European Exploration Essay

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Alexis Bennett
World History 2 Honors
Mr. Curtin Pd 6 European Exploration During the 15th and 16th centuries European exploration flourished and increased tremendously. What were the reasons for this sudden need of exploration in Europe? The reasons for European exploration was not because of a new spirit of adventure but because of economic motives, religion, and new advances in technology. Economic motives had a huge impact on why European Expansion took place. There was a great desire for riches, spices, and trade. As one Spanish conquistador explained he and his kind went to the New World to “… to grow rich, as all men desire to do.” (qtd. Duiker 494). Europeans were greedy for gold and wanted riches to be able to show their worth and power. There had been trade routes since roman times bringing in different good from all around Asia (Arnold 12). These trade routes inspired the Europeans to travel and gain goods from other countries for their own benefit. Europe’s demand for spices steadily grew and merchants who sold spices were extremely profitable due to the wealth derived from the spice trade (Arnold 12). Spices were a necessity in the 15th and 16th centuries because it allowed a change in taste to all food and easy to transport because it was long lasting on long journeys or voyages. Religion was a large factor in European expansion because of the new developing religions, the desire to gain more followers and the wanting to spread religious beliefs. Contemporaries of Prince Henry the navigator of Portugal once said “… are introduced into and instructed in the holy catholic faith,” (qtd. Duiker 494). He didn’t want his people Christian he wanted them to be Catholic which was still being developed at the time. There was always a desire to gain more followers, you can’t have a religion if almost no one wants to follow your beliefs. While new religions were being developed people went out to find new worthy followers to expand their religion. Europeans were very proud of their religions and wanted other people to follow them and understand the importance of their teaching which is why they went out to spread their beliefs to get more people to believe the same religion that they were preaching. The advances in technology had a major impact on how and why European expansion took place. Previous exploration had inspired navigators to make better equipment for traveling,