Why were the discoveries of European exploration important to the United States?  

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The period of European exploration led to the colonization of the Americas. Initially, the explorers were trying to find a passage from the east coast of the new world to India for trade. In the process, the British stayed behind and planted colonies in the land that would become the United States. In the earliest part of the Seventeenth Century, Jamestown would become the first permanent settlement in the area that would become the United States. In the next century, British colonies would be established up and down the east coast.

The impact of settlement in the United States affected three major groups. The Native Americans lost most of their land and perished by the millions because of European colonization. The Europeans, particularly the Dutch and British, benefited in an enormous way by creating new markets and lands for resources. This benefit led to the continued belief in wealth through world trade and imperialism. A third group that was affected by European colonization were the Africans, particularly on the western side. Chattel slavery was instituted in the colonies. West Africa provided the slaves for this institution. Millions of Africans were displaced to the United States which had a very negative social, political, and economic impact on the continent. Millions of slaves died because of the institution of slavery. The new colonies, and later, the United States, would build a powerful industrial economy on the backs of these slaves.