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August 19, 2015 Unit 1 American Beginnings Explain the reasons for European interest in exploration in the 1400s and 1500s. Recognize the social, economic, and demographic impact of the Columbian Exchange, including the demise of native cultures and the beginnings of racebased slavery in the Americas. Recognize the social, economic, and demographic impact of the Columbian Exchange. Describe the beginnings of African slavery in the Americas and the reasons for it. Describe the reasons for establishing an English settlement at Jamestown, the problems the colony faced, its major leaders, and how the colony was saved. In 1492 – Christopher Columbus sailed under authority of Spain. His goal was to reach India in pursuit of trade. He actually reached an island in the Caribbean. Eventually the Spanish explorers realized that they had discovered a vast new world. This marks a turning point in history – Columbian Exchange. Spain began exploring more regions of the New World and established colonies throughout the present US south and southwest, all of Central America, and much of South America. At this time Spain created the largest empire in the world at that time. Spanish explorers known as Conquistadors set out to conquer and claims lands for Spain, find legendary treasures, and Christianize the Native American peoples. The majority of Native Americans died or were enslaved. Disease and steel weapons severely weakened Native Americans and their ability to protect their lands and freedom. Two mighty Native American civilizations were conquered, the Aztec and the Inca. Spain gained huge profits from their colonies through land, crops, and mining The 15th and 16th centuries were times of great exploration led by Portugal and Spain. Portugal conquered and claimed present Brazil in South America. Other European monarchies became jealous of Spain’s vast empire and set their own explorers west on the Atlantic to conquer and claim land. More importantly to establish successful colonies. The Netherlands, France, and England sent explorers. England established the Virginia Company that’s purpose was to establish a colony. English settlers and their Captain John Smith set out for North America and established Jamestown in Virginia. Native Americans were the first slaves on European plantations and mines. Due to the lack of Native American immunities to Eastern world diseases many died and couldn’t be good slaves to the Europeans – Europeans began trading African slaves in the New World. The slave trade was so profitable that it continued on into the 19th century. The slaves did extremely hard work in the most harsh conditions. Many slaves died in these circumstances.