-The more agricultural and sedentary the society, the greater the population density.
From a European perspective, however, even the most densely-populated areas felt
empty. This thus resulted in the myth of the empty continent, which psychologically
facilitated European colonization. By no stretch of the mind, however, was America an
-Major differences between the native peoples living in—what would become—the
United States and Europeans included belief systems. Native peoples see people as
one species among many, while Europeans see humans as the dominant being on
Earth. Native societies do not believe in structural religion, but they are, indeed,
spiritual (typical origin story: Land Driver). They also have different concepts of land
ownership. To the extent that ownership existed, it was communal. They did not own
the land, even, but they made use of what the land provided. In Europe, however,
people individually owned land and they titled this land by building a dwelling or some
sort of structure. If you did not build or put a stake in your land, your ownership is null.
Natives also did not have a form of currency. For that reason, Europeans did not see
native peoples as owners of America. They traded, but their system was one of
barter. Further, very few societies employed writing, and most were oral. The cultural
resources of native societies did not include many of the features of European
society. For all of these reasons, most Europeans saw natives as lesser beings,
because they did not have the trappings of civilization that they had come to know.
Europe Looks Westward
-Europeans began to look westwards because of transformations in European Society,
including and predominantly, the revival and development of commerce. Europe’s
commercial interests were predominantly east, but to get to that part of the world, one
would have to travel through the Middle East. However, at this time, Islam was
expanding and the Middle East was not a safe route. Europeans thus tried to get east
the “other way.” They had no idea that other continents existed beyond Eurasia and
-Portugal and Spain were the countries ﬁrst responsible for exploration. Spain was the
initial pioneer westwards.
-Christopher Columbus wanted to ﬁnd a route to the Far East, but the Portuguese
would not fund him as they wanted to go around Africa. He found a funder in the
Queen of Spain. He landed upon the West Indies, and explored the Caribbean. He
left behind 35 men and he returned home with some native men, gold, and parrots—