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CSET Conquests, Claims and Colonies Review

CSET examinees may wish to know that the first conquests were made by the Spanish and the Portuguese. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, ratified by the Pope, these two kingdoms divided the entire non-European world between themselves, with a line drawn through South America. Based on this Treaty, and the claims by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa to all lands touching the Pacific Ocean, the Spanish rapidly conquered territory, overthrowing the Aztec and Inca Empires to gain control of much of western South America, Central America and Mexico by the mid-16th century, in addition to its earlier Caribbean conquests. Over this same timeframe, Portugal conquered much of eastern South America, naming it Brazil.  This may be valuable to know as part of your CSET review.

For the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) you may also wish to know that other European nations soon disputed the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they had not negotiated. England and France attempted to plant colonies in the Americas in the 16th century, but these met with failure. However, in the following century, the two kingdoms, along with the Dutch Republic, succeeded in establishing permanent colonies. Some of these were on Caribbean islands, which had often already been conquered by the Spanish or depopulated by disease, while others were in eastern North America, which had not been colonized by Spain north of Florida.

Also relevant for the CSET is the fact that early European possessions in North America included Spanish Florida, the English colonies of Virginia and New England, the French colonies of Acadia and Canada, the Swedish colony of New Sweden, and the Dutch New Netherland. In the 18th century, Denmark–Norway revived its former colonies in Greenland, while the Russian Empire gained a foothold in Alaska.

Also of value in your CSET review is the fact that as more nations gained an interest in the colonization of the Americas, competition for territory became increasingly fierce. Colonists often faced the threat of attacks from neighboring colonies, as well as from indigenous tribes and pirates.

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The above CSET-related article on Conquests, Claims and Colonies is predominantly excerpted from Wikipedia and used under permission of the GNU license agreement.  It is provided as a free CSET study resource for those seeking additional review on Conquests, Claims and Colonies.  Please note, however, that it is not written specifically for CSET prep purposes, and does not cover all material needed to pass the test.

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