Colonialism 550 ya
Around 550 years ago voyages of discovery were made by Europeans. These were made possible by better ship design, by new navigation instruments, by a crusading wish to spread Christian religion and defeat Islam, and by the search for wealth. Colonies were started in the newly discovered lands. The rich countries started to take raw materials from their colonies.
The power which gunpowder and other technology gave them let small European nations control large colonies and kill or make slaves of the people. The purpose of a nation was thought to be to make a profit by exporting more than it imported. It had a monopoly of trade with its colonies, and would not allow other nations to trade with them. This system is called mercantilism.
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