Imperial Rivalries | AP US History Study Guide from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (2023)

In this essay, you will learn how the following influenced the course of colonial history: thecost of financing exploration,Map of 15th Century Politics,the power of the pope, Desire forSpices and Silk, the search for aNorthwest Passage, theReformation, and the rise ofpopular print.

Imperial Rivalries | AP US History Study Guide from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (1)

(Video) AP US History Study Guide: Period 3 - 1754 to 1800

When Christopher Columbus planned to sail westward across the Atlantic, he first made his way across Europe to find sponsors. His brother Bartholomew went to the court of the English king Henry VII (who rejected him, much to the chagrin of later Britons who realized the opportunity they had missed). Eventually, Columbus received support from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. He sailed west in search of a new route to the riches of East Asia and the Southwest Pacific, but he also ventured out as the agent of a certain European state. Columbus therefore claimed (and named) new land for Spain and planted the Spanish flag to mark his expanded territory.

Columbus' activities before and during his historic voyage reflected his understanding of European politics in the late 15th century. Traveling west was too expensive for an individual to fund independently, so governments sponsored such travel. European politicians knew that they were always competing with each other. They also understood that their rivalries must not offend the Church; Until the Protestant Reformation, religious authority belonged to the pope and his court in Rome, along with his representatives throughout Europe.

principalities and kingdoms

Unlike modern nations, the European states of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries were not particularly well organized or efficient. Any accurate map of Europe showed that principalities, not modern nation-states, ruled the continent. For example, there was no entity like "Ireland". The island was instead home to four provinces - Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster - ruled by chiefs, each controlling a large territory where the inhabitants paid taxes in exchange for protection. The leaders of such small fiefdoms and rulers of larger kingdoms tended to see their neighbors as rivals; Just as Leinster fought with Munster, England remained at odds with France, and France competed with the Spanish kingdoms. Long-distance military expeditions against more distant foreign powers were relatively rare because they were so expensive. European crusaders ventured into retaking the Holy Land from the late eleventh to late thirteenth centuries, hoping to lay claim to Jerusalem and protect it from the growing power of Muslim states, but also to trade with merchants from the nearby East to make a decent profit. Along the way, these Christian warriors would often raid the lands they traversed, spawning hostilities that lasted for generations.

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The major national rivalries for the western hemisphere began to take shape after 1492. In the same year that Columbus sailed west, the combined forces of the Spanish kingdoms under Castilian Queen Isabella and Aragonese King Ferdinand recaptured Iberia from the Islamic Moors; They also expelled Jews who lived there or forced those who stayed to convert to Christianity (at which point they became known aspigsorconverted). Both actions endeared the monarchs to Christian leaders. On May 4, 1493, Pope Alexander VI rewarded (a Spaniard) Ferdinand and Isabella, after hearing of Columbus' discovery of a "new world," with the bull of bestowal, also known as theAmong other things, which authorized Spain to colonize and exploit American lands, despite previous papal documents granting Portugal control of newly discovered regions. The following year, the Spanish and Portuguese rulers, whose ships were then involved in Europe's most extensive exploration ventures, agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which laid down a geographic line some 1,200 nautical miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. This border entitled the Portuguese to lay claim to Brazil, which they colonized in the 16th century, in addition to the lands that Europeans had newly seen in the Old World. Spain, on the other hand, could claim everything west of the line.

These papal arrangements led the Spanish and Portuguese to establish colonies in the western hemisphere, as well as (for the Portuguese) territories in and near the Indian Ocean and southwest Pacific. In addition to Columbus' voyages, the Spanish sent other would-be conquerors to lay claim to new territories, including Hernán Cortés, who led Spanish forces to victory over the Aztecs in Mexico in the late 1510s, and Francisco Pizarro, whose army emerged victorious over the Incas in Peru in the 1530s. In the years that followed, Spanish conquerors raised their standards across much of southwestern North America, as well as Florida. Spanish and Portuguese colonizers eagerly extracted wealth from these new territories, particularly in the form of hoards of gold, silver, and precious jewels. They made sure to send thank you gifts to their religious patrons. The pope reportedly used some of the gold sent by the Spanish to cover the ceiling of Rome's ancient basilica and one of its largest churches, Santa Maria Maggiore. Acquiring this wealth was not only at great expense for the Native Americans, who witnessed the desecration of temples to satisfy the lusts of the peopleconqueror, but also for human history and art, as the newcomers typically melted down native icons, thereby wiping out ancient cultures.


