Creating America (Survey) Chapter 2: European Exploration of the Americas,

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1 Creating America (Survey) Chapter 2: European Exploration of the Americas, Section 1: Spain Claims an Empire Main Idea: Spain Claimed a large empire in the Americas. In 1493, Pope Alexander VI drew an imaginary north-south line--the Line of Demarcation--which divided the world into two parts. Lands to the east of the line belonged to Portugal and lands to the west belonged to Spain. A year later, Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordessillas, which moved the Line of Demarcation more than 800 miles to the west. European exploration soon increased. Its goals were threefold. First, countries wanted to spread Christianity. Second, they wanted to expand their empires. Third, they wanted greater wealth. Colonies enriched European nations with their gold, and silver and by trading goods. Colonies also served as markets for the home country. This economic system was called mercantilism. Early explorers included Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian sailor who hoped to find a sea route to Asia but found America instead. Vasco Nunez de Balboa was a Spanish explorer who reached the Pacific Ocean in In 1519, Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan set out for Asia by sailing around South America. Although he died on the trip, his crew became the first to sail around the world. Hernando Cortés was a Spanish conqueror or conquistador. He and his men landed on the Central American coast in They captured the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, and defeated the Aztecs. Both sides lost many men. Smallpox, a disease carried by the Europeans to Central America, also killed many Aztecs. The Spanish built Mexico City at the site of Tenochtitlán, the former Aztec capital. 1

2 Another conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, set out to capture the wealth of the Incas, who lived in South America. When Pizarro landed on Peru s coast in 1525, the Incan emperor, Atahualpa, feared that the Spanish might be gods. He would not let his people fight. The Spanish easily conquered Peru. The superior weapons and fighting skills of the Spanish also contributed greatly to their success in conquering Native American empires. Rumors of golden cities prompted three Spanish expeditions between 1539 and Francisco Vazquez de Coronado traveled through present-day Arizona and New Mexico. Hernando de Soto explored the southeast, and Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed up the California coast. None found the fabled golden cities. Section 2: European Competition in North America Main Idea: Several European countries competed with Spain for control over territory in the Americas. Many European explorers searched for the Northwest Passage, a water route to Asia through North America. One of the first was an Italian sailor, John Cabot, who sailed for the English. In 1497, Cabot landed in Newfoundland, Canada, which he claimed for England. Two others, Giovanni da Verrazzano and Jacques Cartier also failed to find the Northwest Passage. Equally unsuccessful was Henry Hudson, an Englishman whose voyages in 1609 and 1610 were among the last attempts to find the water route. French and English claims to North America angered Spain. Tension also grew from religious conflicts. As a result, the Spanish attacked a French fort in Florida that contained French Protestants. In 1558, religious differences led England s Queen Elizabeth I, a Protestant, to challenge Spain s sea power. Although England s navy was small, its daring sailors, known as sea dogs, had the advantage of skill and speedy ships. One of the most famous, Sir Francis Drake, stole great amounts of treasure from Spanish ships. Drake was the first Englishman to sail around the world. 2

3 In 1588, Spain s King Philip II attempted to conquer England and restore Catholicism there. When the Spanish Armada, a fleet of 130 warships, entered the English Channel, the English navy destroyed half its ships. Hoping to gain wealth, France and the Netherlands also colonized the Americas. In 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded New France, a fur-trading post on the St. Lawrence River. It was the first permanent French settlement in North America. A year later, the Dutch built New Netherland, a colony along the Hudson River. In 1626, they founded New Amsterdam, which eventually became New York City. Fur-trading caused the colony to prosper. Section 3: The Spanish and Native Americans Main Idea: Spanish rule in the Americas had terrible consequences for Native Americans. Around 1700, Spain divided its American empire into two provinces New Spain and Peru. Each province was governed by a viceroy in the king s name. Grants of Native American labor and the creation of large estates called haciendas concentrated power in the hands of a small number of Spaniards. Spanish colonial society was like a pyramid. Spanish-born colonists were at the top. Next came the Creoles people of Spanish descent who were born in the colonies. Below them were the mestizos, people of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry. At the bottom were the Native Americans and enslaved Africans. To convert Native Americans to Christianity, the Catholic Church built missions. Missionaries helped Native Americans create a better food supply and taught them to read and write. Unfortunately, missionaries often treated Native Americans like slaves. The Spanish forced Native Americans to work on large farms called plantations. Sugar was the most common crop, being in great demand in Europe. 3

4 Bartolomé de Las Casas was a Spaniard who fought for better treatment of Native Americans. His efforts caused the Spanish king to issue laws calling for the freeing of enslaved Native Americans. When Spanish colonists protested, the king reversed many of these laws. European colonization in the Americas led to an exchange of living things between the Eastern and Western hemispheres, called the Columbian Exchange. Items such as vegetables, livestock, grains, fruit, and coffee were exchanged. Unfortunately, germs and viruses were also transferred. Native Americans had no natural immunity to European diseases. As a result, millions of them died. The introduction of American crops into the European diet caused the European population to grow rapidly. The Spanish also brought many plants and animals to the Americas. Section 4: Beginnings of Slavery in the Americas Main Idea: Slavery in the Americas began in order to provide cheap labor for the colonies. By the 1600s, slavery was firmly established in the Americas. Colonial Spanish and Portuguese plantation owners used African slave labor for four reasons. First, Africans were immune to European diseases. Second, Africans had no friends or family in the Americas to help them resist or escape. Third, they provided cheap labor, and fourth, many had worked on farms in Africa. West African kings participated in the slave trade by selling captives from inland regions. The forced removal of Africans became known as the African Diaspora. The voyage from Africa was called the Middle Passage, which referred to the middle leg of the triangular trade route between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Inhuman conditions on the slave ships caused the death of many Africans. The slave trade lasted from the 1500s to the mid- 1800s and became part of the Columbian Exchange. Slave codes passed by the Spanish government regulated the treatment of slaves. Although some of these laws attempted to improve conditions for plantation slaves, most were 4

5 designed to keep slaves in bondage. Nevertheless, some slaves managed to escape and form communities. Slavery led to the creation of an African-based culture in the Americas, with dance, music, and storytelling playing important roles. 5

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