1.4 Points to Remember
The need for new trade routes to India led to the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, who land on the Caribbean shores.
Amerigo Vesupucci later explored and studied the new
continent, which was named after him. These voyages led to more
explorations and expeditions in the Americas. Actually, much before
the Europeans appeared in the New World, native Indians already
inhabited it. While most of them were tribes who hunted and had
a matriarchal society, there were a few highly advanced civilizations
in South America: the Aztecs, the Incas and the Mayas.
At the time of the European invasion, these civilizations had a
highly effective irrigation system for agriculture, had magnificent
cities with hospitals, temples and other urban amenities. Besides,
they had made great advances in Medicine, astronomy and had developed
a script of their own.
Europeans colonized the New World for various
reasons. Chief among them was to exploit the rich resources
of the continent. The other reasons involved shifting surplus population
and people fleeing from religious persecution in Europe to
the New World. But along with the European settlements, came slaves
from Africa. They were brought by force to the American continent.
They were forced to work on the plantations of cotton and sugar
in the New World.
| Table of Contents
- Chronology of Major Events in this Period
1.1 - The Discovery of America
1.2 - Voyages of exploration
1.3 - The Indians
1.4 - Points to Remember