Until the late 1400's, Europeans did not know the existence of the two American continents ( North and South America ). To the European explorers, exploring the other side of the Atlantic was like exploring an entire different world, hence the name- the New World. In 1492, Christopher Columbus unknowingly discovered the new continent. His original motives for exploring was to find an easier route to Asia but instead, he discovered the New World. Thus; Spain, France and England began sending out conquistadors and explorers to the uncharted terrains of the new continent. Motives for the Spanish, French, and English explorers varied greatly, however, they were similar in some ways. The motives of the Spanish explorers were acquisition of mineral wealth, spread of Christianity, search of El Dorado, search of Northwestern Passage, and thrill of adventure. The treasures that Columbus brought back to Spain enticed many adventurous explorers and sent them searching for gold and silver.
Missionary clergymen sought to serve God by converting the natives to Christianity. By 1634, the area of present-day Florida and Georgia was home to 30 Spanish missionaries, 44 missionary stations, and 30,000 Indian converts to Catholicism. Within a few decades,