration
Christopher Columbus was from Spain. He was the first European to discover the Americas.
Spain began sending explorers to the New World for God, Gold, and Glory.
God: Spain hoped to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism/Christianity
Gold: Spain hoped to discover riches in the new world
Glory: Spain hoped to gain power by expanding their empire into the new world.
The Spanish colonies quickly began sending priests (called friars) into the Native American villages in order to convert them to Christianity.
The spanish also tried to change many of the Native American's customs and culture, such as their dances and the Native American practice of men having more than one wife.
Overall, the Spanish like most Europeans thought the Native Americans were "uncivilized" and they did not agree with their ways of living.
But trying to change the Native American's lives so greatly caused revolts and tension between the Native Americans and the Europeans
English Jump In to Exploration
With Queen Elizabeth's permission, England began attempting to settle in what is now known as North Carolina, though these were unsuccessful.
However, the first English settlement was in Jamestown Virginia in 1607. The English were hoping for riches and power just as it had for Spain.
As Time Went On...
The English: they continued to settle in most of the area between the spanish Florida and the French Canada.
The French: settled in Canada
The Spanish: Settled Florida and south of North America.
Because the Spanish colonies were doing so well, other European countries also wanted to explore the new lands for riches and gold.
France began sending explorers to North America in 1562 in search of gold.
French explorers created a colony in South Carolina (Charlesfort in 1562) and Florida (Fort Caroline in 1564) but these were later taken over by the Spainsh.
The French settled in Canada as well as modern-day Alabama and Mississippi. There, they developed a very lucrative fur trade with the Native American tribes. This trading formed a very strong alliance between the two groups,
British Reasons for Exploration
Great Britain (England) began sending explorers to the New World in the 1580’s in search of exotic foods, wealth (gold), and mercantilism.
Mercantilism – Economic system based on the belief that a country could increase its wealth by exporting more than they import.
The British wanted to create colonies that would help produce raw materials (cotton, tobacco, forest products, etc.) that could be imported into Great Britain. British companies would then refine these products and sell the finished product back to the colonies at a higher rate.
Juan Ponce de Leon came to Florida as early as 1513; Hernando DeSoto was the first Spanish explorer to lead an expedition through Georgia.
When the spanish began to explore the Americas, they brought horses, cows, pigs, sugar rice and coffee.
They brought corn, potatoes, tomatoes and chocolate back to Europe with them.