Europe looks westward

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Before Europeans started to explore the Americas they did not believe there was any land outside of what they have already known. In the 15th century Europe was exiting its dark ages and enjoying their renaissance. In the renaissance there were many ideas that were never thought of and cultures were flourishing, with these new ideas came the idea of exploration to see if there was anything else. Christopher Columbus had the idea of sailing through the Atlantic to have a faster trade route to Asia. Spain financed his trip after being turned down by Portugal, he took 3 ships: the Santa Maria, the Nina, and the Pinta with him and realized when they found land that it was not part of Asia but the new world of America.

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With new land came the desire for money which created colonization . The Spanish saw America as a source of wealth which they wanted only for themselves. The Spanish claimed the entirety of the Americas except for a piece of land that is now Brazil owned by the Portuguese. Many men were sent to America to seek riches for the mother land and themselves, these men became know as the conquistadores or the conquerors. The Spanish explored the new world first and choice to explore the entirety of South America and just a small part of North America. Although the land was claimed by Spain the English wanted to explore the new worlds too, to see what riches they could clam for England. The English started exploring just five years after the Spanish. In 1497 John Cabot went to North America in the name of King Henry the seventh. It was not until about a century later when the British started to develop their own colonies.

A Survey: American History by Allan Brinkley