Chapter 17 Exploration: Europe, the Americas, and Africa Chapter Preview

Download 134.97 Kb.
Size134.97 Kb.
Chapter 17

Exploration: Europe, the Americas, and Africa

Chapter Preview

This chapter will examine European exploration in North America, South America, and Africa.

Section 1

Conquest in the Americas

Section 2

Colonies in Central and South America

Section 3

Colonies in North America

Section 4

Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade

Target Reading Skill

Main Idea In this chapter you will focus on identifying the main idea of a paragraph or section. The main idea is the most important point—the one that includes all the other points in a paragraph or section. Identifying main ideas will help you better understand what you read.

No other pyramid built before Columbus landed in the New World was as large as this, the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan. Mexico


MAPMASTER Skills Activity

Location During the Age of Exploration European countries were eager to claim land for themselves in order to enrich their societies. Identify Find the areas claimed by Britain, Spain, and Portugal. Contrast the size of the European countries with their possessions. Apply Information Notice how small the claims in Africa are compared with those in North and South America. What reasons can you think of to account for the difference?


Section 1

Conquest in the Americas

Prepare to Read


In this section you will

1. Learn what attitudes and events led to the Spanish exploration of the Americas.

2. Find out how the Spanish conquered Mexico.

3. Learn how the Spanish conquered Peru.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, look for information relating to Spanish attitudes about and aims for the Americas. Copy the graphic organizer below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Main Ideas It is impossible to remember every detail that you read. To help remember important information, good readers identify main ideas. The main idea is the most important point of a paragraph or section of text. Sometimes this idea is stated directly. As you read, identify the main idea stated in each section.

Key Terms

conquistador (kahn KEES tuh dawr), n. a Spanish conqueror of the Americas in the sixteenth century

siege (seej), n. the surrounding and blockading of a town by an army intent on capturing it

civil war (siv ul wawr), n. a war between different regions of one country

Columbus mistook the beautiful islands of the Caribbean for the Indies.

The land he had discovered offered gold and spices, Columbus wrote. "To these," Columbus added, "may be added slaves, as numerous as may be wished for."

Columbus was describing the Caribbean islands, which lie off the southeastern coast of North America. Columbus stumbled across these lands while searching for the Indies, a group of Southeast Asian islands. Native peoples, mainly a group called the Tainos (TY nohz), lived on the Caribbean islands. Columbus thought that he was in the Indies, so he called these people Indians.

Columbus was mistaken about where he landed, but there was no mistaking the opportunities the Caribbean presented. He claimed the islands and all their riches for Spain. As for the native people, Columbus believed that they posed no threat.

In this instance, Columbus was correct. Spain soon conquered the land of the Taino. This was the first of many Spanish conquests in the Americas.


Aztec warriors attack Spanish conquistadors in the image on the left. A member of Moctezuma's army is shown below.

Duran, Diego (16th century), Codex Duran. Pedro de Alverado (c.1485-1541).

Spain's Exploration of the Americas

The Spanish completed their centuries-long quest to drive the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, and now they were eager to explore and claim new territories. Late in that year, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand sent Columbus on a voyage to the Indies. He returned to Spain with the exciting news of a new land.

The centuries of war with the Moors shaped Spanish culture. Spaniards admired the warriors who fought for glory and for their faith. The lands that Columbus discovered represented a new opportunity. The Americas were a place where the Spanish conquistadors, or conquerors, could seek glory for themselves, for Spain, and for their God, while winning great fortunes.

The Spanish set out to conquer the Americas. In the decades after Columbus's first voyage, conquistadors gained control of many islands in the Caribbean. They also conquered present-day Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.

As you will discover in the next section, the Spanish also conquered two great civilizations. Some native groups put up resistance for a while. In general, however, the native people of the Americas were overwhelmed by the conquistadors' superior weapons. In addition, thousands of Native Americans died from diseases carried by the Spanish. Some peoples, such as the Taino, disappeared entirely.

Reading Check What effect did the long struggle with the Moors have on the Spanish people?

Links to Science

Imported Illnesses More Native Americans were killed by disease than by Spanish weapons. Europeans carried germs to which Native Americans had never been exposed. Therefore, the Native Americans had not built up immunity, or natural defenses, to these illnesses as the Europeans had. Diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza (in floo EN zuh) killed huge numbers of Native Americans.


Identify Main Ideas

What is the main idea of this section?

