Explorers And Conquistadors During The Age Of Exploration

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European explorers and conquistadors during the age of exploration were motivated by three things: God, gold and glory. The two most prominent of the three between 1492 and 1607 were gold and glory. Beginning in 1492 gold motivated many explorers, from Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the New World to the Virginia Company’s colonization of America. Gold is a symbol for wealth, and many explorers soon realized the New World’s potential for wealth. The Spanish’s interest in wealth inspired Columbus’s expedition in the first place, as he was sent to India to trade for spices. Columbus reportedly traded pieces of his ship for gold, and was given a golden mask by a native chief. He later said in court (believing he had reached India) “There are many spices, and great mines of gold and other metals…”. After learning of the untapped natural resources and potential for wealth, European nations created an exploration frenzy, with constant voyages to the new world. The nations which sponsored these expeditions would give the explorers a cut of all the gold they found, which helped motivate conquistadors to make the long and treacherous journey to the New World. These explorers knew gold would bring wealth and power to them and their country, in addition to achieving tremendous glory for both. Glory also played a great role in motivating explorers. Kings and queens wanted glory for their kingdoms, along with the personal glory of finding new territories. Before the age of
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