God, Glory, Gold: European Exploration

God, Glory, Gold: European Exploration
God, Glory, Gold: European Exploration

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God, Glory, Gold

Europeans began their modern exploration of the world in the period around the fourteenth and sixteenth century. Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, and England are the European states that were the foremost in this enterprise. The explorations increased their knowledge of the wider world. They were in most cases linked to missionary work, trade, and conquests as the European states sought to increase their religious, economic and political influence throughout the world. God, glory and gold were the motivation behind Europeans exploration.

In regard to god, Edgar et al argue that Europeans were motivated by the desire to spread Christianity through numerous missionary works especially in most parts of Americas. Edgar et al. argue that during the Middle Ages and the period around 1500 and 1750, Christianity was dominant in Europe but had died in most part of Americas. 

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The belief held by majority of the Europeans who were on the mission to spread Christianity was that salvation through Christ Jesus was the only justifiable one and there was need to spread it throughout the world. They were aware of the fact that most parts of Americas had not embraced Christianity and that is why they ventured into those regions. God made Europeans to explore as they traveled the seas to almost every part of the globe in a bid to spread Christianity. 


Most European states wanted recognition and therefore had to search for it. Most of them were ruled by monarchies and there was need for glory for the king. Edgar et al further argue that the power of a given state is directly related to its wealth. 

The argument is informed by the Mercantilism and Zero- sum Gain thinking that was prevalent around 1300 to 1750 that, if a state does not get the wealth another state would. Therefore, these states and its citizens sought to seek more wealth hence more power in war which eventually translates to glory and recognition. 

Different European states explored various regions of the world, and in reference to this discussion Americas, with an intention to obtain resources from them in addition to conquering some of them and gain glory for their immense strength; more territories a European state occupied compared to other states, the more glory and recognition it gained.  

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 Gold was a major motivation to Europeans’ exploration. As has been noted in the glory’s motivation, European states wanted wealth of their own because wealth was linked to power. In order to accumulate more wealth for their states and make their states and people prosperous, Europeans started to look for resources in Americas. 

It is worth noting that, resources in Europe were not sufficient for the states and for meeting their citizens’ needs at that time and foreseeable future and it was necessary to venture in other regions. For instance, Spain ventured into South America for gold and silver, England ventured into North America for manual labor and natural resources, and France ventured in some parts of Americas for natural resources, with no particular region exactly. 

These explorations were meant to bolster the economic and political strengths of European states. The exploration resulted to settlement of some of Europeans in Americas; for instance, there is majority of people of Spanish origin living in Americas presently. Finally, it is important to point out that god, glory, and gold were linked to each other in regard to Europeans’ exploration. 

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