European Exploration Essay

Improved Essays
Native Americans Before European Exploration

Before the arrival of the Spanish, French, and English in the western hemisphere the

Aztecs and Incas were prosperous civilization. The Aztecs were militaristic and ended up

controlling most of central Mexico. The Inca were more peace like and economic. They

established a highly developed farming civilization in present day Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The

Inca became a massive empire that stretched along the Andes and Pacific Ocean by the mid­

1500s.

Native Americans of North America

A wide variety of Native Americans lived east of the Mississippi River. The Hopewell

lived on the Ohio River Valley and they were centered on trade and the growing of corn. The

Hopewell were also known for
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This helped lead to most natives downfall

when the Europeans arrived.

European Exploration of the Americas

The cause responsible for Europeans interest in the Americas was due to Europe’s

economic limited growth. Many Europeans saw that additional natural resources were needed to

refuel the economy. Therefore European monarchs and entrepreneurs looked towards the Americas

for future profits. Thanks to advances in technology Europeans could travel across water faster

thanks to their shipbuilding techniques and the perfection of the astrolabe and compass. The

crusades also helped render the Europeans thirst for luxury goods provided from Asia, encouraging

exploration and trade.

Explorations and Exploitations of Columbus

In the 1400s Europe started to expand due to many individuals migrating into European

cities and towns. Europeans also started to feel intrigued in the world outside of Europe. Therefore

Prince Henry of Portugal started sending out expeditions to explore the coast of Africa. New ship

techniques helped ships travel further and safer, giving them a less chance of getting lost at sea.

Debate Over Columbus

Over the years there has been a debate on the fact that people consider Columbus
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Settlement in Jamestown

The first permanent settlement in America was Jamestown, which was founded in 1607

by Captain John Smith. Regrettably for him, Jamestown was established on a swampy site that

pleased disease and made it very hard to farm, which led to poor harvests and severe food

shortages. What made matters worse, early conflict with the Powhatan Confederacy put more

strain on the colony. Because of food shortages, eventually John Smith created a trade alliance

with the Powhatan, who gave them corn. A young woman by the mane of Pocahontas, who was

the daughter of the Powhatan chief, soon married a man named John Rolfe. The marriage helped to

temporarily prevent conflict with Native Americas. John Rolfe then went on to cultivate tobacco in

Jamestown. Tobacco soon became a cash crop of Virginia, which led to the colony’s economic

success thanks to it’s high demand in England. Though tobacco was the cash crop of Jamestown,

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