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Running Head: EUROPEAN EXPANSIONWritten Assignment 1: European Expansion into the New WorldMichael EshThomas Edison State University1
EUROPEAN EXPANSIONWritten Assignment 1: European Expansion into the New WorldPrior to the fifteenth century, Europeans seemed to have very little interest in the exploration of other lands. They were not, according to Alan Brinkley (2017), an adventurous civilization. (pg. 8) But late in the fifteenth century, that attitude began to change, and expansion into the New World began to capture the imaginations of the European public. In this essay, we will explore the motives for the expansion by Europeans into the New World, look at a number of the new settlements, and examine the causes of the friction that arose between the native people and the new settlers in some of these settlements.First, let’s look at the reasons that Europe started turning its attention to the New World. As stated in the introduction, prior to the fifteenth century, Europeans had little interest in exploration. But changing conditions in Europe brought about a shift in the mindset of the people. There were two changes, in particular, that brought about this change. First was the significant population growth that Europe experienced during the fifteenth century. A few hundred years earlier, a deadly epidemic had ravaged Europe, wiping out, according to some estimates, around one-third of the population. This dealt a crippling blow to the European economy. However, by the fifteenth century, the population was increasing and, with that increase, came an increase in the demand for land and an increase in commerce. As a result, prosperity also increased, and people with newfound wealth sought to buy exotic goods from far-away places. (Brinkley, 2017)Second was a shift in the political landscape. Up until this time, European governments were closely associated with the Catholic church. But as the power of the 3
EUROPEAN EXPANSIONpopes over the Western part of Europe decreased, a new form of government took its place.