God Gold And Glory Essay

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Transcript of Gold, God, Glory: Reasons for Exploration

Gold, God, Glory:
Reasons for Exploration

Reason One
Rumors of gold made explorers believe they could get rich quickly. They believed the pay off would be huge. If an explorer found new land, he was paid in gold and riches by the King and Queen of his country.
Reason Three
Glory was to be found in the adventure and in the land they might claim, making them rich lords and not poor sailors. They longed for "celebrity statues" and to have new places named after themselves.
Make A Theory!
Who explored for what reason?
Reason Two
Some went believing that they must bring their Christian beliefs to the people of the New World. They thought God would reward them for spreading their faith.
Who knows what it means to
He wanted to bring
back riches for the
King and Queen of
He searched for the
passage to the Pacific
Ocean because he wanted to be the first to circumnavigate the world.
Hudson was hired to find the Northwest Passage to Asia.
Amerigo Vespucci:
Mapped and named new land. He wanted to be remembered for his discoveries.
Wanted to spread Catholicism and
save the "savage souls" in the Americas.
Someone who travels through unknown places to make discoveries and investigations
Gold, God, Glory:
A phrase giving the reasons why the early European Explorers went to the New World.
Why would they risk starvation, drowning, disease, and death?
In the 1400's, European Countries were competing for Natural Resources.
Gold, Silk, and Spices were all very valuable and mostly found in Asia
Transportation across land routes was very costly, as everyone wanted a payoff.
soon discovered that it was more cost effective to sail to Asia for the goods, this is when they began looking for a sea route to Asia.
was a big part of Glory.
Creating colonies in the New World added to a country's territory, meaning more natural resources and wealth. These colonies opened new markets.
In short, more colonies = more glory.
Countries taking over a group of people is called
Big Picture Question:
What factor (Gold, God, or Glory) do you believe was the biggest motivation factor for exploration? Why?

Full transcript

The Spanish that explored and conquered parts of the New World had three basic ideas that motivated them--Gold, Glory, and God.


Upon his return from the New World, Columbus reported to the Spanish crown that he saw much potential for riches in the newly discovered territory. The natives that met Columbus and his party traded bits of gold to them for parts of Columbus's ships and other items of interest. In addition, the native chieftain reportedly gave Columbus a ceremonial mask inset with gold. Columbus also reported seeing gold in the rivers. He also told the Spanish that he believed there would be mines rich with gold and other metals. Columbus and the Spanish were extremely interested in wealth. That's what inspired his voyage in the first place!

While there were no mines on Hispaniola, as more explorers and conquistadors surveyed parts of the New World, they kept hearing of a rich empire that existed in the west (in Mexico.) The search for gold became an obsession with the Spanish. England, France and other European Nations were in search of riches too, but they tended to focus more on getting rich by way of trade.


Keep in mind that Western Europe was still at the tail end of the Middle Ages and feudalism. Europe had been at war, off and on, for centuries. This, along with the Reconquista of Spain from the Moors, had fostered a culture that glorified the military and its leaders. Men who won battles or performed other great deeds were often rewarded by titles of nobility, land, money, and laborers. Since there was little land to be had in Europe, the discovery of huge amounts of land in the New World became a big motivator for individuals to seek personal glory there.


In January of 1492, Spain had finally finished driving the Moors out of the Iberian Peninsula. The end of this war helped feed religious fervor among the Spanish. In addition, the Papal decree of 1493 gave Spain the authority and duty of converting any and all natives in the New World to Christianity.

This trio of motivating factors, Gold, Glory, and God, along with superior technology and disease, would prove to be the fuel that propelled the Spanish to conquer most of South America, parts of the Southwestern United States, and all of Mexico and Central America. The legacy of Spanish culture and the tragedy of the extermination of the indigenous peoples of these areas would change the course of the world forever.

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