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HIST 1301 United States History

Published : 19-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


Discuss three core motives behind 15th and 16th century European explorations of the Americas?


European Expedition of America

The European nations became very powerful due to industrial revolution and required new markets to support their evolving economies. They wanted to spread their religion and culture. The exploration emerged as a new way for the European powers to show their status by discovering new lands. These factors made the European powers like the United Kingdom, France and Spain explore new lands like America.

The Industrial Revolution introduced mechanisation and made the labours jobless. They started to search for new lands where they could put up factories and from which they could acquire raw materials. They wanted to reach wealthy countries like India and trade with her to enrich their coffers. While searching for India, the Europeans discovered another rich country, the Americas(Acuña 2015).

The second reason for the Europeans carrying out expeditions in the Americas was to spread their religion. The Roman Catholics found America a fertile to spread Christianity and settle down. They could acquire lands in America at a very cheap rate, settle down and start churches and institutions(Easterly and Levine 2016).

The third reason for the Europeans coming to America was the availability of slaves in the continent even prior to their arrivals. The slaves become easily and cheaply available sources of labour. The European factory and farm owners used these slaves to work in their fields and factories. The availability of slaves catalysed mass production of goods and cultivation of crops which profited the Europeans.

The Europeans in a nut shell made expeditions to America to spread their market and religion. They went there to profit from the resources and even from the slave system.


Acuña, R., 2015. Occupied America. The Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader,, pp.61-4.

Easterly, W. and Levine, R., 2016. The European origins of economic development. Journal of Economic Growth, 21(3), pp.225-257.

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