Europeans and the New World: 1492 to 1600

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  • Topic: Europe, Spain, Iberian Peninsula
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  • Published : February 8, 2013
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Chapter 2: Europeans and the New World, 1492 – 1600

When humans entered the Iberian Peninsula almost 32000 years ago, the first civilization of Spain was formed. Since then, the country has traveled from an era of prehistoric Iberia to the Middle Ages to a rise as an empire and a member of the European Union .

The main reason why Spain grew so much in power during the fifteenth century is because of a series of events that took place around that time. The first in such a series of events was the discovery of new passages and trade channels. The Caribbean and the Mediterranean trade routes dominated the trade in these regions before the Spanish trading system had fully grown and developed. Earlier, the Spanish people were not much of traders or businessmen. There was a monopoly that had been held into place by the Italian merchants operating in that region(Roark, 2009). In the fifteenth century, Europe faced one of the most catastrophic events of all time: The Black Death. It wiped out most of their population. Almost one third of the European population was eliminated. This caused economical and political unrest in the country and led to a complete destabilization of their structures. The events that followed the Black Death caused Spain to rise to power and become a strong nation. The people saw opportunities when they realized that the population had decreased and there are ample opportunities for trade and business of all sorts. The people who survived focused upon advancement. The European world was left on a very delicate balance. The plague had made the region undesirable and the invasion of other people such as the British and the Muslims reduced considerably. This led to more opportunities for the local population(Roark, 2009). What followed the plague was a renewed confidence and strength in the local people of Spain and Europe. They started embarking on dangerous missions and voyages across the sea which they did not do previously. They...
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