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AP European History Expansion Essay December 5 2000 Fifteenth Century Expansion and Exploration The move by European nations and empires beginning in the fifteenth centuries had many precursors leading up to it The expansion was mostly the result of a quest for wealth however New technology and new knowledge of the earth and ways to navigate it were a great assistant to mariners and thus gave the success for riches a higher probability for success Those reasons were only further enabled by the goal of spreading Christianity Wealth has arguably been the motive behind most of mans efforts throughout time European exploration is certainly no exception The riches of Asian and Indian goods introduced to the Europeans during the crusades provided just the treasure to motivate the Europeans The Arab and other foreign merchants who served as middlemen in the Asian trade caused for a tremendously high price for the consumer once the products reached Europe Thus ways to bypass those merchants were sought and competition amongst the Europeans to find such a method resulted Not only would a nation be better off financially by ridding themselves of high prices but that nation would also be able to sell those goods for considerable profit While the motives of each individual explorer differ slightly from those of another it is accurate to say that most explorers were of course in search of wealth Bartholomew Diaz explained his reasons for embarking on such a daring voyage as to serve Godand to grow rich as all men desire to do so McKay p484 Da Gama and Cortez also admitted that they were in search of gold Columbus was in search of a new water route to Asia by way of sailing west and thought that he would become rich with the rewards from Ferdinand and Isabella He did indeed receive a great sum from them however his real riches cam from the enslavement of the
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