The agreements of the early 1490s made sense in a Europe where the Spanish and Portuguese were the dominant maritime players. But during the 16th century, other Europeans also saw the benefits of long-distance trade and conquest. The French had been interested in Atlantic ventures since the early decades of the 16th century. Breton explorer Jacques Cartier made three voyages - 1534, 1535–1536, and 1541–1542 - as part of an effort to increase knowledge of North America and to identify a possible route across the continent to the South Seas. He never found that passage, but he explored the Saint Lawrence Valley and made a first French claim to Canada. By mid-century, a group of cartographers in Dieppe had created a series of new maps based on Portuguese nautical charts (called portolans) that suggested what explorers would find. In July 1608, after exploring other territories further south, Samuel Champlain founded Quebec City, which would become the central colonial outpost of New France. Such grand claims - like claiming ownership of Canada on the basis of founding a relatively small community - were not unique. In 1609 the Dutchman became an English captainHenry Hudson, after failing to find the Northeast Passage (which he hoped would take him through open waters north of Russia to the Pacific), he crossed the Atlantic and finally made his way up the river that now bears his name. In the years that followed, the Dutch made a formal claim to this region, naming it New Netherland and establishing their main outpost on the island of Manhattan.

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Imperial Rivalries | AP US History Study Guide from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (5)The English, for their part, planned to take control of much of North America in hopes—as did the French and Dutch—of finding the Northwest Passage, a waterway to Asia that European cartographers were convinced existed somewhere in North America . Whoever found this route could control the passage from the Atlantic to the South Seas (now the Pacific), and from there to Japan, China, and the Spice Islands.

Because Europeans had long since fallen in love with East Asian silk, as well as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and paprika from places like Banda, these 16th-century explorers knew there was a huge demand for anything they could bring back. In theory, a northern route would drastically reduce the length of the voyage, thus ensuring that the spices sailors brought home would be fresher than those of other Europeans taking southern routes around Africa or South America. A fast water route would also have allowed the northern Europeans to both cut off the Spanish, who only got east efficiently after claiming Mexico and building a large port at Acapulco (so they could send silver to the Philippines to ship spices and silk to buy). , as well as the Portuguese, who reached the Pacific by circumnavigating Africa and then crossing the Indian Ocean. More importantly, the discovery of the northern route would prove (at least according to the English) that God favored the Reformation, and therefore rewarded those who had broken away from Rome - a far greater price than the line of demarcation the Pope had rewards Spain and Portugal.


It is impossible to overestimate the importance of religious disputes in post-Reformation Europe. After the Reformation, northern European Protestants strove to make claims in new territories to prevent the spread of what is now known as Roman Catholicism. Under Queen Elizabeth I, a daughter of Henry VIII, the English renewed their longstanding effort to colonize Ireland, which had begun in the 12th century but never fully achieved success. Elizabeth's commanders, fueled by the idea that Irish Christianity was inferior to their own and therefore needed to be eradicated, employed brutal tactics on the battlefield. This experience shaped the mindset of some Englishmen who later joined missions across the Atlantic. The English, who would eventually gain control of the Atlantic coast of North America between Canada and Florida, made their struggle with Rome central to their arguments for conquest and colonization. As it turned out, they were helped by an account by a former slave owner-turned-Dominican missionary named Bartolomé de Las Casas, who published a book in 1552 (in Seville) with the titleA Brief Account of the Destruction of India. The book contained lurid details of torture and murder perpetrated by Spanish conquistadors in India, and Las Casas urged the Spanish court to recognize them in order to stop such violent tactics. When the book appeared in English translation in London in 1583, its purpose had less to do with changing Spanish tactics. It became a testament to the inherently barbaric nature of Iberian Catholics, a theme taken up by other English authors in the 1580s and 1590s. These texts helped persuade reluctant Protestants to commit valuable resources to establishing overseas colonies, thereby widening Europe's imperial competition for supremacy in the Atlantic basin.

