Contact or Conquest? Development of America During the 15th Through 18th Centuries

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History 109
October 3, 2012
Contact or Conquest? Development of America During the 15th Through 18th Centuries While European explorers throughout history had made many contacts throughout their expeditions, the discovery, colonization, and development of territories and culture during the 1400s to 1700s would best be described as conquest. Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Dutch and Germans came to the New World in search of many different interests, but ultimately the “conquering” of civilizations and communities for the gain of territories, labor and wealth have become a noted theme throughout the early history of the Americas. While Spain and Portugal seemed to take over societies in their quest for riches, many other countries sought new land for religious freedom and a better future; however, the desire of each of the unwelcomed visitors to the New World seemed to force existing people away, whether by hostilities or disease. Such examples of conquest during the era include attacks by the Spaniards against the Aztecs throughout Mexico in the 1500s, the confrontations between the English and Native Americans throughout North America, and the termination of human rights by explorers, slave traders and slave owners throughout Africa and the New World. The Spanish began their explorations after the Portuguese; however, their desire to conquer was truly evident in their overthrowing of the Aztecs, a civilization known for their war skills. Although Indians had their own problems with conflicts among their own tribes, they tended take their war prisoners as fellow tribesman to strengthen their presence as a people, and many of the natives had developed a means of promoting peace when possible; however, the Spanish believed in attacking to gain what they wanted, with war being their best means of approach. With the use of their more advanced weaponry, horses, rival tribes and disease, they took over the Aztec empire violently, establishing Mexico City...
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