Island City

In the sixteenth century, the city of Tenochtitlan was the capital of the great Aztec empire. Notice that passageways cross the water to connect the city to the mainland. Conclude When CortŽs attacked, how did the city's location help the Aztecs? What advantage did the water provide for CortŽs and his men?

The Spanish Conquest of Mexico

In the sixteenth century, central Mexico was home to the great Aztec (AZ tek) empire. Its capital was Tenochtitlan (teh nawch tee TLAN), where the powerful Moctezuma (mach tih ZOO muh) ruled. Moctezuma's empire was vast, and it included many conquered peoples.

In 1519, the conquistador Hernan Cortes (hur NAHN kohr TEZ) arrived in Mexico. Drawn by rumors of a wealthy Aztec empire, he journeyed to Tenochtitlan. With him traveled a force of several hundred soldiers. According to one legend, Moctezuma welcomed the Spanish because he feared that Cortes was a god named Quetzalcoatl (ket sahl koh AHT el). Aztec religious beliefs held that Quetzalcoatl, a pale-skinned god, would one day return to Mexico. Soon, however, the Aztec grew tired and suspicious of their visitors. Aztec soldiers surrounded Cortes and his men. The Spaniards fought their way out of the city.

Then Cortes gathered a large army, including reinforcements from Spain and thousands of Native Americans who resented Aztec rule. Cortes's army surrounded the city in a long siege. A siege is the surrounding and blockading of a town by an army. The battle ended in 1521 with Tenochtitlan in ruins. The Aztec empire that had controlled much of Mexico was utterly defeated.

Reading Check Why did Moctezuma first welcome Cortes and his soldiers?


The Incan civilization had vast treasures of gold. Some of the gold was sculpted, such as this gold figurine.

The Spanish Conquest of Peru

The story of CortŽs's success inspired many conquistadors. Among them was Francisco Pizarro (frahn SEES koh pea SAHR oh). Pizarro's goal was the conquest of the great Incan empire of present-day Peru. Like the Aztec, the Inca (ING kuh) were a great civilization with vast treasures of gold.

Pizarro arrived in Peru in 1532. The Incan empire at this time had been weakened by a civil war, a war between people of the same country. Pizarro managed to lead a small force of under 200 soldiers into the heart of Peru. The Inca king Atahualpa (ah tuh WAHL puh) watched the Spaniards closely. However, he made the mistake of visiting the Spaniards' camp, where Pizarro captured him. Although the Spanish force was small, its guns and horses overwhelmed Atahualpa's much larger army. The Incan soldiers had only spears and small weapons.

Pizarro forced the Inca to pay a ransom, a large sum of money, for the release of their king. Pizarro demanded that the Inca fill a room with gold if they wanted their king back alive.

The Inca paid the ransom, but Pizarro had Atahualpa killed anyway. Now leaderless, the Inca were unable to mount an effective resistance against the conquest of their once-great empire. Spain added Peru to its list of conquests in the Americas.

Reading Check What inspired Francisco Pizarro's interest in Peru?

Section 1 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the key terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

What are the three main ideas of Section 1?

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Explain Why was the year 1492 so important in Spanish history?

(b) Synthesize Information How did the struggle against the Moors prepare the Spanish for conquest in the Americas?


(a) Recall Who joined CortŽs in his siege of Tenochtitlan?

(b) Draw Inferences Why do you think these people supported CortŽs's attack of Tenochtitlan?


(a) Identify What conditions in the Inca empire favored Pizarro's conquest?

(b) Summarize How was Pizarro able to overcome the larger Incan force?

Writing Activity

Suppose that you are a Native American living in Central or South America in the 1500s. Write a brief summary of the history of your region from the point of view of Native American people.


Section 2

Colonies in Central and South America

Prepare to Read


In this section you will

1. Learn how Spain and Portugal colonized the Americas.

2. Find out how the Spanish ruled their new colonies.

3. Understand the economic systems of the Spanish colonies.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, look for information about European colonization of the Americas. Copy the graphic organizer below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Supporting Details The main idea of a paragraph or section is supported by details that give further information about it. These details may give examples or reasons to explain the main idea. As you read, look for details that support the main idea of each section.