(Video) Concluding Roundtable: Why Do We Teach US History?


Although Europeans, looking west across the Atlantic, were in constant competition for lands, riches, and souls, they exchanged information about new discoveries with surprising frequency. When Columbus returned from his first voyage, his first testimony quickly appeared in a book now known to scholars as the Barcelona Letter of 1493, after the place where a publisher first printed it. Editions in other languages ​​soon appeared, including one also published in Basel, Switzerland, in 1493, which contained rough woodcuts made by an artist who had read the text and attempted to create a visual rendering of Columbus' first encounter with the to create Arawak or Tainos. By 1500, descriptions of Columbus' voyages had spread throughout Europe.

The dissemination of works about Columbus was only the beginning. During the 16th century, as the printing presses spread across Europe, dozens of new books testified to both the opportunities and the dangers of the western hemisphere. One such book was written by a young English mathematician named Thomas Harriot, who in 1585 had traveled to the outer shores of modern North Carolina. In 1588 Harriot published a small book detailing the region he had seen, the peoples who lived there and the natural resources that could be extracted from its landscape. Harriot called his bookA short and true account of the newfound land of Virginia. Two years later, an enthusiastic supporter of English colonization named Richard Hakluyt the Younger (to distinguish him from his cousin) took the text from Harriot's book and collaborated with a Flemish engraver from Frankfurt am Main, Theodor de Bry, to produce it first fully illustrated published account of an Indian population. In 1590 all the English, French, German and Latin versions of de Bry's presses rolled.

What could explain such a release strategy? After all, France was still a Catholic nation, as was parts of German-speaking central Europe, so a book extolling the virtues of territory claimed by the English may only fuel the desire of English enemies to conquer the region. Nonetheless, Hakluyt and the others welcomed the multilingual edition because they recognized that the European scientific community needed to be aware of new discoveries. The scholars among them could read Latin, but in the late 16th century vernacular languages ​​also became important for the transmission of knowledge as people who were not scholars became interested in the world around them and the new discoveries.


The four-language edition of Harriot'sShort and true reportserves as a cautionary tale for scholars trying to understand European imperial rivalries during the initial colonization of America. Europeans fought fiercely for territories and souls they believed could and should conquer. They also engaged in legal wrangling over which European nation could legitimately lay claim to which parts of the non-European world. Among these arguments was a tract by a Dutch jurist named Hugo Grotius, published in 1609 assea ​​of ​​freedom(theopen sea), which aimed to undermine the Treaty of Tordesillas. Grotius claimed that the Spanish and Portuguese could not make permanent claims to territories because of a geographic line drawn through the ocean, because no one could own the sea.

When the English founded Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, imperial rivals were vying for control of the Atlantic Basin's resources. Eventually, European struggles would also breed American battles, with far-reaching consequences for the native peoples who came into contact with newcomers striving to establish a firm grip on the western hemisphere.

Peter C. MancallAndrew W. Mellon is Professor of Humanities and Professor of History and Anthropology at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute.His publications includeDeadly Voyage: The Last Expedition of Henry Hudson - A Tale of Mutiny and Murder in the Arctic(2009),Hakluyt's Promise: An Elizabethan's Obsession with an English America(2007) andTravel Tales from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology(2006). He is currently working on itAmerican origins, which will be the first volume of the Oxford History of the United States.

(Video) Lecture by Vincent Brown: “Charting the Course of an Atlantic Slave War”


Which 2 countries had an intense rivalry in the late 1400s? ›

The Portuguese

This rivalry created a crisis within the Catholic world as Spain and Portugal squared off in a battle for colonial supremacy. The Pope intervened and divided the New World with the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494.

What are imperial rivalries? ›

Imperial rivalries are when two or more imperialistic nations are interested in the same region, territory, or expansionist goal.

What are the 3 reasons why European states explored the world? ›

Overview. Historians generally recognize three motives for European exploration and colonization in the New World: God, gold, and glory.

How did European rivalries impact the people of the New World? ›

Competition for land grabs, settlement, trade, and exploration led to the growth of New World imperialism and the economic system of mercantilism. As European nations squabbled and settled lands, much was to be lost on the side of the indigenous Americans.

