Long before Christopher Columbus discovered America accidentally in 1492, different people had wandered into America or had previously been there. People such as the Norse seafarers from Scandinavia wandered up the northeastern coast around 100 A. D. They landed in present day Newfoundland, before it was known as L’Anse aux Meadows. However, they were unable to support their already weak and flimsy villages. Over in the Middle East, the Crusades were taking place. Once fought, Europeans discovered a liking for Asian goods that had been unknown to the European world.
However, Europeans had to travel to acquire these unique Asian goods, which made the goods more expensive once in Europe. The expensive prices gave Europeans a motive to find alternate routes to the supplies. The European taste buds were further extended when Marco Polo came back from Europe in 1295 telling the wonders of his trip to China. New technologies and the strong desire for goods gave Europeans even more motive to explore. Consequently, Europeans wandered into Africa in search of gold.
After explorers sailed down the west coast of Africa, the Spanish monarchs to find an easier route to India funded Christopher Columbus. However, he accidentally ran into America after believing that he could travel west to India, having no clue that America was in existence. Once Christopher Columbus had discovered North America in 1492, three major European countries, Britain, France, and Spain, all competed for land in the New World. Between the years 1580 and 1763, all had some similar and different imperial goals and motives, none of which prevented them from acquiring some land.
Britain, France, and Spain all competed against each other in the race for America even id they had some of the same imperial goals. All three countries had a monarch to push overseas exploration. Britain had Queen Elizabeth, who pushed for overseas exploration after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. France had Louis XIV as a monarch and he took great interest in overseas colonies. Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand pushed the Spanish imperially. Also, all three nations wanted to establish markets for trade in the overseas colonies.
France was able to make a profit off of the popular beaver, Spain traded items from the West Indies, and Britain traded tobacco and rice. Britain and France, before even starting overseas exploration, had to clear up the problems within their own countries. Religion was at the top of their list of problems, which is why many citizens fled to America. In France, there were clashes between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots in the late 1500s. Once the Edict of Nantes was issued, the Protestant Huguenots had motive to travel to the New World for religious toleration.
In England, the Catholics and Protestants clashed for decades and when Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1588, Protestantism became the dominant religion. So, the Catholics came to America. Also, France and Britain, upon their arrival at America, sought friendly relationships with the natives. Britain wanted to preserve the peace and to provide the “needed foodstuffs. ” The French kept stable relations for trading purposes. Lastly, a major imperial goal of both the British and Spanish was to find the sources of gold and silver in America.
Each searched for gold and silver in different places because each country knew that it could make their home lands wealthy. All countries were successful in acquiring land through their imperial goals and determination, even with their similarities in imperial goals. Although all the countries had some similar imperial goals, they also had their differences. The different countries wanted different areas of land. They Spanish were took the southwest, which included parts of Texas, Mexico and New Mexico. The French claimed northern America, areas in Canada, and also the island of Haiti.
The English wandered up the northeastern coast and claimed the area of New England. Also, all three nations traded and made profits off of different goods. The French made a profit off of the beaver, which was extremely valuable. The English traded tobacco and rice with the Old World. The Spanish, while conquering the southwest portion of America, was out converting people to Catholicism. People such as the Spanish Conquistadores had motives to convert pagans to Christianity to ensure God’s favor. England, on the other hand, had a freshly acquired sense of nationalism after the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
They used this vibrant sense of nationalism as an imperial goal, along with their strong thirst for adventure, a new spirit of self-confidence, bright patriotism, and their faith that England would succeed. On the contrary, France was more about the quantity of land rather than the amount of control they had over the land. They acquired French Haiti, a majority of the Midwest, and a large portion of Canada. Though different motives were kept on mind, all three countries ventured overseas in the hopes of acquiring land in New World, which they were able to do.
Britain, France, and Spain all wanted a part of America. In order to get there they needed goals and motives, which they all had, whether similar or different. All three countries had monarchs to push their countries imperially and they all wished to establish overseas trade. Britain and France set out for the New World in the hopes of religious toleration and they also sought to preserve and create friendly relations with the natives. Spain and Britain were out for gold and silver, which they knew would increase the wealth of their country.
All three countries also had their differences, such as the different areas of land that the countries conquered, the different trading that they established, the fact that the Spanish were out to convert people, the fact that Britain wanted to spread their sense of nationalism and the fact that France cared more about quantity rather than control. The migration from the Old World to the new was reflected later in history. Also, the fact that the countries sent out explorers is seen in history when Lewis and Clark were sent to explore the Louisiana Purchase in 1804 by Thomas Jefferson.
In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was passed to remove the Indians from their land. The colonists, in the years leading up to 1830 and afterwards, were extremely prejudice against the Native Americans. The Indian Removal Act was merely a succession of their prejudice attitudes. Following the Indian Removal Act was the Trail of Tears, where the Indians had to march on foot off of their land. Many Indians died on the way to “Indian territory. ” This was also a further continuation of the prejudice attitude. Approximately ten years later, people had a desire for the West.
Better known as Manifest Destiny, explorers traveled the distance to search for gold. They had imperial goals just as Britain, France, and Spain did. Lastly, the Underground Railroad of the 1850s was where slaves were mistreated so they escaped the prejudice feelings of their masters. The feelings gave slaves a desire to escape their masters, which is what they did with the help of the Underground Railroad. Overall, Britain, France, and Spain, all competed for land between the years of 1580 and 1763 with similar and different imperial goals in mind, which can be connected to later historical events.