How did the desire for God and gold lead to European exploration?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is generally said that there were three main motives for European exploration.  These motivations were said to be “God, gold, and glory.” 

When we say that “God” was one of the motivations, we mean that the Europeans said that they wanted to spread the word of God around the world.  People outside of Europe were, of course, mainly non-Christian.  Christians felt that it was their duty to go and convert people to the faith so that those people could be saved and could go to heaven.  If they went exploring, they could come into contact with non-Christians and could try to convert those people.  Thus, we say that “God” was one reason for exploration.

The desire for gold was also a motivation.  The Europeans wanted to become rich.  We use the word “gold” as a shorthand for anything valuable.  It could be silver or it could be other things.  The basic idea is simply that Europeans believed that they could make money by going out exploring.  This is why we say that “gold” was a cause of exploration.

penn15 | Student

many european countrys where searching around the world for "bullion" which is gold, silve, etc. then many countryss like Spain and Portugal wanted to spread christianity so the would also send monks on those boats .