Expedition People/Countries Involved

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The “Spirit” of Exploration


People/Countries Involved

European Conflicts

Positive Imperialistic Effects

Negative Imperialistic Effects




Portuguese explorer

-travelled around the tip of Africa

After the rise of other European colonial powers, Portugal declined in power

-found a new route to India

-Portuguese Empire stretched across the world

-Did not land during this trip

-his crew revolted and he turned home


Christopher Columbus

Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain

-Sailed under Spain

-Conflict between Portugal and Spain


-cruelty to indigenous people



Ferdinand Magellan

Sailed for Spain

-trying to find a canal across South America to Asia

-fighting between Portugal and Spain for land

-traded some small gifts

-killed in Philippines by indigenous people


Francis Drake

Sailed for England


Elizabeth I

-strong dislike between Spain and England

-left a colony of people in North America

-friendly to natives

-considered a pirate by the Spaniards

-slavery on later voyages

1. What elements of the Renaissance worldview allowed some Europeans to treat Indigenous peoples the way they did?

There were many actors in the worldview of Europeans during the Renaissance that caused them to mistreat the Indigenous people that they encountered. One of the main reasons for the exploration was that each country wanted more territory, resources (gold and silver) and to control the people. They felt that they were a superior people and had the right to rule over the indigenous people, and a right to take whatever resources and good that they found. They believed that their way of life and religion were better than that of Indigenous people. The Europeans brought many diseases, such as smallpox, with them which caused indigenous people to be ill and die, enforcing the idea they were superior and the indigenous people were weak. There was also a belief that their religion was better than the religions of the Indigenous people. There may have been some racism involved as well as most Europeans were white and most Indigenous people had coloured skin. In the case of Columbus, as well as some other explores, he actually enslaved some of the people. He was even known to use the word ‘savages’ in his writings when describing the people he met in the ‘Indies’. The worldview of Europeans during the Renaissance resulted in the maltreatment of many Indigenous people.

2. Are there examples of modern day Imperialism? Choose one and explain how it compares to the Imperialism that grew out of expansionism in Europe.

Yes, there are many examples of modern day Imperialism. This occurs when a stronger country dominates a weaker country politically, socially or economically. One example of this is when the American government invaded Iraq and over threw the government. A new Iraqi government was established. Like the Europeans during the Age of Imperialism the intent of the American government was to improve conditions for the Indigenous people. The American government has tried to improve such things as building schools, healthcare facilities and improving infrastructure t make things better for the Iraqi people. The biggest difference between the American and the Imperialists of the 15th century is that the Americans plan to leave Iraq when things are stable. In the Imperialist age, the take over by European nations was permanent, as they took over the land as a way to expand their empire.

3. Take a stand!! Do you think that the world is better or worse off because of Imperialism? Provide examples to support your thoughts.

I do not think the world is better off because of Imperialism. A good example of this is the Aboriginal people of North America. Imperialism brought with it a large number of people who moved to take over the land. Aboriginal people lost their land, and the hunting and gathering way of life that they knew. Many Aboriginal people became ill and died from diseases that European people brought with them. Many Aboriginal people have felt that they lost their culture and religious beliefs with European people forcing them to follow the Christian religion. Prior to Imperialism, the Aboriginal people appeared to have a peaceful and happy existence, so I do not think that Imperialism was a good thing for them.

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