Motives For Exploration Essay

This essay has a total of 831 words and 5 pages.

Motives For Exploration








Until the late 1400's, Europeans did not know the existence of the two American continents
( North and South America ). To the European explorers, exploring the other side of the
Atlantic was like exploring an entire different world, hence the name- the New World. In
1492, Christopher Columbus unknowingly discovered the new continent. His original motives
for exploring was to find an easier route to Asia but instead, he discovered the New
World. Thus; Spain, France and England began sending out conquistadors and explorers to
the uncharted terrains of the new continent. Motives for the Spanish, French, and English
explorers varied greatly, however, they were similar in some ways.

The motives of the Spanish explorers were acquisition of mineral wealth, spread of
Christianity, search of El Dorado, search of Northwestern Passage, and thrill of
adventure. The treasures that Columbus brought back to Spain enticed many adventurous
explorers and sent them searching for gold and silver. Missionary clergymen sought to
serve God by converting the natives to Christianity. By 1634, the area of present-day
Florida and Georgia was home to 30 Spanish missionaries, 44 missionary

stations, and 30,000 Indian converts to Catholicism. Within a few decades, Spanish
explorers became familiar with the northern coast of South America, the Pacific Ocean, the
Atlantic shore of North America, the Isthmus of Panama, the Gulf of Mexico and
conclusively- the general outlines of the New World. Despite their knowledge, the Spanish
persisted in searching for a Northwest Passage. Some individuals were attempting to
escape from religious, political, economic oppression and the seemingly endless number of
wars in Europe. The New World offered ownership of land and thrill of adventure.
During the 16th century, a great deal of exploring was spent on searching for the fabled
‘El Dorado,' which is defined as a place of vast riches or abundance.

Like the Spanish power, France was impelled by a desire to spread Christianity, to find
wealth, and to counter the efforts of other nations. France also hoped to find a new
water route to the East through the North American Continent. French explorers sailed
down the St. Lawrence, across the waterways of Canada, through the Great Lakes, and
finally to the Mississippi River and its vast drainage system. They did not find the
Northwestern Passageway but found endless forests filled with fur-bearing animals and
Indians eager to trade instead. Using the animals as a resource, the French became
prominent in the New World mainly with fur trade. Unlike explorers such as Soto and
colonizers at Roanoke, the traders realized the importance of dealing with the Indians and
was consequently more successful. And from the fur trade, trading posts were established.
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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