The North And South American Continents Essay

1519 Words Sep 30th, 2016 7 Pages
Though the discovery of a westward route to Asia had not been achieved, European explorers made the sagacious decision to capitalize on their alternative findings – the North and South American continents. Settlements within these wilderness lands offered plenty of commercial and political benefits which would eventually have historical ramifications on the world order. Investment into colonization would therefore allow participating European polities to expand their economies and remain competitive on the global stage.
Among the advantages offered by the colonization of the Americas was the creation of subservient indigenous populations. Upon arrival in the New World, Spanish explorers encountered the native Mexica, who were great in numbers, but considerably weaker in military potential. Consequently, the initially peaceful relations between the Spaniards and Native Americans devolved into oppressive tyranny, in which the Spanish forcefully enslaved the Mexica denizens and diluted their established religions with Christianity. In doing so, the Spanish found a highly obtainable and exploitable source of religious converts, slave labor, and political tribute, offering plenty of incentive for Europe to search elsewhere for other populations in which they could evangelize and control.
Another motive for colonization in the Americas was to quench the insatiable thirst for gold and silver. According to the primary historical account offered in Christopher Columbus’s diary, the…

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