Which two countries were the first to compete for American colonies and became rivals? ›

Britain and France were the prime competitors, especially as their sights focused on the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys-land claimed and long settled by the Native Americans. As Britain emerged as the dominant imperial power of Europe in the 1700s, American colonists were more than pleased to share the bounty.

Who were the major 6 colonial nations of the imperialism era? ›

Although imperialist practices have existed for thousands of years, the term "Age of Imperialism" generally refers to the activities of nations such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States in the early 18th through the middle 20th centuries, (for example, the "Scramble for Africa" and ...

Who were the big five imperialists? ›

Britain , France , Germany , Russia , and the Netherlands continued to colonize during this era, but they also devised other ways to spread their empires. In the late 19th century Japan and the United States joined the European nations as an imperialist power.

What were the three top imperial powers? ›

In most of the imperial powers (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy), elites with different backgrounds were convinced that only expanding countries with colonies or informal spheres of influence would be able to survive in the future.

What are the 3 types of rivalry? ›

In his 1902 Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, James Mark Baldwin defined three main types of rivalry: biological rivalry, personal or conscious rivalry, commercial and industrial rivalry.

Which country colonized the most? ›

United Kingdom (Britain) The British Empire was the largest of its kind in history, and once covered about one quarter of all the land on Earth. One of the last major colonies to be given up by Britain was Hong Kong which was given back to China on July 1st 1997.

Who were the first European settlers in North America? ›

The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States. By 1650, however, England had established a dominant presence on the Atlantic coast. The first colony was founded at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.

What were 5 factors for European exploration? ›

Strong among them are the satisfaction of curiosity, the pursuit of trade, the spread of religion, and the desire for security and political power. At different times and in different places, different motives are dominant.

Which European country treated Native Americans best? ›

The French enjoyed much better relations with Native Americans than other European groups when they first came to American shores.

What two European countries had the most impact on the New World? ›

Spain was most influential. Along with Portugal, Spain dominated New World exploration in the decades that followed Columbus. France, the Netherlands, and Sweden all showed greater interest in the Western Hemisphere than England did.

What two countries were rivals in the New World? ›

Since France and Great Britain were the two main powers competing for influence throughout much of North America, they were natural enemies.

What were the 3 causes of the French and Indian war? ›

Through collaborative research and reporting activities, students will be able to identify and describe in detail five major causes of the French and Indian War: conflicting claims between Great Britain and France over territory and waterways, beaver trade, religious differences, control of the Grand Banks, and ...

What Native American tribe fought with England during the war? ›

Many tribes such as the Iroquois, Shawnee, Cherokee and Creek fought with British loyalists. Others, including the Potawatomi and the Delaware, sided with American patriots. But no matter which side they fought on, Native Americans were negatively impacted.

Who was England's biggest rival in North America? ›

In North America, Britain's greatest rival was France. While Britain controlled the 13 colonies on the Atlantic seaboard, France controlled a vast territory that extended from the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of Mexico. Between 1689 and 1748, the British and the French fought a series of wars.

Who are the big three colonizers? ›

Colonization and early self-government

The opening of the 17th century found three countries—France, Spain, and England—contending for dominion in North America. Of these England, the tardiest on the scene, finally took control of the beginnings of what is now the United States.

What were the 7 major causes of imperialism? ›

The following are the causes for the rise of Imperialism.
  • Industrial revolution : Industrial revolution in European countries resulted in a great increase in production. ...
  • National security : ...
  • Nationalism : ...
  • Balance of Power : ...
  • Discovery of new routes : ...
  • Growth of population : ...
  • State of Anarchy :

What are the 4 types of imperialism? ›

TEHRAN Today there are at least four types of imperialism in the world, military, political, economic, and cultural. In the past the imperialistic countries used military and political imperialism to establish themselves, and then initiated economic and cultural imperialism.

What countries are still imperialist? ›

Only three countries – the U.S., Liberia and Myanmar – still (mostly or officially) stick to the imperial system, which uses distances, weight, height or area measurements that can ultimately be traced back to body parts or everyday items.

