European Exploration and Settlement
I. Europeans Look to New Worlds For Many Reasons.
A. Renaissance- revival of classical art, literature, and learning.
1. Took place in Europe in 15th and 16th centuries.
2. Sparked imaginations and made people eager to explore.
B. Protestant Reformation
1. Challenged Catholics who in turn persecuted Protestants.
2. Protestants longed for a place where they could worship as they wanted.
C. European Nations Begin to Form Stable Governments and Resolve Power Struggles.
D. Trying to Find a Quicker Route to Asia and Start Up a Rich Trade.
E. New Developments in Travel.
1. Caravel- more maneuverable and quicker ship, moved with and against wind.
2. Navigation- charting of a course at sea.
3. Instruments- Astrolabe, the quadrant, and the cross- staff.
II. Spain Leads The Way
A. Spain was the leading nation in the Age of Discovery due to its search for wealth.
1. Wanted to find a quicker route to Asia.
2. Tired os paying the middlemen large profits.
3. Desired gold, silk, jewels, and spices.
B. Columbus Stumbles On a New World
1. Christopher Columbus set out to prove world was round.
2. Queen Isabella agreed to arrange an expedition for Columbus.
3. His ships were the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria which set sail August 3,
4. When they finally reached land they thought they landed on India and natives were
5. In reality, they landed in the Bahamas on an Island Columbus named San
Salvador- October 12, 1492.
C. Seekers of Gold and Glory
1. Amerigo Vespucci- found land that was not Asia but a great continent. A few
years later a map-maker named the new continent "America" in honor of Amerigo Vespucci.
2. Balboa- Spanish explorer crossed Isthmus of Panama in 1513- first European to
see Pacific Ocean.
3. Explorers more interested in acquiring gold and power than in finding new
4. Conquistadors- these were the conquerors who overcame whole civilizations of
5. Most famous was Cortés who, in 1519, took over the Aztec empire and its ruler
Montezuma in Mexico.
6. Pizarro who, in 1535, destroyed the Inca empire in the heart of Peru.
7. Coronado 1540-1542 discovered the Grand Canyon on an expedition to the
8. De Soto explored southern U.S.- first European to reach the Mississippi River.
9. Most conquistadors were ruthless.
a. Treated natives cruelly by enslaving and killing them.
b. Gold, silver, and sugar made Spanish wealthy and opened up vast area.
III. England, France, and the Netherlands Stake Claims
A. Spain's power made the rest of Europe nervous especially Protestant England since
Spain was Catholic.
B. The Search for the Northwest Passage.
1. Europeans wanted quick trade route to Asia.
2. Hoped to find Northwest Passage- northern water way connecting Atlantic and
3. Found Northwest Passage in 1906 in the frozen waters of Canada.
C. A Series of Discoveries
1. John Cabot 1497 sailed to New Found-land and Nova Scotia, found lots of fish
but England was too busy with other affairs to take notice.
2. Verazano 1524 explored eastern coastline of North America from North
Carolina to New Found-land.
3. Cartier 1535 explored Gulf of St. Lawrence and St. Lawrence River and
marked France's dominance on Canada.
4. Henry Hudson found Hudson River and planted seeds of New Nether land ( New
5. Explorers blaze paths, settlers move in.