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European expansion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was promoted bya. a decline in population, which required the importation of large numbers of slaves from Africa and the Americas.b. the secularization of society, which placed new emphasis on economic activity.c. merchants who wished to increase their profits by eliminating the Muslim and Venetian middlemen.d. the greater cooperation that existed among nations that combined their efforts in exploration.CorrectColumbus's discovery made Spain a wealthy and powerful nation, becausea. the Portuguese were displaced in the valuable trade with the East Indies.b. he found a source of the precious spices that were in such great demand in Europe.c. the Spanish made use of the wealth of the New World to develop trade and industry at home.d. those who followed him, like Cortés, found great quantities of precious metals.CorrectHidalgos werea. anyone who had been given land grants in the New World.b. diplomats who negotiated with native peoples on behalf of the Spanish.c. Spaniards who, with royal grants of authority, held power over natives in Spanish colonies.d. lesser gentry who believed that holy war was a just means of acquiring wealth and power.CorrectConvertible husbandrya. increased productivity, which was essential to later industrialization.b. was delayed in England because of the laws of primogeniture.c. did not occur in the Netherlands because of the limited amount of land available for agriculture.