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Mercantilism Helped To Shape The American Nation - Paper

Mercantilism Helped To Shape The American Nation


In the Middle Ages, the definition of wealth was based on the amount of productive land. According to this definition, France was the wealthiest and therefore the most powerful of the European nations. During the sixteenth century the definition of wealth began to change. As the ability to conduct profitable foreign trade increased, so did the amount of cash. Thus, the new definition of wealth came to mean the gain of cash or specie. Specie included gold, silver, or bullion. The wealthiest nation became the one with the most cash, and therefore, the most powerful nation. As the redefining of wealth took hold, there was an increased desire and ability to conduct foreign trade on a larger ...

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focus turned toward the colonization of the New World. The Portuguese, Spanish, and English directed many efforts of colonization and development toward this new land in an attempt to establish themselves as the economic leaders of the world. As mercantilism began to change, so did the power flux of the European countries. Thus began the shaping of North America as we know it.
The Age of Expansion brought many changes to medieval Europe. During this period, the countries of Europe began to look beyond their borders. In Europe, there was nowhere to grow. This being the case, the only place to turn was west. Portugal came into existence in the early 1400's. It is a small country bordered on one side by the sea, and by Spain on the other. Out of necessity the Portuguese became the masters of the sea. They began to acquire a great knowledge of the sea and advanced in navigation, sailing, and map-making. They also founded an academy of navigation in Lisbon. In the early 1400's, the ...

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October 12, 1492, the ships landed on an island which Columbus named San Salvador. He then claimed the land for the country of Spain. Columbus explored the Caribbean Islands and journeyed back to Spain believing he had found the West Indies. The focus of expansion now shifted to the New World. The Spanish began to establish colonies with the hope of turning a profit.
In 1521, Hernando Cortez, another Spanish explorer, conquered the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). He later conquered the rest of Mexico, including the Mayan people. The Spanish also colonized Florida and claimed all the land west of the Mississippi River. Most of the conquered natives were put into slavery or forced ...

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"Mercantilism Helped To Shape The American Nation." Essayworld.com. February 26, 2005. Accessed June 21, 2024. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Mercantilism-Helped-To-Shape-American-Nation/22860.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 2/26/2005 09:22:05 AM
Category: World History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2172
Pages: 8

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