Colonia era, “Exploration, and Discovery” section

Exploration and discovery during the colonial period signified a time characterized by various political trends. The dominant political trend was the colonization of the different populations around the world. It was a significant time for the exploration of Christopher Columbus who encourages slaves as a labor force for Europeans. Therefore, Spain took the Indians to serve as slaves, but the attempt failed. Therefore, they resorted to getting slaves from western Africa. There was also colonization of Mexico and America. Spain went on with its colonization plans due to the gold and silver it would acquire from South America and Mexico. Therefore, it sought out other areas to colonize to prevent Russia and France from accessing the areas they wanted.

There were various economic trends which mainly included slave trade. The main aim of the slave trade was for the Europeans to acquire cheap labor from the slaves and these individuals would work for them without any pay. Discovering new lands also acted as an economic trend where the Europeans would find fertile lands in agriculture or precious stones and diamonds. They would take over these areas to explore these minerals and engage in activities that would enrich them. Slave trade also came as a result of the discovery of the new lands.

Cultural trends were also a characteristic of the exploration and discovery time. Many of the Europeans would explore new lands as missionaries. In their course of spreading Christianity, they would encounter cultures that were characteristic of the areas they accessed. However, their main aim was to convert the individuals they met to Christianity. It, therefore, led to an introduction of the Christian culture to people who already had their primary cultures in place. Various states around America were developed by the Spanish including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe and much more. It is because of the Spanish heritage that was initially encountered in these areas.

What was the role of Christopher Columbus during exploration and discovery in the colonial era?

Christopher Columbus stood out as the major explorer due to the discovery of the new world. Columbus could be viewed as the explorer who opened ways for the Europeans to start exploring the rest of the world and acquire colonies. He carried Christianity across the Atlantic Ocean, and he was celebrated as an explorer, a man of stature and a discoverer. However, due to his exploration, there was the rise of colonization, which was not pleasant to the indigenous communities. Many of them viewed Columbus as an imperialist and a colonialist due to the millions of people from indigenous communities who died due to colonialism.

What were the dynamics of the slave trade during the exploration and discovery era?

Exploration, discovery, and colonization led to the development of slavery and slave trade. Slavery started as early as the 1400s when Columbus started his exploration. He viewed the Indians to be useful as slaves and therefore encouraged other Europeans to take them into slavery “Christopher Columbus believed that Indians would serve as a slave labor force for Europeans” (Digital History). However, other regions served as sources for slaves, and as Columbus continued to explore and discover new areas, Europeans found the opportunity to colonize these areas thereby acquiring slaves. The slaves would work for the Europeans in farms that the Europeans had started in the new areas while others would be shipped to the European countries to work in industries and factories. There however developed slave revolts later on during the era. There were rumors of retaliatory efforts against the enslavers and in some instances; these rumors would become a reality with many going against their masters. There was also the rise of antislavery sentiment were activists would go against the issue of slavery.


Different aspects of both the European explorers and the indigenous communities that were discovered characterized the exploration and discovery era. The picture gives a representation of what took place every time the explorers found a new land. Their aim was to spread Christianity, colonize these areas, and take control of the new lands they discovered and rule over the people they encountered. In the picture, it is evident that the indigenous communities seem afraid of the new people that have come to their land. They seem surprised because the explorers look different and they are wearing clothes, which many of them did not know about.

The picture shows an explorer holding the cross, which is representative of the explorers who was spreading Christianity. These were among the first Europeans to reach the new lands and eventually opened up ways for the rest of the Europeans to move in. Another explorer is holding up a flag and a sword showing the conquest of the new land. It is significant of colonialism where the flag represents ownership of the discovered land, and the sword would be effective in inflicting fear in the indigenous communities. More explorers are coming into the new land and others in the water. It indicates that once a new area was discovered the Europeans would occupy in large numbers. However, not everyone would make it to these new lands as the explorers used the sea and many of them would die at sea.

Works cited

Digital History. “Slavery and Spanish Colonization.” : n. pag. Print.