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All throughout time Religion has been a significant aspect of all cultures. Religion has been the motivation for many great things, and for many more not so great things. Religions spread and brought in new believers and others converted from one religion to another. For most religions, spreading the word of God is undertaken by missionaries. This also goes for Christianity. The role of the Christian missionary was to spread the word of God to all.
The motivation of spreading the word of God was a very large part of western exploration. In addition to spreading the word of God, the accumulation of wealth and thus power were also great factors in motivating people to explore the western world. Portugal took the initiative of western exploration after they successfully expelled the Muslims from the country of Portugal. The power created by such a successful expulsion of outsiders and the religious fervor of missionarys encouraged the rulers of Portugal to seek conquests in Africa. The Portugese rulers were drawn to the possibility of causing harm to the Muslim world and a hunger for wealth(Stearns 34). In 1498, Vasco Da Gama, a mariner from Portugese, left Portugal and set sail for Calicut, India. He was asked why he did so and replied Christians and spices.
The mass conversion of people to the religion of Roman Catholicism and the accumulation of spices, fine textiles, and other Asian goods were what drove him to Calicut, India. Vasco Da Gamas desire for Christians and spices was typical for most explorers of the time. Either people went to convert the masses or to find riches or even both(Stearns 150). Not all countries were interested in the spreading of Roman Catholicism as other countries were. The English and Protestant Dutch had little interest in gaining converts to Christianity. Yet the spread of Roman Catholicism was a essential part of the worldwide operation of the Portugese and Spanish. Bibliography: Works Cited Anand, Mulk Raj.
Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1940. Stearns, Peter N. World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Volume 2, 2nd Edition. U.S.: Longman, 1996..
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