Key Terms

viceroy (VYS roy), n. a governor of a country or colony who rules as the representative of a king or queen

plantation (plan TAY shun), n. a large estate or farm

encomienda (en koh mee EN dah), n. the right granted by the king to certain Spanish colonists to force the Native Americans to work for them

encomenderos (en koh men DAY rohz), n. Portuguese colonists who were granted encomiendas

Native American gods, such as Quetzalcoatl, sometimes merged with Christian saints in religious art.

Following the conquest of the Americas, Catholic monks and priests spread out across Spain's new empire. They sought to convert the Native Americans to the Christian faith. They undertook this conversion process with great enthusiasm and enjoyed great success. One man named Toribio de Benevente (toh ree BEE oh duh bay nay VEN teh) claimed to have brought 300,000 Native Americans into the faith.

Although Europeans taught the Native Americans Christianity, the faith practiced by these new converts had its own special character. It blended Christian ideas with the people's traditions. For example, in religious art, Native American gods such as Quetzalcoatl merged with Christian saints. Stones from old Native American temples were placed in new Christian churches. Old native ceremonial sites became Christian holy places. This blend of Spanish Christianity and Native American religion formed part of the new culture of the Spanish colonies of the Americas.


Spain and Portugal Colonize Central and South America

As you have read, the Spanish succeeded in conquering a large portion of the Americas in the 1500s. They eventually controlled territory that stretched from southern South America northward into the present-day United States. In some places, Native Americans, such as the Maya on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula (yoo kah TAN puh NIN suh luh), resisted the invasion. Spain, however, eventually won control of the Mayan region.

In South America, Brazil escaped Spanish control. Recall from Chapter 16 that Portugal's Pedro Alvarez Cabral had landed in 1500. Portugal based its claim to Brazil on this event alone. Eventually, Portugal established a colony in Brazil. However, the area lacked the gold and other rich treasures of Mexico and Peru, and it had no major cities. Fortunately, the land was rich in valuable brazilwood, a dense and colorful wood. Colonists sent many shiploads of this wood to Portugal. Over time, Portuguese settlements spread along the coastal areas of Brazil.

Reading Check On what did Portugal base its claim to Brazil?

Links to Math

Brazilwood In 1506, Portugal's king charged a group of Portuguese citizens 4,000 ducats for the right to go to Brazil and harvest its brazilwood. The land produced 20,000 units of wood. Each unit brought a profit of 2.5 ducats.

MAPMASTER Skills Activity

Region Portugal claimed a large area in South America. However, the first Portuguese settled almost entirely along Brazil's coastline.

Locate Find the areas on the map where the Portuguese established colonies.

Draw Conclusions Why do you think Portuguese settlement remained largely along Brazil's coastline?


Citizen Heroes

BartolomŽ de las Casas BartolomŽ de las Casas (bahr toh LOH may day lahs KAS us) was a priest in the Spanish colonies in the Americas. He spoke out sharply against the Spanish treatment of the Native Americans. In particular, he believed that it was wrong to force Native Americans to work for the Spanish. At first he suggested that Native Americans be replaced by African slaves. Later, however, he spoke out against all slavery.

Identify Supporting Details

What details in this section support the idea that the Catholic Church played a large role in governing the Spanish colonies?

In this painting, enslaved Africans work as the owners of the sugar cane plantation ride away from the main house.

Spanish Rule in the Colonies

To govern the Americas, Spain divided its lands into different units, called viceroyalties. Each viceroyalty was ruled by an official called a viceroy. A vicreroy is a person who rules a colony in the name of the king or queen. Officials in Spain watched over the viceroys.

The Catholic Church also played a large role in governing the Spanish colonies. Although its main purpose for being in the Americas was to convert Native Americans to Christianity, the Church soon assumed a larger role. The clergy, men ordained for religious service, led the way in building Spanish-style settlements in the colonies. In many cases, the clergy acted as a sort of local government. Because becoming Christian meant accepting the clergy's rule and authority, the clergy enforced basic rules of behavior for both the Spanish and the Native Americans. Members of the clergy also intervened when they thought that the Spanish were abusing Native Americans.

Although the clergy forced Native Americans to adopt Spanish ways as well as beliefs, the priests also made it possible for some blending of the Native American and Spanish cultures. They allowed the Native Americans to keep some of their traditions and their art, which the Church then incorporated into its own culture. This blend created a new culture in the Americas.

Reading Check How did the Spanish govern the people in the Americas?


The Economy of the Colonies

The new colonies produced great wealth for Spain. Shiploads of gold, silver, and other treasure crossed the ocean. Plantations—large farming enterprises—grew such valuable crops as sugar cane.

