Quest for Power eq: Why would a nation or individual want to colonize? How was economic, political, and social/ religious life in the colonies different than life in England? Enduring Understandings

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Part One Read the Expert Information and highlight key information to match the Learning Target. Then answer the questions that follow.

Expert Information: Reasons for Exploration

European nations had long been in competition to establish trade routes to Asia. Spices such as ginger, pepper, and other products from Asia were highly sought after by the Europeans. In the quest to find shorter and more profitable ways to reach Asia, European explorers ventured into the Atlantic, learning more about the African continent and ways to reach Asia by going around it. The three biggest European powers, England, France and Spain, began to carve up the Americas, along with the Netherlands and Portugal.

The map to the left shows how the New World was claimed by England, France and Spain in the late 1500’s.
Explorers set out to find the Northwest Passage, an east west water route through America, in order to find a quick route to Asia. When their efforts failed, the European powers turned toward colonizing American lands. Waves of European missionaries and colonists, superior European technology and the destructive effects of European diseases all contributed to the ultimate decline and conquest of the native populations.

The period of European Exploration lasted from 1400-1625. You may remember the rallying cry of Gold, Glory, and God as the motivations for the Spanish explorers. As other European nations entered the competition for the New World, “Gold” became the race to expand European trade routes, “Glory” became the competition for power and wealth between western European powers, and “God” reflected the continuing desire to convert Native Americans both in North and South America to Christianity.

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