The Mercantile System was an economic system based on strict governmental regulations of a nation’s economy.
The goals of such a system were to increase unity, power, wealth, and self-sufficiency through the accumulation of bullion, the favorable balance of trade, the establishment of trade monopolies, the development of agriculture and manufacturing methods, and finally, the colonizing of other lands.
Spain continued their exploration there and rapidly claimed many resources and lands, but one thing was hindering them.
The native Populations of the New World were getting in their way.
The weapon they had was known as disease, which included the Small Pox and measles. The vague differences between the two were almost unnoticeable and were often overlooked.
Their prize for accomplishing their goal was the vast wealth of the societies and the large quantities of gold and silver that their lands held. Their Caribbean strongholds did stay independent though, and the Dutch joined in the slave trade to promote the sugar cane trade.
The Portuguese had begun exploring the coast of Africa as early as 1418, under the leadership of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Much of the spices and goods that flowed into Europe were controlled by Italian monopolies, a situation the Portuguese hoped to bypass.
During this period, Europe sought new sea routes to Asia in pursuit of economic gain, increased glory, and opportunities to spread Christianity.
Although these were motivations for explorers, the impact from the discoveries resulted in significant changes and achievements that created possibilities and opened a window to a new world for all of Europe.