The Spanish needed workers to mine the gold and work the land. For their work, the Spanish used enslaved Africans. The Spanish brought these slaves to the Americas by the thousands. The Spanish encomienda system provided another source of labor. An encomienda was a document that granted the right to control the Native American population in a given area. Spain granted encomiendas to conquistadors as rewards for their service. Native Americans could be forced to work for the Spanish encomendero, the colonist who had been given an encomienda. The encomendero was supposed to care for the Native Americans under his control. In reality, conditions were often terrible for the Native Americans. The encomienda system faded as Native American populations were reduced by disease. In place of encomiendas, Spaniards began to receive large grants of land. Therefore, the Spanish continued to depend on declining Native American labor.

Reading Check Why did the encomienda system end?

The Pueblo church of San Defonso is an example of the blending of Native American culture with European culture; the building is Native American, the religion is European.

Section 2 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the key terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

List three details that support the main idea of the section entitled The Economy of the Colonies.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Recall What European country claimed the territory of Brazil?

(b) Compare and Contrast How was the Portuguese colony in the Americas similar to and different from Spanish colonies?


(a) Explain What role did the Catholic Church play in the Spanish colonies?

(b) Synthesize Information How did the clergy affect the culture of the Native Americans?


(a) Define What was the encomienda system?

(b) Draw Inferences From your knowledge of the encomienda system, what can you infer about Spanish attitudes toward Native Americans?

Writing Activity

You are a newspaper reporter in the Spanish colonies. Write a report about the activities of BartolomŽ de las Casas. Explain his complaints and relate proposed solutions.


Section 3

Colonies in North America

Prepare to Read


In this section you will

1. Identify the European countries that sought colonies in North America.

2. Understand the impact of European colonization on Native Americans.

3. Find out how the rivalry between France and England led to the French and Indian War.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, look for information about the European colonization of North America. Copy the graphic organizer below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Implied Main Ideas Identifying main ideas as you read can help you remember important information. Sometimes the main ideas are not stated directly. The details add up to a main idea, but the idea itself is not stated. You must state it yourself. Carefully read the details of each section. Then state the main idea of each section.

Key Terms

emigrate (EM ih grayt), v. to leave one country or region to settle in another

ally (AL eye), n. a country or group that is united with another for a common purpose

A pilgrim's hat from 1620

Francis I, the King of France, was upset. "I would like to see the [part] in Adam's will which excludes France from the division of the world," he said. In the Bible, Adam is the first human being created by God. Francis I was saying that Spain and Portugal should not be the only nations allowed to claim the Americas. Francis I wanted the French to gain territory as well.

France was not the only power there to challenge the right of Spain and Portugal to dominate the Americas. Starting in the 1500s, other countries sent explorers and settlers by the thousands across the Atlantic. Competition for North American colonies was fierce and sometimes bloody. Also fierce and bloody were the conflicts that colonists had with the Native Americans who had lived on the land before the Europeans arrived.


European Countries Seek Colonies in North America

In the 1600s, France, England, and the Netherlands tried to join Spain and Portugal in establishing colonies in the Americas.

The Dutch Colonies The Dutch established colonies in the Caribbean to take advantage of the trade in sugar cane, a product highly valued in Europe. They also established a colony on the North American Continent, which they named New Netherland. However, the English seized this colony in 1664 and renamed it New York.

The French in Canada Soon after Columbus's discovery of a new land, the French began crossing the Atlantic to fish for cod off the Canadian coast. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain (SAM yoo ul duh sham PLAYN) established the first French settlement in Quebec. As they had in South America, Catholic priests and monks soon followed, converting Native Americans and making their way farther into the Canadian interior. Local Native Americans helped the French trade in furs. The fur trade led to exploration and to the claiming of land from the Great Lakes down the Mississippi to Louisiana.

The British in North America The British were successful colonists. The first British settlement, established in 1607, was in Jamestown, Virginia. Despite early perils of disease and starvation, the settlement finally flourished when the Native Americans taught settlers to grow tobacco.

In 1620, other English settlers—the Pilgrims—traveled to the northeastern coast and established the Plymouth colony. Unlike most colonists, these people came seeking religious freedom rather than profit. Because of the success of that small settlement, more and more British emigrated to northern America. To emigrate is to leave one's country to settle in another. The British eventually established a string of thirteen colonies along the East Coast.

