Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland 21251-0001
By Randall Craig
Monday, June 30, 2014
Identify and discuss the factors responsible for European expansionism from the 15th century. What were the social, political and economic effects of this expansionism on Europe, Africa and the Americas?
There were three chief factors in the 15th century European expansionism. European nations such as Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, and England sought out to expand to new lands in an effort to spread Christianity, reap economic benefits, and to gain notoriety and respect throughout the world as World leaders. The expansion caused the world to change socially, politically and economically.
As a result of many trade routes passing the coasts of Africa, Asia and the Americas, European adventurers began to report their findings and sightings of new lands to the monarchs of their home countries. European countries saw the potential of economic growth and market development in the new lands that they traveled to, so it became necessary for them to establish settlements and ownership in these new lands in order to capitalize on the potential. The Europeans were attracted to the natural, human, and technological resources that these new worlds possessed and knew that obtaining them would give them a new level of control in the world. Europeans would travel to parts of Asia in search of spices in order to flavor and preserve their foods. They explored America after its “discovery” , by Christopher Columbus, for its vast landscape and potential to build colonies and use the lands natural resources to maintain and run an economy. Africa was first ventured to by Europeans for trade of jewels, gems and other sought after commodities, but then became targeted for its native people to be used as workers in their new lands.
Once Europeans began to take action in moving