Matters of Education

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Europe Comes to South America, c. 1500

Length of Time:   20 Minutes


The 1500s was the age of discovery and exploration. European monarchs and private companies funded journeys around the globe. Many factors motivated these trips. The search for gold and silver was very important. Maps were incredibly important as the Europeans attempted to navigate their way in this process of discovery. Spanish explorers looked in modern day Mexico, South America and the islands of the Caribbean to find these precious metals.

Essential Questions

What different forces motivated the European exploration of South America in the 1500s?

Common Core Standards

Content Standards

Grade 6: World Geography: Concepts and Skills:

History and Geography: Reading and Interpreting Maps

Learning Standards: South America

World History I: The World from the Fall of Rome through the Enlightenment

WH1.14 Identify the major effects of the European colonial period in South America