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Exploration & Expansion
3.04 Examine European exploration and analyze the forces
that caused and allowed the acquisition of colonial
possessions and trading privileges in Africa, Asia, and the
3.05 Cite the effects of European expansion on Africans,
pre-Columbian Americans, Asians, and Europeans.
Motives & Means
• Five European powers, led by Portugal
and Spain, engaged in an age of
exploration. All rose to new economic
• Motives for European exploration
include “God, glory, and gold”
– God/Religious zeal – Explorers such as
Hernán Cortés were interested in sharing
the Catholic faith with native peoples.
– Glory/There was an increased desire for
grandeur, glory, and the spirit of
– Gold/Economic interests – Europeans
wanted to expand trade and locate spices
and precious metals.
A Race for Riches
• Portugal took the lead in
European exploration
under the leadership of
Prince Henry the
• Portuguese ships traveled
along the western coast of
Africa, finding gold and
other goods.
• Vasco de Gama traveled
around the Cape of Good
Hope, the southern tip of
Africa, and landed in India
in 1498.
A Race for Riches
• The Portuguese captured the
important port city of Melaka
on the Malay Peninsula,
which enabled the
Portuguese to control the
spice trade that had been
dominated by Arab traders.
• The Portuguese used
seamanship, guns, and
treaties to control the spice
trade. However, they did not
have the people, wealth, or
desire to expand their empire
in Asia.
A Race for Riches
• Christopher Columbus was
an explorer who sailed for
Spain. Columbus searched
for a western route to Asia
and landed at Cuba and
Hispaniola in 1492.
• The Spanish explorer
Ferdinand Magellan sailed
around the tip of South
America and into the Pacific
Ocean. Magellan is credited
with being the first person to
circumnavigate the globe.
A Race for Riches
• In 1494, Portugal and Spain
signed the Treaty of Tordesillas,
separating control of the newly
discovered lands.
• John Cabot, a Venetian,
explored the New England
coastline of the Americas for
• The writings of Amerigo
Vespucci, a Florentine
mapmaker, led to the use of the
name “America” for the newly
discovered lands in the western
The Spanish Empire
• The Spanish conquistadors
established an overseas empire in
the Americas.
• In 1519 Hernán Cortés and his
Spanish allies were welcomed into
Tenochtitlán by the Aztec monarch
Montezuma. The Spanish were
expelled from the city one year later.
• When the Spaniards left, smallpox
devastated the Aztec capital. The
Spanish returned and captured the
city, and the Aztec Empire was
The Spanish Empire
• In 1530 Francisco Pizarro led an
expedition into the Inca
Empire. Like the Aztec, the
Incas were no match for
Spanish disease, guns, and
• Pizarro established a new
capital for the Spanish colony
at Lima.
• The Spanish used a system of
colonial administration called
the encomienda system— the
right of landowners to use
Native Americans as laborers.
The Spanish Empire
• Spanish landowners could use
Native Americans for labor in
return for protection and
converting them to Christianity.
• Native American political and social
structures were torn apart and
replaced by European systems of
religion, language, and
• The exchange of plants, animals,
and disease between Europe and
the Americas is known as the
Columbian Exchange.
European Rivals
• The Dutch formed the East
India Company to compete
with the English and
Portuguese for the Indian
Ocean trade.
• The Dutch also formed the
West India Company to
compete with the Spanish and
Portuguese in the Americas.
• By the early seventeen century,
the Dutch established
settlements in North America
such as New Netherland.
European Rivals
• In the 1600s, the French
colonized parts of present-day
Louisiana and regions of
• The English began to settle the
eastern seaboard of North
America and islands in the
Caribbean Sea.
• In 1664, the English seized the
harbor of New Netherland
from the Dutch and renamed
it New York.
The Colonies & Trade
• The nations of Europe
created trading empires
and established colonies in
the Americas and in the
• Colonies were an integral
part of mercantilism, an
economic theory based
on gold and a limited
amount of wealth in
the world.
• Colonies provided raw
materials and markets for
finished goods.
• To bring in more gold,
nations tried to have a
favorable balance of trade
and export more goods than
they imported.
• To encourage exports,
governments granted
subsidies and improved
transportation systems.
The Slave Trade
• Slavery had existed since
ancient times, and African
slaves served as domestic
servants in Southwest Asia.
• The demand for slaves
changed dramatically with
the introduction of
sugarcane. Labor was needed
to work the plantations
where sugarcane was grown.
The Slave Trade
• Slaves became an
important commodity in
the triangular trade that
connected Europe, Africa,
and the Americas.
• As many as 10 million
African slaves may have
been brought to the
Americas between 1500
and the late 1800s.
The Slave Trade
• One reason for the high number
of exported slaves was the high
mortality rate, especially during
the Middle Passage, the journey
across the Atlantic Ocean.
• The slave trade devastated the
population of African
communities near the coastal
• Some African rulers, such as King
Afonso, protested but were
ignored by African and European
slave traders.
Video Clips – Middle Passage
• Scenes from Amistad:
Effects of the Slave Trade
• Effects of the slave
trade in Africa:
– depopulated areas
– increased warfare
– loss of the
strongest and
youngest men and
The Effects of the Slave Trade
• The use of enslaved
Africans was widely
accepted until the Society
of Friends began to
condemn it in the 1770s.
• The French abolished
slavery in the 1790s; the
English abolished slavery in
1807; and slavery
continued in the United
States until the 1860s.
Colonial Empires in Latin America
• In the 1500s, Portugal
controlled Brazil, while Spain’s
colonial possessions included
parts of North America,
Central America, and most of
South America.
• The area of Central and South
America became known as
Latin America, and a unique
social class system emerged.
Colonial Empires in Latin America
• Colonial Latin America Social Order:
– Peninsulares: Spanish and Portuguese
officials born in Europe; they held all
important government positions.
– Creoles: Descendants of Europeans
who were born in Latin America; they
controlled business and land.
– Mestizos: The offspring of European
and Native American intermarriage.
– Mulattoes: The offspring of Africans
and Europeans.
– Conquered Native Americans and
enslaved Africans.
Colonial Empires in Latin America
• Europeans utilized the
Native Americans as
• Gold and silver from the
colonies offered
immediate wealth to the
Europeans. Products,
such as tobacco, sugar,
and animal hides were
traded to Europe in
return for finished
Colonial Empires in Latin America
• To control their colonial
possessions in the Americas,
Portugal and Spain used governorgenerals to develop a bureaucracy
and carry out imperial policies.
• Catholic missionaries were also
instrumental in converting and
maintaining order within the
colonial territories.
• The Catholic Church provided an
outlet other than marriage for
women. Many nuns like Juana Inés
de la Cruz, urged convents to
educate women on subjects
beyond religion.
Vocabulary 1
• Colony: a settlement of people living in a
new territory, linked with the parent country
by trade and direct government control
Vocabulary 2
• Mercantilism: a set of principles that
dominated economic thought in the
seventeenth century; it held that the
prosperity of a nation depended on a large
supply of gold and silver
Vocabulary 3
• triangular trade: a pattern of trade that
connected Europe, Africa and Asia, and the
American continents; typically, manufactured
goods from Europe were sent to Africa, where
they were exchanged for enslaved persons,
who were sent to the Americas, where they
were exchanged for raw materials that were
then sent to Europe
Vocabulary 4
• Middle Passage: the journey of enslaved
persons from Africa to the Americas, so called
because it was the middle portion of the
triangular trade route