by Peter C. Mancall
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In this essay you’ll learn about how the following affected the course of colonial history: the costs of financing exploration, map of 15th-century politics, the power of the Pope, desire for spices and silks, the quest for a Northwest Passage, the Reformation, and the rise of popular printing


When Christopher Columbus made his plans to sail westward across the Atlantic, he first set off across Europe to find sponsors. His brother Bartholomew went to the court of the English King Henry VII (who turned him down, much to the regret of later Britons who realized the opportunity they had missed). Eventually Columbus received support from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. He sailed westward in search of a new route to the riches of East Asia and the Southwest Pacific, but he also ventured forth as an agent of a particular European state. Columbus therefore claimed (and renamed) new lands for Spain and planted the Spanish flag to mark its expanded territory.More »


England on the Eve of Colonization

Author: Paul E. J. Hammer Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
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Featured Primary Sources

Sir Francis Drake’s attack on St. Augustine, 1586

Creator: Baptista Boazio Curriculum Subjects: Economics, World History Grade Levels:

The Doctrine of Discovery, 1493

Creator: Pope Alexander VI Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Religion and Philosophy, World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Expeditionis Hispanorum in Angliam, 1588, by Robert Adams (London, 1590). (LOC)

The Spanish Armada, 1588

Creator: Robert Adams Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels:
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