HIS – 113Module 1, Written Assignment 1James Cleaves6 March 2016The expansion and colonization of the New World by 4 European countries was driven by multiple competing motives. Each country had several purposes in common but some also very unique reasons. The Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish all had in common a drive to find a passage to Asia, circumventing overland routes under the control of Muslim and Venetian traders. Finding this route would allow for hopefully more profitable commercial venture for investors. Mercantilism with colonies would “become the source of goods that a country might otherwise have to buy from other nations.”1The hopes of finding precious metals and gemstones for their monarchs and land grants from their monarchs drove men to take the existing technology to the limit. There was also the need to convert the indigenous people to Christianity which acted as a cover for exploration. Significant population growth a century and a half after the Black Death as well as rising land values all drove expansion and colonization.2The Dutch and Portuguese played a lessor role in the development of the continent. The French in the north and west achieved an early foothold in the New World, colonizing the area surrounding the St. Lawrence River and relying mainly on fur trade with the peoples inhabiting the area.3The French later1 Alan Brinkley, American History: Connecting with the Past, Volume 1, 14th Ed.(New York: McGraw/Hill 2012), 25.2 Brinkley, American History10.3 Brinkley, American History, 30.