Christopher Columbus is famous for discovering the New World, but he was not the first. Never the less, his discovery is important: it started European exploration and the colonization of the Americas, known as the Age of Exploration. This brought on European explorers who looked for adventure, trade routes, and wealth in these new lands. It also led to the invention of the compass and the astrolabe (which determines latitude). This age sparked a maritime revolution through out Europe, but who was most successful?
In my opinion, the Spanish conquered the most land, England had the greatest influence, but the Dutch were most successful, creating the Dutch east India company for specifically exploring and colonizing around the world.
The Dutch tried to colonize on America, setting up New Amsterdam (later New York) among numerous other colonies. Unfortunately, they either failed, became abandoned, or were taken by other rival European powers. But this worked out well for them in the end, seeing as this was just a little bit of money lost, compared to the other European powers who lost so much, that the mother country felt the strain.
Since the Dutch lost colonies, it was able to avoid major war that the other European powers waged. The French and Indian war was a major blow to the French colonizing efforts. Also, the English and Spanish feuded over the New World, the English wanted the riches the Spanish were getting from South American and Catholic Spain felt threatened by the English protestants and the England’s sea power. The Spanish sent their armada over to England in 1588 in hopes to rid the threat in the New World, but a few brave English ships decimated them. After that, England had the new maritime power and Spain started a slow descent. Of course, a few hundred years after that, the American Revolution broke out and England began it’s own slow decline. During the Revolution, as the French helped the Americans out on their border, back in France...
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