Religious Motives For The Age Of Exploration

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The age of exploration was an age of discovery and trade which started in the late 15yh century and ended in the 18th century. During this time the discovery of the new world and new trade routes led to large steps in economic change and growth in Europe. Explorers motives for discovery were strongly rooted in both economic growth and religious beliefs. However, Religion was not so much of a motivator as it was a way of justification for the atrocities committed by European explorers in the name of personal economic gains. Explorers and slave traders alike claimed that they were relieving the natives of their natural bestial tendencies, when in fact they were simply justifying their cruelty and torment of the indigenous people for the economic expansion of Europe.

Explores and enslavers alike knew their actions in enslaving the indigenous peoples of Africa where deplorable, however, they continued them due to the believed justification of their actions through religious motives. The explorers and enslavers convinced themselves that their actions were saving the natives. The religion they believed justified their actions. They convinced themselves that they were saving these natives from eternal damnation and showing them the true path, the path of Christianity and of Jesus. Zurara (map maker and historian who lived during the beginning of the age of exploration) writes about seeing the suffering of the African slaves. He talks about the visible pain the natives
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