Reading Check Which five European countries established colonies in the Americas?

Links to Economics

Mercantilism The quest for overseas colonies was related to mercantilism (muk kun til iz urn) in Europe. Mercantilism is an economic theory that promotes building a country's strength by expanding its trade. Having colonies was an important part of mercantilism. Colonies could be forced to buy a country's manufactured goods. They could also provide raw materials at low cost.

The Mayflower Compact

By signing the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims pledged their obedience to the laws and government of their new colony. Sequence When did the Pilgrims establish the Plymouth colony?


Identify Implied Main Ideas

In one sentence, state the main idea that this section details.

This reenactment of the first Thanksgiving in 1971 at Plymouth Plantation brought together descendants of Pilgrims and Native Americans who took part in the first Thanksgiving 350 years ago.

The Effect of European Colonization on Native Americans

When Europeans arrived in North America, Native American groups lived throughout the land. For these people, the arrival of colonists brought great misfortune. European diseases hit these groups hard, just as they had the native people of South and Central America. Disease weakened or killed many native people. Those who survived faced the loss of their lands to the growing numbers of European colonists. Because the English colonies along the East Coast were growing the most rapidly, the Native Americans in this area faced the greatest problems.

In some cases, Native Americans tried to fight the colonists and slow the spread of their settlements. As colonists claimed more land, Native Americans resisted their advances. Bitter fighting resulted. Although they won some battles, Native Americans generally lost the wars. Year by year, group by group, they were steadily pushed westward as the British colonies expanded. This pattern of Native American defeat and removal would be repeated often as the British colonized and settled North America.


The French and Indian War As you have read, the English and the French were already rivals in India and Europe. They also regarded each other as rivals in the new lands. In 1754, they went to war in North America. This part of the conflict between the French and the English is known as the French and Indian War because the French were allies with several Native American groups. An ally is a person or group that joins with another to reach a common goal. The Native Americans had long served as guides for French fur traders and had become friendly with them. However, the French were defeated in the war and were eventually driven from most of North America.

Native American Legacy in America The Native American way of life contributed to the new culture that was developing in the new country. Native Americans helped both the Pilgrims and the settlers of Jamestown survive by teaching them how to grow crops. Native American trails formed the highways for westward movement. Hundreds of Native American names—of rivers, states, cities, and mountains—are preserved across the North American continent.

Reading Check Why did the Native Americans become allies of the French during the French and Indian War?

Links to Science

Herbal Medicine

European settlers brought their own plants to use as medicine to North America, but they also learned herbal remedies from Native Americans. For example, in the 1700s, the bark of a witch hazel plant was used by the Mohawks to treat bruised eyes. Other Native American groups used the boiled leaves of the witch hazel plant as a liniment for aching legs.

Section 3 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the key terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

State the main ideas of this section.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) List What countries besides Spain and Portugal sought colonies in North America?

(b) Compare and Contrast How did the French and English colonies differ?


(a) Identify Name a place other than North America where England and France competed for influence and power.

(b) Draw Inferences What can you infer about the power of England and France in Europe, based on the outcome of their colonizing competition?


(a) Explain What was the general pattern of interaction between the English colonists and the Native Americans?

(b) Identify Point of View How do you think the English colonists viewed the misfortune suffered by the Native Americans in the years after colonization?

Writing Activity

You are an English settler on the East Coast of North America. Write a letter to relatives in England, describing your endeavor. Be sure to discuss the relationship of your colony with the Native Americans who live in the area.


Focus On Plymouth Colony

Think about what life would be like if you and your family had to grow your own food, sew your own clothes, and stay warm without power. The climate is frigidly cold in winter and hot and humid in summer. You have only simple tools with which to build your houses and grow your food. Life in Plymouth Colony in the early 1600s was hard work. Yet the men and women who lived there were able to create a thriving village. Historians have been able to learn much about what colonists' lives were like through the letters, official documents, and artifacts that have survived from that time.

Colonial Weapons

Men usually carried their weapons to and from their work.

Preparing Food

Colonists cooked most of their food indoors. They used outdoor ovens, however, to bake bread.


Willow Cradle

This cradle is thought to have belonged to one of the families that started Plymouth Colony in 1620.

Daily Life Plymouth Colony in the early 1600s consisted of a small group of simple houses and other buildings. These were constructed from the region's plentiful timber and had steeply sloped thatched roofs. The few windows were small in order to keep out cold in winter and heat in summer. Windows did not have glass.

