The European Expansion Of The Americas Essay

1450 Words Oct 28th, 2015 6 Pages
On the sandy shores of Mexico in 1519, Hernan Cortes strode off of his ship and stepped into unfamiliar territory. Around the small group of conquistadors was a half-naked crowd of native Aztec people – people who thought that Cortes was a messenger from their gods. Little did these so-called savages know, within a few short years millions of their race would be massacred and their way of life would be destroyed. Up and down the coast of the New World, Europeans took advantage of the weaker and naïve natives. The European invasion of the Americas was not only a racial cleansing, but a complete cultural subjugation. When European explorers landed in the Americas, they changed everything; natives were impacted through cultural conversion, aggressive religious conversion, and the transportation of diseases. The beginning of the European expansion was innocent cultural influence. Before all of the death and suffering, the Europeans peacefully traded with the natives and taught them the ways of the Old World. They wanted to make money and had no thoughts of violence. Christopher Columbus says in his letter to Santangel, document 2 “ I gave them a thousand handsome good things, which I had brought, in order that they might conceive affection for us…”. The natives were given many excellent goods that improved their lives and made living easier. In return for the many new spices and goods traded in the Columbian Exchange, Europeans gifted manufactured tools, plants, and livestock.…

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