What was the "Age of Discovery" and which three factors made it happen?  

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The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration, occurred from the mid-15th century through the 16th century. This was a time when explorers from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and England took an expanded worldview and engaged in extended sea exploration.

Historians often say the three reasons for...

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The Age of Discovery, also known as the Age of Exploration, occurred from the mid-15th century through the 16th century. This was a time when explorers from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and England took an expanded worldview and engaged in extended sea exploration.

Historians often say the three reasons for the exploration were “God, gold, and glory.” In other words, the adventurous men who set out from Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, and England had religious, economic, and personal reasons for their exploits. At this time, there was a lot of curiosity about the world and water trading routes to the Indies.

Economically, there would be great advantages to finding a water route to the Indies and expanding the land holdings of the various countries. The explorers and their sailors would become wealthy men when they found gold, silver, and other precious commodities through their travels. Their home countries would share in this wealth by sponsoring the travels.

Another compelling reason for exploration was to spread Catholicism to the inhabitants of the new lands. The land route to the Indies was fraught with danger brought about by the Crusades; therefore, a water route would provide a safer route for trade and the spread of the “Word of God.” As the exploration expanded to other areas, the “native” peoples encountered in the new lands would be converted to Catholicism.

As the explorers' "discoveries" increased countries' landmasses and brought about easier ways to trade, they also benefitted from receiving personal recognition and glory.  

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