The colonists spent much of their time in their fields and gardens. Garden plots provided herbs to flavor foods and vegetables such as squash, beans, and pumpkins. Corn was an especially important crop. Besides growing food, daily chores included preserving food for the winter, tending livestock, and chopping firewood.

Men tended the fields, hunted for wild turkey and deer, and fished for bluefish and cod. Women were responsible for food preparation and cooking, childcare, mending the family's limited items of clothing, and many other tasks. Children were always needed to help with chores.


Describe Study the illustration to the left. What tasks are people engaged in? What chores might people elsewhere in the village be doing?

Draw Conclusion How did the people of Plymouth Colony use the land and other natural resources?


Skills for Life

Supporting a position

Kayla and Melanie were discussing the French and Indian War.

"If France had won the war, we'd all be speaking French today," said Kayla excitedly.

"No, we wouldn't," rejoined Melanie. "The French just wanted to make sure that they could still trade for furs. They didn't care about ruling the whole nation."

Ms. Murrow overheard their conversation. "Girls," she said, "You need to support your position."

"Position? I didn't know I had a position," said Kayla.

"Support? How do I support what I think?" said Melanie.

"I'll show you," said Ms. Murrow with a smile.

When you take a position on a subject or a question, you have a point of view or attitude about it. It is important to recognize the positions you have on various topics. It is just as important to be able to support, or back up, your position with solid arguments, information, and authoritative sources.

Learn the Skill

Use these steps to learn how to support your position.

1. Look at the information you already know about your topic. Write your ideas on a sheet of paper.

2. Look at arguments that oppose your position. Write these ideas next to those you've already written.

3. Do further research on the subject. Learn more about the topic. Take notes on the subject.

4. Sort facts from opinions. Facts can be proven true, whereas opinions cannot be proven true.


If the Inca hadn't just had a civil war, the Spanish invasion could not have happened. The Inca were an old, proud civilization. They were wonderful architects and astronomers. Indeed, historian Frank Wright says of them, "The Inca were ahead of their counterparts in Europe in their scientific knowledge." The Spanish invaders, by contrast, were just adventurers, out to become rich. The Spanish didn't have superior technology. I think that their behavior toward the Inca was deplorable, and they didn't deserve to rule the country. The civil war drew the Inca's attention away from the threat of invasion. The Spanish used trickery to capture the Incan king. If he had not been captured, the Inca would never have been overrun.

Practice the Skill

Read the above paragraph. Identify the position taken in the paragraph. Then reread the paragraph, taking note of the following:

1. What do you already know about this topic that would help you agree or disagree with the author's premise?

2. Identify the counterarguments to the claims made in the article. For example, what is the counterargument to the statement, "The Spanish didn't have superior technology?"

3. Point to a sentence that shows that the author did some additional research on the subject.

4. Identify two words that indicate that the author's opinion on the subject, rather than factual information, is being offered. Name one example of factual information, something that can be verified.

Apply the Skill

Choose another student as a partner. One partner should prepare arguments for the following statement; the other partner should prepare arguments against the statement. "The encomienda system was an important way of developing the economic growth of the Spanish colonies." Take turns presenting your arguments in class.


Section 4

Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade

Prepare to Read


In this section you will

1. Understand that the slave trade that began with the exploration of Africa and the colonization of South America and Central America also spread to North America.

2. Discover what the triangular trade was and how it expanded with the growth of the European colonization of North America.

Taking Notes

As you read this section, look for information about the growth of slavery in the Americas. Copy the graphic organizer below, and record your findings in it.

Target Reading Skill

Identify Main Ideas To remember information, good readers identify main ideas as they read. The most important point in a paragraph or section is the main idea. As you read, identify the main idea stated in each section.

Key Terms

enslaved (en SLAYVD), v. made into a slave and treated as property

import (im PAWRT), v. to bring in goods from a foreign country

Leg shackles worn by enslaved Africans


The journey of the enslaved African was a living nightmare. One day he or she was living as a free person in an African village. The next, he or she was captured by slave traders, placed in chains, and forced to march for days. At the end of the march was the slave trading fort and a dungeon where captured Africans might sit for weeks or months. Eventually, people would be brought from the dungeon and then loaded onto a ship. A couple of months later, those who survived the voyage would arrive in the Americas. This destination was the end of the journey— but the beginning of a lifetime of slavery.