Who was the biggest imperialist? ›

No. 1: Ghengis Khan (c. 1162-1227)

Who was the big 5 created by? ›

Who developed the big 5 personality traits? Originally developed in 1949, the big 5 personality traits is a theory established by D. W. Fiske and later expanded upon by other researchers including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).

What are the 3 forms of imperialism? ›

Three main forms of imperialism that developed were: Colonies. Protectorates. Spheres of influence.

Which country was the strongest imperial power? ›

At its height the British Empire was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.

What country had the largest imperial power? ›

The empire Great Britain would go on to found was the largest empire that the world has ever seen both in terms of landmass and population. Its power, both military and economic, remained unmatched for a few decades.

What is the most famous rivalry? ›

10 Best Sports Rivalries of All Time
  • Green Bay Packers versus Chicago Bears. ...
  • Los Angeles Lakers versus Boston Celtics. ...
  • Joe Frazier versus Muhammad Ali. ...
  • Boston Red Sox versus New York Yankees. ...
  • Ohio State versus Michigan. ...
  • Duke versus North Carolina. ...
  • Chris Evert versus Martina Navratilova. ...
  • Arnold Palmer versus Jack Nicklaus.

What is the best rivalry in history? ›

9 Major Rivalries That Resulted in Major Achievements
  • Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs. ...
  • John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney. ...
  • Ferruccio Lamborghini vs. Enzo Ferrari. ...
  • United States vs. Soviet Union. ...
  • James Hunt vs. Niki Lauda. ...
  • Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison. ...
  • Ernest Hemingway vs. William Faulkner. ...
  • Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier.
30 Jun 2015

What is the most famous rivalry in the world? ›

The 20 biggest football derbies
TeamsDerby nicknamFirst meet
1. Barcelona vs Real MadridEl Clásico1902
2. Celtic F.C. vs Rangers F.C.The Old Firm Derby1888
3. Boca Juniors vs River PlateThe Superclásico1913
4. AC Milan vs Inter MilanDerby della Madonnina (Milan Derby)1909
16 more rows
7 Sept 2022

What 4 countries avoided colonialism? ›

  • Bhutan. never been colonised by european Photo: Unsplash. ...
  • Thailand. Thailand never been colonised by european | Photo: Unsplash. ...
  • Japan. Japan never been colonised by european | Photo: Unsplash. ...
  • Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia never been colonised by european | Photo: Unsplash. ...
  • Iran. ...
  • China. ...
  • Afghanistan. ...
  • Ethiopia.
31 Aug 2021

What is the only country that hasn't been colonized? ›

Depending on how you define it, the only countries that were never colonies are Liberia, Ethiopia, Japan, Thailand, Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, Tonga, China, and possibly North Korea, South Korea and Mongolia. Some historians nitpick over this list.

Is there a country that has never been colonized? ›

Ultimately, of all the countries in the world, only one consistently appears on every list of countries that have never been colonized: Japan. Several other countries appear on various lists. However, they all have events in their history that arguably make them colonies according to one definition or another.

What was the name of America before it was called America? ›

On September 9, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a new name for what had been called the "United Colonies.” The moniker United States of America has remained since then as a symbol of freedom and independence.

Who settled America first? ›

It's widely accepted that the first settlers were hunter-gatherers that came to North America from the North Asia Mammoth steppe via the Bering land bridge.

Are Americans originally British? ›

English Americans (historically known as Anglo-Americans) are Americans whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England. In the 2020 American Community Survey, 25.21 million self-identified as being of English origin.
Number of English Americans.
Results per U.S. census
5 more rows

What are the 3 major factors that drove European imperialism? ›

The European imperialist push into Africa was motivated by three main factors, economic, political, and social. It developed in the nineteenth century following the collapse of the profitability of the slave trade, its abolition and suppression, as well as the expansion of the European capitalist Industrial Revolution.

What were the 4 causes of the Age of Exploration? ›

Religion, scientific and cultural curiosity, economics, imperial dominance, and riches were all reasons behind this transformative age. The search for a westward trade route to Asia was one of the largest motivations for many of these voyages.

Which land was named by the Europeans the New World? ›

The Vespucci passage above applied the "New World" label to merely the continental landmass of South America.

