Date Added: October 18, 2022
European nations such as Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands sent explorers to North and South America, “the New World,” for various reasons per each country’s strategy. Commissioned by the Spanish monarchy leadership, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus became crucial in discovering the New World (Briney, 2008). The powerful European nations established territorial colonies in the New World with different motivations and expectations regarding the expected benefits. The discovery of the New World is associated with Columbus, who was seeking a more direct and faster route to Asia from Europe by sailing West rather than the regular East. Columbus landed on a Caribbean Island in 1492 and mistakenly believed it to be East Asia before later explorers determined the destination to be the New World (National Geographic, n.d). The New World became a crucial exploration and colonial destination for several European nations.
The invasion of the New World lasted for several centuries as several European superpowers competed for dominance and a considerable share of raw materials and settlement for citizens. Spain, for instance, was driven by three critical motivations in the capture of the New World. Columbus sought fortune and fame as his Spanish directors and sponsors during his voyage. The Spanish also failed to establish permanent dominance in North America due to clashes with Native Americans and a lack of gold and other valuable commodities. The country later managed to conquer and establish settlements in South America after conquering Inca and Aztec Empires to control the rich deposits of gold available in Central America, Mexico, and several South American nations (Briney, 2008). In addition to the European quest for gold, many European countries sought to spread religion, specifically Christianity. Most Christian priests constructed mission centers that housed missionaries and acted as colonial operation centers from which explorers lived and stored colonial riches.
Fur demand in Europe also accelerated the rate of invasion by European nations into the New World. France, for instance, established settlements in Quebec before focusing on establishing a commercially viable trade center to supply European markets with animal fur (National Geographic, n.d). The economic promise in the Netherlands accelerated its invasion of the New World due to its naval prowess. On its part, the Dutch’s might and trade prowess enabled its dominance in the New World for a considerable period, as necessitated by dependable naval vessels for transporting raw materials back to Europe. The Netherlands was motivated to create a sustainable funding source for the treasury through fur and beaver pelts trade with Native Americans and other European markets. Trade and financial dominance were among the New World’s top priorities for most European colonial masters. The British later overcame Dutch dominance in the New World after successfully capturing and renaming New York, the colony of New Netherlands.
On the other hand, England established the most successful colonial power in the New World through its desire to find a Northwest Passage and lure riches back home. Britain used religion to capture colonies in rich regions such as Massachusetts and along the Atlantic coast. It encouraged the capture and settlements within the rich regions of the New World to increase dominance and the benefits from a pool of raw materials and rich arable lands. In New England, several colonies engaged in shipbuilding, lumber, and fishing to sustain their survival and accumulation of riches (National Geographic, n.d). Some colonies engaged in indigo, rice, and tobacco farming for export and financial benefits from the favorable relationships with the New World colonies. Britain ended up creating the first permanent and dominating colony in North America before creating lasting relationships with the United States that have lasted till today. In conclusion, the discovery of the New World occurred due to various reasons ranging from exploration, missionary work, colonial preferences, and the need for raw materials in the unexplored rich region.
- Briney, A. (2008, September 22). Discover the age of exploration. ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/age-of-exploration-1435006
National Geographic. (n.d). Motivations for Colonization. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/motivations-colonization