AP World History
10 January 2015
From 1450 to 1600, the desire for conquest, resources, and spreading religion spurred European journeys of exploration and conquest to the new world.
One seemingly very appealing idea to the Europeans was to conquer new land and expand their own. Fray Bartolome de las Casas, the Bishop of Chiapas, angrily describes the invasion of Europeans into New Spain to show their inhumane nature. Fray tells how they murdered people on the pretense of settling the land; this describes their want for conquest. In document 5, the author similarly describes the horrific actions of the Spaniards but in a rather somber tone, to depict the expansion hungry side of the Europeans. Again the Europeans are shown conquering new land. Guaman Poma de Ayala, a bilingual Quechua Indian, angrily informs King Philip the III about the overpowering Europeans who have taken control of the Indians, and are ruining the labor force and Indian nobility. As told by Guaman, the Europeans are attempting to conquer Indian land as well. Conquest and expansion proved to be one of the driving causes behind European journeys to the new world, and benefited the Europeans. One thing that was hurting them however was the expansion the Ottoman Empire and their capture of Constantinople, which cut off trade routes with Asia. So they were forced to find another method to obtain resources.
With trade routes such as the silk road blocked off, Europeans journeyed to the new world to find resources. Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, joyfully writes to Luis de Sant Angel about his findings on his journeys, which include gold, silver, spices, and cotton. These findings are the reasons for his traveling in the first place, the need to find resources. Hernan Cortes, in his letter to Carlos V, also mentions gold and silver. Again, showing the importance of resources. King Henry VII of England determinedly tells John Cabot of the...
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