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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson H: Exploration and Contact in the Atlantic

Activity 2: The Birth of Colonial America

Exploration resulted in contact between Europeans and native societies. Europeans began to colonize the Americas and its peoples. Several factors allowed colonization to succeed. Superior militaries using advanced weapons and technology defeated native forces, even when indigenous armies outnumbered European enemies on their native soil.

Government decisions made by European leaders supported colonization in the New World. The effects of European diseases proved to be an overwhelming factor, as native populations had no resistance against small pox. Finally, efforts to convert natives to Christianity played an important role.

Interactive Icon Directions: Use the following timeline activity to examine the different factors that allowed the Spanish and Portuguese to establish colonial empires in the Americas. Read each event and then categorize it as religious, disease, government, or military.

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