Relationship Between The Europe's Relationship With The Americas

Submitted By rboshoven
Words: 1443
Pages: 6

Europe’s Relationship With the Americas The year was 1493 when Christopher Columbus first wrote about his discovery of the Americas. The finding of this new land drastically altered the history of Europe. Immediately after the discovery of the Americas, Europe used the new land to expand economically by seeking resources, which they could use and sell to other countries. They exploited the natives and used them as slaves for their own benefit. While exchanging resources, they brought with them diseases resulting in countless deaths of the natives. Europeans also relentlessly in tried to spread Christianity. They viewed it as their responsibility to convert the natives to the religion they deemed acceptable. From the beginning of the European colonization, they viewed the Americas as simply something to prosper from with little care or concern for the people who originally inhabited the land. At first, the Native Americans were curious about the Europeans and welcomed their presence, but eventually they refused to continue to be used for economic gain and forced into slavery. The Natives and slaves began to revolt. Their relationship became one of hatred as the people of the Americas began to fight for their independence from European countries. In the late 1400s, Christopher Columbus, funded by King Fernando and Isabel of Spain, set sail on a mission to find a shorter route to Asia. However, he instead discovered the islands of Hispaniola, Cuba, and the Bahamas. What Columbus found interested him greatly. In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Luis de Sant Angel, he wrote of his breakthrough and the natives he found. He stated, “They never refuse anything that is asked for. They even offer it themselves, and show so much love that they would give their very hearts. Whether it be anything of great or small value, with any trifle of whatever kind, they are satisfied”.1 The natives accepted and trusted Columbus and his men and offered to help them in anyway they could. Their submissive, kind, and trustworthy personalities intrigued Columbus. The European’s viewed them as uncivilized and uneducated. They were easily tricked and willing to give and do anything for the white man that appeared to have come from heaven; even trading gold for leather straps. Columbus acknowledged there extraordinary generosity but wrote that he forbade his men from exchanging useless scraps for items of worth. Instead of taking them for granted, he claimed that he looked forward to teaching them about Christianity.2 Columbus sailed back to Europe and reported what he had found. The news of his journey and all that he had discovered sparked more European countries to explore and compete for the new territory and expand economically. Many traveled to the Americas with hopes of discovering resources such as gold, silver, and silk, while some went to spread the Catholic religion. Others wanted to begin a new life and left their homes in Europe with dreams of starting over. No matter what the reason, Europeans continued to voyage to the Americas for years with little concern for wellbeing of the native people.
The Columbian Exchanged was formed soon after the discovery of the Americas. The exchange introduced new plants, crops, and animals between the countries. The Americas received animals such as horses and cows, which provided the New World with different forms of food and labor. Alternatively, the Europeans were able to attain foods they previously did not have.3 Although the exchange of crops and animals was welcomed, the Columbian Exchange had damaging affects. The new animals, plants, and people brought new diseases such as small pox into the Americas. With no immunity to these new germs, many natives became ill and died of disease. The Europeans viewed this as a weakness. Eventually, so many natives died or were too sick to work a shortage in labor started, which led to an increase in slave trade. Africans were brought over to the