There were many reasons for European exploration. As Europes demand for Eastern goods grew Europeans began to search for new trading routes to reduce the expenses. Another reason for exploration was the arrival of Marco Polo. When he returned from China, he came back with stories of the East. In addition, each empire wanted to expand its empire and acquire colonies and gold in order to fulfill the imperialism principle, which stated that a strong empire must have the most bullion or silver. Moreover, Europeans also set off to explore the land in order to spread Catholicism. In other words, God, gold, and glory stated and summarized the Europeans motives for exploration. The Portuguese and Spanish empires were one of the first to start exploring the New World.
The Portuguese exploration was one of the first European explorations. The Portuguese started sending voyages to find new trading routes. The Portuguese also established trading posts along the African shore for the purchase of gold and slaves. The Portuguese established plantations on the African coastal islands of Madeira, the Canaries, Sao Tome, and Principe. The Portuguese pushed farther southward in search of the water route to Asia. Días was the first to get to the southernmost tip of the African continent in 1488. Ten years afterwards Vasco da Gama reached India, making him the first to first to find a route to India by going around the tip of Africa or the Cape of Good Hope. Other Portuguese explorers included Magellan, who was the first to sail around the world. At the end, Portugal discovered an eastern route to India that doubled the Cape of Good Hope.
Since the Portuguese set trading post and controlled the only trade route then, the Spanish set out to find their own trade route. Because the Portuguese controlled the eastward route, Columbus believed that it was possible to reach the Spice Islands by heading westward since the Earth was round. Columbus persuaded the Spanish king and queen and they granted him three ships. Heading westward, Columbus discovered a New World. He discovered the Caribbean Islands and then the Americas, but he thought he reached the Indies. This was the greatest accomplishment or rather the best failure in the Spanish exploration.
The news of a New World spread like a forest fire throughout Europe and the race for colonies between Portugal and Spain began. Each country started to conquer the ancient civilizations and exploit the continents raw material; this often caused disputes over colonies and territories. In order to end disputes, Spain and Portugal formed the Treaty of Tordesillas. This treaty divided South America into two vertical divisions; the lion share went to Spain, but the Portugal received compensating territory in Africa and Asia, as well as the title to lands that one day would be Brazil. The Americas after 1492 would never be the same.
In conclusion, the Portuguese exploration found a new route around the southern African tip. The Spanish exploration found the New World, which was considered a new source of raw material. After the discovery of the New World, the Spanish and Portugal raced to establish new colonies; the New World would never then be the same after 1492.
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