This bitter story is one that could have been told by millions of Africans from the 1500s to the 1800s. During those centuries, trade in human beings from Africa thrived. This trade helped enrich traders in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It provided much of the labor that built European colonies in the Americas. It also changed the cultures of the Americas, as Africans brought with them their traditions and values, which helped them endure enslavement.


Slavery in the Americas

In Chapter 16, you read about the Portuguese explorations under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator. In the 1400s, Portugal had explored the western coast of Africa. During that time, Portugal began capturing and trading enslaved human beings in Africa. Enslaved means held as the property of another person and to have no individual rights.

You have also read how the Spanish used enslaved Africans in their American colonies. The Spanish turned to this source of labor as vast numbers of Native Americans died from European diseases for which they had no immunity. The Portuguese also imported large numbers of enslaved Africans to Brazil. To import means to bring in products,—in this case, people—from a foreign country.

The growing English colonies in North America also relied on enslaved Africans. This dependence on slaves was especially true in the southern regions, where climate and soil conditions favored crops such as tobacco and sugar. The raising of these crops required cheap labor if profits were to be made.

European colonists preferred enslaved Africans to other sources of labor. Africans came from very different cultures and were usually not Christian. This may have made it easier for the colonists to excuse their enslavement of human beings.

Reading Check Which European country began the European trade in African slaves?

Identify Main Ideas

Look at the third paragraph on this page. Which sentence represents the main idea of this paragraph?


This drawing of a tobacco plantation was made by a European who lived at the time of slavery. Analyze Images What attitude do you think the artist had about slavery?


In the Goree Island "slave house" near Dakar, slave dealers had comfortable upstairs apartments while slaves were housed in overcrowded cells below. The door in the center was sometimes called "the door of no return" because slaves had to pass through it to go to the slave ships.

The Triangular Trade

The trade in enslaved Africans was part of a larger trade pattern called the triangular trade, so called because it had three "sides." The first corner of the triangle was in Europe, where ships were loaded with manufactured goods. These goods were shipped to Africa, the second point on the triangle. Here Europeans traded the manufactured goods for enslaved Africans. Slave traders then sent the slaves to the Americas, the third point of the triangle. In the Americas, enslaved Africans were traded for raw materials, which were then shipped back to Europe for manufacturing, completing the triangle.

The journey of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean was known as the Middle Passage. Wrote one British critic, "Never can so much misery be found condensed in so small a place as in a slave ship during the Middle Passage:' The ships were extremely crowded. Death rates on the voyage may have averaged as much as 20 percent.

Slavery became critical to the economic stability of several American colonies. In the 1600s and 1700s, it formed an important part of trade between Europe and the American colonies.

Reading Check What was the triangular trade?

Section 4 Assessment

Key Terms

Review the key terms at the beginning of this section. Use each term in a sentence that explains its meaning.

Target Reading Skill

Identify the main idea in each heading in this section.

Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Identify In which century did Europeans begin trading in African slaves?

(b) Identify Cause and Effect What event helped lead the Spanish turn to enslaved labor in their American colonies?


(a) Identify In what part of the English colonies was slavery most common?

(b) Draw Inferences Why do you think slavery was less common in the other colonies?


(a) Define What was the Middle Passage?

(b) Summarize Why did the Spanish turn to enslaved Africans as a source of labor for their American colonies?

Writing Activity

You are an enslaved African, waiting for shipment to the Americas from the dungeon of a coastal African trading fort. Write a journal entry about your feelings. Be sure to discuss what has happened to you and your thoughts about what the future may hold.


Chapter 17 Review and Assessment

Chapter Summary

Section 1: Conquest in the Americas

• The Spanish conquered large areas in the Americas because the Native Americans had inferior weapons and many died from diseases carried by the Spanish.

• Hernan Cortes led his Spanish soldiers and some Native American in the conquest of the Aztec empire in present-day Mexico.

• Francisco Pizarro led the Spanish conquest of the Incan Empire in present-day Peru.

Section 2: Colonies in Central and South Americas

• The Spanish and the Portuguese colonized South America and southern portions of North America.

• Spanish colonies relied on the labor of Native Americans and some African Americans.

• The Catholic Church played a role in governing the colonies.

Section 3: Colonies in North America

• European powers such as England, France, and the Netherlands sought colonies in North America.

• The rivalry between the French and the English resulted in the French and Indian War, which the English won.

