Europe's recorded history begins with these cultures.

ADVANTAGES

The impulse for exploration was further fueled by the European imagination. The idea of “America” antedated America’s discovery and even Viking exploration. That idea had two parts: one paradisiacal and utopian; the other savage and dangerous. Ancient tales described distant civilizations, usually to the west, where European-like peoples lived simple, virtuous lives without war, famine, disease, or poverty. Such utopian visions were reinforced by religious notions. Early Christian Europeans had inherited from the Jews a powerful prophetic tradition that drew upon apocalyptic biblical texts in the books of and They connected the Christianization of the world with the second coming of Christ. Such ideas led many Europeans (including Columbus) to believe it was God’s plan for Christians to convert pagans wherever they were found.

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