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European Exploration. Background. Europeans traveled to the Americas in the late 15th century. Conditions there were harsh. Many Europeans died of disease or starvation. Others were killed by Native Americans.

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European Exploration

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  • Europeans traveled to the Americas in the late 15th century.
  • Conditions there were harsh.
  • Many Europeans died of disease or starvation.
  • Others were killed by Native Americans.
  • In turn, Europeans carried with them tools, goods, and diseases that would change Native Americans’ way of life forever.
  • Europeans brought horses and guns to the Americas.
  • These tools helped them travel across large areas and conquer people.
  • With horses, Native Americans were able to travel and trade more easily.
  • Guns also became important for native people.
  • They made hunting easier and could be used as protection, too.
native americans and europeans impact each other s culture
Native Americans and Europeans Impact Each Other’s Culture
  • Many European countries believed it was their duty to spread Christianity.
  • Various Christian missionaries created settlements in the Americas to convert Native Americans.
  • A missionary is someone sent by a church to a foreign country to spread its faith.
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Native Americans and Europeans Impact Each Other’s Culture
  • The main functions of these mission settlements were to teach Native Americans “the arts of civilization” and to convert them to Christianity.
  • For the Native Americans, the missions represented a means to help them learn European languages in order to trade and negotiate in an increasingly white world.
native americans and europeans impact each other s culture6
Native Americans and Europeans Impact Each Other’s Culture
  • Soon after the arrival of Europeans, slavery began in the Americas.
  • Native Americans were enslaved to work on the sugar plantations in the West Indies.
  • Diseases such as smallpox and measles, brought by European settlers, killed many native people.
  • The Native American population was too small for the large amount of work on the plantations.
  • Europeans had to look to another source of workers to enslave.
native americans and europeans impact each other s culture7
Native Americans and Europeans Impact Each Other’s Culture
  • It was hard for Europeans to live in the Americas.
  • They were not familiar with local food crops. Supplies from Europe took months to arrive.
  • Some Europeans were friendly with Native Americans.
  • They learned how to farm crops such as maize from the Native Americans.
  • Many European colonies would not have survived without help from Native Americans.
early spanish missions
Early Spanish Missions
  • Most early European exploration of the American Southeast was done by the Spanish.
  • They launched ships from bases in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida.
  • They explored the coastline of the Southeast.
early spanish missions9
Early Spanish Missions
  • They observed the barrier islands that line the coast of Georgia.
  • These islands were easier for ships to access than the mainland was.
  • Early missions were built on these islands.
  • From those missions, the Spanish then explored the coast.
early spanish missions10
Early Spanish Missions
  • The purpose of the missions was to convert Native Americans to Catholicism.
  • Natives Americans used the missions to help integrate themselves into the European world.
  • Mission settlements usually were located in chiefdoms and contained at least one church, and a house for the missionary.
hernando de soto
Hernando de Soto
  • Hernando de Soto of Spain was the first European to see the interior of the American Southeast, including Georgia.
  • De Soto landed on the coast of Florida in 1539.
  • His party was large and well-equipped. He met many Native Americans along his way.
  • De Soto was looking for gold.
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Hernando de Soto
  • He exploited many Native Americans in his attempt to find it.
  • At times, this exploitation meant befriending them.
  • Other times, it meant robbing or killing Native Americans.
  • After a three-year campaign, de Soto died without finding any gold.
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Hernando de Soto
  • De Soto and his party were the only Europeans to see many Native American cultures before they declined.
  • De Soto wrote of his contact with the native peoples.
  • Today, historians benefit from de Soto’s writings, Ironically, his party spread disease throughout the Native American culture, contributing to its collapse.
causes of european exploration
Causes of European Exploration
  • Europeans needed spices from East Asia. Asian trade goods were sold by Arab traders.
  • Since spices were very expensive, Europeans wanted to find a safe and fast way to reach Asia and acquire the spices directly.
  • They spent a lot of money to find this passage.
  • The country that found the western passage to Asia would control trade between Europe and Asia.
  • As a result of the Asian trade route explorations, the Americas were discovered.
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Causes of European Exploration
  • After Christopher Columbus reached the Americas in 1492, rumors of the New World’s wealth spread.
  • The stories spoke of cities where the streets were paved with gold.
  • The possibility of wealth and the power to control trade led all European countries that could afford it to spend money exploring the Americas.
  • In 1562, France sent explorers to North America in search of gold.
  • The French explorers made their way to South Carolina.
  • There, they started a colony called Charlesfort.
  • Soon, the explorers ran out of supplies and food.
  • A ship returned to France to get more supplies, but did not return to Charlesfort until 1565.
  • By that time, the settlers had left.
  • The French also founded a colony in 1564 called Fort Caroline, in Florida.
  • The Spanish, like all Europeans, were looking for wealth in North America.
  • They destroyed Fort Caroline to stop competition with the French over the wealth of the Americas.
  • In 1568, they built the first missions in the area of Florida where Fort Caroline had been.
  • This was the beginning of the mission period in the Southeast.
  • The missions were built to spread Catholicism.
  • Missions were also used to integrate Native Americans as members of a new form of society ruled by the Spanish colonial government.
  • This helped the Spanish control them.
  • Local chiefs still led Native Americans, but the chiefs were ruled by the Spanish colonial government.
  • The Spanish colonial government used the missions to communicate with the Native Americans.
  • Native Americans and Europeans also traded goods at missions.
  • Eventually, the mission system declined.
  • Native populations in the Southeast were shrinking due to deaths.
  • Many missions were left empty.
  • Slave revolts and English raids destroyed the rest.
  • The mission period ended in 1684.
  • Queen Elizabeth I ruled Great Britain from 1558 to 1603.
  • She was a Protestant, which is a Christian religion that differs from Catholicism in its practice.
  • Great Britain was the enemy of Spain, a Catholic state.
  • Philip II, the ruler of Spain, built the Spanish Armada, a large and powerful naval fleet, to attack the British.
  • In 1588, the British defeated the Spanish Armada.
  • British naval dominance enabled it to explore the Americas.
  • It also signaled the decline of Spanish power in the Americas.
  • The British came to the Americas hoping to find gold.
  • They also realized they could make money by trading other items such as copper and furs.
  • They also traded enslaved Native Americans.
  • Many British slaves came from Georgia’s Native American population.
  • The slave trade resulted in the deaths of many Native Americans.
  • Many became involved in trading slaves themselves.
  • Others moved away from the region.
  • There are few records of what happened to most of the Native Americans who once lived in Georgia.
  • Describe why Europeans wanted to explore.
  • What impact did Native Americans and Europeans have on each other? (Include both positive and negative)