• Native American groups were forced from their land by the advance of colonies in North America.

Section 4: Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade

• Huge numbers of Africans were shipped to English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas.

• The triangular trade in slaves was a central part of colonial and European trade.

• Africans suffered unspeakable horrors in their journey from their homes to lives of slavery in the Americas.

Key Terms

Select the proper term to complete the sentence.

1. Africans were captured in their villages and _____.

2. The _____ ruled in the name of the Spanish king or queen.

3. The deaths of large numbers of Native Americans led the Spanish to _____ enslaved Africans.

4. Cortes finally conquered Tenochtitlan after a long _____.

5. A Spanish _____ wanted to earn glory for himself, his country, and his god.

6. In their war with the British, the French had an _____ in friendly Native American groups.

7. Operating a _____ required large numbers of workers.
A conquistador

B siege

C viceroy

D plantation

E ally

F enslaved

G import


Comprehension and Critical Thinking


(a) Explain Why were many Native Americans vulnerable to European diseases?

(b) Cause and Effect What effect did disease have on many Native American groups after the arrival of the Spanish?


(a) Identify What important event had occurred in the Inca empire around the time of Pizarro's arrival?

(b) Cause and Effect Why might this event have made it easier for Pizarro to conquer the Inca?


(a) Identify What factors helped bring an end to the encomienda system?

(b) Identify Point of View Why did the Catholic missionaries resist the encomienda system?

(c) Draw Conclusions How did the end of the encomienda system lead to the use of slavery in the Spanish colonies?


(a) Recall In what part of North America did the English have their colonies?

(b) Cause and Effect Name two consequences of the European invasion for the Native Americans.


(a) Identify What were the three legs of the triangular trade?


(b) Analyze Information What role did the slave trade play in the colonial trading system?


(a) Explain What was the main use of enslaved Africans in the English colonies?

(b) Draw Conclusions Why do you think enslaved Africans were packed so tightly into ships on the Middle Passage?

Skills Practice

Supporting a Position In the Skills Activity, you learned how to support your position. Review the steps you followed to learn this skill. Then reread the part of Section 3 called The Effect of European Colonization on Native Americans. Identify and support your position on Native Americans and colonization.

Writing Activity: Geography

Using the library or the Internet, research the term Columbian Exchange. Write a brief report on how the European arrival in the Americas not only changed life for Native Americans but also for Europeans. Include specific examples of items that were "exchanged" as a part of the Columbian Exchange.

MAPMASTER Skills Activity

Place Location For each place listed below, write the letter from the map that shows its location.

1. South America

2. Africa

3. Britain

4. Spain

5. Portugal

6. United States


Standardized Test Prep

Test-Taking Tips

Some questions on standardized tests ask you to find main ideas. Read the paragraph below. Then follow the tips to answer the sample question.

Imagine trading a pound of salt for a pound of gold. At today's prices a pound of salt costs about 50 cents, but a pound of gold is worth thousands of dollars. However, that has not always been true. In some parts of West Africa, salt was scarce 1,200 years ago, but gold was not. People needed salt to flavor their food and preserve their meat, so they traded gold for salt.

TIP As you read the paragraph, try to identify its main ideas, or most important points.

Pick the letter that best answers the question.

TIP Look for a key word that connects to the paragraph. In this case, the key word is value.

This paragraph shows that—

A salt is scarce today.

B supply and demand determine value.

C the value of gold affects the value of salt.

D salt demand decreased as supply increased.

Think It Through Start with the main idea, people traded gold for salt when salt was scarce and gold was not. Link this idea to the key word: value, what something is worth. You can rule out A and D, which do not have to do with value. C is a statement linking the value of salt and gold; but the statement is not true. The answer is B.

Practice Questions

Use the tips above and other tips in this book to help you answer the following question:

1. Portugal's colony in the Americas was located in

A Peru.

B the Caribbean.

C Brazil.

D Mexico.
Use the graph below to answer questions 2 and 3.

2. This graph most likely shows which of the following:

A the change in the population of enslaved Africans in the Americas.

B the change in the population of Native Americans in Mexico following the Spanish conquest.

C the change in the numbers of British colonists following the French and Indian War.

D the change in the number of Portuguese colonists after the establishment of Brazil.

3. Between which years was there the greatest decline in population?

A between 1500 and 1540

B between 1540 and 1580

C between 1580 and 1620

D decline was consistent for all years


Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page