This course explores the European and American background for the English colonization of North America. From the Iberian race to open a direct trade route with India to the Spanish attempts to settle and convert La Florida, from the voyages of the explorers who mapped the North American coast to the depredations of French corsairs and Elizabethan privateers, this course comprehensively covers the political and religious background to the founding of Jamestown and Plymouth by English colonists. View all content
In this first module, we discuss the forces that compelled the Spanish to turn westward and sent Columbus on his fateful journey westward. We discuss the European desire to open a sea route with India; the Genoese, Catalan, and Portuguese activities in Africa; the Castilian-Portuguese rivalry in the Canaries; and Columbus' first voyage.