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Word Count: 314
There is much significance in this statement Glorying in their new strength the Spaniards were eager to outstrip the Portuguese rivals in the race to tap the wealth in the Indies First of all at the time Portugal controlled much of the African coast and thus controlled the gateway to the round-Africa water route to India They had established trading posts in which they sold both gold and slaves alongside much of the African coastline The Portuguese had created a system in which they forced the slaves to work the sugar plantations which they had established on several of the African islands right off the mainland Despite their success in Africa the Portuguese went farther southward in order to find a water route to Asia In 1488 Bartholomeu Dias made it to the southern tip of Africa and ten years later Vasco da Gama reached India essentially the Indies which is derived from India and returned home with a small but rather fascinating portion of jewels and spices At the same time Spain was very excited due to the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille as well as the exiling of the unfaithful Muslim Moors from Spain This relieved Spain greatly because there had been Christian-Islamic warfare for centuries Therefore Spain had a surge of strength and were apt for the challenge to outstrip Portugal in the race to tap the wealth in the Indies However by the time Spain reached the Indies Portugal already had control of the Indies to the south and east Therefore Spain was forced to go west When the Spaniards went westward they discovered the New World or America This discovery consequently led to increased European expansion in the west Therefore the key significance of Spains sudden surge of strength is the discovery of the New World and well as increased European expansions of countries out west
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