Age Of Exploration Dbq Analysis

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The time period spanning the years 1400 to 1700 C.E. brimmed with new technology, monumental explorations, and the globalization of the economy; it adequately earned the title the Age of Exploration. Explorers, conquistadors, and settlers embarked from their respective home countries in search of power, wealth, or even just adventure. While many of these explorers are credited with and praised for the discoveries of many dominant modern world powers, the experiences of the native people often remain undisclosed. European explorers, conquistadors, and settlers from the Age of Exploration should not be glorified and celebrated in modern times because the benefits of their explorations were predominantly one-sided; this included the mistreatment …show more content…
They treated the natives as animals, obstacles on their path to power and glory. In an attempt to gain sympathy for the natives and display the savage actions exhibited by the explorers, the Spanish historian, Bartolomé de las Casas, wrote about "the Spaniards [entering] like wolves, tigers, and lions" amongst the "gentle sheep," or Native Americans (Document 4). In describing the Spaniards in such animalistic terms, combined with the fact that he willingly acknowledges and opposes people from his home country, Bartolomé de las Casas emphasizes the sheer malice of the explorers and the dehumanizing effects of greed. He even goes as far as to say, "the Spaniards have done nothing else than destroy them with new and diverse kinds of cruelty," during their time on the island of Hispaniola (Document 4). The inhumane treatment of native people is also expressed in Document 9, a diagram of a slave ship. The depiction, which details the cramped quarters the slaves were forced to reside in for months at sea, is similar to a logistical diagram of packing goods in the most cost-effective way for a given space (Document 9). Avarice and a disregard for the humanity of slaves allowed the explorers to treat the slaves like property, weighing profit much higher than human life. Arguably, the main reason for the Age of Exploration was to accumulate wealth, an intention rooted in evil; therefore, the majority of the effects would also be derived from evil. While the Europeans reaped the benefits of the oftentimes stolen wealth from other lands, the native people received a completely disproportionate balance of positive and negative consequence; the oppressive magnitude of the latter manifesting itself in inconceivably abominable