At the end of the fifteenth century, after the voyage of Christopher Columbus, Europe was interested in the new land that lied across the Atlantic Ocean. The new territories, both for the settlers and states, meant new natural resources and wealth. Thus, the volunteers could enjoy the opportunity for skins of the local fauna, products of local flora, and natural resources such as gold. As for the rulers of the then countries, they recognized the opportunity of colonization of the new territories, expanding their political and economic influence.
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During the first years of the exploration of the new land, the settlers wrote a plethora of information about the native inhabitants and their traditions, handicrafts, and arms. They described the local flora, fauna, and landscape. They developed maps that were rather valuable at that time because America was a new land, and the travelers had inaccurate and rough maps. The settlers wrote about the Native Americans, recording their history, social and cultural differences between the tribes (Perkins 2014). These writings were published in England and other countries on the continent, and this was the primary factor of the growing interest of the then society in the New World since it created an image of the land that provides a great number of excellent opportunities.
The first writings about the new land of America were written in the form of reports. The first authors were Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca with his The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, Samuel de Champlain with The Voyages of 1604–1607, and John Smith. Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca gave the “first record of extended contact between people of the Old World and the New”. Samuel de Champlain “explored the New England coast … making the first detailed charts of the region”. John Smith wrote three books, and only then brought together, revised, and summarized all the material in his The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles (Perkins 2014).
The historians note that these first reports are not quite readable for the modern generation, still, at that time they were an effective way of knowledge transfer and the “promotion” of the idea of settlement (Perkins 2014). Thus, people were interested in the exploration of the new land because of obvious economic opportunities that were presented by its rich soil and a wide variety of species of flora and fauna.
In present days, North America is a rich territory (especially in the areas of Canada and the United States). Due to the good climatic conditions and fertile soils, North America produces various crops, such as wheat, rye, corn, etc. The light industry produces cotton, soybeans, and tobacco. The mineral industry provides large amounts of coal, iron ore, copper, natural gas, oil, gold, and silver (“North America: Introduction” par. 5). All these natural resources provide a significant income for the countries that are situated on this continent, thus creating an attractive image of the land.
In the Early Colonial Period, the European writers provided reports describing the new land, its landscape, flora, and fauna, as well as its inhabitants and their traditions. These first reports, whether intentionally or not, promoted the image of the new land and created picturesque expectations in the minds of European society.
North America: Introduction. N.d. Web.
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Perkins, George. American Literature Before Civil War (Custom). New York, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014. APUS Bookstore. Web.