How did exploration turn into exploitation?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Exploration often turned into exploitation. It is interesting how this occurred. When the first settlers came to North America, they were very dependent on the Native American people living here. Without their help, the colonists might not have survived. Yet, once the colonists became established, they exploited the very people that helped them.

There were various reasons for this exploitation. One was cultural. The culture of the colonists was very different than the culture of the Native Americans. As a result of these differences, the colonists believed the Native Americans were less intelligent and lived a backward or undeveloped way of life. The colonists began to believe they had to take over the land in order for progress to occur.

Another factor was economic. There was a lot of money that could be made in the colonies. If the colonists could control more land, they could benefit from trading, farming, and developing industries. This meant taking land away from the Native Americans and/or forcing them to relocate. The desire for money and profit also led to exploitation.

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