Why Native Americans are called Indians? ›

The term "Indian," in reference to the original inhabitants of the American continent, is said to derive from Christopher Columbus, a 15th century boat-person. Some say he used the term because he was convinced he had arrived in "the Indies" (Asia), his intended destination.

Who was in America before Native Americans? ›

In the 1970s, college students in archaeology such as myself learned that the first human beings to arrive in North America had come over a land bridge from Asia and Siberia approximately 13,000 to 13,500 years ago. These people, the first North Americans, were known collectively as Clovis people.

Which country did most Native Americans fight for? ›

Many Native American tribes fought in the Revolutionary War. The majority of these tribes fought for the British but a few fought for the Americans. Many of these tribes tried to remain neutral in the early phase of the war but when some of them came under attack by American militia, they decided to join the British.

What are the 3 main countries that claimed the new world? ›

France, Spain, and Great Britain sent colonists. These people crossed the Atlantic Ocean. They claimed great chunks of land for their countries.

When did England stop colonizing? ›

By the 1960s most of Britain's territories had become independent countries.

What three countries settled the New World? ›

Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands established colonies in North America. Each country had different motivations for colonization and expectations about the potential benefits.

Why was there a rivalry between the British and French colonists? ›

Both forces wanted control of lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. During the 1700s, Britain and France were two of the strongest powers in Europe. They competed for wealth and empire in different parts of the world. This rivalry caused bitter feelings between British and French colonists in North America.

What 2 countries began exploring the New World in the late 1400s? ›

Portugal and Spain

Portugal​ and ​Spain​ became the early leaders in the Age of Exploration. Through the Treaty of Tordesillas the two countries agreed to divide up the New World. Spain got most of the Americas while Portugal got Brazil, India, and Asia.

Which two European powers had a strong rivalry? ›

Though Americans viewed the War of 1812 as a struggle between their young nation and Great Britain, it appeared to many in Europe as an outgrowth of the long-standing rivalry between Europe's great powers, France and England.

Which two countries developed a rivalry over exploration of the Seas? ›

While at the court Magellan was exposed to stories of the great Portuguese and Spanish rivalry for sea exploration and dominance over the spice trade in the East Indies, especially the Spice Islands, or Moluccas, in modern Indonesia.

Who was Britain's biggest rival in the New World? ›

In North America, Britain's greatest rival was France. While Britain controlled the 13 colonies on the Atlantic seaboard, France controlled a vast territory that extended from the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of Mexico. Between 1689 and 1748, the British and the French fought a series of wars.

Which two items from the New World were brought to the Old World? ›

Christopher Columbus introduced horses, sugar plants, and disease to the New World, while facilitating the introduction of New World commodities like sugar, tobacco, chocolate, and potatoes to the Old World.

What were the 3 main countries that sent explorers to the New World? ›

Initially, European nations were searching for a water route to the Far East. Many factors encouraged European exploration. Portugal, Spain, France, and England were newly emerged as nation-states with the means to finance long overseas voyages now possible by innovations in navigation.

What are the 3 nations that explored the New World? ›

Spain and Portugal were the first countries to venture to the New World. They were followed by France, the Netherlands, and England.

What two famous political rivals fought a duel? ›

On the morning of July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr raised their dueling pistols and took aim. Hamilton, the former secretary of the treasury, and Vice President Burr were longstanding political rivals and personal enemies.

What were the 4 most powerful European nations? ›

In the 18th century, this led to the stately quadrille, with the major European powers of that century—Austria, Prussia, Great Britain, and France—changing alliances multiple times to prevent the hegemony of one nation or alliance.

Who were the major imperial powers? ›

In most of the imperial powers (Britain, France, Germany, and Italy), elites with different backgrounds were convinced that only expanding countries with colonies or informal spheres of influence would be able to survive in the future.

What two countries were fighting over exploration so much that they had to have a Treaty? ›

Treaty of Tordesillas, (June 7, 1494), agreement between Spain and Portugal aimed at settling conflicts over lands newly discovered or explored by Christopher Columbus and other late 15th-century voyagers.

What caused the rivalries between the new maritime empires? ›

Political and religious disputes led to rivalries and conflict between states. Recruitment and use of bureaucratic elites, as well as the development of military professionals, became more common among rulers who wanted to maintain centralized control over their populations and resources.


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